From Pews to Polling Places: Faith and Politics in the American Religious Mosaic

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J. Matthew Wilson
Georgetown University Press, Oct 22, 2007 - Religion - 336 pages

Does religion promote political mobilization? Are individuals motivated by their faith to focus on issues of social justice, personal morality, or both? What is the relationship between religious conviction and partisanship? Does religious identity reinforce or undermine other political identifications like race, ethnicity, and class?

The answers to these questions are hardly monolithic, varying between and within major American religious groups. With an electoral climate increasingly shaped by issues of faith, values, and competing moral visions, it is both fascinating and essential to examine the religious and political currents within America's major religious traditions.

J. Matthew Wilson and a group of prominent religion and politics scholars examine these topics and assess one question central to these issues: How does faith shape political action in America's diverse religious communities? From Pews to Polling Places seeks to cover a rich mosaic of religious and ethnic perspectives with considerable breadth by examining evangelical Christians, the religious left, Catholics, Mormons, African Americans, Latinos, Jews, and Muslims. Along with these groups, the book takes a unique look at the role of secular and antifundamentalist positions, adding an even wider outlook to these critical concerns.

The contributors demonstrate how different theologies, histories, and social situations drive distinct conceptualizations of the relationship between religious and political life. At the same time, however, the book points to important commonalities across traditions that can inform our discussions on the impact of religion on political life. In emphasizing these similarities, the authors explore the challenges of political mobilization, partisanship, and the intersections of religion and ethnicity.


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Whither the Religious Left? Religiopolitical Progressivism in TwentyFirstCentury America
The Political Behavior of American Catholics Change and Continuity
Dry Kindling A Political Profile of American Mormons
From Liberation to Mutual Fund Political Consequences of Differing Conceptions of Christ in the African American Church
Power in the Pews? Religious Diversity and Latino Political Attitudes and Behaviors
The Evolution of Jewish Pluralism The Public Opinion and Political Preferences of American Jews
The Politics of American Muslims
Secularists Antifundamentalists and the New Religious Divide in the American Electorate
Religion and American Political Life A Look Forward

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Page 4 - Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so, still it must be said, that the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
Page 4 - I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say, "You helped this happen.
Page 307 - College of the City University of New York. He received his PhD from the City University of New York in 1974.

About the author (2007)

J. Matthew Wilson is associate professor of political science at Southern Methodist University.

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