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Distinguished Professor Emeritus Richard Hughes Examines America and the Kingdom of God in New Book
Prolific Christian scholar and Pepperdine Distinguished Professor Emeritus Richard Hughes explores the emphasis in American culture of being thought of as the modern world's "chosen nation" in his latest book, Christian America and the Kingdom of God (2009). The book, released on Wednesday, July 22, gives Hughes' perspective on the disparity between the Biblical vision of the "kingdom of God" and the values and actions of America as a superpower
Listen to a podcast of Richard Hughes speaking with Chris Soper, professor of political science, who probes the perspectives presented in the book.
Despite a constitutional separation of church and state, many in America believe that the country is fundamentally Christian in character. However, Hughes' provocative tome contrasts the peaceful teachings of Jesus Christ with the actions of a nation he deems to be dominant instead of reconciliatory, and neglectful of the citizens with the greatest needs.
Advanced reviews from within historical and Christian scholarly circles have been positive. Robert M. Randolph, chaplain at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says, "Hughes knows his New Testament and tells those who place flags above their Bibles that the kingdom of God salutes no flag."
Historian Howard Zinn calls the book, "an eloquent critique of those who would use a distorted interpretation of Christian belief to further their political agenda. Hughes does this with impressive theological scholarship and with an unswerving commitment to peace and social justice."
Hughes has written a number of books relating to Christianity and religion in American culture, including Myths America Lives By (2003), How Christian Faith Can Sustain the Life of the Mind (2001), and Reviving the Ancient Faith: The Story of the Churches of Christ in America (1996).
Hughes was the director of the Pepperdine Center for Faith and Learning from 1999 to 2005, and a Distinguished Professor of Religion. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Bible studies from Harding University, before going on to earn a master's degree and Ph. D. in the History of Christianity from Abilene University and the University of Iowa, respectively. He currently serves as Senior Fellow in the Ernest L. Boyer Center and Distinguished Professor of Religion at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania.