Religion and Politics in America: Faith, Culture and Strategic Choices / Edition 1

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Fowler and Hertzke provide a lively and straightforward treatment of the politics of religion in American public life today. They provide the historical and sociological context, as well as the range of strategic choices open to different religious actors, to enable the reader to reach informed and balanced judgments about the role of religion in politics.
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Editorial Reviews

A broad view of the relationship between religion and politics in the US, accepting the mercurial nature of both as they are experienced and described rather than trying to pinpoint any essential inner truths or hair-fine distinctions. Emphasizes how and why political and religious actors choose to participate in the interplay, in the voting booth, Congress, state legislatures, the presidency, the courts, interest groups, and the larger culture. Also provides a historical perspective. Paper edition (unseen), $18.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Robert Booth Fowler is professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Allen D. Hertzke is Presidential professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Boxes
Introduction 1
1 Religion and Political Culture in America: The Historical Legacy 4
The Puritan Temper 4
Religious Freedom and Pluralism 8
The Evangelical Dimension 14
Special Case: Evangelicals, Slavery, and the Civil War 18
Special Case: Evangelicals and the Crusade Against Alcohol 20
The Populist Dimension of American Religion 23
2 Contemporary Religion and Political Culture 28
The Status of Religion in the United States 28
The Major Religious Traditions and Politics 35
The Evangelical World 36
Liberal Protestantism 39
Roman Catholics 42
Jews 46
A New Cleavage in American Society? 50
3 The Politics of Organized Religious Groups 53
The Evolution of National Religious Lobbies 53
Strategies of Effective Advocacy 54
The Legislative Process and the Imperative of
Compromise 59
A Model of Religious Group Effectiveness 61
Liberal Protestants 63
Roman Catholic Groups 67
Jewish Groups 72
Conservative Evangelicals 77
4 Voting and Religion in American Politics 83
A Historical Review 83
The Religious Vote and the New Deal 86
Continuity and Change in the Postindustrial Era 87
Roman Catholics 88
Evangelical Protestants: A Pietist Revival for the GOP 96
Mainline Protestants 101
The Secular Vote 104
Jews, Liberalism, and Democratic Loyalty 105
African-American Christians 107
5 Religion and Political Elites 112
The Presidency 113
Religion and Congress 120
Other Elites and Religion 128
6 The Christian Right and American Politics 133
Culture and History 137
Current Directions 142
Explanations 146
Future of the Christian Right 148
Lessons for Understanding Religion and Politics 150
7 African-American Religion and Politics 152
Toward a Broader View 153
History and Black Political Attitudes 155
The Connections Between Religion and Politics 158
The Muslim Challenge 161
8 Women, Religion, and Politics 167
Women and Religion in American Life 167
Women, Religion, and Politics 170
In the Pews 179
9 The Politics of Unconventional Religion 184
Small and Separatist Religions - and Politics 185
Large Religions Reaching for the Mainstream 190
Political Assessments 193
A Case Study: The Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses 194
10 Religious Politics and the Legal System 199
The Politics of Law 200
Key Players 203
Factors for Success 206
The Politics of Church and State 209
11 Church and State in the Courts 216
Government Policies and Free Exercise 217
Limits to Free Exercise 221
The Politics of Religious Establishment 225
12 Theories of Religion, Culture, and American Politics 236
Culture Wars 236
The Secularization Thesis 240
Civil Religion 243
Unconventional Partners 245
The Populist Strain 248
Toward the Future 251
Notes 253
About the Book and Authors 275
Index 277
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