Rushdoony, Rousas John
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Time Period
4/25/1916  - 2/8/2001
Rousas Rushdoony attended the Pacific School of Religion and became ordained in the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, later switching to the more-conservative Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

He combined three discrete strains of thought into a system he called Christian Reconstructionism. While working as a missionary pastor on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation in Nevada, Rushdoony became disillusioned with failed attempts at government social engineering. He became convinced that modern America should structure its laws after those of Old Testament Israel. After American society crumbled under the weight of the modern welfare state, it would be replaced with a decentralized, theocratic government organized around patriarchal, Christian families.

Rushdoony advocated for the right of parents to homeschool their children and testified in Leeper v. Arlington, the court case that established that right in Texas. While Rushdoony's direct circle of influence was small, his ideas influenced several New Christian Right leaders during the 1980s including D. James Kennedy and Pat Robertson.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Presbyterian Religious Events and People in American History
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Presbyterian Religious Events and People in American History
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Presbyterian-Reformed Family: Other ARDA Links


Rousas Rushdoony portrait- Chalcedon Foundation (
Book/Journal Source(s)
McVicar, Michael, 2015. Christian Reconstruction: R. J. Rushdoony and American Religious Conservatism. University of North Carolina Press.
Web Page Contributor
Paul Matzko
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History

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