The Rapture of Politics: The Christian Right As the United States Approaches the Year 2000

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Theologically conservative Protestants have entered the political arena with an agenda that is at once political and religious. Assessing the current impact of this New Christian Right (NCR) on American politics, the contributors to this new book present provocative and diverse perspectives on a phenomenon that has, despite its pervasiveness in American culture, been too little examined. While some contributors show a disdain for the NCR, others evince genuine sympathy for the movement.
Steve Bruce takes aim at sociologists of religion who, in his estimation, have exaggerated the strength of the NCR. Clyde Wilcox believes the NCR attracts only a limited electoral following, and will have little success at the state and national levels. Stephen Johnson reports on voting patterns of Catholics, mainline Protestants, and conservative Protestants in Muncie, Indiana. And Phillip Hammond and his associates observe that the main fault line between conservatives and liberals is now over "family values." John Simpson singles out debates over abortion and homosexuality as the most potent cultural divisions arising out of the 1980s. Lyman A. Kellstedt and colleagues mark the 1992 presidential election as a watershed event, beginning a dramatic new cleavage in the two-party system. James M. Penning and Matthew C. Moen address issues related to NCR organizations and their place in the political arena.
It is clear that the NCR will remain a part of the religious and political landscape for some time, though there is little consensus over where the NCR will be located in that landscape. The Rapture of Politics will be of interest to political scientists, theologians, sociologists, and scholars of American culture.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Transaction Publishers
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Pages
150
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ISBN
9781412838719
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / American Government / General
Religion / Religion, Politics & State
Social Science / Sociology of Religion
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Northern Ireland `Troubles' the Ulster Loyalists are an increasingly alienated people. In this timely book Steve Bruce provides crucial insights into the Loyalist world-view. Describing the troubles as a deeply entrenched ethnic conflict, he argues that a widespread failure to take into account the strength and importance of the loyalist identity will scupper the chances of peace. - ;On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Northern Ireland Troubles, Ulster's once dominant unionists are an increasingly alienated people. In this timely assessment of the prospects for peace, Steve Bruce examines the embittered world-view of two key sections of Ulster unionism: loyalist terrorists and the evangelical supporters of Ian Paisley. To get to the heart of the unionist position, he asks how they see the last twenty-five years, what they want from the future, what they think they will get, what they will accept, and what they will fight to oppose. Professor Bruce describes the Troubles as a deeply entrenched ethnic conflict. He argues that a failure to appreciate the strength of the loyalist identity has prevented a proper understanding of the Troubles, and that continued neglect of the majority makes strategies for peace pointless or counter-productive. - ;On Steve Bruce's previous book, God Save Ulster!: `his interpretation of the Northern Ireland problem can be considered amongst the most satisfying in the literature' Times Higher Education Supplement - ;`an intelligent and at times brilliant attempt to understand a particular religious outlook' New Statesman - ;Publishing on Orange Day, 12 July -
The current generation of young adults, at least in the Western world, has shown a marked tendency toward a preference for describing themselves as “spiritual” as contrasted to “religious.” This book seeks to examine the possible meanings and consequences associated with this contrast in terms of the similarities and differences that affect those who use these terms with respect to the everyday practices that they themselves employ or believe should follow from being self-defined as “religious” or “spiritual” – or not. The several chapters in this volume take up the religious-spiritual contrast specifically through investigations into practice: In what ways do people who claim to be “religious” or “spiritual” define these self-images as manifest in their own lives? How on a daily basis does a person who considers himself or herself “religious” or “spiritual” live out that self-image in specific ways that she or he can describe to others, even if not share with others? Are there ways that being “spiritual” can involve religion or ways that being “religious” can involve spirituality, and if so, how do these differ from concepts in prior eras (e.g., Ignatian spirituality, Orthodox spirituality, Anglican spirituality, etc.)? We also explore if there are institutions of spiritual practice to which those who term themselves “spiritual” turn, or if the difference implied by these terms may instead be between institutionalized and de-institutionalized expressions of practice, including but not limited to self-spiritualities.
The decline of the Christian churches in the West is undeniable but commentators differ in their understanding of what this represents. For some it shows a decline in interest in religion as such; for others, religion has not declined, it has only changed its shape. Possible candidates for Christianity's replacement are the new religious movements of the late 1960s and what is variously called New Age, alternative or contemporary spirituality. Secular Beats Spiritual offers a detailed study of the religious and spiritual innovations of the last 50 years. It assesses their popularity in the UK and concludes that the 'not decline-just change' view cannot be sustained. Serious interest in spirituality has grown far less quickly than has the number of us who have no religious or spiritual interest. The most popular and enduring movements have been the least religious ones and those that have survived have done so by becoming more 'this-worldly' and less patently religious or spiritual. Yoga is popular but as a secular exercise programme; Transcendental Meditation now markets its meditational technique as a purely secular therapy; British Buddhists now offer the secular Mindfulness; and the Findhorn Foundation (Europe's oldest New Age centre) is no longer the germ of a counter-cultural communalism but sells its expertise to major corporations. Steve Bruce also demonstrates that, although eastern religious themes (such as reincarnation and karma) have become more popular as the power of the Christian churches to stigmatise them has declined, such themes have also been significantly altered so that what superficially looks like the easternization of the West might better be described as the westernization of the easternization of the West.
The decline of the Christian churches in the West is undeniable but commentators differ in their understanding of what this represents. For some it shows a decline in interest in religion as such; for others, religion has not declined, it has only changed its shape. Possible candidates for Christianity's replacement are the new religious movements of the late 1960s and what is variously called New Age, alternative or contemporary spirituality. Secular Beats Spiritual offers a detailed study of the religious and spiritual innovations of the last 50 years. It assesses their popularity in the UK and concludes that the 'not decline-just change' view cannot be sustained. Serious interest in spirituality has grown far less quickly than has the number of us who have no religious or spiritual interest. The most popular and enduring movements have been the least religious ones and those that have survived have done so by becoming more 'this-worldly' and less patently religious or spiritual. Yoga is popular but as a secular exercise programme; Transcendental Meditation now markets its meditational technique as a purely secular therapy; British Buddhists now offer the secular Mindfulness; and the Findhorn Foundation (Europe's oldest New Age centre) is no longer the germ of a counter-cultural communalism but sells its expertise to major corporations. Steve Bruce also demonstrates that, although eastern religious themes (such as reincarnation and karma) have become more popular as the power of the Christian churches to stigmatise them has declined, such themes have also been significantly altered so that what superficially looks like the easternization of the West might better be described as the westernization of the easternization of the West.
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