Watch | The 1891 Lectures in the Humanities with Lerone A. Martin

The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover: How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White Christian Nationalism

Feb 16, 2023

The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover is a groundbreaking new history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Based on a yearslong Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit against the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice, and thousands of newly declassified never-seen FBI documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, prize-winning Historian Lerone A. Martin reveals how J. Edgar Hoover and his FBI teamed up with leading white evangelicals and Catholics to make the FBI a squadron of white Christian soldiers trained to use any means necessary to bring America back to their God. This never told story shows how Hoover and white evangelicals and Catholics fundamentally transformed American religion and politics. Not only did this partnership solidify the political norms of white evangelicalism and contribute to the political rise of white Christian nationalism, it also established religion and race as the bedrock of the modern national security state, giving shape to today’s FBI, and setting the terms for today’s domestic terrorism debates.