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The Truth about Conservative Christians: What They Think and What They Believe Hardcover – October 1, 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226306623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226306629
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Andrew Greeley and Michael Hout, two sociologists, explode some cherished myths."

About the Author

Andrew M. Greeley is on the staff of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and is professor of social science at the University of Arizona. He is the author of numerous books, most recently Priests: A Calling in Crisis. Michael Hout is professor of sociology and chair of the joint program in demography and sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is coauthor of Inequality by Design.

Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover
Stereotypes are a convenient shorthand for the ignorant. They allow a person to communicate a favored interpretation of a group in a word or two. "Fundamentalist Christian", for example, is often used perjoratively to describe a group that is imagined to possess intense religious beliefs and live according to very restrictive and narrow beliefs.

In this book, which is composed almost entirely of statistical tables, authors Greeley and Hout put that stereotype to the test the validity of the stereotype.

It is fascinating reading.

The authors define Conservative Christianity as a religious movement whose "[m]embers seek a religious practice consistent with a relatively small number of basic principles tht are rooted in scripture". The widely held and broadcast stereotype is that "Conservative Christians are a juggernaut bent on undoing liberty, equality and the fraternity of nations. Power-mad hypocrites, the mask hate with love, a judgmental streak with pieties, exclusion with appeals to inclusion and monoculture in the name of diversity." And that's one of the nicer left-wing stereotypes of the Conservative Christians.

The authors, both social scientists, announce that their mission is to deliver "facts about Conservative Christians". And they do.

Thy provide 172 pages of data drawn from surveys and studies conducted over the past several decades. Among the many myths destroyed is that all Conservative Christians vote for Republicans. In fact, only 7 percent more of them vote for Republicans than what the authors deem Mainline Protestants. The range of subjects studied by the authors is impressive.

Statisics and statistical analysis can be terribly dry.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By R. Dailey on December 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The authors do an outstanding job of using empirical data to show how complex the evangelical subculture really is. Although not an evangelical, I had long suspected that the movement's de facto leadership glossed over many of its internal differences and divisions. The data largely bear this out.

Some of the data in the book amount to little more than interesting trivia. For example, more than half of single evangelical adults do not practice sexual abstinance. But in addition to such trivia, the book also uncovers broader trends within the movement. For example, the views of educated, white-collar evangelicals track very differently on many issues from those of less educated working-class evangelicals.

After reading this book, I wondered whether evangelical leaders even understand the people who sit in their pews every week. For the past several years I have been trying to find a book that would help me to understand what makes evangelicalism tick. I read several books written by evangelicals and non-evangelicals. All painted the evangelical subculture as monolithic, but none gave the same picture. After reading this book I got my answer as to what makes the evangelical subculture tick: nothing in particular. Evangelicals seem to vary a lot depending on their level of education, their degree of wealth, their professions, and their zip code.
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40 of 99 people found the following review helpful By K. Murphy on September 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm a conservative Christian, and while I supported Jimmy Carter at the time, his performace and policies cured me from seriously considering voting for any Democrat for President since then. And it should be of no surprise that conservative Christians don't rule out abortion when the life of the mother is indeed at risk. Conservative Christians are conservative, not stupid.

Liberals indeed hold many stereotypes of conservative Christians. If they knew us better they would realize that we are the strongest defenders of our country and its freedoms that we have. After all, the blessings that we have in America today came about through the enlightenment and the Great Awakening.
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More About the Author

A native of Chicago, Father Andrew M. Greeley, is a priest, distinguished sociologist and bestselling author. He is professor of social sciences at the University of Chicago and the University of Arizona, as well as Research Associate at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. His current sociological research focuses on current issues facing the Catholic Church-including celibacy of priests, ordination of women, religious imagination, and sexual behavior of Catholics.Father Greeley received the S.T.L. in 1954 from St. Mary of Lake Seminary. His graduate work was done at the University of Chicago, where he received the M.A. Degree in 1961 and the Ph.D. in 1962.Father Greeley has written scores of books and hundreds of popular and scholarly articles on a variety of issues in sociology, education and religion. His column on political, church and social issues is carried by the Chicago Sun Times and many other newspapers. He stimulates discussion of neglected issues and often anticipates sociological trends. He is the author of more than thirty bestselling novels and an autobiography, Furthermore!: Confessions of a Parish Priest.

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