From Pews to Polling Places

Faith and Politics in the American Religious Mosaic

J. Matthew Wilson, Editor

"Georgetown University Press has published another superb volume in its religion and politics series."
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Does religion promote political mobilization? Are individuals motivated by their faith to focus on issues of social justice, personal morality, or both? What is the relationship between religious conviction and partisanship? Does religious identity reinforce or undermine other political identifications like race, ethnicity, and class?

The answers to these questions are hardly monolithic, varying between and within major American religious groups. With an electoral climate increasingly shaped by issues of faith, values, and competing moral visions, it is both fascinating and essential to examine the religious and political currents within America's major religious traditions.

J. Matthew Wilson and a group of prominent religion and politics scholars examine these topics and assess one question central to these issues: How does faith shape political action in America's diverse religious communities? From Pews to Polling Places seeks to cover a rich mosaic of religious and ethnic perspectives with considerable breadth by examining evangelical Christians, the religious left, Catholics, Mormons, African Americans, Latinos, Jews, and Muslims. Along with these groups, the book takes a unique look at the role of secular and antifundamentalist positions, adding an even wider outlook to these critical concerns.

The contributors demonstrate how different theologies, histories, and social situations drive distinct conceptualizations of the relationship between religious and political life. At the same time, however, the book points to important commonalities across traditions that can inform our discussions on the impact of religion on political life. In emphasizing these similarities, the authors explore the challenges of political mobilization, partisanship, and the intersections of religion and ethnicity.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables

Parties, Prayers, and Preachers: The Evolving Nature of Political and Religious Mobilization
Clyde Wilcox and Carin Robinson

Evangelical and Mainline Protestants at the Turn of the Millenium: Taking Stock and Looking Forward
Corwin E. Smidt

Whither the Religious Left? Religiopolitical Progressivism in Twenty-First-Century America
Laura R. Olson

The Political Behavior of American Catholics: Change and Continuity
Stephen T. Mockabee

Dry Kindling: A Political Profile of American Mormons
David E. Campbell and J. Quin Monson

From Liberation to Mutual Fund: Political Consequences of Differing Conceptions of Christ in the African American Church
Melissa Harris-Lacewell

Power in the Pews? Religious Diversity and Latino Political Attitudes and Behaviors
Louis DeSipio

The Evolution of Jewish Pluralism: Public Opinion and the Political Preferences of American Jews
Paul A. Djupe

The Politics of American Muslims
Paul A. Djupe and John C. Green

Secularists, Antifundamentalists, and the New Religious Divide in the American Electorate
Louis Bolce and Gerald De Maio

Religion and American Political Life: A Look Forward
J. Matthew Wilson



"Georgetown University Press has published another superb volume in its religion and politics series."—Voice of Reason

"This is a timely and enlightening volume. Bringing together an impressive roster of leading scholars, From Pews to Polling Places brings readers up to date on the politics of religious belonging in America. In addition to building on longstanding scholarship . . .it offers glimpses into new and emerging areas of research in religion and American politics."—Andrew Murphy, associate professor of humanities and political philosophy, Valparaiso University

"From Pews to Polling Places is an impressive volume that brings together some of the best scholars doing work in this area. This well executed volume makes an outstanding contribution. It provides empirically and theoretically rich chapters, and is accessible to students and professionals of all levels."—Elizabeth A. Oldmixon, assistant professor of political science, University of North Texas


Louis Bolce, Baruch College, City University of New York David E. Campbell, University of Notre Dame Gerald De Maio, Baruch College, City University of New York Louis DeSipio, University of California at Irvine Paul A. Djupe, Denison University John C. Green, University of Akron Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Princeton University Stephen T. Mockabee, University of Cincinnati J. Quin Monson, Brigham Young University Laura R. Olson, Clemson University Carin Robinson, Georgetown University Corwin E. Smidt, Calvin College Clyde Wilcox, Georgetown University J. Matthew Wilson, Southern Methodist University

Supplemental Materials


About the Author

J. Matthew Wilson is associate professor of political science at Southern Methodist University.

336 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-1-58901-173-1
Oct 2007

336 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-1-58901-172-4
Oct 2007

336 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-58901-326-1
Oct 2007

Religion and Politics series
John C. Green, Ted G. Jelen, and Mark J. Rozell, series editors

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