by Phillip Luke Sinitiere
In July 2007 Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy famously wrote about the Democratic Party and religion, and religion scholars in recent years have started to tell us about the history of the religious left.
So, to use the title of the Gibbs and Duffy article, have Democrats "got religion"? And who are the "party faithful"? Here are some answers.
The award-winning radio program Speaking of Faith aired a show yesterday on the "faith history" of the political left. It is the first in a series on religion and the major political parties during election season. The SOF website states:
This program is the first of a two-part conversation on politics and religion below the surface of the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign. The religious right has gotten a fair amount of coverage in recent years, while the political left has rarely been represented with a religious sensibility.
This show is a good conversation piece (pardon the pun) for a number of recent books that examine religion and the Democratic Party and/or political progressives, including Amy Sullivan's book The Party Faithful: How and Why Democrats are Closing the God Gap (interviewed on the show), E.J. Dionne's , Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics after the Religious Right, and David Gushee's The Future of Faith in American Politics: The Public Witness of the Evangelical Center, among others.
(Paul Harvey also posted on some of these books early this year).