Religion and Politics in the United States / Edition 6

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Religion and Politics in the United States, Sixth Edition, offers a comprehensive account of the role of religious ideas, institutions and communities in American life. This book examines the ways religion can both compel and constrain involvement in politics and policy. What facilitates political participation? What impedes it? What are the limits of religious mobilization and involvement? Are there benefits? Are there dangers? Religion and Politics in the United States addresses these questions by exploring how religion has influenced the structure of American government and law as well as how religious perspectives inform contemporary political issues including topics such as equal rights for women and gays. The book also explores the ways that religion has affected the orientation of partisan politics in the United States. Through a detailed review of the political attitudes and behaviors of major religious and minority faith traditions, the book establishes that religion continues to be a major part of the American cultural and political milieu while explaining that it must interact with many other factors to impact political outcomes in the United States. The sixth edition reviews the role of religion in the 2008 election and includes coverage of how religion informs the civil rights struggles of women and gay Americans.
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Editorial Reviews

Calvin College - Corwin E. Smidt
Long the standard by which other volumes on religion and politics are measured, this new edition continues to provide not only up-to-date coverage but an excellent breadth and depth of such coverage as well.
Clyde Wilcox
I look forward to each new edition of this text. I have long recommended it to undergraduate and graduate students, and to colleagues who want to better understand the relationship between religion and politics in the United States. Now a classic has gotten even better, with expanded coverage of religion and gender politics, and the politics of sexual diversity. I recommend this highly to political scientists, sociologists, historians, and anyone interested in the myriad ways that politics and religion influence one another.
John C. Green
Praise for the Fifth Edition: Religion and Politics in the United States is among the premier texts on the subject, expanded and improved in this edition. Clear and comprehensive, I can think of no better introduction to the place, promises, and perils of faith in the American political process....
Fredrick Harris
Praise for the Fifth Edition: Kenneth D. Wald and Allison Calhoun-Brown have updated and extended one of the leading texts in religion and politics. This timely new volume uncovers one of the most important yet understudied phenomena in American life: how citizens' religious beliefs and institutions both promote and constrain their involvement in politics. As religion emerges at the center of debates in American politics, now more than ever this volume is critical to students as they attempt to unravel the complexity of religion as both a diversionary and liberating force in the body politic...
A new edition of the well respected analysis of religious influence impacting US national agendas, stressing the diversity of religion in the US and its myriad manifestations of political contact. Wald (political science, U. of Florida) applies rigorous scholarship to the question of a secular society, the history of religion and American culture and politics, the different branches of government influenced by religious concerns, and the political mobilization of religious groups. Included in this volume is new material covering political controversies linked to religion such as Waco and domestic religious terrorism, and recent Supreme Court decisions and proposed constitutional amendments e.g. the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Includes statistical tables and graphs. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
James O'Hara
I look forward to the seventh edition of Religion and Politics in the United States. Having used the fifth and sixth editions in my class, it is reassuring to know that Wald and Calhoun are keeping pace with the dynamic, ever-changing political impact of religion in our pluralistic society. Their research is thorough, current, and prudently balanced, providing a comprehensive perspective on this significant topic while, at the same time, recognizing the interaction of religion with many other factors.
Terri Fine
This book provides an excellent foundation for why religion in politics matters in the United States today. The authors use a wide range of sources in explaining why and how the U.S. is exceptional in the impact of religion in politics and on society more generally. The text references a wide array of primary source documents, U.S. Supreme Court cases, and public opinion data, all of which helps students explore religion and politics through multiple lenses. The text provides an excellent foundation to be used in different course modalities, such as on-line and face-to-face in that the text is strong as a stand-alone text, but is also flexible enough to complement outside readings and other materials.
Calvin College
Long the standard by which other volumes on religion and politics are measured, this new edition continues to provide not only up-to-date coverage but an excellent breadth and depth of such coverage as well.
— Corwin Smidt
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442201514
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/16/2010
  • Edition description: Sixth Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 470
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth D. Wald is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He is co-editor of the Cambridge University Press Series, "Religion, Politics, and Social Theory," and a member of the editorial board of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Allison Calhoun-Brown is associate professor of political science at Georgia State University. Her research and teaching interests include public opinion, religion and politics, and African American politics. She is a past chair of the Religion and Politics section of the American Political Science Association and has published her research in journals such as American Politics Quarterly, The Journal of Politics, and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 A Secular Society Chapter 2 Religion in the American Context Chapter 3 Religion and American Political Culture Chapter 4 Religion and the State Chapter 5 Mobilizing Religious Interests Chapter 6 Religion and Political Action Chapter 7 Religion and Public Opinion Chapter 8 The Political Mobilization of Evangelical Protestants Chapter 9 Continuity and Change in the Religious Center: Catholics, Mainline Protestants, and Jews Chapter 10 Religion and the Politics of Ethnic and Religious Minorities Chapter 11 The Other Minorities: Women and Gay People Chapter 12 Religion and American Political Life 13 References 14 Index 15 About the Authors
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