Secular Faith: How Culture Has Trumped Religion in American Politics - Smith, Mark A.
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One of the unquestioned assumptions of the culture wars gripping our country is the gulf between the social and moral values of each side. And since those values--on at least one side--are often rooted in religious beliefs and doctrines, the chances of finding lasting common ground are thought to be slim. Mark A. Smith's timely book provocatively takes a contrary view: religion is not nearly the unchanging, conservative influence in American politics that we have come to think it is. In fact, in the long run, religion is best understood as responding to changing political and cultural values…mehr

Produktbeschreibung
One of the unquestioned assumptions of the culture wars gripping our country is the gulf between the social and moral values of each side. And since those values--on at least one side--are often rooted in religious beliefs and doctrines, the chances of finding lasting common ground are thought to be slim. Mark A. Smith's timely book provocatively takes a contrary view: religion is not nearly the unchanging, conservative influence in American politics that we have come to think it is. In fact, in the long run, religion is best understood as responding to changing political and cultural values rather than shaping them. To make his case, Smith explores five contentious issues in America's history: slavery, divorce, homosexuality, abortion, and women's rights. In every instance he shows how the political views of even very conservative Christians have evolved in the same direction as the rest of society. Over time, the doctrines and policies of America's Christian religious traditions shift to conform to contemporary societal norms and culture. He also uncovers the various coping strategies America's churches and clergy have adopted when their doctrines are no longer in step with the views of their congregations. While it is true that during periods of cultural transition religious leaders often will resist prevailing values and behaviors, those same leaders just as often acquiesce once their positions become no longer tenable. And when they do, secular ideas and influences often shape how they revise their biblical interpretations. Ultimately, the strongest predictors of people's moral beliefs are not their religious convictions, or lack of them, but rather when and where they were born. Christians in America today hold more in common morally and politically with their atheist neighbors than with the Christians of earlier centuries.
  • Produktdetails
  • Verlag: UNIV OF CHICAGO PR
  • Seitenzahl: 288
  • Erscheinungstermin: 11. September 2015
  • Englisch
  • Abmessung: 239mm x 161mm x 24mm
  • Gewicht: 562g
  • ISBN-13: 9780226275062
  • ISBN-10: 022627506X
  • Artikelnr.: 42054271