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From Cold War to Culture Wars

From Cold War to Culture Wars

The Evolution of the IRD

(p.186) Chapter Six From Cold War to Culture Wars
Public Pulpits
University of Chicago Press

In the first five years of its existence, the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) launched an influential investigation of Methodist “peace-and-justice” grants and programs it found tilted to the political left. It allied with Good News, the leading evangelical church-renewal group in the United Methodist Church, to organize Methodists opposed to these policies. Through the 1980s, the IRD focused on international issues. It championed U.S. policy in the Caribbean cold war, demanded alternatives to the African National Congress in South Africa, and cheered the decline and fall of the Soviet bloc as the dawn of a new era of democratic capitalism around the world. In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the USSR, the IRD championed the prospect of twin democratic and capitalist revolutions to transform North-South conflicts as well as East-West divisions.

Keywords:   Institute on Religion and Democracy, peace-and-justice grants, Good News, United Methodist Church, Caribbean, cold war, capitalist revolutions, USSR

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