Stephen Carter argues that American politics is unimaginable without America's religious voice. Using contemporary and historical examples, from abolitionist sermons to presidential candidates' confessions, he illustrates ways in which religion and politics do and do not mesh well and ways in which spiritual perspectives might make vital contributions to our national debates. He also warns us of the importance of setting out some sensible limits, so that religious institutions do not allow themselves to be seduced by the lure of temporal power, and offers strong examples of principled and prophetic religious activism for those who choose their God before their country.
Behind the Book
This book began as a lecture that I delivered at a number of different universities and seminaries, trying to come to grips with the fact that our politicians indulge constantly in God-talk, but not in any theologically serious way. I wanted to sketch for the reader some history of religious dialogue in our public life, to show why it belongs there, but also to warn about its limits, both practical and theological.