The Protestant ethic revisited: conservative Christianity and the quality of American democracy
in Christianity and democratisation
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This chapter examines the developments in Anglo-Protestant culture, with particular reference to its likely consequences for the evolution of American democracy. The factors contributing to the emergence of the Christian Right correspond to those underlying the wider rise of political religion in various parts of the world. The Christian Right threatened American democracy. It promotes a socially conservative agenda. The argument of the Christian Right is that post-war ‘judicial tyranny’ has reinterpreted the First Amendment in such as way as to distort the intention of the founders by creating ever-larger hurdles to religious involvement in politics. There is an interesting parallel between Samuel Huntington's argument that Anglo-Protestant culture is somehow central to American identity and Christian Right claims that good governance requires Christian input into the political process. Christian Right leaders are concerned with their loss of power and authority.

Christianity and democratisation

From pious subjects to critical participants


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