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How do religion and politics interact in America? Why is it that at certain periods in American history, religious and political thought have followed a parallel course while at other times they have moved in entirely different directions? To what extent have minority perspectives challenged the majority position on the religious and political issues that impinge on each other? These are among the many important and fascinating questions examined in this book, the first thorough historical survey of the multi-layered connections between religion and politics in the United States.
This unique collection presents previously unpublished essays by seventeen of America's leading historians and social scientists, including John Murrin, Harry Stout, John F. Wilson, Daniel Walker Howe, Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Robert Swierenga, Martin Marty, Robert Wuthnow, and George Marsden. Together, these distinguished contributors provide comprehensive coverage of the historical interaction between religion and politics in America, from the colonial and Revolutionary periods, with intense commitments to and disagreements over religion, through the evangelical Protestant ascendency that marked the nineteenth century, to the growing pluralism and heightened antagonism between liberal and conservative factions that typify our own era.
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