Religion and Reaction: The Secular Political Challenge to the Religious Right (Hardback)
  • Religion and Reaction: The Secular Political Challenge to the Religious Right (Hardback)
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Religion and Reaction: The Secular Political Challenge to the Religious Right (Hardback)

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£52.95
Hardback 216 Pages / Published: 29/08/2011
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While the Religious Right has received considerable scholarly attention and media coverage in recent years, the story of the growing number of Secular Americans-those who identify themselves as atheists, agnostics, or as not having any religious ties-has yet to be told. In the first book devoted exclusively to Seculars, Susan B. Hansen argues that they are not only increasing in number and political involvement, but have devised strategies and alliances to counter the organization advantages of the Religious Right and its roots in church-based groups and the Republican party. Case studies of state and local battles over the issues of gay marriage, reproductive rights, and teaching evolution illustrate how Seculars have overcome organizational disadvantages to emerge as significant adversaries to the Religious Right. They have forged alliances with the media, the scientific community, minority groups, the Religious Left, and the Democratic Party to challenge the influence of traditional religious views on American politics and public policy.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781442211056
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 467 g
Dimensions: 239 x 161 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
At least one in six Americans today opts out of organized religious life, and the secular segment of the U.S. population surely will grow even larger in decades to come. Yet before this important seminal work, we knew very little about the politics of secular America. Susan Hansen paints a comprehensive portrait of the politics of this strategically important group of Americans. -- Laura R. Olson, Clemson University
Susan Hansen has written a lively and informative book on the religious community most ignored by scholars in recent years-seculars. Recommended for those interested in religion, culture wars, and party politics. -- Clyde Wilcox, professor of government, Georgetown University
In my religion and politics course, students clamor for more information about the opposition to the Religious Right. Thanks to Susan Hansen's Religion and Reaction, I now have a source for them. Hansen does for the Secular Left what countless scholars have done for the Religious Right-provide a comprehensive profile that explains this movement's strengths and weaknesses. Given compelling evidence that secularity is a growing social and political force, this book is important reading for scholars and observers of American public life. -- Kenneth D. Wald
Hansen (Univ. of Pittsburgh) explores the growing political significance of Americans who oppose the political power of the religious Right. Hansen examines the role of secular voters and the unchurched in the culture war. The book begins with an analysis of who the seculars and unchurched are and how they can be organized into a voting bloc. By definition, seculars are not necessarily prone to join organizations challenging the religious Right. Chapter 2 analyzes the growth in numbers of secular Americans. Seculars are compared to moderate and traditional religionists in chapter 3. The question of whether Americans can identify differences between the Democratic and Republican Parties serves as the focus of chapter 4. In chapter 5, the author compares secular organizations that have entered the culture wars and how the groups work together as coalitions. Three case studies presented in chapter 6 show how the seculars operate in challenging the religious Right. The case studies are drawn from California's Proposition 8 banning gay marriage, recent attempts to ban abortions in South Dakota, and challenges to the teaching of evolution in public schools in Dover, Pennsylvania. The book concludes with a look to the future of secular political participation. Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels. * CHOICE *

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