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In the last decade, media coverage of “dominionism” and “dominion theology” and their supposed influence on conservative politicians has become increasingly visible in the US news press. Popular exposés using “dominionism” to frame the religio-political convictions of everyone from President George W. Bush to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann have proliferated even as journalists, pundits, and preachers have struggled to define the concept of dominion. This essay offers a critical history of dominion discourse as it has evolved over the last three decades in the evangelical and secular presses in the United States. It situates the emergence of dominion discourse within evangelical efforts to define the proper limits of their political activism during the 1980s and the progressive backlash against the Christian Right in the 1990s. Through close readings of material produced in the evangelical and secular presses this essay argues that dominion discourse reflects certain normative but unexplored assumptions about the nature and meaning of the place of religion in the American public sphere.