This collection of essays results from the Cooperative Clergy Study Project in which more than 8,800 ministry workers participated. Smidt concludes that there is a "general pattern...of theological and political consistancy within denominations" with regard to the level of involvement of ministers in political life. In addition, "evangelical pastors continue to be more likely than mainline Protestant ministers to exibit theological orthodoxy. Likewise, those clergy who have obtained a seminary degree continue to be less orthodox than those who are not seminary graduates...." Also, "Evangelical pastors continue to be less active politically than their mainline counterparts, though such differences have narrowed...." Overall, engagement of clergy in politics is declining. As the clergy becomes more educated, Smidt wonders how that will affect the unity of clergy with their congregations.
Pulpit and Politicspresents the most current and comprehensive examination of the religious beliefs and political behavior of American clergy at the advent of the new millennium. Based on data gathered during the 2000 presidential election, this study examines the relationship between belief and behavior, theology and politics, religious commitments and social activism from African American, Baptist, Jewish, Mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, and other religious groups. Pulpit and Politics is a treasure trove of historical, comparative, and statistical information about the political behavior of America's clergy.
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