Religion and Politics in America: Faith, Culture, and Strategic Choices / Edition 2

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Overview

Every day we hear more about the key role religion plays in American politics. But exactly what is the relationship in the United States between religious belief and practice and the exercise of politics? Should we be alarmed or encouraged by the contemporary situation? And what are the historical and cultural roots of religious activism?In the revised and updated second edition of this accessible and engaging survey, Robert Booth Fowler, Allen D. Hertzke and Laura R. Olson provide a lively and straightforward treatment of the politics of religion in American public life today. They provide the historical context, the broader sociological aspects of religion and politics, and the range of strategic choices open to different religious actors, enabling the reader to reach informed and balanced judgments about these controversial issues.The authors offer a balanced and wide-ranging text. They honor both behavioral and philosophical approaches to the study of religion in society; they dismiss neither conservative cultural values nor liberal demands for social justice. The book is driven not by ideology or any grand schemes but rather by the desire to provide reliable knowledge about religion and politics on a careful case-by-case basis that will enable students to understand today's developments and to adapt to those of tomorrow.From the presidency to the courts, from local school battles to congressional debates, from public opinion and voting behavior (including the 1996 elections) to the shaping of culture, this text provides a window to the contemporary scene. It assesses the politics of Roman Catholics, evangelical Protestants, liberal Protestants, and Jews. It also examines important but often neglected subjects such as women and religion, African American religion, Islam, less traditional faiths, and cults.Arguing that religion and politics are much more than institutions and political behavior, Fowler, Hertzke and Olson emphasize the roles of values and attitudes in social and cultural patterns and in conflicts and agreements lived out day to day in communities.Well written, evenhanded, and consistently generous in its treatment of opposing views, Religion and Politics in America is now the ideal text introduce students to the volatile mix of politics and religion in the late twentieth-century and beyond.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
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 (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813334905
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1998
  • Series: Explorations Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.72 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Allen D. Hertzke is Presidential professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma. Laura R. Olson is assistant professor of political science at Clemson University.

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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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