Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2013


Great Plains Research 23.1 (Spring 2013).


Copyright © 2013 by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Robert Wuthnow, who directs the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University, has a distinguished publishing record in the field of American religion and culture. A Kansas native, he has an unmistakable soft spot for the state. He opposes Thomas Frank's view that Kansans have consistently espoused Republican-centered moral issues at odds with their economic well-being. His central argument, as he clearly states, is that the "Republican Party and the centrist conservatism of the state's two dominant religions-Methodism and Catholicism- actually deterred radical religious and political movements from gaining much ground during most of the state's history." He claims it was President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal policies that eventually laid the groundwork for the emergence of a radical right-wing, religiously conservative movement in Kansas.