"Evangelicals are the most discussed but least understood group in American society. Observers often assume that they are in lockstep with the Republican Party, but the sociologist Christian Smith has shown that 70 percent of evangelicals do not identify with the religious right. Other observers conclude that evangelicals principally serve their own interests, but Allen D. Hertzke's persuasive Freeing God's Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights (Rowman and Littlefield, 2004) shows that evangelicals work as vigorously to protect the religious freedom of Buddhists and Jews around the world as they do that of their fellow Christians. A number of journalists and pundits have written about evangelicals since 2000, but the most interesting and helpful works have been academic studies based on empirical research. (Pick up one of those instead of a best-selling polemic to learn more about the subject. Hint: Avoid any work that includes "theocracy" in the title.)"
From "Evangelicalism Rebounds in Academe" (subscription necessary) by sociologist Michael Lindsay in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The article discusses the increasing presence of evangelicals in the academic community and challenges many cherished misconceptions.
Technorati tags: Evangelicalism, Academia, Michael Lindsay