Religion and democracy in the United States : danger or opportunity?


Religion and democracy in the United States : danger or opportunity?

Alan Wolfe and Ira Katznelson, editors

Russell Sage Foundation, c2010

  • : pbk
  • : hbk

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Includes bibliographical references and index



The United States remains a deeply religious country and religion plays an inextricably critical role in American politics. Controversy over issues such as abortion is fueled by opposition in the Catholic Church and among conservative Protestants, candidates for the presidency are questioned about their religious beliefs, and the separation of church and state remains hotly contested. While the examination of religion's influence in politics has long been neglected, in the last decade the subject has finally garnered the attention it deserves. In "Religion and Democracy in the United States", prominent scholars consider the ways Americans understand the relationship between their religious beliefs and the political arena. This collection, a work of the Task Force on Religion and American Democracy of the American Political Science Association, thoughtfully explores the effects of religion on democracy and contemporary partisan politics. Topics include: how religious diversity affects American democracy, how religion is implicated in America's partisan battles, and how religion affects ideas about race, ethnicity, and gender. Surveying what we currently know about religion and American politics, the essays introduce and delve into the range of current issues for both specialists and nonspecialists. In addition to the editors, the contributors are Allison Calhoun-Brown, Rosa DeLauro, Bette Novit Evans, James Gibson, John Green, Frederick Harris, Amaney Jamal, Geoffrey Layman, David Leal, David Leege, Nancy Rosenblum, Kenneth Wald, and Clyde Wilcox.


Contributors vii Acknowledgments ix Introduction by Rosa DeLauro 1 Part I: Religious Pluralism and American Democracy Chapter 1: Political Science, Democracy, and Religion by Alan Wolfe 19 Chapter 2: Religious Diversity and American Democracy: A View from the Polls by John C. Green 46 Chapter 3: Muslim Americans: Enriching or Depleting American Democracy? by Amaney Jamal 89 Chapter 4: The Constitutions of Religious Pluralism in the United States by Bette Novit Evans 114 Part II: Religion and Democratic Values Chapter 5: The Political Consequences of Religiosity: Does Religion Always Cause Political Intolerance? by James L. Gibson 147 Chapter 6: The Christian Right and Civic Virtue byClyde Wilcox 176 Chapter 7: Religion and Party Activists: A "Perfect Storm" of Polarization or a Recipe for Pragmatism? by Geoffrey C. Layman 212 Part III: Political Diversity and American Religion Chapter 8: Entering the Promised Land? The Rise of Prosperity Gospel and Post-Civil Rights Black Politics by Fredrick C. Harris 255 Chapter 9: This Far by Faith? Religion, Gender, and Efficacy by Allison Calhoun-Brown 279 Chapter 10: Religion and the Political and Civic Lives of Latinos by David L. Leal 308 Part IV: Religion and Cultural Conflict Chapter 11: Mobilizing Religious Differences in American Politics by Kenneth D. Wald and David C. Leege 355 Chapter 12: Faith in America: Political Theory's Logic of Autonomy and Logic of Congruence by Nancy L. Rosenblum 382 Conclusion: Reflections on Religion, Democracy, and the Politics of Good and Evil by Ira Katznelson 411 Index 431

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