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Symptoms Of Crisis Lecture Series Features new history of J. Edgar Hoover, FBI and the Rise of White Christian Nationalism

Students gather on the University of Illinois Quad on a spring afternoon.
Students gather on Quad on a spring afternoon.

As part of the 2021-2022 Symptoms of Crisis lecture series, Professor Lerone A. Martin will speak on his groundbreaking new history of the Federal Bureau of Investigations called “The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover: How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White Christian Nationalism.” The event is sponsored by the Humanities Research Institute and cosponsored by the Department of Religion.

The “Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover” is a groundbreaking new history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Martin, an award-winning historian, presents the never told story of how J. Edgar Hoover’s partnership with white evangelicals and Catholics led to the political rise of white Christian nationalism. The book features newly declassified never-seen FBI documents obtained through a years long Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit.

Martin is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies and the Martin Luther King, Jr., Centennial Chair and Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University

The lecture is March 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Levis Faculty Center Third Floor located at 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana, IL 61801. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit

Symptoms of Crisis events are a series of speakers that align with the Humanities Research Institute’s 2021–22 fellowship theme. This theme was born out of humanist sensibilities about underlying conditions and the urgency of examining them whenever and wherever they appear. Many aspects of our programming in 2021-2022 tracked the work that humanists are doing to grapple with critical questions of short and long duration – and to challenge conventional notions of crisis itself in the process. See the upcoming speakers here.

To request disability-related accommodations for this event, contact