The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Politics
Religion is, and has always been, a powerful force in American politics. Over the past three decades, the study of religion and politics has gone from being ignored by the scholarly community to becoming a major force of research. But much of the analysis in the media about religion’s role in the political arena is greatly oversimplified and is not easily accessible to non-specialists. The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Politics bridges the gap by examining the considerable research conducted up to this point and assessing what has been learned, what remains unsettled due to conflicting findings, and what important questions remain largely unaddressed by current research endeavors. Its chapters, written by noted scholars in specialized fields, summarize the latest views on particular topics, important findings, insights, and theoretical advances; outline current debates in scholarship; and raise important but understudied questions. Topics cover the full range of America’s history, from its founding to the present day, and plumb the depths of every aspect of the nation’s politics, from voting patterns and social movements to the role of clergy in political activism and the influence of religion in all three branches of government. The Handbook is unique in the breadth and detail with which it explores the fascinating and multifaceted relationship between religion and American politics. Scholars, students, journalists, and curious readers alike will find this book to be an indispensable source of information on the topic.