Tocqueville's Civil Religion: American Christianity and the Prospects for Freedom

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Overview

Sanford Kessler offers a provocative and timely analysis of Alexis de Tocqueville's views on the relationship between Christianity and American democracy. These views are central to Tocqueville's discussions of the moral requirements of freedom and the tasks of democratic statesmanship. Tocqueville's thinking about American religion is highly relevant to contemporary debates regarding America's origins, the current strength of American Christianity, and the proper role of religion in American public life. Kessler skillfully demonstrates how Tocqueville incorporates his ideas into an analysis of the American character, a factor in American politics that he considered more important than the Constitution. This book will challenge the thinking of all Americans concerned with religious-political issues and with prospects for freedom.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Kessler (political science, North Carolina State U. and Duke U.) shows how French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-59) incorporated his ideas about American religion into his overall conception of the American character, and how his views in the 1830s speak to the current debates about the role of religion in public life. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791419304
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1994
  • Series: SUNY Series in Religion, Culture, and Society
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

1. Introduction

2. Tocqueville's Approach to Religion

3. Tocqueville's Christianity

4. Tocquevile's Religious Statesmanship

5. America's Religious Horizon

6. Christianity and America's Political Health

7. The Securalization of American Morals

8. Future Prospects

9. A Summing Up

Notes

Works Cited

Index

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