Download Christian Clergy in American Politics by Sue E. S. Crawford, Laura R. Olson PDF

By Sue E. S. Crawford, Laura R. Olson

In contemporary a long time, Christian clergy have ever extra usually needed to make a decision no matter if to get entangled in politics. after they do get entangled, their impression could be gigantic. during this ebook Sue E. S. Crawford, Laura R. Olson, and their coauthors discover the political offerings clergy make and the results of those offerings. Drawing on own interviews and statistical information to put the activities of clergy in either their spiritual and secular contexts, the authors research mainline and evangelical Protestant, Catholic, and Mennonite groups. They study the position of white, African American, and feminine non secular leaders. they usually handle problems with neighborhood improvement, urban executive, and nationwide and overseas politics.Contributors: Christi J. Braun, Boston collage institution of legislation • Timothy A. Byrnes, Colgate college • James C. Cavendish, collage of South Florida • Sue E. S. Crawford, Creighton collage • Katie Day, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia • Melissa M. Deckman, Washington collage • Paul A. Djupe, Denison collage • Joel S. Fetzer, primary Michigan collage • James L. Guth, Furman collage • Ted G. Jelen, college of Nevada-Las Vegas • Laura R. Olson, Clemson college • James M. Penning, Calvin university • Mary R. Sawyer, Iowa nation collage • Corwin E. Smidt, Calvin university

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Such volunteered comments reveal something that we should know: parental interest and involvement may influence clergy’s later political engagement—or lack thereof (see Jennings and Niemi ). We would be well advised to explore these influences. Clergy also differ in their motivations for joining the profession, which in turn may shape their political orientations. Whatever the political experiences of their parents, there is little doubt that prospective clergy respond to different incentives from those drawn to other professions—incentives that may   vary by denomination, ethnicity, or historical period.

Class background, church experience, and denominational context, not to mention a host of idiosyncratic personal factors, also contribute to clergy’s different socialization experiences. Some evangelical and nonwhite clergy, of course, still have limited access to advanced education. Nonetheless, education’s influence on clergy’s approaches to politics is pervasive. In writing The Bully Pulpit, we were continually fascinated by education’s powerful effects on clergy attitudes and behavior (Guth et al.

The political roles that clergy assume within their congregations can be considered analogous to the role of “prophet” in the Hebrew Scriptures. 6 Similarly, modern pastors can serve as effective agents of political learning to the extent that they can call upon a common set of shared values with political implications. The most obvious (and in practical terms the most difficult) act of such leadership is conversion. When a pastor seeks to persuade the congregation of the correctness of a political position with which some members may disagree, he or she is attempting to convert them on the basis of shared religious convictions.

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