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Powers & Principalities

Powers & Principalities

By Blake Chastain
Examining the systems and institutions of Christianity in America. Season 1: White evangelicalism & Christian nationalism.
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Episode 12: What We've Learned in the Past 4 Years with Reza Aslan
In the season 1 finale of Powers & Principalities, I speak with Reza Aslan about what we've learned about the United States in the past four years. In particular, we discuss what it means that 70 million Americans voted for Trump to be re-elected, the cult-like characteristics of Trumpism, the 'geography of identity' of Trumpism, the role of the media, and much more. Reza Aslan is author of several books, including God: A Human History, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, and Beyond Fundamentalism. He is also Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside and executive producer of Rough Draft with Reza Aslan and the CNN documentary series, Believer. Stay tuned after the interview for more info on season 2 of Powers & Principalities. Follow Reza on Twitter @rezaaslan and learn more about his work at Follow Blake on Twitter @brchastain and Instagram @brchastain_. Support Blake's work via a subscription to The Post-Evangelical Post newsletter - use this link to save 40% for 1 year thru 12/2! Other methods of support can be found at
November 30, 2020
Episode 11: Coup Attempts & Police Nationalism with Jeff Sharlet
In this episode, I speak with Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family (which was turned into a Netflix documentary series of the same name). We discuss the actions of President Trump and the GOP to undermine the results of the election, the role of QAnon, "police nationalism," and much more.  Read Jeff Sharlet's missives from the Trump campaign rallies in Vanity Fair and follow him on Twitter. Follow Blake on Twitter @brchastain, and follow him on Instagram @brchastain_. Support the show with a subscription to The Post-Evangelical Post. Free and paid tiers are available. Other methods of support can be found here.
November 19, 2020
Episode 10: Post-Election Debrief with Bradley Onishi
Prof. Bradley Onishi from Straight White American Jesus returns to the show to discuss Election Week. We discuss the historical significance of the election of Vice President Kamala Harris, the decisive victory of Joe Biden & the GOP's refusal to concede, and what comes next. Follow Brad on Twitter @BradleyOnishi and listen to Straight White American Jesus if you aren't already! Follow Blake @brchastain on Twitter & @brchastain_ on Instagram. Support the show via a subscription to The Post-Evangelical Post, or other methods found at This episode was produced by Jake Lewis. Thank you, Jake!
November 13, 2020
One Day to the Next Stage
We're one day out until the November 3rd election. In this brief episode, Blake reviews this season's guests and the threats that remain regardless of the outcome of election day. If you haven't voted early, please make your plan to vote and make your voice heard. Use the Vote Save America resources to make your plan to vote.
November 02, 2020
Episode 9: The Religious Left with Jack Jenkins
My guest this week is Jack Jenkins, national reporter for Religion News Service and author of the book American Prophets: The Religious Roots of Progressive Politics and the Ongoing Fight for the Soul of the Country (Amazon, Bookshop). We discuss how one defines "the religious left," how the religious left differs from the religious right, the historical predecessors of the current religious left, and how the media has adapted to covering religion since the 2016 election. Follow Jack Jenkins on Twitter @JackMJenkins. Follow Blake on Twitter @brchastain and on Instagram at @brchastain_. Support Exvangelical and Powers & Principalities with a paid subscription to The Post-Evangelical Post on Substack - you can also subscribe for free! All content is free through the election. This episode was produced by Jake Lewis.
October 26, 2020
Episode 8: White Evangelical Racism with Dr. Anthea Butler
My guest this week is Dr. Anthea Butler, associate professor of religion and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the upcoming book White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America. In addition to her upcoming book (to be released in March 2021), we discuss her experience as a public scholar, how the media covers religion & Trump, and many of the trends and headlines of the past four years.  Follow Dr. Butler on Twitter @AntheaButler.  Follow Blake on Twitter @brchastain and Instagram @brchastain_. Support Blake's work via Substack or Patreon.
