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Synopsis

Well into the twenty-first century, the United States remains one of the most highly religious industrial democracies on earth. Recent Gallup surveys suggest that 76 percent of Americans believe that the Bible is divinely inspired or the direct word of God. In Medieval America, Andrew M Koch and Paul H. Gates, Jr. offer a thoughtful examination of how this strong religious feeling, coupled with Christian doctrine, affects American political debates and collective practices and surveying the direct and indirect influence of religion and faith on American political culture.

Koch and Gates open a more critical dialogue on the political influence of religion in American politics, showing that people’s faith shapes their political views and the policies they support. Even with secular structures and processes, a democratic regime will reflect the belief patterns distributed among the public. Delving into a perspicacious analysis of the religious components in current practices in education, the treatment of political symbols, crime and punishment, the human body, and democratic politics, they contend that promoting and maintaining a free, open, and tolerant society requires the necessary limitation of religious influence in the domains of law and policy. Readers interested in religion and politics will find much to discuss in this incisive exploration of Christian beliefs and their impact on American political discourse.

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