Thumpin' It: The Use and Abuse of the Bible in Today's Presidential Politics  -     By: Jacques Belinerblau
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Thumpin' It: The Use and Abuse of the Bible in Today's Presidential Politics

Westminster John Knox Press / 2007 / Paperback

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Product Description

In one of the most insightful, provocative and witty books yet to explore the fascinating relationship between the Bible and American politics, author Jacques Berlinerblau looks at how the left, right and everyone in between have used and misused the Bible to advance their political causes and careers. 190 pages softcover from Westminster/John Knox.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 190
Vendor: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 066423173X
ISBN-13: 9780664231736
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

In one of the most insightful, provocative, and witty books yet to explore the fascinating relationship between the Bible and American politics, author Jacques Berlinerblau looks at how the left, right, and everyone in between have used and misused the Bible to advance their political causes and careers. In this engaging book, Berlinerblau looks at the recent history of how Scripture has influenced public policy, including debates about the environment, abortion, stem cell research, and foreign policy. Berlinerblau also pays close attention to how recent U.S. presidents have employed the Bible, and he examines how each of the major candidates in the 2008 presidential elections used and often misused the Bible in his or her race for the White House.

Author Bio

Jacques Berlinerblau is Associate Professor of Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he also directs the Program for Jewish Civilization at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He holds separate doctorates in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Literatures and in Theoretical Sociology.His books include Heresy in the University: The Black Athena Controversy and the Responsibility of American Intellectuals and The Secular Bible: Why Nonbelievers Must Take Religion Seriously.

Publisher's Weekly

Georgetown University professor Berlinerblau (The Secular Bible) makes the unoriginal argument that American politicians on the left and right use Scripture in their speeches, and that policy wonks on both sides of the aisle draw on the Bible to defend positions on the environment, stem-cell research and foreign policy. Berlinerblau finds politicians' use of Scripture to be shallow—they offer “poor and tendentious readings,” throwing in a verse here or there and failing to acknowledge Scripture's internal diversity and contradictions. A few of Berlinerblau's sweeping historical assertions are questionable—did the U.S. really undergo a “thoroughgoing” secularization in the first 75 years of the 20th century? A wealth of scholarship on the persistence of conservative religion and the extent to which religion shaped liberal agendas such as feminism would suggest not. His tone has the faint veneer of sarcasm (“Enter, as if on cue, the Evangelical Climate Initiative”), so when he gives speechwriters tips about using Scripture effectively—be vague, avoid “theological depth”—it is hard to tell if he is being sincere or snide. Two concluding chapters assess the ways leading presidential candidates, from Clinton to McCain, present their religious bona fides. (Jan.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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  1. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    God in politics
    September 23, 2016
    stevie boy
    Quality: 3
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    This book offers some good insights into the thinking of how men use God's name for votes. Also it shows how believers fool themselves into believing they are following God's will when it often it is only men's politics. Some points used by the author is over hyped and somewhat out of date. The thoughts expressed in the book is something believers need to examine in their own lives to avoid the general ignorance of being used by both political parties.
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