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Politics in the Parish: The Political Influence of Catholic Priests (Religion and Politics) [Paperback]

By Gregory Allen Smith (Author)
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Item description for Politics in the Parish: The Political Influence of Catholic Priests (Religion and Politics) by Gregory Allen Smith...

For well over a century the Catholic Church has articulated clear positions on many issues of public concern, particularly economics, capital punishment, foreign affairs, sexual morality, and abortion. Yet the fact that some of the Church's positions do not mesh well with the platforms of either of the two major political parties in the U.S. may make it difficult for Americans to look to Catholic doctrine for political guidance. Scholars of religion and politics have long recognized the potential for clergy to play an important role in shaping the voting decisions and political attitudes of their congregations, yet these assumptions of political influence have gone largely untested and undemonstrated.

"Politics in the Parish" is the first empirical examination of the role Catholic clergy play in shaping the political views of their congregations. Gregory Allen Smith draws from recent scholarship on political communication, and the comprehensive Notre Dame Study of Parish Life, as well as case studies he conducted in nine parishes in the mid-Atlantic region, to investigate the extent to which and the circumstances under which Catholic priests are influential in shaping the politics of their parishioners.

Smith is able to verify that clergy do exercise political influence, but he makes clear that such influence is likely to be nuanced, limited in magnitude, and exercised indirectly by shaping parishioner religious attitudes that in turn affect political behavior. He shows that the messages that priests deliver vary widely, even radically, from parish to parish and priest to priest. Consequently, he warns that scholars should exercise caution when making any global assumptions about the political influence that Catholic clergy affect upon their congregations.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Georgetown University Press
Pages   260
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.55" Width: 5.64" Height: 0.66"
Weight:   0.84 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 29, 2008
Publisher   Georgetown University Press
Age  22
ISBN  1589011937  
ISBN13  9781589011939  

Availability  0 units.

More About Gregory Allen Smith

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Gregory Allen Smith is a research fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, where he contributes to the Forum's survey research efforts. In 2006 he earned the Aaron Wildavsky Award for the best dissertation in religion and politics, awarded by the Religion and Politics section of the American Political Science Association.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies > Christianity
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Church History
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > General
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Church & State

Reviews - What do customers think about Politics in the Parish: The Political Influence of Catholic Priests (Religion and Politics)?

The Catholic church arguably remains the most powerful religious organization on the planet.   Jul 14, 2008
Despite a great loss in its stature over the centuries, the Catholic church arguably remains the most powerful religious organization on the planet. "Politics in the Parish: The Political Influence of Catholic Priests" is a look at the politics of the Catholic church, and how it uses its power in the modern political world. A look at how priests shape the views of their congregations with their sermons, and how Catholics can intertwine their faith with their political beliefs, "Politics in the Parish" speaks on the issues that ignite clashes between Catholic church and both the Democrat and Republican sides of politics. "Politics in the Parish" is highly recommended for community library religious and political collections.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch

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