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From Pews to Polling Places

Faith and Politics in the American Religious Mosaic

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.

About the Author

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

Reviews

"Georgetown University Press has published another superb volume in its religion and politics series."—Voice of Reason

Endorsements

"This is a timely and enlightening volume. Bringing together an impressive roster of leading scholars, From Pews to Polling Places brings readers up to date on the politics of religious belonging in America. In addition to building on longstanding scholarship . . .it offers glimpses into new and emerging areas of research in religion and American politics."—Andrew Murphy, associate professor of humanities and political philosophy, Valparaiso University

"From Pews to Polling Places is an impressive volume that brings together some of the best scholars doing work in this area. This well executed volume makes an outstanding contribution. It provides empirically and theoretically rich chapters, and is accessible to students and professionals of all levels."—Elizabeth A. Oldmixon, assistant professor of political science, University of North Texas

Georgetown University Press
Religion and Politics

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288 Pages
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288 Pages
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336 Pages
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