In the last few decades, all major presidential candidates have openly discussed the role of faith in their lives, sharing their religious beliefs and church commitments with the media and their constituencies. And yet, to the surprise of many Americans, God played almost no role in the 2012 presidential campaign. During the campaign, incumbent Barack Obama minimized the role of religion in his administration and in his life. This was in stark contrast to his emphasis, in 2008, on how his Chicago church had nurtured him as a person, community organizer, and politician, which ultimately backfired when incendiary messages preached by his liberationist pastor Jeremiah Wright went viral. The Republican Party faced a different kind of problem in 2012, with the increasing irrelevance or absence of founders of the Religious Right such as Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. Furthermore, with Mormon Mitt Romney running as the GOP candidate, party operatives avoided shining a spotlight on religion, recognizing that vast numbers of Americans remain suspicious of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The absence of God during the 2012 election reveals that the United States is at a crossroads with regards to faith, even while religion continues to play a central role in almost every facet of American culture and political life. The separation of church and state and the disestablishment of religion have fostered a rich religious marketplace characterized by innovation and entrepreneurship. As the generation that launched the culture wars fades into history and a new, substantially more diverse population matures, the question of how faith is functioning in the new millennium has become more important than ever. In Faith in the New Millennium historians, sociologists, and religious studies scholars tackle contemporary issues, controversies, and policies ranging from drone wars to presidential campaigns to the exposing of religious secrets in order to make sense of American life in the new millennium. This melding of past and present offers readers a rare opportunity to assess Americans' current wrestling with matters of faith, and provides valuable insight into the many ways that faith has shaped and transformed the age of Obama and how the age of Obama has shaped American religious faith.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 602 g
Dimensions: 237 x 162 x 22 mm
[B]oth scholarly and popular audiences will benefit from the ways in which Faith in the New Millennium demonstrates the complexities and contingencies of religion in public life. In contrast to sensationalized accounts of contemporary secularization, the book proves that religion remains an evolving rather than eroding force in twenty-first century American politics. For those seeking a deep understanding of the causes and consequences of recent trends and transformations in the roles of religion in politics, Faith in the New Millennium will prove an accessible and incisive resource. * Brantley W. Gasaway, Journal of Church and State *
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