The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right

Author: Jon A. Shields
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400830109
Format: PDF, ePub
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The Christian Right is frequently accused of threatening democratic values. But in The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right, Jon Shields argues that religious conservatives have in fact dramatically increased and improved democratic participation and that they are far more civil and reasonable than is commonly believed. Shields interviewed leaders of more than thirty Christian Right organizations, observed movement activists in six American cities, and analyzed a wide variety of survey data and movement media. His conclusions are surprising: the Christian Right has reinvigorated American politics and fulfilled New Left ideals by mobilizing a previously alienated group and by refocusing politics on the contentious ideological and moral questions that motivate citizens. Shields also finds that, largely for pragmatic reasons, the vast majority of Christian Right leaders encourage their followers to embrace deliberative norms in the public square, including civility and secular reasoning. At the same time, Shields highlights a tension between participatory and deliberative ideals since Christian Right leaders also nurture moral passions, prejudices, and dogmas to propel their movement. Nonetheless, the Christian Right's other democratic virtues help contain civic extremism, sharpen the thinking of activists, and raise the level and tenor of political debate for all Americans.

Christodemocracy and the Alternative Democratic Theory of America s Christian Right

Author: Gabriel S. Hudson
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137523646
Format: PDF
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This book evaluates the democratic theory of America’s Christian Right (CR). The CR has been examined extensively in academic literature. However, most analyses focus on its origins, policy preferences, or successful mobilization. Hudson instead examines the normative assumptions about governance that inform CR activism. The CR has its own answers to the core questions asked in democratic theory, such as “What legitimizes power?” and “What is the proper relationship between the state and the individual?” The author outlines ten normative assumptions of the CR and compares each to its counterpoint in liberal democratic theory. Much of what the CR believes about democracy comes from the same authors as modern and postmodern democratic theory but differs in its interpretation and application. The book describes in detail the theory of CR and demonstrates how the CR operates from a different view of governance than is usually associated with the United States.

Democracy and Tradition

Author: Jeffrey Stout
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400825865
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Do religious arguments have a public role in the post-9/11 world? Can we hold democracy together despite fractures over moral issues? Are there moral limits on the struggle against terror? Asking how the citizens of modern democracy can reason with one another, this book carves out a controversial position between those who view religious voices as an anathema to democracy and those who believe democratic society is a moral wasteland because such voices are not heard. Drawing inspiration from Whitman, Dewey, and Ellison, Jeffrey Stout sketches the proper role of religious discourse in a democracy. He discusses the fate of virtue, the legacy of racism, the moral issues implicated in the war on terrorism, and the objectivity of ethical norms. Against those who see no place for religious reasoning in the democratic arena, Stout champions a space for religious voices. But against increasingly vocal antiliberal thinkers, he argues that modern democracy can provide a moral vision and has made possible such moral achievements as civil rights precisely because it allows a multitude of claims to be heard. Stout's distinctive pragmatism reconfigures the disputed area where religious thought, political theory, and philosophy meet. Charting a path beyond the current impasse between secular liberalism and the new traditionalism, Democracy and Tradition asks whether we have the moral strength to continue as a democratic people as it invigorates us to retrieve our democratic virtues from very real threats to their practice.

The Rights Turn in Conservative Christian Politics

Author: Andrew R. Lewis
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108285619
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The Rights Turn in Conservative Christian Politics documents a recent, fundamental change in American politics with the waning of Christian America. Rather than conservatives emphasizing morality and liberals emphasizing rights, both sides now wield rights arguments as potent weapons to win political and legal battles and build grassroots support. Lewis documents this change on the right, focusing primarily on evangelical politics. Using extensive historical and survey data that compares evangelical advocacy and evangelical public opinion, Lewis explains how the prototypical culture war issue - abortion - motivated the conservative rights turn over the past half century, serving as a springboard for rights learning and increased conservative advocacy in other arenas. Challenging the way we think about the culture wars, Lewis documents how rights claims are used to thwart liberal rights claims, as well as to provide protection for evangelicals, whose cultural positions are increasingly in the minority; they have also allowed evangelical elites to justify controversial advocacy positions to their base and to engage more easily in broad rights claiming in new or expanded political arenas, from health care to capital punishment.

