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Red state religion : faith and politics in America's heartland /
Robert Wuthnow.
imprint
Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2012.
description
xiii, 484 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0691150559 (hardcover : acid-free paper), 9780691150550 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2012.
isbn
0691150559 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
9780691150550 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
contents note
Piety on the plains. Abraham Lincoln in Kansas. Establishing a civic order. Public religion. Serving the community. Church expansion. Cooperation and competition -- An evolving political style. Prairie politics. Populism and religious politics. Protesting against inequality. A divided party. Law and order. For the children -- Redefining the heartland. Harvest of progress. Consolidation and expansion. Forward-looking initiatives. Church and state. Hunkering down. Fundamentalism and the Great Depression. Simian peasants. Novel movements -- Quiet conservatism. Grassroots resentments verso the Senator from Pendergast. Hometown religion. I like Ike. A well-qualified Catholic -- An era of restructuring. Stirrings on the right. From desegregation to Black Power. Nixon at Kansas State. Division in the churches -- The religious right. Mobilization on the right. Government is the problem. The war in Wichita. Shifting the focus. Questioning evolution -- Continuing the struggle. The churches and activist networks. Electing George W. Bush. Regulating abortion. The campaign against gay marriage. Evolution revisited. The death of Dr. Tiller. Swatches of purple.
catalogue key
8241156
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 445-464) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Robert Wuthnow's study of religion and public life in Kansas--from controversies over the Kansas-Nebraska Act in the 1850s to strife over abortion, evolution, and gay rights in the 2000s--is thoughtful, fact-filled, empathetic, often moving, and always informative. When he addresses the hackneyed question, 'what's the matter with Kansas?,' his answer eschews simplistic blue state-red state stereotyping in favor of patient attention to moderate Methodists and Catholics and a historically flexible Republican Party, along with careful explanation of when and how that moderation began to give way. This is sparkling history."--Mark A. Noll, author of God and Race in American Politics: A Short History "Scrutinizing Kansas's red state religion, Wuthnow discovers a complex, compassionate, and balanced approach to social goods and moral choices. Upending stereotypes about his home state's embrace of the Religious Right, he reveals that the beating heart of the heartland is devotion to church and community."--Diane Winston, USC Annenberg School for Communication "This is a fascinating portrait of the interplay between religion and politics in the Midwest over the past 150 years. It also provides a necessary corrective to accounts that have long portrayed Kansas as a monolithic cultural backwater populated by dupes who cannot grasp their own interests. As a native son, Robert Wuthnow has an understanding of Kansas that runs deep; as a leading scholar, he provides an analysis with broad implications. This is an illuminating and impressive book."--Brian Steensland, Indiana University " Red State Religion is an impressive work. In contrast to the simple headline-grabbing arguments that something is the matter with Kansas, Robert Wuthnow starts from the beginning to understand the current confluence of religion and politics in his home state. Drawing on an enormous range of sources and data, he uses his nearly unrivaled ability to explore important debates and to set them in the context of compelling stories of the lives of ordinary people."--Paul A. Djupe, Denison University
Flap Copy
"Robert Wuthnow's study of religion and public life in Kansas--from controversies over the Kansas-Nebraska Act in the 1850s to strife over abortion, evolution, and gay rights in the 2000s--is thoughtful, fact-filled, empathetic, often moving, and always informative. When he addresses the hackneyed question, 'what's the matter with Kansas?' his answer eschews simplistic blue state-red state stereotyping in favor of patient attention to moderate Methodists and Catholics and a historically flexible Republican Party, along with careful explanation of when and how that moderation began to give way. This is sparkling history."--Mark A. Noll, author of God and Race in American Politics: A Short History "Scrutinizing Kansas's red state religion, Wuthnow discovers a complex, compassionate, and balanced approach to social goods and moral choices. Upending stereotypes about his home state's embrace of the Religious Right, he reveals that the beating heart of the heartland is devotion to church and community."--Diane Winston, USC Annenberg School for Communication "This is a fascinating portrait of the interplay between religion and politics in the Midwest over the past 150 years. It also provides a necessary corrective to accounts that have long portrayed Kansas as a monolithic cultural backwater populated by dupes who cannot grasp their own interests. As a native son, Robert Wuthnow has an understanding of Kansas that runs deep; as a leading scholar, he provides an analysis with broad implications. This is an illuminating and impressive book."--Brian Steensland, Indiana University " Red State Religion is an impressive work. In contrast to the simple headline-grabbing arguments that something is the matter with Kansas, Robert Wuthnow starts from the beginning to understand the current confluence of religion and politics in his home state. Drawing on an enormous range of sources and data, he uses his nearly unrivaled ability to explore important debates and to set them in the context of compelling stories of the lives of ordinary people."--Paul A. Djupe, Denison University
Flap Copy
