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For God and Country: What Christian Nationalism Is...and Isn't

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Event Details

Thursday, September 28, 2023
Noon - 1:15 PM

Payson Library, Surfboard Room
Pepperdine University
Malibu, CA


For more information about this event, please email sppevents@pepperdine.edu or call 310.506.7490.

Join the School of Public Policy and the Institute on Religion and Democracy as we welcome Christian scholar, political theorist, veteran, and former White House staffer Paul David Miller. Miller will discuss his most recent book, The Religion of American Greatness: What's Wrong With Christian Nationalism, published by IVP Academic in 2022.

From America's beginning, Christians have often merged their religious faith with national identity. But what is Christian nationalism? How is it different from patriotism? Is it an honest quirk, or something more threatening?

Miller provides a detailed portrait of—and case against—Christian nationalism. Building on Miller’s practical expertise not only in the archives and classroom but also in public service, he unravels this ideology's historical importance, its key tenets, and its political, cultural, and spiritual implications.

Miller shows what's at stake if we misunderstand the relationship between Christianity and the American nation. Christian nationalism—the religion of American greatness—is an illiberal political theory, at odds with the genius of the American experiment, and could prove devastating to both church and state. Christians must relearn how to love our country without idolizing it and seek a healthier Christian political witness that respects our constitutional ideals and a biblical vision of justice.

Pepperdine Libraries joins the School of Public Policy as a co-presenter for the event. 



  Paul David Miller

Paul Miller

Dr. Paul D. Miller is a scholar and public servant devoted to ordered liberty at home and abroad.

As a scholar, Dr. Miller is a political theorist and political scientist focusing on international affairs, the American experiment, and America's role in the world. He is a professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He serves as co-chair of the Global Politics and Security concentration in the MSFS program. He is also a non-resident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

As a practitioner, Dr. Miller served as director for Afghanistan and Pakistan on the National Security Council staff; worked as an intelligence analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency; and served as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army.

His most recent book, The Religion of American Greatness: What's Wrong With Christian Nationalism, was published by IVP Academic in 2022. He is also the author of Just War and Ordered Liberty (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and American Power and Liberal Order (Georgetown University Press, 2016). Miller taught at The University of Texas at Austin and the National Defense University and worked at the RAND Corporation prior to his arrival at Georgetown.

Miller's writing has also appeared in Foreign Affairs, Survival, The Dispatch, Presidential Studies Quarterly, The Journal of Strategic Studies, Orbis, The American Interest, The National Interest, The World Affairs Journal, Small Wars and Insurgencies, and elsewhere. Miller holds a PhD in international relations, a BA in government from Georgetown University, and a master's in public policy from Harvard University.

He is a contributing editor of Providence: A Journal of Christianity and American Foreign Policy, a research fellow at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and a visiting professor with AEI's Initiative on Faith and Public Life.