An era has ended. The political expression that most galvanized evangelicals during the past quarter-century, the Religious Right, is fading. What's ahead is unclear. Millions of faith-based voters still exist, and they continue to care deeply about hot-button issues like abortion and gay marriage, but the shape of their future political engagement remains to be formed. Into this uncertainty, former White House insiders Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner seek to call evangelicals toward a new kind of political engagement -- a kind that is better both for the church and the country, a kind that cannot be co-opted by either political party, a kind that avoids the historic mistakes of both the Religious Left and the Religious Right. Incisive, bold, and marked equally by pragmatism and idealism, Gerson and Wehner's new book has the potential to chart a new political future not just for values voters, but for the nation as a whole.
This collection of writings, drawn from a wide variety of sources, reveals the intellectual depth and breadth of the author. The articles include political commentary, cultural critique, literary analysis, extended book reviews, and even a short story by West. All of these are held together by a prophetic Afro-American Christian perspective. The value of this book is that it provides easy access to a significant selection of the author's corpus. --Religious Studies Review (October 1989) This volume collects over 50 articles, book reviews, and addresses by a Union Seminary theologian . . . . The most eloquent pieces are those in which West explains and interprets his more personally felt tradition of Afro-American Protestantism. -- Library Journal
Every day, major headlines tell the story of how Christianity is attempting to influence American culture and politics. But statistics show that young Americans are disenchanted with a faith that has become culturally antagonistic and too closely aligned with partisan politics. In this personal yet practical work, Jonathan Merritt uncovers the changing face of American Christianity by uniquely examining the coming of age of a new generation of Christians. Jonathan Merritt illuminates the spiritual ethos of this new generation of believers who engage the world with Christ-centered faith but an un-polarized political perspective. Through personal stories and biblically rooted commentary this scion of a leading evangelical family takes a close, thoughtful look at the changing religious and political environment, addressing such divisive issues as abortion, gay marriage, environmental use and care, race, war, poverty, and the imbalance of world wealth. Through Scripture, the examples of Jesus, and personal defining faith experiences, he distills the essential truths at the core of a Christian faith that is now just coming of age.
Since the Revolutionary War, Mainline Christianity has been comprised of the Seven Sisters of American Protestantism—the Congregational Church, the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Presbyterian Church, the United Methodist Church, the American Baptist Convention, and the Disciples of Christ.These denominations have been the dominant cultural representatives since the nineteenth century of how and where the majority of American Christians worship. Today, however, the Seven Sisters no longer represent most American Christians. The Mainline has been shrinking while evangelical and fundamentalist churches, as well as non denominational congregations and mega churches, have been attracting more and more members. In this comprehensive and accessible book, Jason S. Lantzer chronicles the rise and fall of the Seven Sisters, documenting the ways in which they stopped shaping American culture and began to be shaped by it. After reviewing and critiquing the standard decline narrative of the Mainline he argues for a reconceptualization of the Mainline for the twenty-first century, a new grouping of Seven Sisters that seeks to recognize the vibrancy of American Christianity.
First published in 1985, Habits of the Heart continues to be one of the most discussed interpretations of modern American society, a quest for a democratic community that draws on our diverse civic and religious traditions. In a new preface the authors relate the arguments of the book both to the current realities of American society and to the growing debate about the country's future. With this new edition one of the most influential books of recent times takes on a new immediacy.
Carl Ellis assesses the state of African American freedom and dignity in contemporary culture. He stresses the importance of African Americans knowing who they are and where they have been.
Former United States senator and ambassador to the United Nations John Danforth offers a fascinating, thoughtful, and deeply personal look at the state of American politics today—and how religion can be a bridge over our bitter partisan divide. In an era of extreme partisanship, when running for office has become a zero-sum game in which candidates play exclusively to their ideological bases, Americans on both sides of the political aisle hunger for the return of a commitment to the common good. Too often, it seems, religion has been used as a wedge to divide us in these battles. But is it also the key to restoring our civic virtue? For more than a decade, John Danforth, who is also an ordained Episcopal priest, has written extensively on the negative use of religion as a divisive force in American politics. Now he turns to the positive, constructive impact faithful religious believers have and can have on our public life. The Relevance of Religion is the product of that period of reflection. In the calm and wise voice of the pastor he once aspired to be, Senator Danforth argues that our shared religious values can lead us out of the embittered, entrenched state of politics today. A lifelong Republican, he calls his own party to task for its part in creating a political system in which the loudest opinions and the most polarizing personalities hold sway. And he suggests that such a system is not only unsustainable but unfaithful to our essential nature. We are built to care about other people, and this inherent altruism—which science says we crave because of our neurobiological wiring, and the Bible says is part of our created nature—is a crucial aspect of good government. Our willingness to serve more than our self-interest is religion’s gift to politics, John Danforth asserts. In an era when 75 percent of Americans say they cannot trust their elected leaders, The Relevance of Religion is a heartfelt plea for more compassionate government—and a rousing call to arms for those wishing to follow the better angels of our nature. Praise for The Relevance of Religion “Using well-supported arguments deriving from his ministerial as well as legal background, Danforth asserts that traditional religious values of sacrifice, selflessness and a commitment to the greater good can and should have prominent roles in America’s politics. . . . Danforth’s arguments are staunchly supported and clearly explained. . . . For anyone who is faithful as well as political, he provides much food for thought.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch “John Danforth does his country another service after many. His book is both a serious critique of politicized religion and a strong defense of religion’s indispensable role in our common life. He talks of faith as an antidote to egotism, as a force for reconciliation, and as a source of public virtue. His case is illustrated through autobiography, in an honest, winsome, and sometimes self-critical tone. Danforth speaks for civility, collegiality, and useful compromise—and is compelling because he has demonstrated all those commitments himself over the decades.”—Michael Gerson, columnist, The Washington Post “In this wise and urgent book, John Danforth stands in the company of our great public theologians—Paul Tillich, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the brothers Niebuhr—as he envisions both religious and political practices that enable our better selves. Political participation, pursued well, cultivates generosity and patience, and is good for the soul. What better remedy for mending our broken politics?”—Charles Marsh, Commonwealth Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia From the Hardcover edition.
