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God In The Obama Era: Presidents' Religion and Ethics from George Washington to Barack Obama

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God In The Obama Era: Presidents' Religion and Ethics from George Washington to Barack Obama [Paperback]

Niels C. Nielsen
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews


"With penetrating analyses of twenty presidents from Washington to Obama, God in the Obama Era is a "must read" for anyone interested in the American presidency, the place of religion in American history and culture, or religion in the Obama campaign and presidency. This erudite, lucid, enlightening book brilliantly illuminates the central icon of American culture, the American presidency. In the aftermath of the presidential election of 2008, in which religion played a greater role than in any election since that of 1960, we are fortunate to receive this book...this important book is rich in insight, lively in style and wide-ranging in scope."

Ron Highfield, Blanche E. Seaver Professor of Religion, Pepperdine University

"Nielsen has written an unusually fine examination of the role of religion in the life and work of our Presidents. It is comprehensive, balanced and thorough….all students of American history will especially appreciate his careful treatment of this understudied topic, since it reveals ethical issues and nuances not examined in conventional studies of American history. Students of religion will appreciate the connections between the personal piety and the social justice efforts of each president studied. I heartily recommend this book!"

George M. Atkinson, Director emeritus, SMU, Perkins School of Theology South, Houston, Texas

Book Description

Election 2008 turned out to be a watershed contests, looking to crucial decisions of policy change about the war in Iraq, the international economy, global warming, social security and immigration. God in the Obama Era is written for general readers and is designed to help give objectivity and perspective on debated issues. Its approach is narrative and chronological, not dogmatic. Its premise is that the contemporary presidency stands in a longer historical tradition, which conditions both philosophical, and value judgments. A scholar, who has written in both the history and philosophy of religion, the author is interested in the long term moral values and religious symbols that motivate both voters and public officials. Of course, he is not so naïve as to suppose that truth is always on one side of the election divide. Clearly, the U. S. Constitution guarantees both freedom of worship and the non-establishment of religion. But faith convictions remain a powerful ideological force in American politics.

About the Author

Niels C. Nielsen was an instructor, at Yale University Department of Religion, 1948-51. J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Philosophy and Religious Thought, Rice University, Houston, Texas Emeritus, at Rice since 1951.

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