Progressive & Religious: How Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist Leaders are Moving Beyond Partisan Politics and Transforming American Public Life

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Overview

In recent years, Americans have become frustrated with the troubled relationship between religion and politics: an exclusive claim on faith and values from the right and a radical divorce of faith from politics on the left. Now a new generation of religious leaders is re-envisioning religion in public life, leading grassroots movements to go beyond partisan politics to work for a more just and inclusive society. Progressive & Religious tells the dynamic stories of these leaders. Through nearly 100 in-depth ...

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Progressive & Religious: How Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist Leaders are Moving Beyond Partisan Politics and Transforming American Public Life

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Overview

In recent years, Americans have become frustrated with the troubled relationship between religion and politics: an exclusive claim on faith and values from the right and a radical divorce of faith from politics on the left. Now a new generation of religious leaders is re-envisioning religion in public life, leading grassroots movements to go beyond partisan politics to work for a more just and inclusive society. Progressive & Religious tells the dynamic stories of these leaders. Through nearly 100 in-depth interviews with Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist leaders, this book explains how they are tapping the deep connections between religion and social justice to work on issues like poverty and worker's rights, the environment, health care, pluralism, and human rights. Interviewees include David Saperstein, Michael Lerner, Jim Wallis, Brian McLaren, Feisal Abdul Rauf, Eboo Patel, Kecia Ali, Lama Surya Das, Robert Thurman, and E. J. Dionne.

