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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