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Good and Bad Ways to Think about Religion and Politics
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2010 / Paperback
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"There is nothing greater than indignation to stimulate a writer to write," says Robert Benne, "and my outrage has been stirred mightily by reading so many wrongheaded 'takes' on how religion and politics ought to be related."
Benne's anger has compelled him to write Good and Bad Ways to Think About Politics and Religion, a clear argument for a more reasonable approach to the inevitable relationship between religion and politics. Secularists may call for a complete separation of church and state; left- and right-wing Christians alike may zealously (though often unintentionally) fuse them together - but neither approach really works.
Benne's alternative - "critical engagement" - encourages church bodies and individual believers to step beyond the confusion and noisy rhetoric. He offers practical help in identifying core Christian convictions, deciding which of these can and should influence public policy, and translating those convictions into political action.
Senior Editor at Large, First Things
"Robert Benne's thoughtful take on the right relation between religion and politics is both theologically perceptive and politically shrewd. Our politics would be better if those active in the public square followed his wise and balanced prescriptions."
Max L. Stackhouse
Princeton Theological Seminary
"Drawing on the classic traditions of both Protestantism and Catholicism, Benne artfully states contemporary theological options and outlines the practical implications for both believers and practicing policy-makers on the most controversial issues. Excellent for clergy and politically interested laity alike."
George Washington University
"Bob Benne's engaging and provocative analysis of religion and politics deserves close attention by those on both sides of the debates that currently roil our polity and churches."
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