This introductory chapter presents three major insights that can be obtained in analyzing religious activists in the living wage movement. First, the roles of religious activists and their ethical underpinnings can be better understood even in a seemingly secular movement. Second, one can better understand the actual, rather than projected, challenges of ethics and agency that the movement faces, which will then aid in its scope and effectiveness. Finally, one can begin to understand the movement's goals more broadly, which helps in contextualizing the movement in larger efforts toward the expansion of democracy in the United States, both politically and economically. Ultimately, religious activists are not merely mobilizing for a specific policy measure, they are also seeking and enacting an expanded vision of democratic polity founded on greater economic equity and representation.
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