Religion and Politics in America: Faith, Culture, and Strategic Choices / Edition 4

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Religion and politics are never far from the headlines, but their relationship remains complex and often confusing. Religion and Politics in America offers a lively, accessible, and balanced treatment of religion in American politics. The authors explore the historical, cultural, and legal contexts that underlie religious political engagement while also highlighting the pragmatic and strategic political realities that religious organizations and people face today. Incorporating up-to-date scholarship and analysis of voting behavior through the 2008 elections, the fourth edition assesses the politics of conventional and not-so-conventional American religious movements. Features include contemporary case studies, useful focus-study boxes, and timely discussions of Islam, Latinos, international affairs, and political culture.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for previous editions:

"This thoughtful new edition closely tracks the current salience of religion to the political system, while carefully placing these developments in historical and theoretical context. It will promote discussion of the key issues in the field in both introductory and upper level courses—a real achievement." — Paul A. Djupe, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Denison University

"Carefully re-organized and updated, the new edition builds on the impressive 2nd edition. Fresh insights abound in this accessible text." — Clarke E. Cochran, Texas Tech University

"Religion and Politics in America is an invaluable primer on this increasing important topic. Well-written, well-researched and up-to-date, it combines a broad vision of the role of faith in American public life with sensitivity to the nuances of religious communities." — John Green, Director, Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, University of Akron

"This outstanding book is must reading for anyone interested in religion and politics in the United States. The authors provide a current, comprehensive, and accessible examination of an exceedingly important subject." — James M. Penning, Professor of Political Science, Calvin College

"A thoughtful, well-balanced work… Few books provide as comprehensive a survey of religion and politics in America as this one… A valuable book for students and scholars of religion and politics in America." — Journal of Church and State

"(The authors) do the field of religion and politics a great service with this introductory yet sophisticated text." — Religion and Politics Newsletter

"An outstanding synthesis of historical, sociological, and cultural perspectives on religious activism and church-state issues in the U.S." — Theological Studies

"This book delivers handsomely on its title… The authors provide an insightful guide to both contemporary religion and contemporary politics in America. It is essential reading for those who would understand the often confusing cultural churnings that are transforming our public life." — Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, author of The Naked Public Square; editor in chief of First Things

Revised from the first edition, published in 1995, this volume addresses the relationship between politics and religion in contemporary American public life. It focuses on broad themes, followed by more detailed discussion of the major American religious traditions, and concluding with clashing legal and constitutional views and how these disparate perspectives fit together in a diverse America. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813344362
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 1/5/2010
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition, Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,291,054
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Booth Fowler is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. An award-winning teacher, he is the author of numerous books, including Enduring Liberalism: American Political Thought since the 1960s, The Dance with Community, and Wisconsin Votes.

Allen D. Hertzke is Presidential Professor of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of several books on religion and politics, most recently Freeing God’s Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights.

Laura R. Olson is professor of political science at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. She is author, coauthor, or coeditor of nine books, including Religious Interests in Community Conflict and Christian Clergy in American Politics.

Kevin R. den Dulk is associate professor of political science and Honors Faculty Fellow at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. He is the coauthor of Pews, Prayers, and Participation and The God Gap?: Religion in the 2008 Election.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Boxes
Introduction 1
1 Religion and Political Culture in America: The Historical Legacy 5
2 Contemporary Religion and Political Culture 28
3 The Politics of Organized Religious Groups 54
4 Voting and Religion in American Politics 87
5 Religion and Political Elites 115
6 The Christian Right and American Politics 137
7 African American Religion and Politics 157
8 Women, Religion, and Politics 174
9 The Politics of Small Religious Movements 193
10 Religious Politics and the Legal System 209
11 Church and State in the Courts 229
12 Theories of Religion, Culture, and American Politics 250
Notes 269
Index 299
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