Politics and Religion in the White South examines the powerful ways in which religious considerations have shaped American political discourse. Since the inception of the Republic, politics have remained a subject of lively discussion and debate. Although based on secular ideals, American government and politics have often been peppered with Christian influences. Especially in the mostly Protestant South, religion and politics have been nearly inextricable. This collection of thirteen essays from prominent historians and political scientists, including Mark K. Bauman, Charles S. Bullock III, Natalie M. Davis, Andrew M. Manis, Mark J. Rozell, and Clyde Wilcox, explores the intersection of religion, politics, race relations, and Southern culture from post–Civil War America to the present, when the religious right has begun to exercise a profound influence on the course of American politics.
"The life and times of the wealthiest man who ever lived--Jacob Fugger--the Renaissance banker who revolutionized the art of making money and established the radical idea of pursuing wealth for its own sake. Jacob Fugger lived in Germany at the turn of the sixteenth century, the grandson of a peasant. By the time he died, his fortune amounted to nearly two percent of European GDP. Not even John D. Rockefeller had that kind of wealth. Most people become rich by spotting opportunities, pioneering new technologies, or besting opponents in negotiations. Fugger did all that, but he had an extra quality that allowed him to rise even higher: nerve. In an era when kings had unlimited power, Fugger had the nerve to stare down heads of state and ask them to pay back their loans--with interest. It was this coolness and self-assurance, along with his inexhaustible ambition, that made him not only the richest man ever, but a force of history as well. Before Fugger came along it was illegal under church law to charge interest on loans, but he got the Pope to change that. He also helped trigger the Reformation and likely funded Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe. His creation of a news service, which gave him an information edge over his rivals and customers, earned Fugger a footnote in the history of journalism. And he took Austria's Habsburg family from being second-tier sovereigns to rulers of the first empire where the sun never set. The ultimate untold story, The Richest Man Who Ever Lived is more than a tale about the richest and most influential businessman of all time. It is a story about palace intrigue, knights in battle, family tragedy and triumph, and a violent clash between the 1 percent and everybody else. To understand our financial system and how we got it, it pays to understand Jacob Fugger"--
This volume examines how the manifestation and development of diverse expressions of Christianities in the city offer potentialities and innovative models for the liberation struggles and gospel incarnation within various social, historical, economic, cultural/ethnic, sexual, and gender realities.
The City of Man is a trilogy based on a true story of the Italian Renaissance. The three books are structured on Dante's Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Renaissance Florence celebrated its Golden Age during the late 15th century under Lorenzo de' Medici, the Magnificent. This was the age of artists, philosophers and poets like Leonardo, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Pico della Mirandola, Poliziano, and Machiavelli. But a societal crisis was imminent by the century's last decade. The Italian peninsula was surrounded and threatened by imperialist powers, trade declined and poverty increased in the face of obscene wealth. Avaricious popes made a family business of the Church while floods, droughts, famines, and the plague all combined to create an atmosphere of overwhelming fear and anxiety. As chaos loomed, an obscure Dominican friar arose to restore order. Fra Girolamo Savonarola was a charismatic preacher and prophet who advocated religious and political reform. His mission was to transform his corrupt and decaying society into St. Augustine's mythical City of God. At the height of his short reign he orchestrated the infamous Bonfire of the Vanities, riding a wave of popular discontent to become the most influential religious, political, and cultural figure of the age. The Savonarolan theocratic republic left its indelible mark on the face of Florence, Italy, and Western history. The City of Man is the dramatic story of this preacher's fantastic rise and tragic fall, symbolizing a critical juncture in the conflict between Church and State in the Christian world. More dramatized history than historical fiction, the story integrates the art, religion, and politics of this glorious period. Young Niccolo Machiavelli provides the counterpoint to Savonarola as he develops his new political philosophy. Their momentous clash illuminates the transition from the Age of Faith to the Age of Reason, heralding the birth of the Modern Age.
