Christianity and American Democracy

ISBN-10: 0674032306

ISBN-13: 9780674032309

Edition: 2007

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Christianity, not religion in general, has been important for American democracy. With this bold thesis, Hugh Heclo offers a panoramic view of how Christianity and democracy have shaped each other.Heclo shows that amid deeply felt religious differences, a Protestant colonial society gradually convinced itself of the truly Christian reasons for, as well as the enlightened political advantages of, religious liberty. By the mid-twentieth century, American democracy and Christianity appeared locked in a mutual embrace. But it was a problematic union vulnerable to fundamental challenge in the Sixties. Despite the subsequent rise of the religious right and glib talk of a conservative Republican theocracy, Heclo sees a longer-term, reciprocal estrangement between Christianity and American democracy.Responding to his challenging argument, Mary Jo Bane, Michael Kazin, and Alan Wolfe criticize, qualify, and amend it. Heclo's rejoinder suggests why both secularists and Christians should worry about a coming rupture between the Christian and democratic faiths. The result is a lively debate about a momentous tension in American public life.
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Book details

List price: $18.95
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 3/6/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 312
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

Hugh Heclo is Robinson Professor of Public Affairs, George Mason University.

Mary Jo Bane is the Thornton Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy and Management in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Alan Wolfe is the director of the Boisi Center for Religion & American Public Life at Boston College, & author of the best-selling "One Nation After All".

Theda Skocpol is professor of government and sociology at Harvard University and the author of Boomerang: Health Care Reform and the Turn Against Government.

Foreword
Christianity and Democracy in America
Democracy and Catholic Christianity in America
Pluralism is Hard Work-and the Work is Never Done
Whose Christianity? Whose Democracy?
Reconsidering Christianity and American Democracy
Notes
Acknowledgments
About the Authors
Index
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