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Pews, Prayers, and Participation

Publication Year: 2008

Is the private experience of religion counterproductive to engagement in public life? Does the public experience of religion contribute anything distinctive to civic engagement? Pews, Prayers, and Participation offers a fresh approach to key questions ab

Published by: Georgetown University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii


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pp. ix-xi

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pp. xiii

We want to acknowledge and express our appreciation for the generous support of The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which initiated this project and enabled us to engage in the research and writing that stands behind this book. In addition, we wish to thank the Paul B. Henry Institute ...

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Introduction: Religion and Civic Responsibility

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pp. 1-18

During election campaigns, it is commonplace for religious leaders to exhort their followers to a more robust and thoughtful participation in public life. In the 2004 presidential election, for example, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops distributed its quadrennial statement on “faithful citizenship,” ...

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1 Civil Society, Civic Responsibility, and Citizenship

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pp. 19-40

Democracy is associated with institutions that foster “rule by the people,” yet these kinds of institutions (e.g., legislatures, the franchise) do not operate in a vacuum, isolated from the society of which they are a part. Culture shapes the design and operation of democratic institutions, sometimes by defining ...

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2 Religion in Contemporary America

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pp. 41-68

In this volume we examine the role of religion in fostering civic responsibility, and we do so primarily by analyzing four forms of religious expression that reflect different ways in which Americans are religious. Because our analytical framework represents a new way to examine religion and because it constitutes ...

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3 Religion and Membership in Civic Associations

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pp. 69-97

Americans have long shown a propensity to join with others for various collective purposes. Already in the early nineteenth century, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that “the power of association has reached its uttermost development in America” and noted that the country’s citizens hardly despaired of attaining any ends ...

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4 Religion, Volunteering, and Philanthropic Giving

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pp. 98-133

Civic responsibility is not limited to associational involvement. Two other kinds of civic behavior have attracted a considerable amount of scholarly attention: the act of volunteering and the act of charitable giving. Cultural expectations related to volunteering and giving charitable donations are deeply embedded ...

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5 Religion and Civic Capacities

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pp. 134-173

Responsible citizens willingly share with others through activities such as volunteering, giving, and donating time and resources as needed in their search for “a reasonable balance between their own interests and the common good” (“The Civic Mission of Schools” 2003, 10). But exhibiting civic responsibility ...

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6 Religion and Civic Virtues

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pp. 174-207

To be civically responsible, a citizen must possess capacities such as civic skills and knowledge. By themselves, such capacities are morally neutral; they reveal nothing about the citizen’s specific purposes or motivations for acting in public life. The concept of civic virtue brings a moral dimension ...

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7 Religion, Civic Participation, and Political Participation

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pp. 208-232

This volume has examined the relationship between religion and civic responsibility, focusing on religion’s role in fostering various behaviors, such as associational involvement, volunteering, and charitable contributions, as well as religion’s role in enhancing civic capacities and cultivating civic virtues. ...

Appendix A Description of Surveys Employed

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pp. 233-236

Appendix B Variation in Questions and Question Wording on Membership in Voluntary Associations

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pp. 237-240

Appendix C Question Wording Related to Volunteering by Survey

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pp. 241-244

Appendix D Question Wording Related to Charitable Giving by Survey

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pp. 245-246


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pp. 247-268


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pp. 269-280

Name Index

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pp. 292-295

E-ISBN-13: 9781589016187
E-ISBN-10: 1589016181
Print-ISBN-13: 9781589012172
Print-ISBN-10: 1589012178

Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2008