Sojourners in the Wilderness: The Christian Right in Comparative Perspective

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While the Christian Right has been the subject of a good deal of scholarly analysis, it has not been adequately studied within a comparative context—across time, across different institutional systems, or across different religious communities. In "Sojourners in the Wilderness", a host of distinguished scholars examine these dimensions of the Christian Right. The contributors analyze the Christian Right historically—what is its relationship today with earlier manifestations? How have its organizational structures...
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Overview

While the Christian Right has been the subject of a good deal of scholarly analysis, it has not been adequately studied within a comparative context—across time, across different institutional systems, or across different religious communities. In "Sojourners in the Wilderness", a host of distinguished scholars examine these dimensions of the Christian Right. The contributors analyze the Christian Right historically—what is its relationship today with earlier manifestations? How have its organizational structures and strategies changed over time?; Sociologically—what are the current opportunities for Christian Right inroads within African-American, Catholic, and Jewish communities?; and politically—what accounts for the affinity between many evangelical Protestants and the Christian Right within the American political context, while such an affinity appears to be lacking in other political contexts?

Author Biography: Corwin E. Smidt and James M. Penning are both professors of political science at Calvin College.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies
The volume attests to the sophistication in the measurment of religious variables made available to researchers investigating the relationship between religion and political behavior, including data from the American National Election Studies, polls sponsored by the Pew Foundation and the American Jewish Committee, and Voter News Service exit polls.
David C. Leege
Those who mistakenly assume the new Christian Right is a theocratic colossus threatening to control policy through electoral institutions need to read this book, written by many of the best scholars in the religion and politics field. Its painstaking analyses not only trace the political styles of religious movements in American history, with comparisons with other political systems, but define the real limitations of the current Christian Right. Beyond the big (and growing) evangelical tent, the movement has not met with much success as political proselytizer and mobilizer. Interestingly, the book also shows how absolutistic group goals are transformed by a gradualistic democratic system.
Journal Of Interdisciplinary Studies
The volume attests to the sophistication in the measurment of religious variables made available to researchers investigating the relationship between religion and political behavior, including data from the American National Election Studies, polls sponsored by the Pew Foundation and the American Jewish Committee, and Voter News Service exit polls.
John McGlennon
Since the reawakening of the Christian Right as a major political force in the 1990s, this movement has been widely discussed and little understood. Here the history and development of this political force is laid out in all of its diversity and complexity. This collection of essays by some of the leading scholars in the field will help anyone trying to make sense of religion's impact on politics.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Corwin E. Smidt and James M. Penning are both professors of political science at Calvin College.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables
Foreword
Introduction
1 The Origins of the Christian Right: Early Fundamentalism as a Political Movement 3
2 The Changing Nature of Christian Right Activism: 1970s-1990s 21
3 The Christian Right Old and New: A Comparison of the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition 41
4 Charting the Coalition: The Local Chapters of the Ohio Christian Coalition 57
5 Bringing in the Sheaves: The Christian Right and White Protestants, 1976-1996 75
6 Catholics and the Christian Right: An Uneasy Alliance 93
7 Still Seeing in Black and White: Racial Challenges for the Christian Right 115
8 Romancing the Jews: The Christian Right in Search of Strange Bedfellows 139
9 Divided by a Common Religion: The Christian Right in England and the United States 171
10 The Christian Right under Old Glory and the Maple Leaf 193
11 The Transformation of the Christian Right in Central America 217
12 Growing Up Politically: The New Politics of the New Christian Right 235
13 Citizenship, Discipleship, and Democracy: Evaluating the Impact of the Christian Right 249
14 Conclusion 269
Index 277
About the Contributors 287
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