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The Political Influence of Churches

$84.00 (P)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion and Politics

  • Date Published: December 2008
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521871655

$ 84.00 (P)
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About the Authors
  • Djupe and Gilbert investigate the political influence of church: how membership in organized religious bodies shapes the political life of members. Djupe and Gilbert’s goal in this inquiry is to re-center scholarly attention on the voluntary association as an essential element of American civic and political life. They develop a theoretical framework that captures the multifaceted elements of church life that affect individual political attitudes and actions. Political information from clergy, small groups, and social networks flows plentifully in churches, but individuals process that information differently depending on their motivations related to their status in the church. Articulating a more fully specified model of how associations expose individuals to political information and norms will help us understand the political opinions and behavior of citizens and the contribution of that pattern to sustaining democracy.

    • Unique data in the study of religion and politics
    • Examines whether clergy affect member opinions and behaviour
    • A new theory of religious influence on politics
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “Djupe and Gilbert have written an important book on the impact of religion on the politics of individual church members. Rather than viewing religion from afar – as another characteristic held by individuals or another organization to which some individuals belong – they look at it from the inside. They consider the structure of life in churches, and the networks of relationships that connect church members to each other and to the world outside the church. This produces a very sophisticated treatment of the contingent circumstances under which churches make a difference in the politics of church members. By giving primary attention to the patterns of social interaction and communication within churches, the authors produce a masterful analysis that is reminiscent of the classical treatment given to labor union politics by Lipset, Trow, and Coleman in Union Democracy. Political science needs more studies like this one.”
    -Robert Huckfeldt, University of California, Davis

    “The Political Influence of Churches will be a genuinely seminal book. Djupe and Gilbert combine sophisticated theoretical understandings of religion and of group dynamics with an ambitious research design and resourceful data analysis. The authors’ emphasis on the complex social interactions which take place within congregations will change the way in which we think about political learning in religious settings, and will affect future research in religion and politics for years to come.”
    -Ted G. Jelen, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

    “Paul A. Djupe and Christopher P. Gilbert have written a forceful book that uses state of the art data to show that churches are about more than religion when it comes to politics. They are complex social organisms that support a wide variety of political behaviors, all of which are key to understanding how these people become citizens.”
    -Scott D. McClurg, Southern Illinois University

    “This book offers path-breaking analysis of how being active in religious life affects Americans’ political orientations. Active participation in a religious congregation is perhaps the most widespread form of voluntary association in American society today, and Djupe and Gilbert elucidate exactly how such social networking shapes the way we obtain and use political information. This book is sure to be a seminal work in the literature on religion and politics.”
    -Laura Olson, Clemson University

    “Paul Djupe and Christopher P. Gilbert have published a series of intriguing papers on the politics of mainline Protestant churches. With this book they show us the full scope of this project, and the result is a volume that political scientists, sociologists, and anyone else who is interested in the political influence of churches needs to read.”
    -Clyde Wilcox, Georgetown University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521871655
    • length: 294 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 44 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. A theory of religious influence on political behavior
    2. Social networks and church structure: congregations, small groups, informal contacts
    3. Clergy influences and religious commitment reconsidered: reconciling old and new influences on political behavior
    4. Church-centered influences on public opinion
    5. The resourceful believer: generating civic skills in church
    6. The construction of political mobilization in churches
    7. Present but not accounted for: churches, institutional treatment, and gender differences in civic resources
    8. Conclusion.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Politics & Religion
    • Religion and Politics
  • Authors

    Paul A. Djupe, Denison University, Ohio
    Paul A. Djupe is Associate Professor of Political Science at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. He is the coauthor of Religious Interests in Community Conflict: Beyond the Culture Wars, The Prophetic Pulpit: Clergy, Churches, and Communities in American Politics, and Religious Institutions and Minor Parties in the United States, as well as articles on religion and politics appearing in such journals as American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Politics and Religion, and Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

    Christopher P. Gilbert, Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota
    Christopher P. Gilbert is Professor of Political Science at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. He has written extensively on Minnesota politics, third parties in the United States, and the religious dimensions of American political behavior.

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