"Scrutinizing Kansas's red state religion, Wuthnow discovers a complex, compassionate, and balanced approach to social goods and moral choices. Upending stereotypes about his home state's embrace of the Religious Right, he reveals that the beating heart of the heartland is devotion to church and community."--Diane Winston, USC Annenberg School for Communication "This is a fascinating portrait of the interplay between religion and politics in the Midwest over the past 150 years. It also provides a necessary corrective to accounts that have long portrayed Kansas as a monolithic cultural backwater populated by dupes who cannot grasp their own interests. As a native son, Robert Wuthnow has an understanding of Kansas that runs deep; as a leading scholar, he provides an analysis with broad implications. This is an illuminating and impressive book."--Brian Steensland, Indiana University " Red State Religion is an impressive work. In contrast to the simple headline-grabbing arguments that something is the matter with Kansas, Robert Wuthnow starts from the beginning to understand the current confluence of religion and politics in his home state. Drawing on an enormous range of sources and data, he uses his nearly unrivaled ability to explore important debates and to set them in the context of compelling stories of the lives of ordinary people."--Paul A. Djupe, Denison University
Flap Copy
"This is a fascinating portrait of the interplay between religion and politics in the Midwest over the past 150 years. It also provides a necessary corrective to accounts that have long portrayed Kansas as a monolithic cultural backwater populated by dupes who cannot grasp their own interests. As a native son, Robert Wuthnow has an understanding of Kansas that runs deep; as a leading scholar, he provides an analysis with broad implications. This is an illuminating and impressive book."--Brian Steensland, Indiana University " Red State Religion is an impressive work. In contrast to the simple headline-grabbing arguments that something is the matter with Kansas, Robert Wuthnow starts from the beginning to understand the current confluence of religion and politics in his home state. Drawing on an enormous range of sources and data, he uses his nearly unrivaled ability to explore important debates and to set them in the context of compelling stories of the lives of ordinary people."--Paul A. Djupe, Denison University
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-07-01:
For political pundits and historians alike, Kansas state politics has long been a mystery in that a largely working-class state is the most consistently Republican and conservative state in the nation. Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? (2004) blamed the unholy alliance between religious conservatives and politicians as the core issue. Sociologist Wuthnow (Univ. of Kansas) digs further into the archival history of the state and argues that while religion and politics influenced each other from the start, Kansas politics was never monolithic. Kansas Democrats often achieved electoral success, and conservative and Republican candidates were often divided over public policy. Although Methodists and Catholics dominated the state, they frequently splintered over abolition, Prohibition, the New Deal, abortion, and education policy. Wuthnow argues that what most defines Kansas politics is its belief that civic life is best governed by local churches, families, schools, and community associations, rather than federal government engineering. Wuthnow errs in misrepresenting the intelligent design movement as merely "rhetorical strategy" that simply repackaged creationist arguments in nontheological terms, rather than recognizing its core differences in the arguments and personalities involved. Nevertheless, he at least takes Kansas state conservatism seriously in grounding his conclusions in archival research rather than journalistic sensationalism. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All academic levels/libraries. M. S. Hill Gordon College
Reviews
Review Quotes
Elegantly written, passionately argued, and deeply researched, Red State Religion challenges our basic assumptions about the influence of the Religious Right in particular, and the role of religion in American politics more generally.
"Elegantly written, passionately argued, and deeply researched, Red State Religion challenges our basic assumptions about the influence of the Religious Right in particular, and the role of religion in American politics more generally."-- Andrew Preston, Journal of Ecclesiastical History
Finalist for the 2013 Christianity Today Awards in Christianity and Culture
Red State Religion is a model of clarity and is surely one of the best books available on the intersection of religion and politics.
" Red State Religion is a model of clarity and is surely one of the best books available on the intersection of religion and politics."-- Al Menendez, Voice of Reason
[ Red State Religion ] thoughtfully and compassionately explores the rich and complex political and religious history of the place.
"[ Red State Religion ] thoughtfully and compassionately explores the rich and complex political and religious history of the place."-- Rebecca Barrett-Fox, Christian Century
Robert Wuthnow, a brilliant sociologist of religion and himself a native of Kansas, gives us a careful sociological history of the intertwining of religion and politics in this quintessential red state. . . . In Wuthnow's nuanced and careful study, Kansans come across less as hayseeds or off-the-wall moralizers than as pragmatic conservatives, committed to traditional families and fiscal conservatism. They are skeptical of big government and dedicated to preserving simple and vital virtues. Wuthnow has penned a 'must read' book for those who would understand--and not just caricature--red state religion and how it intertwines with politics.
With the publication of Red State Religion , we profit greatly from a majestically comprehensive account of Kansas' history. In turn, we get a truer story, one that inspires a less ideological reading of the state, perhaps freeing Kansans themselves from any notion of how they must think--or vote.
"With the publication of Red State Religion , we profit greatly from a majestically comprehensive account of Kansas' history. In turn, we get a truer story, one that inspires a less ideological reading of the state, perhaps freeing Kansans themselves from any notion of how they must think--or vote."-- Alexander Heffner, Philadelphia Inquirer
With the publication of Red State Religion , we profit greatly from a majestically comprehensive account of Kansas' history. In turn, we get a truer story, one that inspires a less ideological reading of the state, perhaps freeing Kansans themselves from any notion of how they must think--or vote. -- Alexander Heffner, Philadelphia Inquirer
Wuthnow does an excellent job tracing the development of religious institutions in the state.
