Religion in American Public Life

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Brookings Institution Press, Dec 1, 2010 - Political Science - 402 pages
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"We are," said Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, "a religious people," and his observation is continually borne out in every aspect of American public life. Religious ideals underlay the founding of the colonies and the firming of the new nation; the activities of churches have been closely interwined with politics in the abolition of slavery, the drive for women's suffrage, the prohibition of liquor,and the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The recent revival of arguments over the participation of relgious groups in politics points up the continuing controversey about the separation of church and state. In this study, A. James Reichley places religion and politics within a conceptual framework that considers the values in which both are rooted and examines, in light of that framework, the actual impact of religion and religious groups on American public life. He analyzes the underlying causes and issues involved, their contemporary impact, and their continuing evolution. Finally he discusses how the involvement of religious groups in politics can be carried on within the context of the separation of church and state without threat to civil liberties or seculat politicalization of religion.
 

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Contents

The Religious Issue
1
The Problem Defined
2
A Common Source
4
Religion Politics and Human Values
9
A Typology of Value Systems
10
Egoism
12
Authoritarianism
18
Monism
22
First Alignment
177
An Immigrant Church
182
The Party of Conscience
188
Religion and the Industrial Age
203
The New Deal Coalition
219
Time of Turmoil 1964 to 1985
243
The Churches Come to Washington
244
The Religious New Left
256

Idealism
27
Personalism
36
Civil Humanism
41
TheistHumanism
47
Intentions of the Founders
53
Degrees of Diversity
74
The American Enlightenment
85
A New Nation
96
Interpreting the First Amendment
115
A New Doctrine of Rights
116
The Free Exercise Clause
127
The Establishment Clause
135
Reasonable Standards
164
The Churches and Political Action 1790 to 1963
168
A Pluralist Society
170
Mainline Protestants in Crisis
267
Black Activism
281
Catholics in Ferment
285
PostLiberal Jews
302
Revolt of the Evangelicals
311
A New Center?
331
The Underlying Issue
338
Religion and Democracy
340
The Moral Foundation of Democracy
341
The Role of the Churches
350
A Religious People
359
Notes
361
Index
390
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