Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Randall Balmer  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: October 22, 1954 in Chicago

-- Website --
-- Wikipedia --
-- Randall Balmer on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Randall Balmer was born in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Randall Balmer is an author, professor, lecturer, documentary filmmaker & episcopal priest. He is a professor of American religious history at Barnard College, Columbia University, and visiting professor at Yale University Divinity School. He earned a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1985. He has been a visiting professor at Dartmouth College and at Rutgers, Princeton, Drew, Yale and Northwestern universities and at Union Theological Seminary, where he is also adjunct professor of church history. He has also taught in the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.He is editor-at-large for ''Christianity Today'', and an Episcopal priest. His commentaries on religion in America have appeared in ''Sojourners'', ''The Nation'', the ''New York Times'', and in newspapers across the country. He regularly appears on television and radio to discuss contemporary religious issues in America. Balmer has published many books including, ''Thy Kingdom Come: An Evangelical's Lament'' and ''Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America'', which was made into a three-part documentary for PBS and was nominated for an Emmy for script-writing. He currently resides in Woodbury, Connecticut.

Published Works

  • Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America, Oxford Univeristy Press, 2006
  • Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America, Basic Books, 2007
  • Religion in american Life: A Short History, Oxford University Press, 2007
  • God in the White House: A History: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush, HarperCollins, 2008

Selected Titles At Your Library

Mine eyes have seen the glory :
ISBN: 0195300467. OCLC Number:

Oxford University Press,. Oxford ;. ©2006.

This book takes us on an insightful and engaging journey into the world of conservative Christians in America. Originally published fifteen years ago and the basis for an award-winning PBS documentary, this timely new edition arrives just as recent elections have left an ever-growing number of secular Americans wondering exactly how the other half thinks. From Oregon to Florida, and from Texas to North Dakota, Balmer offers an immensely readable tour of the highways and byways of American evangelicalism. We visit a revival meeting in Florida, an Indian reservation in the Dakotas, a trade show for Christian booksellers, and a fundamentalist Bible camp in the Adirondacks. For this fourth edition, Balmer adds two chapters, one on the phenomenally popular "Painter of Light," Thomas Kinkade, and one on Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life. Through the eyes of these and other people Balmer meets on his journeys, we arrive at a more accurate and balanced understanding of an abiding tradition that, as the author argues, is both rich in theological insights and mired in contradictions. Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory offers readers a genuine insight into the appeal that the evangelicals movement holds for thousands of Americans.

Thy kingdom come :
ISBN: 0465005195. OCLC Number:

Basic Books,. New York, N.Y. :. ©2006.

Examines the involvement of evangelical Christianity in modern-day American partisan politics, criticizing the new generation of religious leaders who have corrupted the Christian faith on behalf of the Republican Party.

Religion in American life :
ISBN: 0195333292. OCLC Number:

Oxford University Press,. Oxford ;. 2008.

God in the White House :
ISBN: 0060734051. OCLC Number:

HarperOne,. New York :. ©2008.

Historian Balmer reveals the role religion has played in the personal and political lives of the last nine American presidents. Americans were once content to disregard religion as a criterion, as in most of the modern presidential elections before Jimmy Carter. But today's voters have come to expect candidates to disclose their religious views and to illustrate their personal relationship to the Almighty. This book explores the paradox of Americans' expectation that presidents should simultaneously trumpet their religious views and relationship to God while supporting the separation of church and state. Balmer tells the story of the politicization of religion in the last half of the twentieth century, as well as the "religionization" of our politics. He reflects on the implications of this shift, and offers a new lens through which to see not only these presidents, but also our current political situation.--From publisher description.



Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)