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Resistance to Christian Nationalism profiled in UConn Today

A wooden cross sits on top of an American flag.

Director Ruth Braunstein talked to UConn Today about the Meanings of Democracy Lab’s new project mapping the growing field of resistance to Christian Nationalism in the United States. Thanks to a new $300,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, Braunstein will scale up this work through a podcast and interactive web platform where users can explore various resistance efforts.

The spread of Christian Nationalism is a source of bipartisan concern in American politics today, as it undermines the country’s foundational commitment to religious pluralism. As the UConn Today article explains: 

Though [Braunstein] notes the country has not always lived up to its pluralistic ideals, she believes these ideals call Americans to create “a democracy where people of all religious faiths and no religious faiths are welcome to live in the way they choose — and not just welcome, but also part of the group of people who get to create that society.”

Americans across the partisan divide and across religious communities believe in this vision, and they increasingly voicing concern about the influence of Christian Nationalism on US politics. Braunstein observes, “As Christian nationalism was gaining power and influence in American politics, it was also unleashing a wave of resistance.” 

The project is the first of its kind to try to map this field of resistance, which:

include[s] the “usual suspects” — “liberal religious groups, legal defense groups” — who have been resisting Christian nationalism for decades, “but also include[s] some new actors, including many conservative white Christians who were concerned about what Christian nationalism meant for both American democracy and American Christianity.” 

Follow us online and @USDemocracyLab for the latest updates on the project. 


Grant funding for this project comes from the Henry Luce Foundation’s Religion and Theology Program, through an initiative seeking to “Advance Public Knowledge on Democracy, Race and Religion in America.” 

The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to deepen knowledge and understanding in pursuit of a more democratic and just world. Established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time, Inc., the Luce Foundation advances its mission by nurturing knowledge communities and institutions, fostering dialogue across divides, enriching public discourse, amplifying diverse voices, and investing in leadership development.