Now a Hulu Original Series The Handmaid’s Tale is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men in its population. The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.
Garry Wills's Venice: Lion City is a tour de force -- a rich, colorful, and provocative history of the world's most fascinating city in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when it was at the peak of its glory. This was not the city of decadence, carnival, and nostalgia familiar to us from later centuries. It was a ruthless imperial city, with a shrewd commercial base, like ancient Athens, which it resembled in its combination of art and sea empire. Venice: Lion City presents a new way of relating the history of the city through its art and, in turn, illuminates the art through the city's history. It is illustrated with more than 130 works of art, 30 in full color. Garry Wills gives us a unique view of Venice's rulers, merchants, clerics, laborers, its Jews, and its women as they created a city that is the greatest art museum in the world, a city whose allure remains undiminished after centuries. Like Simon Schama's The Embarrassment of Riches, on the Dutch culture in the Golden Age, Venice: Lion City will take its place as a classic work of history and criticism.
Democracy and Civil Society in a Global Era addresses challenges to the strengthening of active citizenship. In this highly-structured work, the themes presented are linked to fostering a culture of peace and non-violence, the lessening of fear and insecurity in political, economic, social, and cultural terms inherently detached from the conceptualization of political delineations and physical boundaries, and the ability to live dignified lives. The various regions that are represented in the case studies include: the Indian sub-continent, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Iran, China, the Middle East, Nigeria and the EU. The commonality and universality of the topics allows readers from any region of the world to relate to them. This book presents a dynamic combination of theory and field research, and is an iconoclastic tour-de-force of studies in democracy. Policy makers, think tanks and development practitioners may be particularly be interested in this book because it is about action rather than mere ideas and processes. It demonstrates how social movements can introduce and strengthen equality, inclusion, accountability, and the free flow of information. These elements, in turn, can contribute to the acculturation of freedom and social justice, in the developed world just as much as in the developing world.
Protestant Politics is a new treatment of religion and politics in the German Reformation, ca. 1520 to 1550. It is based on the career of a leading urban politician, Jacob Sturm (1489-1553) of Strasbourg.
Mormonism is one of the few homegrown religions in the United States, one that emerged out of the religious fervor of the early nineteenth century. Yet, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have struggled for status and recognition. In this book, W. Paul Reeve explores the ways in which nineteenth century Protestant white America made outsiders out of an inside religious group. Much of what has been written on Mormon otherness centers upon economic, cultural, doctrinal, marital, and political differences that set Mormons apart from mainstream America. Reeve instead looks at how Protestants racialized Mormons, using physical differences in order to define Mormons as non-White to help justify their expulsion from Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. He analyzes and contextualizes the rhetoric on Mormons as a race with period discussions of the Native American, African American, Oriental, Turk/Islam, and European immigrant races. He also examines how Mormon male, female, and child bodies were characterized in these racialized debates. For instance, while Mormons argued that polygamy was ordained by God, and so created angelic, celestial, and elevated offspring, their opponents suggested that the children were degenerate and deformed. The Protestant white majority was convinced that Mormonism represented a racial-not merely religious-departure from the mainstream and spent considerable effort attempting to deny Mormon whiteness. Being white brought access to political, social, and economic power, all aspects of citizenship in which outsiders sought to limit or prevent Mormon participation. At least a part of those efforts came through persistent attacks on the collective Mormon body, ways in which outsiders suggested that Mormons were physically different, racially more similar to marginalized groups than they were white. Medical doctors went so far as to suggest that Mormon polygamy was spawning a new race. Mormons responded with aspirations toward whiteness. It was a back and forth struggle between what outsiders imagined and what Mormons believed. Mormons ultimately emerged triumphant, but not unscathed. Mormon leaders moved away from universalistic ideals toward segregated priesthood and temples, policies firmly in place by the early twentieth century. So successful were Mormons at claiming whiteness for themselves that by the time Mormon Mitt Romney sought the White House in 2012, he was labeled "the whitest white man to run for office in recent memory." Ending with reflections on ongoing views of the Mormon body, this groundbreaking book brings together literatures on religion, whiteness studies, and nineteenth century racial history with the history of politics and migration.
"Blends memoir (especially of the postwar era) with ... reporting and ... historical analysis to tell the story of how American religion, culture, and politics influenced each other in the second half of the twentieth century"--Dust jacket flap.
Updated to reflect today’s political climate, the Second Edition of INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE POLITICS, BRIEF offers a country-by-country approach that allows students to fully examine similarities and differences among countries and within and between political systems. Each chapter offers an analysis of political challenges and changing agendas within countries and provides detailed descriptions and analyses of the politics of individual countries. The Second Edition offers a condensed narrative and student-friendly pedagogy such as marginal key terms and marginal focus questions that will help students make meaningful connections and comparisons about the countries presented. INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE POLITICS, BRIEF consists of 8 country case studies, selected for their significance in terms of the comparative themes and because they provide an interesting sample of types of political regimes, levels of economic development, and geographic regions. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.