Religion, Humility, and Democracy in a Divided America Vol: 36

Ruth Braunstein
University of Connecticut, USA

Product Details
05 Aug 2019
Emerald Publishing Limited
192 pages - 152 x 229mm
Political Power and Social Theory
This volume asks how religious convictions inform citizens' engagement in American democratic life, particularly across deep political divides. Strong religious convictions motivate citizens across the political spectrum to engage in public life, yet are also viewed as a driver of political polarization by encouraging too much arrogance and not enough humility. 

Featuring contributions from leading experts on religion and democratic life in the United States, this volume combines theoretical reflections on this tension with empirical investigations into how a range of religious actors balance conviction with humility in their public interactions with social and political others. Taken together, these contributions reveal that strong religious conviction can encourage political arrogance, but also humility; can lead to deepening political polarization that threatens democracy, but also commitment to movements for equality and justice that advance democracy; can encourage the building of walls, but also of bridges. Contributors also identify the factors and conditions driving each outcome, pointing to the roles of power, context, culture, institutions, and history in how different religious groups engage in political life. 

The lessons this volume offers will be relevant to anyone interested in the complex relationship between religion and American democratic life; yet they also matter beyond religious groups. After all, religion is only one possible source of strong convictions that drive public engagement. As such, the volume also offers more general insight into how conviction shapes citizens' capacity and willingness to engage with others across deep divides.
Chapter 1. Beyond the Dogmatic Believer: Religious Conviction Across the American Political Divide; Ruth Braunstein 
Chapter 2. Religion as Source, Resource, Evaluation, and Hindrance: Intellectual Humility and the Relationship Between Religion and Politics; Jeffrey Guhin 
Chapter 3. Reflexive Evangelicalism; Wes Markofski  
Chapter 4. Intellectual Humility and Recognition of the Other: Evangelical Public Discourse with Muslims; John Hartley  
Chapter 5. Humility: Rooted in Relationship, Reaching for Justice; Dawne Moon and Theresa W. Tobin
Chapter 6. Passion and Virtue in Public Life: Focal Practices and the Political Holiness the World Needs; Richard L. Wood 
Chapter 7. Ontic Webs; Philip Gorski
Ruth Braunstein is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut, USA. She is the author of Prophets and Patriots: Faith in Democracy Across the Political Divide and co-editor of Religion and Progressive Activism: New Stories About Faith and Politics. Her research has also been published in the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Cultural Sociology, Contexts, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Sociology of Religion, Theory and Society, and Qualitative Sociology.

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