Rendering Unto Caesar: Gaining Access to Local Religious Leaders

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The main purpose of my research was to determine why some American church members apply their religious beliefs to their political attitudes and behavior, while others appear to compartmentalize the secular and the sacred. My interest in religion and politics began in the early 1980s, as leaders if the Christian Right (a phenomenon primarily associated with evangelical Protestantism) and the Catholic Church became increasingly vocal and active in American political life. Despite this elite-level activity, relationships between political attitudes and religious affiliations and practices seemed generally weak or inconsistent among the laity. These findings caused me to wonder about the role of the local congregations and pastors in facilitating or inhibiting political learning.


American Politics | Political Science | Religion