Religious Studies Scholar Will Lecture on Watergate and Politics in Contemporary Evangelical Magazines

April 21, 2017
Anja-Maria BassimirGerman religious studies scholar Anja-Maria Bassimir will deliver a lecture in the Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) on the aftermath of the Watergate scandal and politics in contemporary evangelical magazines. (Courtesy photo)

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WACO, Texas (April 21, 2017) – Anja-Maria Bassimir, a German historian and religious studies scholar specializing in the religious history of the United States, will lecture on “After Crisis: Watergate and Positions on Politics in Contemporary Evangelical Magazines” at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, in Cox Lecture Hall of Armstrong Browning Library, 710 Speight Ave.

“Watergate had such a significant effect on American politics that it will always be important,” said Elesha Coffman, Ph.D., assistant professor for history in the College of Arts & Sciences and resident scholar in the Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR). “Evangelical politics, and specifically evangelical responses to scandal, have been a subject of increased attention since the 2016 election. This is a very timely topic.”

Bassimir is a member of the research group “Un/Doing Differences: Practices of Human Differentiation” at the University of Mainz with DFG, the largest independent research funding organization in Germany. Through this group, Bassimir is working on a project titled “Pluralism, Boundary-Making and Community-Building in North-American Religious Periodicals.” Bassimir previously has worked as a lecturer at the University of Münster.

“It is always interesting to get a perspective on U.S. history from someone who works outside the United States,” Coffman said. “Attendees will be able to see a familiar event—the Watergate scandal and its aftermath—through new eyes.”

Bassimir defended her Ph.D. thesis at the Westfälische Wilhelms-University in Münster in November 2016. The thesis is titled “The Evangelicalism Project: Visions of Spiritual Community in Evangelical Magazines during the 1970s and 1980s.”

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. For more information and to register for this event, click here.

“ISR is known as a place that fosters keen dialogue about religion and politics in the United States,” Coffman said. “This lecture is a good example of what ISR does best.”

by Kalli Damschen, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


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Launched in August 2004, the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) exists to initiate, support and conduct research on religion, involving scholars and projects spanning the intellectual spectrum: history, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, epidemiology, theology and religious studies. The institute’s mandate extends to all religions, everywhere, and throughout history, and embraces the study of religious effects on prosocial behavior, family life, population health, economic development and social conflict. While always striving for appropriate scientific objectivity, ISR scholars treat religion with the respect that sacred matters require and deserve. For more information, visit

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