Radical Religion: Contemporary Perspectives on Religion and the Left

Overview

The political Left has had a turbulent relationship with religion, from outright hostility to attempts to meld religious faith with progressivism. Confronted with contemporary social ills, the progressive Left continues to disagree about the role that religion should play, whether in understanding social challenges and solutions, or stimulating social critique and reform. Radical Religion presents valuable insights, from both religious and secular perspectives, for progressives today as they struggle to formulate...

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Overview

The political Left has had a turbulent relationship with religion, from outright hostility to attempts to meld religious faith with progressivism. Confronted with contemporary social ills, the progressive Left continues to disagree about the role that religion should play, whether in understanding social challenges and solutions, or stimulating social critique and reform. Radical Religion presents valuable insights, from both religious and secular perspectives, for progressives today as they struggle to formulate a coherent agenda and effective strategies for social change. This book presents arguments from a diverse group of scholars and offers a snapshot of contemporary progressive thinking about religion.

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Editorial Reviews

Joseph A. McCartin
In this volume renowned scholars and emerging authorities of wide-ranging perspectives offer fresh insights on the rich relationship between religion and the Left. By turns inspiring and thought-provoking, these essays remind us how vital religious thought and spiritual commitment have been to the progressive tradition-and how indispensable they remain to its renewal.
Jim Sessions
This book is strong evidence that progressives are far from bereft of challenging ideas, critical and self-critical analyses, and compelling visions of a more just and democratic society. It is a critical resource for people of good faith, secular and religious, who fight for social justice. It is a strong antidote to the superficial, mendacious, and ill-tempered public discourse that prevails today. It engages us at a profound nexus of religion and politics that can equip us with a more rooted and confident solidarity to face the difficult struggles ahead.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Benjamin J. Pauli is a lecturer in political science at Rutgers University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction xi

Part 1 Theoretical and Historical Frameworks

1 Religion and Secular Progress in America Mel Piehl 3

2 Religion and the Common Weal Daniel C. Maguire 25

3 After Religion: Progressive Politics and the Ethics of Modernity Michael J. Thompson 39

Part II Bridging the Personal and the Political

4 The Nonduaiity of Personal and Social Transformation: Why Religion and the Left Need Each Other David R. Lay 59

5 Religious but not Spiritual: Creating a New Communion Robert Jensen 73

Part III Confronting Religious Conservatism

6 The Politics of God in the Christian Tradition Rosemary Radford Ruether 95

7 Against the Theocrats Michael Parenti 105

8 "New" Evangelicals and the Post-Political Horizons of Neoliberalism Paul Apostolidis 113

9 Prophet or Priest: The Politics of Rev. Jim Wallis David S. Gutterman 135

Part IV Ideas in Context

10 A Socio-Political Critique of Ethno-Religious Chauvinism in Contemporary Arab Societies Wadood Hamad 155

11 "All These Atheists and Rebels": Reflections on the Explosion of the Jewish Prophetic in Our Time Marc H. Ellis 179

Index 201

About the Contributors 209

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