Should parents receive vouchers to send their children to
religious schools? What limits -- if any -- should the government
place on abortion? Should the government permit and fund stem cell
research? Should religious organizations have the right to prohibit
the employment of homosexuals? Should public schools teach both
creationism and evolution? How does religion influence our
political stances on gay marriage? The death penalty? Immigration?
The issues are real. The emotions are intense. The solutions are
difficult to reach and often problematic. From the White House to
the courthouse, from governors' mansions to the United States
Supreme Court, religion factors into many contemporary legal
controversies. Efforts to establish the proper balance between
church and state create heated debates in America and raise
seemingly insoluble questions. Politicians and their advisers walk
a fine line when addressing religious issues in an increasingly
pluralistic society where religious factions attempt to impose
their values on the electoral and legislative processes. The Future
of Religion in American Politics presents thoughtful, wide-ranging
essays by twelve eminent public intellectuals and scholars,
offering rich and stimulating views on one of the most divisive
issues of our time. Editor Charles W. Dunn and the contributors
assess the impact of religion on American politics in four distinct
time periods: the founding, the Civil War, the New Deal era, and
the modern era. Dunn out lines seven propositions that characterize
the interaction of religion and politics during these time periods
and describes how and why religion continues to influence politics
in America. Contributors to this volume argue that whereas religion
in the founding era held society together in a shared belief of the
biblical portrayal of humanity, today's pluralistic religious
interpretations of God appear to be tearing society apart. The rise
of Islam and other world religions poses perplexing questions about
the issue of tolerance. Can America survive as a free society
without commonly accepted morals that are based in religion? Is
America a secular society with a clear separation of church and
state, or a government created and informed by ever-changing
religious values? The Future of Religion in American Politics
includes essays about religion in the public square, evangelical,
and faith-based politics in presidential elections. The authors
investigate many thought--provoking questions about the extent of
religious influence in the U.S. government today and its likely
impact in the future. Lucid and accessible, this book covers a wide
range of issues and will be invaluable to students of politics,
religious studies, and history.
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