October 21, 2020
Episode 7: Answering Audience Questions with Bradley Onishi
On this week's episode, I am joined by Bradley Onishi of the Straight White American Jesus podcast to answer your questions about white evangelicalism and Christian nationalism. You all had some really wonderful questions, and it was equally wonderful to have an opportunity to answer them alongside Brad.  Bradley Onishi is associate professor of religion at Skidmore College. If you enjoy this show, please be sure to check out SWAJ by following the link above. Support them on Patreon and follow Brad on Twitter. You can support this show by subscribing to The Post-Evangelical Post on Substack. Get 25% off with this link or subscribe to the free tier. Follow Blake on Twitter @brchastain or Instagram @brchastain_.  
October 12, 2020
Episode 6: White Too Long with Robert Jones
My guest this week is Robert Jones, founder and CEO of PRRI (The Public Religion Research Institute), and author of the recent book White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity (Amazon, Bookshop). In this discussion, we talk about how his book reveals the ways white American Christianity's history of white supremacy pervades all denominations - white evangelicals, mainline Protestants, and white Catholics. We discuss the "restricted moral vision" of white Christians, the findings of the Racism Index, and much more. If you'd like to support this show, please do so by telling people about it, leaving a rating or review on Apple Podcasts, and signing up for a paid subscription to my Substack newsletter, The Post-Evangelical Post, save 25% at Or sign up for free! Follow Robert Jones on Twitter @robertpjones. Follow Blake on Twitter @brchastain, and on Instagram @brchastain_.
October 05, 2020
Episode 5: The Unholy Alliance of Trump & the Religious Right with Sarah Posner
My guest this week is Sarah Posner, author of the book Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump (Bookshop, Amazon). In her book, Sarah details the intellectual and social connections between the New Right, the Religious Right, and alt-right - and the ways in which white evangelicals provide moral and political cover for the Trump administration. Further, her work indicates the ways in which the Trump administration has rewarded white evangelical support by pursuing policies in line with their interests. Unholy is an essential text for anyone who hopes to understand that evangelical support for Trump is not an aberration but rather a culmination of decades of work within conservative circles. Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahposner. Follow Blake on Twitter @brchastain, or on Instagram @brchastain_. Support the show by signing up for a paid subscription to The Post-Evangelical Post. Save 25% using this link. This episode was produced by Jake Lewis
September 28, 2020
We're taking a brief break to allow a little more time for production, but we're ready to take your questions.  Brad Onishi (of Straight White American Jesus) & I will be taking your questions and answering them on the air in an upcoming episode. Submit your questions by Monday October 5th to be considered. Use the link in the show notes to send a Voice Message in Anchor, or send me a voice memo at If you enjoy the show, please rate & review it on Apple Podcasts, and support the show via Patreon or Substack. We'll be back next week with an interview with Sarah Posner!
September 23, 2020
Episode 4: Christian Reconstruction with Julie Ingersoll
My guest this week is Julie Ingersoll, professor of religious studies at the University of North Florida and author of the book Building God's Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstruction (Amazon, Christian Reconstruction is a movement that can be hard to both explain and identify, but has considerable influence - especially in the realm of Christian education and homeschooling. Julie helps provide context for this movement, and why its social and political goals are anti-democratic and concerning.  Follow Julie on Twitter @julieingersoll.  Follow Blake on Twitter @brchastain, or on Instagram @brchastain_ Support the show by signing up for a paid subscription to The Post-Evangelical Post. Save 25% using this link. This episode was produced by Jake Lewis.
September 14, 2020
Episode 3: Quantifying Christian Nationalism with Sam Perry & Andrew Whitehead
My guests this week are Sam Perry & Andrew Whitehead, authors of the book Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States (Amazon, Perry & Whitehead are sociologists, and have published their data about America's relationship to Christian nationalism. They help define a framework for Christian nationalism, and why it is valuable to distinguish it from white evangelicalism in this context. They also provide four primary ways Americans react to Christian nationalism: Ambassadors, Accommodators, Resisters, and Rejecters.  You can find their books anywhere books are sold. Use the affiliate links above to help support the show. Sam Perry is on Twitter @socofthesacred; Andrew Whitehead is on Twitter @ndrewwhitehead. Follow Blake on Twitter @brchastain, or on Instagram @brchastain_ Support the show by signing up for a paid subscription to The Post-Evangelical Post. Save 25% using this link. This episode was produced by Jake Lewis.
