Senior Theses

Publication Date


Document Type

Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies


Religious Studies

Faculty Advisor(s)

David Fiordalis

Subject Categories

American Politics | Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | New Religious Movements | Religion


The Family & Faith: The Theology of Power hopes to shed light on the relationship between American politics, American history, and the Christian Fundamentalist group known as The Family. This paper uses the book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power by Jeff Sharlet as its main source. By connecting the relationship between this mega-group with American politics and politicians, the theme of power arises and refuses to go away. Thus, the focus goes beyond simply just political influence and history and instead results ultimately with how the group gains and maintains their power within the political world, in the U.S. and abroad. The Family is successful in maintaining power in politics, stronger than simply just being an influence. Through its founder and recent leader, The Family has succeeded due to its knowledge regarding the interconnectedness of community and belief: community determines belief. The Family preaches a simple doctrine based on the needs of its community: high-ranking individuals with heavy political influences, and politicians themselves.



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