Religion and Politics in America: Faith, Culture, and Strategic Choices

Overview

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...

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Religion and Politics in America: Faith, Culture, and Strategic Choices

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Overview

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

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
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
 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813348513
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 12/24/2013
  • Edition description: Fifth Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 702,242
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (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


Introduction

1. Religion and Political Culture in America: The Historical Legacy to the Present
The Puritan Temper
Religion Freedom and Pluralism
The Evangelical Dimension
The Populist Dimension
Spiritual and Religious Individualism
Conclusion
Further Reading
Notes

2. Christianity and Its Major Branches
The Status of Religion in the United States
The Major Christian Traditions and Politics
Conclusion
Further Reading
Notes

3. Judaism, Islam, and Other Expressions of Religious Pluralism
Major Non-Christian Religions
Separatist Religions
Other Small Religions
A Comparative Case Study: Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses
Political Assessments
Further Reading
Notes

4. Voting and Religion in American Politics
A Historical Review
The Contemporary Era
Conclusion
Further Reading
Notes

5. The Politics of Organized Religious Groups
The Evolution of National Religious Lobbying
The Explosion of Religious Advocacy
Spending on Religious Advocacy
The Dynamic Churn in Political Advocacy
A Wide-Ranging Issue Agenda
A Model of Religious Group Effectiveness
Strategies for Effective Advocacy
Blending Strategies for Impact
The Cyber Revolution
Coalition-Building in the Legislative Process
The Globalization of Religious Advocacy
Do Religious Groups Play a Distinctive Role in American Democracy?
Conclusion
Further Reading
Notes

6. Religion and Political and Cultural Elites
Religion and the Presidency
Religion and Congress
Religion and Other Political Elites
Religion and Cultural Elites
Religious Elites
Conclusion
Further Reading
Notes

7. Religion, Civil Society, and Political Culture
The Tension Between Religion and Political Structure
Political Culture as a Context for Religious Participation
Religion, Civil Society, and Good Citizenship

8. The Politics of Religion on the Legal System
Judicial Politics
Key Players
Factors for Success
The Politics of Church and State
Conclusion
Further Reading
Notes

9. Church and State in the Courts
The Roots of Religious Free Exercise
The Limits of Free Exercise
The Politics of Religious Establishment
Equal Access: A Hybrid Approach to Church and State
Conclusion
Furhter Reading
Notes

10. Latino and African American Religion and Politics
The Changing Status of Latino Religion
Latinos in Public Life
African American Religion and Politics: Toward a Broader View
History and Black Political Attitudes
Connections Between Religion and Politics
Islam in the African American Community
Conclusion
Further Reading
Notes

11. Gender, Religion, and Politics
Gender and Religion in American Life
Religious Women's Diverging Perspectives on American Politics
The Politics of Women in the Pews
The Politics of Women Clergy
Conclusion
Further Reading
Notes

12. Theories of Religion, Culture, and American Politics
Civil Religion
The Unconventional Partners Thesis
Culture Wars
The Secularization Thesis
Populism
The Market Thesis
The Culture Shift Thesis
Toward the Future
Further Reading
Notes

Index

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