Pastors and Public Life: The Changing Face of American Protestant Clergy by Corwin E. Smidt

Pastors and Public Life: The Changing Face of American Protestant Clergy

byCorwin E. Smidt

Paperback | March 29, 2016

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America's clergy are not just religious leaders. Their influence extends far beyond church doors. Houses of worship stand at the center of American civic life-one of the few spheres in which relatively diverse individuals gather together regularly. And the moral authority granted to pastorsmeans that they are uniquely positioned to play a role in public debates.Based on data gathered through national surveys of clergy across four mainline Protestant (the Disciples of Christ; the Presbyterian Church, USA; the Reformed Church in America; and the United Methodist Church) and three evangelical Protestant denominations (the Assemblies of God; the ChristianReformed Church; and, the Southern Baptist Convention), Pastors and Public Life examines the changing sociological, theological, and political characteristics of American Protestant clergy over the past twenty-plus years. Smidt focuses on the relationship between clergy and politics - clergypositions on issues of American public policy, norms on what is appropriate for clergy to do politically, as well as the clergy's political cue-giving, their pronouncements on public policy, and political activism - and the impact these changes have on congregations and on American society as awhole.Pastors and Public Life is the first book to systematically examine such changes and continuity over time. It will be invaluable to scholars, students, pastors, and churchgoers.

About The Author

Corwin E. Smidt is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Calvin College, where he also served as the director of the Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics for fifteen years. He is now a research fellow with the Henry Institute and currently serves as President of the Society for the Scientific Study of...
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Title:Pastors and Public Life: The Changing Face of American Protestant ClergyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:March 29, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190455500

ISBN - 13:9780190455507

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction The Changing World of Protestant Clergy1. Clergy as Public Actors2. The Social Characteristics of Clergy and the Churches They Serve3. The Theological Orientations of American Protestant Clergy4. The Social Theologies of American Protestant Clergy5. The Positions of Clergy on Contemporary Issues of Public Life Chapter6. The Political Norms and Psychological Resources of Clergy7. The Political Activities of Clergy within Congregational Life8. The Political Activism of ClergyConclusion Reflections on the Past, Thinking about the FutureAppendix A Number of Respondents and Response Rate by Denomination over TimeAppendix B Validating the Representativeness of the 2009 Cooperative Clergy SurveyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Pastors and Public Life authoritatively documents continuity and change in the political attitudes and behaviors of clergy in seven Protestant denominations. Written by a leading analyst of religion and politics in America, this informative and sometimes surprising book should be read byanyone wanting to know more about clergy political views, and their political activities both within congregations and beyond the church walls." --Mark Chaves, Professor of Sociology, Religious Studies, and Divinity, Duke University