Good and Bad Ways to Think about Religion and Politics

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Sep 23, 2010 - Religion - 120 pages
"There is nothing greater than indignation to stimulate a writer to write." says Robert Benne, "and my outrage has been stirred mightily by reading so many wrongheaded 'takes' on how religion and politics ought to be related."

Benne's anger has compelled him to present this clear argument of a more reasonable approach to the inevitable relationship between religion and politics. Secularists may call for a complete separation of church and state; left and right-wing Christians alike may zealously (though often unintentionally) fuse them together-but neither approach really works.

Benne's alternative-"critical engagement"-encourages church bodies and individual believers to step beyond the confusion and noisy rhetoric. He offers practical help in identifying core Christian convictions, deciding which of these can and should influence public policy, and translating those convictions into political action.

"Robert Benne's thoughtful take on the right relation between religion and politics is both theologically perceptive and politically shrewd. Our politics would be better if those active in the public square followed his wise and balanced prescriptions.-James Nuechterlein, Senior Editor at Large, First Things

"Drawing on the classic traditions of both Protestantism and Catholicism, Benne artfully states contemporary theological options and outlines the practical implications for both believers and practicing policy-makers on the most controversial issues. Excellent for clergy and politically interested laity alike."-Max L. Stackhouse, Princeton Theological Seminary

"Bob Benne's engaging and provocative analysis of religion and politics deserves close attention by those on both sides of the debates that currently roil our polity and churches."-Robert Tuttle, George Wahington University

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About the author (2010)

Robert Benne is Director of the Roanoke College Center for Religion and Society and Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion Emeritus at Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia. Among his other books are Reasonable Ethics: A Christian Approach to Social, Economic, and Political Concerns and Quality with Soul: How Six Premier Colleges and Universities Keep Faith with Their Religious Traditions.

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