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The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History$
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Paul Harvey and Edward Blum

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231140201

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231140201.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 21 June 2021

Religion and Politics

Religion and Politics

Chapter:
(p.136) 6. Religion and Politics
Source:
The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History
Author(s):

Jason C. Bivins

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231140201.003.0007

This chapter examines the relationship between religion and politics in America. Historically, both “religion” and “politics” have been intertwined in American public life. Indeed, American religions are de facto political (or at least politicized). This is obscured by the assumption that politics is simply government (and thereby something in which religion has had no place—either in the historical record or for normative reasons). This chapter discusses several themes and orientations that characterize American political religions: the embattled legacies, both practical and theoretical, of the constitutional period; the dynamics of allegiance and dissent (as these are understood by specific traditions, community, or practitioners), or the relation between religious obligations and those required by good citizenship (overlap generally yields sociopolitical harmony, while divergence may yield dissent); the embodied experience of political religions, as felt in areas like gender, race, identity, and will-formation; and the texture of public discourse and argumentation.

Keywords:   religion, politics, government, political religion, allegiance, dissent, religious obligations, good citizenship, gender, race

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