R. Marie Griffith is the John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities and the director of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis, where she edits the prizewinning online journal Religion and Politics. She is a historian of U.S. religion who specializes in women, gender, and sexuality in twentieth-century American Christianity and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on these subjects for twenty years. Prior to joining the faculty at Washington University, she was a professor of religion and the director of the Program in the Study of Women and Gender at Princeton University, where she received the President's Award for Distinguished Teaching; and the John A. Bartlett Professor of Church History at Harvard University. Griffith's books include God's Daughter: Evangelical Women and the Power of Submission (1997), a study of conservative Protestant women in the late twentieth century; Born Again Bodies: Flesh and Spirit in American Christianity (2004), a history of religious and cultural bodily obsessions and practices across the twentieth century; Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics (2017), an analysis of the religious and political wars over sex and gender since the 1920s; and Making the World Over: Confronting Racism, Misogyny, and Xenophobia in U.S. History, a response to current conflicts over how to properly teach hard topics in the classroom. She coedited, with Barbara Dianne Savage, Women and Religion in the African Diaspora: Knowledge, Power, and Performance (2006) and, with Melani McAlister, Religion and Politics in the Contemporary United States (2008).
Sex is at the heart of many of the most contentious issues of our deeply divided age. This lecture analyzes the roots of today's fractured politics, revealing how they result from a century-long conflicts over sexuality and gender roles--not just between religious and secular people, but among American Christians. It also explores how political figures such as Donald Trump, Josh Hawley, and many others have risen to power by exploiting misogyny compounded by racism and xenophobia.