Homo Religiosus

Author: Timothy Samuel Shah
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108395147
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Are humans naturally predisposed to religion and supernatural beliefs? If so, does this naturalness provide a moral foundation for religious freedom? This volume offers a cross-disciplinary approach to these questions, engaging in a range of contemporary debates at the intersection of religion, cognitive science, sociology, anthropology, political science, epistemology, and moral philosophy. The contributors to this original and important volume present individual, sometimes opposing points of view on the naturalness of religion thesis and its implications for religious freedom. Topics include the epistemological foundations of religion, the relationship between religion and health, and a discussion of the philosophical foundations of religious freedom as a natural, universal right, drawing implications for the normative role of religion in public life. By challenging dominant intellectual paradigms, such as the secularization thesis and the Enlightenment view of religion, the volume opens the door to a powerful and provocative reconceptualization of religious freedom.

Family Values and the Rise of the Christian Right

Author: Seth Dowland
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812291913
Format: PDF
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During the last three decades of the twentieth century, evangelical leaders and conservative politicians developed a political agenda that thrust "family values" onto the nation's consciousness. Ministers, legislators, and laypeople came together to fight abortion, gay rights, and major feminist objectives. They supported private Christian schools, home schooling, and a strong military. Family values leaders like Jerry Falwell, Phyllis Schlafly, Anita Bryant, and James Dobson became increasingly supportive of the Republican Party, which accommodated the language of family values in its platforms and campaigns. The family values agenda created a bond between evangelicalism and political conservatism. Family Values and the Rise of the Christian Right chronicles how the family values agenda became so powerful in American political life and why it appealed to conservative evangelical Christians. Conservative evangelicals saw traditional gender norms as crucial in cultivating morality. They thought these gender norms would reaffirm the importance of clear lines of authority that the social revolutions of the 1960s had undermined. In the 1970s and 1980s, then, evangelicals founded Christian academies and developed homeschooling curricula that put conservative ideas about gender and authority front and center. Campaigns against abortion and feminism coalesced around a belief that God created women as wives and mothers—a belief that conservative evangelicals thought feminists and pro-choice advocates threatened. Likewise, Christian right leaders championed a particular vision of masculinity in their campaigns against gay rights and nuclear disarmament. Movements like the Promise Keepers called men to take responsibility for leading their families. Christian right political campaigns and pro-family organizations drew on conservative evangelical beliefs about men, women, children, and authority. These beliefs—known collectively as family values—became the most important religious agenda in late twentieth-century American politics.

Defending Faith

Author: Daniel Bennett
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780700624607
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Based on author's thesis (doctoral - Southern Illinois University, Department of Political Science, 2013), issued under title: Organizations, religion, and legal mobilization: the case of Christian conservative legal advocacy.

Flourishing

Author: Miroslav Volf
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300190557
Format: PDF, Docs
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More than almost anything else, globalization and the great world religions are shaping our lives, affecting everything from the public policies of political leaders and the economic decisions of industry bosses and employees, to university curricula, all the way to the inner longings of our hearts. Integral to both globalization and religions are compelling, overlapping, and sometimes competing visions of what it means to live well. In this perceptive, deeply personal, and beautifully written book, a leading theologian sheds light on how religions and globalization have historically interacted and argues for what their relationship ought to be. Recounting how these twinned forces have intersected in his own life, he shows how world religions, despite their malfunctions, remain one of our most potent sources of moral motivation and contain within them profoundly evocative accounts of human flourishing. Globalization should be judged by how well it serves us for living out our authentic humanity as envisioned within these traditions. Through renewal and reform, religions might, in turn, shape globalization so that can be about more than bread alone.

American Fascists

Author: Chris Hedges
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743284461
Format: PDF
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Explores the political ambitions of the Christian right, discussing how their agenda gained momentum through alternative networks, schools, and publishers, and warns that another national crisis may enable the Christian right to seize political power.

How to Be Secular

Author: Jacques Berlinerblau
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0547473346
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Argues that a return to a more secular America will promote religious diversity and freedom, and help eliminate the widening divide between religious conservatives and staunch atheists.