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The way most people think about religion and politics is only loosely linked to empirical reality, argues Ryan P. Burge in 20 Myths about Religion and Politics in America. Instead, our thinking is based on anecdotes, a quick scan of news headlines, or worse, flat-out lies told by voices trying to push a religious or political agenda on a distracted public.
Burge sees this fundamentally flawed understanding of the world around us and our misperceptions about where we fit into the larger fabric of society as caustic for the future of American politics and religion. Without an accurate picture of our society, when we subscribe to only caricatures of what our country looks like, we never really address the problems facing us.
Striving to be an impartial referee, Burge describes with accessible and engaging prose—and illustrates with dozens of clear, helpful graphs—what the data says. Step by step, he debunks twenty myths, using rigorous data analysis and straightforward explanations. He gives readers the resources to adopt an empirical view of the world that can help all of us, religious and nonreligious alike, get past at least some of the unsupported beliefs that divide us.
Title: 20 Myths about Religion and Politics in AmericaBy: Ryan P. Burge
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Fortress Press
Publication Date: 2022
Dimensions: 9.25 X 6.25 (inches)Weight: 1 pound 3 ounces
Stock No: WW482012
Ryan P. Burge is an assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University. Author of numerous journal articles, he is the cofounder of and a frequent contributor to Religion in Public, a forum for scholars of religion and politics to make their work accessible to a general audience. Burge is a pastor in the American Baptist Church.
"Burge's books and articles are truly essential." --Perry Bacon Jr., The Washington Post
"There is nothing like facts to get in the way of our opinions, and I'm especially a fan of Ryan Burge's ability to blow the lid off of cherished but mistaken thinking. Each of these twenty myths is worthy of debunking." --Scot McKnight, Northern Seminary
"Americans love bad statistics--particularly the kind that prove what we already feel. But math does not care about our feelings, so sometimes we need a reminder of the facts. Ryan Burge's 20 Myths about Religion and Politics in America is just the book we need to set the record straight and help us better understand the facts today." --Ed Stetzer, Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College
"Burge's straightforward writing and artful presentation of data cut through many of the misconceptions that plague our national dialogue about politics and religion. Can a clearer understanding of the facts help with such polarizing topics? There is only one way to find out." --Arthur E. Farnsley II, the Project on Religion and Urban Culture 2.0 and the Association of Religion Data Archives
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