Religion and Democracy in the United States: Danger or Opportunity?

Princeton University Press
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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.

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About the author

Alan Wolfe is professor of political science at Boston College. Ira Katznelson is the Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History at Columbia University.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Aug 30, 2010
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Pages
456
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ISBN
9781400836772
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
Religion / Religion, Politics & State
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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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Throughout the nineteenth century, legal barriers to Jewish citizenship were lifted in Europe, enabling organized Jewish communities and individuals to alter radically their relationships with the institutions of the Christian West. In this volume, one of the first to offer a comparative overview of the entry of Jews into state and society, eight leading historians analyze the course of emancipation in Holland, Germany, France, England, the United States, and Italy as well as in Turkey and Russia. The goal is to produce a systematic study of the highly diverse paths to emancipation and to explore their different impacts on Jewish identity, dispositions, and patterns of collective action.

Jewish emancipation concerned itself primarily with issues of state and citizenship. Would the liberal and republican values of the Enlightenment guide governments in establishing the terms of Jewish citizenship? How would states react to Jews seeking to become citizens and to remain meaningfully Jewish? The authors examine these issues through discussions of the entry of Jews into the military, the judicial system, business, and academic and professional careers, for example, and through discussions of their assertive political activity.

In addition to the editors, the contributors are Geoffrey Alderman, Hans Daalder, Werner E. Mosse, Aron Rodrigue, Dan V. Segre, and Michael Stanislawski.

Originally published in 1995.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

In the twenty-first century, globalization poses major challenges to the key players in U.S. domestic politics--challenges similar to many that Americans have faced from abroad since the nation's founding. But it is only in recent decades that links have been drawn between the study of American political development and international relations; even now, emphasis falls primarily on how domestic politics affects the world arena. This book redresses the imbalance.

Ten leading scholars explore how, over the past two centuries, the changing positions of the United States in the world economy and in the international political order have shaped U.S. political institutions and domestic politics. Ira Katznelson, Aristide R. Zolberg, and Robert O. Keohane demonstrate the central role that efforts to contend with foreign military and economic competition played in forming the major institutions of U.S. government from the framing of the Constitution through the Civil War. Martin Shefter, Theda Skocpol (writing with Ziad Munson, Andrew Karch, and Bayliss Camp), Ronald Rogowski, and Judith Goldstein show how the nation's political institutions were transformed by problems of war and trade the U.S. subsequently faced. Aaron L. Friedberg, Bartholomew H. Sparrow, and Peter A. Gourevitch conclude the volume by analyzing how international conflicts during and after the Cold War influenced governmental institutions and domestic politics in the United States over the past fifty years. Shaped by War and Trade sets the agenda for further exploration of a topic whose discussion is long overdue.

A new collection of essays from one of the most courageous and honest thinkers writing today

"The question of the public intellectual is very much in the air again," writes Alan Wolfe. As one of our eminent social commentators, Wolfe should know; he's been writing, with fierce intellectual independence, about American public and private life since the 1960s.

In this new collection of essays spanning seven years of contributions to The New Republic, The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, and other prominent publications, Wolfe displays the courage necessary to write honestly—yet free of ideology, cant, and piety—about the things Americans take very seriously.

Wolfe thinks big; indeed, the essays in An Intellectual in Public confront many of the most controversial issues of our time: country, God, race, sex, material consumption, and left and right. Beginning and ending the book are original essays describing the public intellectual's role, and how Wolfe believes that role ought to be filled.

An Intellectual in Public is not only a demonstration of Wolfe's pointed analytical skills but a testament to his belief that "severely ideological thinking" is inappropriate for some of our most difficult problems, and that "neither the right nor the left can speak for all of America."

Alan Wolfe is the director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life and also Professor of Political Science at Boston College. He is the author of over a dozen books, including One Nation After All: What Middle Class Americans Really Think About: God, Country, Family, Racism, Welfare, Immigration, Homosexuality, Work, the Right, the Left and Each Other.

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