"Wuthnow does an excellent job tracing the development of religious institutions in the state."-- James E. Sherow, Great Plains Research
[Wuthnow] takes Kansas state conservatism seriously in grounding his conclusions in archival research rather than journalistic sensationalism.
"[Wuthnow] takes Kansas state conservatism seriously in grounding his conclusions in archival research rather than journalistic sensationalism."-- Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2012
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
In this work, Robert Wuthnow tells the story of religiously motivated political activism in Kansas from territorial days to the present. He examines how faith mixed with politics as both ordinary Kansans and leaders struggled over the pivotal issues of their times, from slavery and prohibition to populism and anticommunism.
Main Description
No state has voted Republican more consistently or widely or for longer than Kansas. To understand red state politics, Kansas is the place. It is also the place to understand red state religion. The Kansas board of education has repeatedly challenged the teaching of evolution, Kansas voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional ban on gay marriage, the state is a hotbed of antiabortion protest--and churches have been involved in all of these efforts. Yet in 1867 suffragist Lucy Stone could plausibly proclaim that, in the cause of universal suffrage, "Kansas leads the world!" How did Kansas go from being a progressive state to one of the most conservative? In Red State Religion , Robert Wuthnow tells the story of religiously motivated political activism in Kansas from territorial days to the present. He examines how faith mixed with politics as both ordinary Kansans and leaders such as John Brown, Carrie Nation, William Allen White, and Dwight Eisenhower struggled over the pivotal issues of their times, from slavery and prohibition to populism and anticommunism. Beyond providing surprising new explanations of why Kansas became a conservative stronghold, the book sheds new light on the role of religion in red states across the Midwest and the United States. Contrary to recent influential accounts, Wuthnow argues that Kansas conservatism is largely pragmatic, not ideological, and that religion in the state has less to do with politics and contentious moral activism than with relationships between neighbors, friends, and fellow churchgoers. This is an important book for anyone who wants to understand the role of religion in American political conservatism.
Main Description
No state has voted Republican more consistently or widely or for longer than Kansas. To understand red state politics, Kansas is the place. It is also the place to understand red state religion. The Kansas Board of Education has repeatedly challenged the teaching of evolution, Kansas voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional ban on gay marriage, the state is a hotbed of antiabortion protest--and churches have been involved in all of these efforts. Yet in 1867 suffragist Lucy Stone could plausibly proclaim that, in the cause of universal suffrage, "Kansas leads the world!" How did Kansas go from being a progressive state to one of the most conservative? In Red State Religion , Robert Wuthnow tells the story of religiously motivated political activism in Kansas from territorial days to the present. He examines how faith mixed with politics as both ordinary Kansans and leaders such as John Brown, Carrie Nation, William Allen White, and Dwight Eisenhower struggled over the pivotal issues of their times, from slavery and Prohibition to populism and anti-communism. Beyond providing surprising new explanations of why Kansas became a conservative stronghold, the book sheds new light on the role of religion in red states across the Midwest and the United States. Contrary to recent influential accounts, Wuthnow argues that Kansas conservatism is largely pragmatic, not ideological, and that religion in the state has less to do with politics and contentious moral activism than with relationships between neighbors, friends, and fellow churchgoers. This is an important book for anyone who wants to understand the role of religion in American political conservatism.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Prologuep. 1
Murder at the Glenwoodp. 10
Piety on the Plainsp. 17
Abraham Lincoln in Kansasp. 18
Establishing a Civic Orderp. 29
Public Religion
Serving the Communityp. 42
Church Expansionp. 47
Cooperation and Competitionp. 57
An Evolving Political Stylep. 67
Prairie Politicsp. 72
Populism and Religious Politicsp. 79
Protesting against Inequalityp. 90
A Divided Partyp. 95
Law and Orderp. 101
For the Childrenp. 104
Redefining the Heartlandp. 110
Harvest of Progressp. 112
Consolidation and Expansionp. 117
Forward-looking Initiativesp. 124
Church and Statep. 130
Hunkering Downp. 134
Fundamentalism and the Great Depressionp. 142
Simian Peasantsp. 152
Novel Movementsp. 162
Quiet Conservatismp. 169
Grassroots Resentmentsp. 171
The Senator from Pendergastp. 183
Hometown Religionp. 187
I Like Ikep. 200
A Well-Qualified Catholicp. 208
An Era of Restructuringp. 215
Stirrings on the Rightp. 217
From Desegregation to Black Powerp. 229
Nixon at Kansas Statep. 241
Division in the Churchesp. 252
The Religious Rightp. 267
Mobilization on the Rightp. 269
Government Is the Problemp. 279
The War in Wichitap. 287
Shifting the Focusp. 294
Questioning Evolutionp. 303
Continuing the Strugglep. 312
The Churches and Activist Networksp. 314
Electing George W. Bushp. 321
Regulating Abortionp. 326
The Campaign against Gay Marriagep. 330
Evolution Revisitedp. 338
The Death of Dr. Tillerp. 347
Swatches of Purplep. 354
Epiloguep. 361
Notesp. 71
Selected Bibliography
Indexp. 655
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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