September 07, 2020
Episode 2: Jesus and John Wayne with Kristin Kobes Du Mez
My guest this week is Kristin Kobes Du Mez, author of the new book Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation (, Amazon).  Her book examines the role that cultural ideals of evangelical masculinity have been influenced more by John Wayne than by Jesus of Nazareth. If you've spent time in white evangelical circles, much of this will ring true; if you wonder why evangelicals are drawn to "strong men" like Donald Trump, her work will help explain why.  By tracking the development of "masculinity" through 20th & 21st century popular evangelical culture, Du Mez helps us understand our present moment better.  You can learn more about Kristin Kobes Du Mez's work on her website, and be sure to follow her on Twitter.  Follow Blake on Twitter @brchastain and on Instagram @brchastain_. Rate and review this podcast on Apple Podcasts! Support the show by subscribing to The Post-Evangelical Post newsletter. Save 25% on a paid subscription with this link!
August 31, 2020
Episode 1: The Power Worshippers with Katherine Stewart
This week's episode features a conversation with Katherine Stewart.  Katherine is the author of The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism (,  Her book provides a comprehensive overview of the tactics and strategies Christian nationalists have employed in American politics:  teaching false historical narratives about American history (and the history of the Religious Right itself), deteriorating the public education system, lobbying state legislatures, mobilizing religious voters with sophisticated data modeling, and much more. If you're looking for a primer on how Christian nationalists have been hard at work achieving their objectives for decades--and are making the most of a compliant Trump administration--this book has you covered. This conversation just scratches the surface of what is covered in her book, and is more timely than ever. Follow Katherine on Twitter @kathsstewart. Follow Blake on Twitter @brchastain. Support Blake's work by signing up for a his newsletter, The Post-Evangelical Post. Get 25% off a paid subscription using this link. You can also listen to this show in its own feed! Just search your podcast app of choice for "Powers & Principalities." Disclosure: Bookshop & Amazon links above are affiliate links. I may receive a small commission from any purchases - it helps support the show!
August 24, 2020
Episode 0: Diana Butler Bass
In this very first episode of Powers & Principalities (termed Episode 0, because it acts as a bridge between this show & Exvangelical), I talk with Diana Butler Bass about the early history of fundamentalism in white evangelical Protestant Christianity in America.  The conversation went surprising places, and while I expected to provide a survey-style overview of the development of white evangelicalism, once we got to the Scopes Monkey Trial we ended up talking about cycles of trauma and shame.  Diana Butler Bass is the author of several books, including Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks (, Amazon*). She also publishes a weekly newsletter, The Cottage, on Substack. Subscribe here. Support Blake's work by telling people about this show, following him on Twitter & Instagram, and by subscribing to The Post-Evangelical Post newsletter.  (*Affiliate links. I may earn a commission if you purchase the book from these links--another great way to support the show!)
August 17, 2020
Coming Soon: Powers & Principalities
From Blake Chastain, creator of the Exvangelical podcast & the Post-Evangelical Post newsletter, comes a new podcast: Powers & Principalities.  Where Exvangelical focuses on individual stories, Powers & Principalities will focus on systems and institutions. The first season will focus on white evangelicalism & Christian nationalism. Featuring interviews with authors, academics, and experts whose work has focused on topics like the Religious Right, Christian nationalism, the Christian reconstruction movement, and Trump’s appeal to white evangelicals. Launching in late August 2020. Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. Subscribe to The Post-Evangelical Post newsletter and follow Blake on Twitter to keep updated.
July 24, 2020