Red State Religion: Faith and Politics in America's Heartland

Red State Religion: Faith and Politics in America's Heartland

by Robert Wuthnow
     
 

"Robert Wuthnow's study of religion and public life in Kansas--from controversies over the Kansas-Nebraska Act in the 1850s to strife over abortion, evolution, and gay rights in the 2000s--is thoughtful, fact-filled, empathetic, often moving, and always informative. When he addresses the hackneyed question, 'what's the matter with Kansas?' his answer eschews

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Overview

"Robert Wuthnow's study of religion and public life in Kansas--from controversies over the Kansas-Nebraska Act in the 1850s to strife over abortion, evolution, and gay rights in the 2000s--is thoughtful, fact-filled, empathetic, often moving, and always informative. When he addresses the hackneyed question, 'what's the matter with Kansas?' his answer eschews simplistic blue state-red state stereotyping in favor of patient attention to moderate Methodists and Catholics and a historically flexible Republican Party, along with careful explanation of when and how that moderation began to give way. This is sparkling history."--Mark A. Noll, author of God and Race in American Politics: A Short History

"Scrutinizing Kansas's red state religion, Wuthnow discovers a complex, compassionate, and balanced approach to social goods and moral choices. Upending stereotypes about his home state's embrace of the Religious Right, he reveals that the beating heart of the heartland is devotion to church and community."--Diane Winston, USC Annenberg School for Communication

"This is a fascinating portrait of the interplay between religion and politics in the Midwest over the past 150 years. It also provides a necessary corrective to accounts that have long portrayed Kansas as a monolithic cultural backwater populated by dupes who cannot grasp their own interests. As a native son, Robert Wuthnow has an understanding of Kansas that runs deep; as a leading scholar, he provides an analysis with broad implications. This is an illuminating and impressive book."--Brian Steensland, Indiana University

"Red State Religion is an impressive work. In contrast to the simple headline-grabbing arguments that something is the matter with Kansas, Robert Wuthnow starts from the beginning to understand the current confluence of religion and politics in his home state. Drawing on an enormous range of sources and data, he uses his nearly unrivaled ability to explore important debates and to set them in the context of compelling stories of the lives of ordinary people."--Paul A. Djupe, Denison University

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691150550
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
12/04/2011
Pages:
488
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Preface ix

Prologue 1

Murder at the Glenwood 10

1 Piety on the Plains 17

Abraham Lincoln in Kansas 18

Establishing a Civic Order 29

Public Religion

Serving the Community 42

Church Expansion 47

Cooperation and Competition 57

2 An Evolving Political Style 67

Prairie Politics 72

Populism and Religious Politics 79

Protesting against Inequality 90

A Divided Party 95

Law and Order 101

For the Children 104

3 Redefining the Heartland 110

Harvest of Progress 112

Consolidation and Expansion 117

Forward-looking Initiatives 124

Church and State 130

Hunkering Down 134

Fundamentalism and the Great Depression 142

Simian Peasants 152

Novel Movements 162

4 Quiet Conservatism 169

Grassroots Resentments 171

The Senator from Pendergast 183

Hometown Religion 187

I Like Ike 200

A Well-Qualified Catholic 208

5 An Era of Restructuring 215

Stirrings on the Right 217

From Desegregation to Black Power 229

Nixon at Kansas State 241

Division in the Churches 252

6 The Religious Right 267

Mobilization on the Right 269

Government Is the Problem 279

The War in Wichita 287

Shifting the Focus 294

Questioning Evolution 303

7 Continuing the Struggle 312

The Churches and Activist Networks 314

Electing George W. Bush 321

Regulating Abortion 326

The Campaign against Gay Marriage 330

Evolution Revisited 338

The Death of Dr. Tiller 347

Swatches of Purple 354

Epilogue 361

Notes 71

Selected Bibliography 45

Index 655

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