Christianity and American Democracy and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 18 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Christianity and American... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: 80% New. Very Good Condition. No marks in and out. Item is Fulfilled by AMAZON - Eligible for FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping. Amazon Customer Service with Delivery Tracking. Receive your item in 3-5 Days!
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $2.81
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Christianity and American Democracy (The Alexis de Tocqueville Lectures on American Politics) Paperback – April 30, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0674032309 ISBN-10: 0674032306

Buy New
Price: $22.00
18 New from $15.55 18 Used from $15.86
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$22.00
$15.55 $15.86
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Hero Quick Promo
Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now
$22.00 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 18 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Christianity and American Democracy (The Alexis de Tocqueville Lectures on American Politics) + Democracy in America
Price for both: $39.64

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: The Alexis de Tocqueville Lectures on American Politics
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (March 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674032306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674032309
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #978,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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 2007-11-01)

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 2008-04-16)

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 2007-10-01)

[A] deeply engaging book… Heclo's book performs a valuable service. (Thomas E. Schneider Claremont Review of Books 2008-06-01)

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.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David M. Dougherty VINE VOICE on February 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a collection of five lectures or essays on the partnership of Christianity and democratic forces in the American republic. The first, "Christianity and Democracy in America," by Hugh Heclo is by far the most important and longest (144 pages.) Mary Bane contributed 23 pages on "Democracy and Catholic Christianity in America" in the weakest of the essays. That is followed by Michael Kazin, "Pluralism is Hard Work -- and the Work is Never Done" (18 pages), Alan Wolfe, "Whose Christianity? Whose Democracy?" (14 pages), and finally Heclo again with "Reconsidering Christianity and American Democracy" (34 pages.) Simply put, the first essay would be enough by itself to rate five stars.

Heclo initially dwells on De Tocqueville's seminal observations on the American citizenry and their republic, but his view is limited by his Deist background and the fact that he was, well, French. The United States did not have an official state religion as in all European countries (France was Roman Catholic), and Christianity, that is, Protestant Christianity, in America was highly supportive of democratic institutions even when those institutions did not support Christianity. Latitudinarianism was the norm, and even Roman Catholics in America before the coming of the Catholic Irish in the 1840s freely espoused latitudinarianism and their own independence from Rome.

Democracy was workable in the U.S. because of its "moral calculus": that is republican government requires virtuous citizens to be effective, virtue requires morality, and morality required religion and a responsibility to a high power than oneself. If anyone wants to look at the current U.S. political situation under attack by Progressives, there is the answer why Progressivism does not and will not work.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Obviously Christianity has something to do with America, but what about its democracy? Today most commentary about this topic is either polemical or vapid. This book instead asks what did/does religion contribute to America's successful democracy. Non-Americans will appreciate the clarity of this book's presentation, which is intelligent but not too laden with academic jargon. Americans will probably find it most difficult, because it forces them to look around and inside, touching sentiments that all Americans have.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joseph M. Hennessey on November 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Theda R. Scocpol is correct (p. vii) that secularists "...have worked to displace Christianity from the hegemonic cultural authority it previously enjoyed," except "hegemonic" implies an intentional domination, whereas the Christian cultural predominance of the last 1500 years was more taken for granted, than imposed.

I agree with Heclo that ther is [p.5] "the real possibility of a coming rupture between Christianity and American democracy," taken in its secular/humanist misunderstanding. On p. 9 and 13, Heclo correctly summarizes Alexis de Toqueville as viewing " the human outrages of the French Revolution as stemming from the preceding Enlightenment assault on religion;" ". . .freedom without religious 'oughts and 'ought nots' must becme disorderly and self-destructive at both the individual and societal levels." On p. 17, Toqueville through Heclo adds that he has "no doubt that the tendency of democracy [is] to unleash passions for physical pleasure [and] to push individuals toward a short-sighted, brutish materialism." On pp. 31-32, Heclo adds that "the evidence is persuasive that the drafters of the 1787 Consitution produced a 'godless' document not because of some secular agenda, but mainly because they wanted to avoid inviting sectarian disputes and diversions that might interfere with the ratificaton business at hand;" i.e., positive neutrality among religions and denominations, but no [federal] establishment for any one of those.

On p. 112, Heclo incorrectly states that the SCOTUS 1973 Roe v. Wade decision "upheld a woman's right to an abortion," but of course it did no such thing, because prior to that date, there was no such so-called right.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cdandrea on May 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Heclo's is a vital and thoughtful voice added to the American discussion -- dealing with a subject, in this case, that the academic machine is typically all to eager to ignore.
The book's insights are brisk, well-shaped, and many-layered.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Christianity and American Democracy (The Alexis de Tocqueville Lectures on American Politics)
This item: Christianity and American Democracy (The Alexis de Tocqueville Lectures on American Politics)
Price: $22.00
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com