Protestant Clergy as Political Leaders: Theological Limitations

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Eighteen Protestant ministers were interviewed concerning their self-images as political leaders. While members of both traditions believed that politics and religion had considerable areas of overlap, Evangelical and Mainline ministers felt themselves constrained from exerting political leadership by theological considerations. For Evangelical clergy, the content of religious beliefs (with a strong emphasis on individualist theology) constitutes the principal impediment to political socialization, while Mainline ministers are constrained by the style of their theological thinking. Mainline ministers appear reluctant to invoke religious authority to support their political viewpoints. In both cases, ministerial political leadership seems self-limiting.


Clergy; Evangelicalism; Political socialization; Protestant churches; Protestant churches--Clergy; Political leadership; Protestants; Religion; Religion and politics


American Politics | Political Science | Religion


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