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Editorial Reviews

Emory University School of Law
By seeking out and presenting American opinion leaders who are committed to human rights and social justice from their respective religious perspectives, Progressive & Religious is particularly timely in these perilous times of polarization and social regression among religious communities. A pioneering initiative for social change.
Brian McLaren
Through his work with Third Way, Robert Jones has been working hard to heal religious fractures, bringing together political progressives and conservative Christians so they stop culture warfare and start behaving more Christianly toward one another, collaborating for the common good. In Progressive & Religious, he engenders hope for a new day by identifying the growing chorus of voices seeking—in the words of the Hebrew prophets—to beat swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks.
The Shalom Center director
No one who reads this book will end up doubting the breadth and depth of commitment to progressive visions that are deeply rooted in the wisdoms of the whole spectrum of American religious life; and everyone who reads it will end up knowing a great deal more about both progressive thought and religious life. Hallelu-yah!
Kecia Ali
Let's face it: Jesus was a rabble-rouser. The Hebrew prophets castigated the rich. Muhammad challenged Arabian elites. The Buddha opposed the status quo. By insisting that social injustices and not just personal moral infractions are matters of concern for any religiously grounded ethics, the people and organizations profiled in Robert Jones's Progressive & Religious are challenging dominant visions of religious activism as inherently conservative. It's about time.
Rosemary Radford Ruether
This is an important book. Robert Jones's Progressive & Religious refutes the falsehood that only conservative evangelicals are seriously religious. It gives a vibrant picture of how American Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists are uniting deep religious faith and engagement in social justice.
Eboo Patel
This is an exceptional book. It is both a window into a post-Religious Right America, and an invitation to people from all faith backgrounds and none at all to build what Robert Jones calls ‘a land of new possibilities.’
John C. Green
Progressive & Religious takes a unique look at the political views of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist leaders, and offers an insightful analysis of their diverse perspectives. Any one who cares about the future of American faith-based politics will profit from this excellent book.
Rev. Jennifer Butler
Progressive & Religious finally puts to rest the myth that one cannot be both religious and politically progressive. This book makes a major contribution to our understanding of religion in public life by highlighting the deep, authentic connections that exist between progressive religious belief and practice on the one hand and a commitment to a politics of the common good on the other.
Imam Feisal Rauf
An illuminating road map to religious re-discovery in contemporary America. With a marriage of journalistic enthusiasm and intellectual rigor, Robert P. Jones skips among the tensions that mar intra-religious relations in our society, smashing erroneous preconceptions and championing a renaissance in the way we look at faith. The result is a thorough examination of religion in modernity that highlights the progressive tendencies shared by ALL faiths in highly readable form.
Rev. Leah Daughtry
This book is long overdue. Progressive & Religious tells the inspiring story of leaders who are declaring that religion is not simply about personal holiness, but also about public holiness. My hope is that the many religious Americans who recognize their own religious convictions in these pages and become part of this new face of public religion that brings people together and calls for justice for all.
Rabbi Michael Lerner
Robert P. Jones has put together an instructive analytic survey of the progressive religious movements in the U.S. that should be in front of every newspaper journalist and every spiritual progressive. Sensitive to theological as well as political concerns, Jones has provided a valuable introduction to the contemporary struggle for a progressive spiritual transformation of the world that is taking place in most of the world's religions.
Khaled Abou el Fadl
In a world plagued by religiously motivated violence, anyone who wishes to become part of the solution and not part of the problem must read Robert Jones' book. Wonderfully written and an enjoyable read, this is a timely, insightful, and critically important book. It should be read and carefully pondered, not only by every Jew, Christian, and Muslim, but by every person who cares about the fate of humanity.
Rev. Jim Wallis
Robert Jones understands that progressive faith is not simply a 'left' alternative to the Religious Right, but a bringing together of religious belief and practice with progressive politics. Progressive & Religious convincingly shows how people of many different faiths are creating an authentic social vision for a pluralistic America. I commend this book to all who are seeking to join their faith and politics in working for a better world.
E J. Dionne
Throughout American history, religious voices have played a central role in progressive politics, but we seem to have forgotten that in the last two decades. Robert Jones is one of the most searching, thoughtful, and practical thinkers in the revival of religiously-rooted progressivism, and his book is a great blessing for that cause and for the country. Anyone-left, right or center-who wants a guide to this new movement would do well to spend time with this book.
Rabbi Or N. Rose
Robert Jones has made a significant contribution to the fields of contemporary religious and political studies. In sharing the stories of progressive faith leaders from several different traditions he has helped all of us better understand our commonalities and differences, and the possibility of working together for the common good.
Rabbi David Saperstein
This important book is a compelling rebuttal to the widespread bias in our society that the more fundamentalist religious people are, the more authentic they are. Progressive & Religious powerfully reminds us that working as God's partners to heal the world is a profoundly religious task that stands in the mainstream of our religious ethical traditions.
Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite
Progressive & Religious tells the story of a shared journey toward social holiness. These progressive faith leaders—Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Buddhist—demonstrate a kind of militant tolerance and a passion for healing the world. We religious progressives are finding our voices and testifying to this truth: God loves this world and all that is within it. And we are asking you to do the same.
Ahmed Abdullahi An-Na'im
By seeking out and presenting American opinion leaders who are committed to human rights and social justice from their respective religious perspectives, Progressive & Religious is particularly timely in these perilous times of polarization and social regression among religious communities. A pioneering initiative for social change.
E. J. Dionne Jr.
Throughout American history, religious voices have played a central role in progressive politics, but we seem to have forgotten that in the last two decades. Robert Jones is one of the most searching, thoughtful, and practical thinkers in the revival of religiously-rooted progressivism, and his book is a great blessing for that cause and for the country. Anyone-left, right or center-who wants a guide to this new movement would do well to spend time with this book.
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im
By seeking out and presenting American opinion leaders who are committed to human rights and social justice from their respective religious perspectives, Progressive & Religious is particularly timely in these perilous times of polarization and social regression among religious communities. A pioneering initiative for social change.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742562301
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/25/2008
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 496,433
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert P. Jones, Ph.D., is president of Public Religion Research, a consulting firm advising national advocacy groups, and visiting fellow in religion at The Third Way, a progressive think tank.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Moving Beyond the Culture Wars: Finding Progressive Religion in America Chapter 2 Lifting the Line of History: How Progressive Jews are Healing the World Chapter 3 More Truth Breaking Out: How Progressive Christians are Seeking the Reign of God on Earth Chapter 4 Knowing One Another: How Progressive Muslims are Fostering Justice, Beauty, and Pluralism Chapter 5 Just Sitting Down: How Progressive Buddhists are Being Peace and Embodying Justice Chapter 6 Conclusion: Progressive & Religious: The New Face of Religion in American Public Life Chapter 7 List of Interviewees Chapter 8 Bibliography

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2013

    Thank you for a good read that reminds the majority of us we are

    Thank you for a good read that reminds the majority of us we are not alone.

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