Religion and Progressive Activism

New Stories About Faith and Politics

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Ruth Braunstein, Todd Nicholas Fuist, Rhys H. Williams
Religion and Social Transformation Series
  • New York, NY: 
    New York University Press
    , June
     368 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


New stories about religiously motivated progressive activism challenge common understandings of the American political landscape.

To many mainstream-media saturated Americans, the terms “progressive” and “religious” may not seem to go hand-in-hand. As religion is usually tied to conservatism, an important way in which religion and politics intersect is being overlooked. Religion and Progressive Activism focuses on this significant intersection, revealing that progressive religious activists are a driving force in American public life, involved in almost every political issue or area of public concern. 

This volume brings together leading experts who dissect and analyze the inner worlds and public strategies of progressive religious activists from the local to the transnational level. It provides insight into documented trends, reviews overlooked case studies, and assesses the varied ways in which progressive religion forces us to deconstruct common political binaries such as right/left and progress/tradition. 

In a coherent and accessible way, this book engages and rethinks long accepted theories of religion, of social movements, and of the role of faith in democratic politics and civic life. Moreover, by challenging common perceptions of religiously motivated activism, it offers a more grounded and nuanced understanding of religion and the American political landscape.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Ruth Braunstein is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut. Her research explores the ways in which citizens participate in public life, and the complex role of religion in this process. She is the author of Prophets and Patriots: Faith in Democracy Across the Political Divide.

Todd Nicholas Fuist is assistant professor of sociology at Arkansas State University. His research interests include religion, politics, identity, and sexuality, with a focus on how culture serves to motivate socio-moral action. His work has been published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of ReligionCritical Research on Religion, and Social Movement Studies

Rhys H. Williams is professor of sociology and director of the McNamara Center for the Social Study of Religion at Loyola University Chicago. His publications include Religion & Progressive Activism (New York University Press 2017; w/ T. N. Fuist and R. Braunstein), Cultural Wars in American Politics (Aldine 1997) and articles in the American Sociological Review, Social Problems, Sociological Theory, Theory & Society,and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.  

Add New Comment

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.

Log in to post comments