The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right

The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right

by Jon A. Shields
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691137404

ISBN-13: 9780691137407

Pub. Date: 02/02/2009

Publisher: Princeton University Press

The Christian Right is frequently accused of threatening democratic values. But in The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right, Jon Shields argues that religious conservatives have in fact dramatically increased and improved democratic participation and that they are far more civil and reasonable than is commonly believed.

Shields interviewed leaders of

Overview

The Christian Right is frequently accused of threatening democratic values. But in The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right, Jon Shields argues that religious conservatives have in fact dramatically increased and improved democratic participation and that they are far more civil and reasonable than is commonly believed.

Shields interviewed leaders of more than thirty Christian Right organizations, observed movement activists in six American cities, and analyzed a wide variety of survey data and movement media. His conclusions are surprising: the Christian Right has reinvigorated American politics and fulfilled New Left ideals by mobilizing a previously alienated group and by refocusing politics on the contentious ideological and moral questions that motivate citizens. Shields also finds that, largely for pragmatic reasons, the vast majority of Christian Right leaders encourage their followers to embrace deliberative norms in the public square, including civility and secular reasoning.

At the same time, Shields highlights a tension between participatory and deliberative ideals since Christian Right leaders also nurture moral passions, prejudices, and dogmas to propel their movement. Nonetheless, the Christian Right's other democratic virtues help contain civic extremism, sharpen the thinking of activists, and raise the level and tenor of political debate for all Americans.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691137407
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
02/02/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures ix
Acknowledgments xi
INTRODUCTION 1
CHAPTER ONE: Democratic Education in the Christian Right 19
CHAPTER TWO: Christian Radicalism 46
CHAPTER THREE: The Varieties of Pro-Life Activism 68
CHAPTER FOUR: Deliberation and Abortion Politics 100
CHAPTER FIVE: Reviving Participatory Democracy 115
CHAPTER SIX: Participation, Deliberation, and Values Voters 147
Notes 161
Index 189

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