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Good and Bad Ways to Think about Religion and Politics by [Benne, Robert]
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Editorial Reviews


“Robert Benne’s thoughtful take on the right relation between religion and politics is both theologically perceptive and politically shrewd. Our politics would be better if those active in the public square followed his wise and balanced prescriptions.”
― James Nuechterlein
Senior Editor at Large, First Things

“Drawing on the classic traditions of both Protestantism and Catholicism, Benne artfully states contemporary theological options and outlines the practical implications for both believers and practicing policy-makers on the most controversial issues. Excellent for clergy and politically interested laity alike.”
― Max L. Stackhouse
Princeton Theological Seminary

“Bob Benne’s engaging and provocative analysis of religion and politics deserves close attention by those on both sides of the debates that currently roil our polity and churches.”
― Robert Tuttle
George Washington University

About the Author

Robert Benne is Director of the Roanoke College Center forReligion and Society and Jordan-Trexler Professor ofReligion Emeritus at Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia. Hisbooks include Reasonable Ethics: A Christian Approachto Social, Economic, and Political Concerns andQuality with Soul: How Six Premier Colleges andUniversities Keep Faith with Their ReligiousTraditions. For more information on Benne, visit

Product Details

  • File Size: 912 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing (September 23, 2010)
  • Publication Date: September 23, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005KQNCE0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #695,416 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I removed one star because this book lacks footnotes. I think the book needs them.

But the content itself is very good. Benne approaches two approaches to politics and religion that he rejects: separatist and fusion. He rejects both as either unrealistic or incorrect.

He then moves on to the continuum of church involvement in politics. He recommends steering away from the highest levels and gives reasons for that recommendation, but even there he also gives examples from historical events of when such high levels of involvement for the church might be necessary. He also gives counter examples of when such a high level of involvement is counter productive.

While Benne mentions some hot button issues along the way he does not spend time justifying these issues, but uses them as examples of his points. He cautions churches against aligning themselves with one political party over the other and points out with negative examples how this hurts rather than helps both the church and the political issues endorsed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recommend this book. Enlightening in to how our thinking becomes distorted and how to be a discerning thinker and reader.
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