Publication Date

2014-01-06

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2014-01-06

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Sociology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2013-12-06

First Committee Member

John W. Murphy

Second Committee Member

David W. Kling

Third Committee Member

Linda L. Belgrave

Fourth Committee Member

Stephen Sapp

Abstract

This project considers evangelical interpretations of the Affordable Care Act. Particularly important is that this research engages relevant literature on evangelical social and political particularities. Additionally, a theoretical question is raised whether the evangelical worldview, emphasized as a distinguishing mark of this group, is thought to be compatible with government intervention into the organization of health care. Particularly, how health and illness are interpreted, whether social change is possible, how social change could unfold, and whether contemporary policies are appropriate were key research questions guiding this analysis. A qualitative approach was taken, largely influenced by grounded theory methodology, and twenty-nine Evangelical Protestants participated in in-depth, semi-structured interviews. The findings suggest that Evangelicals are interested significantly in caring for others and health care is no exception. However, complexities exist regarding the importance of personal accountability, religious freedom, and original sin. Most importantly, a variety of perspectives on the Affordable Care Act exist. Recommendations are made that connect evangelical perspectives to community-based health approaches and frame policies to gain evangelical support.

Keywords

Social Change; Evangelical; Personal Responsibility; Social Engagement; Worldview; Community

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