Donald Trump posing for photographs after he delivered the convocation at Liberty University, an evangelical university in Lynchburg, Virginia, January 2016

Trump has been accused of being drawn to Alex Jones–style conspiratorial theories. Bannon assures him it is something grander than that. They are instruments of a great historical destiny. A do-it-yourself politics like the do-it-yourself religion of the evangelicals is the only thing to rely on in the crash of our ultimate turning. It looks less and less odd that 81 percent of evangelicals voted for Trump. They know what End Time sermons look like.

Given these apocalyptic developments in the time between FitzGerald’s finishing her book and its publication, there is a certain wry poignancy to her final pages. She drops hints (hopes?) that the cycle of periodic revivals may have finally exhausted itself. She says that the evangelicals’ numbers are declining, that they no longer have national leaders or organization. Millennials, “the largest of all living generations,” are not drawn to their preachers. Does that mean that we may not have to ask, in the future, “Where did these people come from”?

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