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Religion and Progressive ActivismNew Stories About Faith and Politics$
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Ruth Braunstein, Todd Nicholas Fuist, and Rhys H. Williams

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479854769

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479854769.001.0001

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Religion and Progressive Activism—Introducing and Mapping the Field

Religion and Progressive Activism—Introducing and Mapping the Field

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction Religion and Progressive Activism—Introducing and Mapping the Field
Source:
Religion and Progressive Activism
Author(s):

Todd Nicholas Fuist

Ruth Braunstein

Rhys H. Williams

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479854769.003.0001

This chapter introduces readers to the often-overlooked field of progressive religious activism in the United States, and maps its contours. First, it traces the history and continued relevance of progressive religious activism in American political life. Second, it argues that progressive religion should not be conceptualized as a category of social actors, but rather as a field of action defined by participants’ commitment to progressive action, progressive values, progressive identities, and/or progressive theology, as well as through participants’ efforts to distinguish themselves from the activities of religious conservatives and/or secular progressives. Finally, it assesses the varied ways that attention to progressive religion challenges common political binaries (like Right/Left and progress/tradition), and prompts a reconsideration of long accepted theories of religion and social movements as well as the role of faith in democratic politics and civic life.

Keywords:   progressive religion, politics, activism, United States, field, social movements, civic life

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