Religion in American Politics: A Short History / Edition 1

Religion in American Politics: A Short History / Edition 1

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by Frank Lambert
     
 

The delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention blocked the establishment of Christianity as a national religion. But they could not keep religion out of American politics. From the election of 1800, when Federalist clergymen charged that deist Thomas Jefferson was unfit to lead a "Christian nation," to today, when some Democrats want to embrace the so-called

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Overview

The delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention blocked the establishment of Christianity as a national religion. But they could not keep religion out of American politics. From the election of 1800, when Federalist clergymen charged that deist Thomas Jefferson was unfit to lead a "Christian nation," to today, when some Democrats want to embrace the so-called Religious Left in order to compete with the Republicans and the Religious Right, religion has always been part of American politics. In Religion in American Politics, Frank Lambert tells the fascinating story of the uneasy relations between religion and politics from the founding to the twenty-first century.

Lambert examines how antebellum Protestant unity was challenged by sectionalism as both North and South invoked religious justification; how Andrew Carnegie's "Gospel of Wealth" competed with the anticapitalist "Social Gospel" during postwar industrialization; how the civil rights movement was perhaps the most effective religious intervention in politics in American history; and how the alliance between the Republican Party and the Religious Right has, in many ways, realized the founders' fears of religious-political electoral coalitions. In these and other cases, Lambert shows that religion became sectarian and partisan whenever it entered the political fray, and that religious agendas have always mixed with nonreligious ones.

Religion in American Politics brings rare historical perspective and insight to a subject that was just as important--and controversial--in 1776 as it is today.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691128337
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
01/28/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author


Frank Lambert is professor of history at Purdue University. His books include "The Barbary Wars", a "New York Times" Editors' Choice; "The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America"; and "Inventing the "Great Awakening.""

Table of Contents


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ix

INTRODUCTION 1

CHAPTER ONE: Providential and Secular America: Founding the Republic 14

CHAPTER TWO: Elusive Protestant Unity: Sunday Mails, Catholic Immigration, and Sectional Division 41

CHAPTER THREE: The "Gospel of Wealth" and the "Social Gospel": Industrialization and the Rise of Corporate America 74

CHAPTER FOUR: Faith and Science: The Modernist-Fundamentalist Controversy 104

CHAPTER FIVE: Religious and Political Liberalism: The Rise of Big Government from the New Deal to the Cold War 130

CHAPTER SIX: Civil Rights as a Religious Movement: Politics in the Streets 160

CHAPTER SEVEN: The Rise of the "Religious Right": The Reagan Revolution and the "Moral Majority" 184

CHAPTER EIGHT: Reemergence of the "Religious Left"? America's Culture War in the Early Twenty-first Century 218

NOTES 251

INDEX 271

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