In this compelling volume, Hugh Heclo is exceedingly precise on what he takes Christianity and democracy to mean; on what Alexis de Tocqueville thought about the two; and on why he feels the successful American confluence of Christianity and democracy has been under grave threat since the 1960s. The admirable precision of Heclo's argument elicits, in turn, admirably precise rejoinders from three distinguished scholars. The result is a very fine book on a very important subject. (Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame, author of The Civil War as a Theological Crisis
Heclo makes a strong case for the importance of Christianity in the shaping of American democracy. (E. J. Eisenach Choice
Hugh Heclo offers an elegant and thoughtful essay in Christianity and American Democracy
, together with responses by two political scientists and a historian… Heclo argues that not only does American democracy have a Christianity problem, but Christianity has a democracy problem. There is an inherent tension between religious commitment and political allegiance…and reconciling them is always a fudge of some kind. Heclo rehearses, lucidly and economically, the history of America's different modes of fudging the issue. He documents the input of Christian ideas into the development of the democratic concept of the individual… Hugh Heclo's book shows clearly that America's culture wars are just a specific case of the general problem of religion in democratic pluralist polities. (Bernice Martin Times Literary Supplement
Let me say it straight out: Hugh Heclo's Christianity and American Democracy
is one of the most suggestive books on religion and the public square to have appeared in some years. (Richard John Neuhaus First Things
[A] deeply engaging book… Heclo's book performs a valuable service. (Thomas E. Schneider Claremont Review of Books
About the Author
Hugh Heclo is Robinson Professor of Public Affairs, George Mason University.
Mary Jo Bane is the Thornton Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy and Management in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Michael Kazin is Professor of History, Georgetown University.
Alan Wolfe is Director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life and Professor of Political Science, Boston College.
Theda Skocpol is Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University. Her previous works include the prize-winning States and Social Revolutions.