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American Religious Democracy: Coming to Terms with the End of Secular Politics Hardcover – March 30, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0275994600 ISBN-10: 0275994600 Edition: annotated edition

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Editorial Reviews


"Ledewitz's book, which is sure to be controversial because it departs from the Supreme Court's jurisprudence as well as from the prevailing secular viewpoint in this area, is a tour de force. He writes clearly and comprehensibly, and his wide range of sources show his great erudition. They include not only relevant cases and law review articles but also Old and New Testament texts, political scientists, legal philosophers, newspaper articles, and an exhaustive list of recent books on religion in law and society…. Space here does not permit a description of how Ledewitz expands and elaborates his religious democracy thesis, applying it to current political and social issues not only in the United States but also in the world. While they are unorthodox and subversive of numerous traditional assumptions, Ledewitz's theses are cogently and articulately argued. Those who are concerned with church-state issues will certainly find much food for thought in this provocative book."


Touro Law Review

"Traces the decline of secularism in American political culture and argues that since the presidential election of 2004, the United States is best described as an emerging religious democracy."


The Chronicle of Higher Education

"In the 2004 presidential election, says Ledewitz, the American people decided that the government should endorse religion and that religion would establish a basis for American public life. He asks whether this endorsement is legitimate, if so how far it should go in what forms it should take, and how secular voters and other dissidents should come to terms with it. He hopes the losers will embrace religious democracy as an opportunity for a political and religious renewal."


Reference & Research Book News

"[A]n intelligent and refreshingly balanced view of the role of religion and public life….With recent polls showing that evangelicals have been shifting to the Democrats, American Religious Democracy should be read by those of all political and religious persuasions."


The New York Post

"In American Religious Democracy, Ledewitz relentlessly relieves secularism's adherents of any lingering illusions about whether a momentous page has been turned in the American experiment called the United States of America….American Religious Democracy will both challenge and inform all who take the time to read it. As one who would be far more traditionally Christian in my faith affirmations than Ledewitz, I found the book enormously helpful, thought-provoking, and informative. It will be close at hand for recurrent reference by me in the coming months and years."


Journal of Law and Religion

"The most attractive features of this book are its honesty and its professionalism. Ledewitz hints at his opinion in many areas, but avoids an in-your-face thrusting of the left-wing agenda. He acknowledges the rights of religiously oriented voters to frame their views in faith-based terms, and doesnt use the tactics of condescension and bullying to silence them. He lays out the landscape as he sees it and suggests a new direction. For orthodox Catholics looking to understand how others view that landscape, American Religious Democracy is a good place to start."


New Oxford Review

"American Religious Democracy: Coming to Terms with the End of Secular Politics announces that the wall between church and state has crumbled--but also that a religious component of politics is good for us."


Pittsburgh City Paper

"[A]merican Religious Democracy is worth reading. There is increasing fermonth both in politics and in progressive religious communities about how to respond to the assertiveness and political domination of conservative evangelicals. Ledewitz has a unique view of the matter and deserves to be heard in that debate."


The Federal Lawyer

"Ledewitz offers readers an engaging and thought-provoking account of the strong bond between religion and politics in modern American culture."


Religious Studies Review


"Professor Ledewitz has written a remarkable book that merits wide attention and careful reading. The book warms the heart of this scripture teacher, one who applauds the book and anticipates its major impact in time to come." (Walter Brueggemann, William Marcellus McPheeters Emeritus, Professor of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary)

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More About the Author

Bruce Ledewitz is Professor of Law at Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, where he has taught since 1980. He is a recognized expert in the fields of criminal law and constitutional law. He has been active in public life, serving as Secretary to the National Coalition Against the Death Penalty from 1985-1990. His Platform for Reform of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was recently the subject of a statewide series of debates sponsored by the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters. He has written widely in both specialized legal journals and national media such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Tribune. His latest book, Hallowed Secularism: Theory, Belief, and Practice, was published in March 2009 by Palgrave Macmillan. His earlier book, American Religious Democracy: Coming to Terms with the End of Secular Politics (Praeger 2007), was the subject of debate on the Thom Hartmann radio program and was favorably reviewed in the Journal of Law and Religion. The book has been the subject of academic programs and there have been reviews in various academic outlets. Professor Ledewitz' views on the role of religion in the 2008 Presidential campaign have been published in the Denver Post, Baltimore Sun, Newsday and other newspapers. Professor Ledewitz received a B.S.F.S. degree from Georgetown School of Foreign Service in 1974 and his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1977. He served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert Taylor, Federal District Judge, Eastern District of Tennessee, 1977-1979 and as a Assistant Public Defender in Allegheny County from 1979-1980. He is a listed co-author with Harry Jaffa of Original Intent and the Framers of the Constitution: Disputed Question (Regnery Gateway 1994).

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American Religious Democracy: Coming to Terms with the End of Secular Politics
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