We are mere weeks away from mid-term elections in the US, but also many, many weeks into the Russian-Ukrainian conflict during which, inter alia, I have heard from Christian friends waxing romantic about the supposed "traditional" "Christian values" being exhibited by and under the influence of Vladimr Putin. In the US, as NPR was reporting earlier this week as I was driving home, there are GOP politicians who, running for re-election next month, have not yet figured out how to appeal to the fear of Christians that social mores have changed with regard to same-sex "marriage," but how, also, to appeal to the more liberal voters who are glad that such mores have changed or been set aside by various judicial fiats of late. What is the so-called conservative voter and politician to do? Perhaps John Anderson's newly published book will help us: Conservative Christian Politics in Russia and the United States: Dreaming of Christian Nations (Routledge 2014), 206pp.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Put Not Your Trust in Princes, E.g.#159,614,287
About this book the publisher tells us:
This book explores the politics of conservative Christian churches and social movements in Russia and the United States, focusing on their similar concerns but very different modes of political engagement.
Whilst secularisation continues to chip away at religious adherence and practice in Europe, religion is often, quite rightly, seen as an influential force in the politics of the United States, and, more questionably, as a significant influence in contemporary Russia. This book looks at the broad social movement making up the US Christian Right and the profoundly hierarchical leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church as socially conservative actors, and some of the ways they have engaged in contemporary politics. Both are seeking to halt the perceived drift towards a more secular political order; both face significant challenges in handling the consequences of secularism, pluralism and liberal individualism; and both believe that their nations can only be great if they remain true to their religious heritage. In exploring their experience, the book focuses on shared and different elements in their diagnosis of what is wrong with their societies and how this affects their policy intervention over issues such as religious and ethnic belonging, sexual orientation and education.
Drawing on political, sociological and religious studies, this work will be a useful reference for students and scholars of religion and politics, Russian politics and American politics.