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The delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention blocked the establishment of Christianity as a national religion. But they could not keep religion out of American politics. From the election of 1800, when Federalist clergymen charged that deist Thomas Jefferson was unfit to lead a "Christian nation," to today, when some Democrats want to embrace the so-called Religious Left in order to compete with the Republicans and the Religious Right, religion has always been part of American politics. In Religion in American Politics, Frank Lambert tells the fascinating story of the uneasy relations between religion and politics from the founding to the twenty-first century.
Lambert examines how antebellum Protestant unity was challenged by sectionalism as both North and South invoked religious justification; how Andrew Carnegie's "Gospel of Wealth" competed with the anticapitalist "Social Gospel" during postwar industrialization; how the civil rights movement was perhaps the most effective religious intervention in politics in American history; and how the alliance between the Republican Party and the Religious Right has, in many ways, realized the founders' fears of religious-political electoral coalitions. In these and other cases, Lambert shows that religion became sectarian and partisan whenever it entered the political fray, and that religious agendas have always mixed with nonreligious ones.
Religion in American Politics brings rare historical perspective and insight to a subject that was just as important--and controversial--in 1776 as it is today.
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"Lambert's short history is long on insights into the fraught relationship between religion and politics in American life. Judicious in its balance, the book provides a compendious overview of the current conflicts that divide Right from Left, and it deepens our understanding of those struggles by grounding them in the repeated contests between Christian and secular visions of the republic."--Leigh E. Schmidt, Princeton University
"With brevity and clarity, this book provides a sweeping survey of the often uneasy relationship between religion and politics in the American experience, from the founding era to the twenty-first century. Frank Lambert provides a concise introduction to the major themes and key controversies, one that will appeal to general readers and students alike."--Daniel L. Dreisbach, author of Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation between Church and State
"Excellent. A sensitively told, compelling, and important narrative. Frank Lambert treats the various religious players throughout American history fairly and insightfully, showing how even religious groups that compete furiously (and sometimes viciously) nevertheless contribute to a vital and pluralistic religious culture that enriches the competing groups."--Christopher J. Eberle, author of Religious Conviction in Liberal PoliticsAbout the Author:
Frank Lambert is professor of history at Purdue University. His books include The Barbary Wars, a New York Times Editors' Choice; The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America; and Inventing the "Great Awakening."
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Book Description Princeton University Press, 2008. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New Hardcover! Pristine unmarked pages, no remainder marks, great buy straight from warehouse, sealed in plastic, exact artwork as listed, Seller Inventory # 103180811020
Book Description Princeton University Press, 2008. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0691128332
Book Description Princeton University Press, 2008. Hardcover. Condition: New. First. Seller Inventory # DADAX0691128332
Book Description Princeton University Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0691128332 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0272481