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The Bible in Political Debate


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgements Introduction: The Bible and Political Debate: What Does it Really Say? - Frances Flannery, James Madison University, U.S.A. and Rodney Werline, Barton College, Wilson, North Carolina, U.S.A. Part I: The Bible in Contemporary Political Debate 1. The Bible and Family Values (Marriage is Between One Man and One Woman) - Andrew Klumpp and Jack Levison, Southern Methodist University 2. Diasporas "R" Us: Attitudes Toward Immigrants in the Bible - Hector Avalos 3. Ending a Life that Has Not Begun - Abortion in the Bible, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, VU University, Amsterdam, Netherlands 4. Senators, Snowballs, and Scripture: The Bible and Climate Change - Frances Flannery, James Madison University, U.S.A. 5. Work, Poverty and Welfare, Rodney A. Werline, Barton College, Wilson, North Carolina, U.S.A. 6. Culture Wars, the Bible, and Homosexuality - Jonathan L. Jackson 7. The Bible and Divine Sanctioning of Governments - Colleen Shantz, University of Toronto, Canada 8. Teaching Evolution vs Creationism - Daniel K. Falk, Pennsylvania State University, USA Part II: The Bible in Historical Political Debate 9. Tracing the Use of the Bible in Colonial Land Claims in North America - Judith H. Newman, University of Toronto, Canada 10. The Bible, Slavery, and Political Debate - Emerson B. Powery, Messiah College, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. 11. Women, the Bible, and the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution - Christopher Rollston, George Washington University, U.S.A. Part III: Concluding Thoughts 12. What is the Bible? - Kelley N. Coblentz Bautch 13. Compromise as a Biblical Value - John Kutsko, Executive Director of the Society of Biblical Literature, U.S.A.

Promotional Information

In a hashtag society where the Bible is tacked on to every political argument, this book digs a little deeper to uncover what the Bible actually says about various political issues.

About the Author

Frances Flannery is Director at the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Terrorism and Peace, and Professor of Religion at James Madison University, USA. Rodney A. Werline is Professor of Religious Studies, Leman and Marie Barnhill Endowed Chair in Religious Studies, and Director, Barton College Center for Religious Studies at Barton College, USA.


Modern American politicians often refer to Scripture in speeches and in support of policy, and they are rarely fact-checked by the experts. In this accessible, vibrant collection of essays, nonpartisan Biblical scholars of many creeds, including nonbelievers, examine what the Bible really says about family values, women's rights, homosexuality, abortion and even how to deal with man-caused climate change, and present some surprising answers to the vital question of how and whether the Bible can be the basis of the secular nation's public policy. * Newsweek Magazine *
Commendably, the writers set about exploring their questions in ways intended to provoke the reader to respond with thoughts of their own. * Regent's Reviews *
The book is timely and those who read it will find much to ponder and discuss. * The Expository Times *
A fascinating exploration of an ancient text that many Americans believe they know but often don't and an attempt to ascertain the most plausible interpretations of Scripture. * *
How far do American politicians ... pay attention to what the Bible actually says about such issues as family values, immigration, welfare, homosexuality, abortion or culture wars? A wide range of contributors address these issues in The Bible in Political Debate. * Church of England Newspaper *
This fine book colors in what others have only sketched out - the Bible's constant presence beside and impact on the American experience. It is an insightful look at how the politics of the past are not so different from the politics of now, especially when viewed through the lens of the Bible. * Kimberly Winston, Religion News Service *
The essays in this book confront head on without apology the complicated and thorny relationship that Americans have with the Bible from the first colonizers who saw themselves as the 'city on the hill' to the First Amendment and the establishment of a 'wall of separation' between church and state. It sets up for us a series of difficult questions. How could both slavers and abolitionists use the Bible to bolster their positions? How could the Bible be used to justify keeping women from the vote as well as supporting their bid to vote? How have people of opposite opinions used the Bible to argue that God is on their side? A powerful book that puts us at the center of the storm. * April DeConick, Rice University, USA *
This book is for readers of any faith or no faith who have ever heard politicians, pundits, or prophets justify their positions with appeals to scripture and wondered, 'Does the Bible really say that?' Here, Biblical scholars go about exploring that question in ways that are illuminating, surprising and provocative. Their essays combine top-notch research and much needed candor with sensitivity and wit. * Mark Chancey, Southern Methodist University, USA *
An engaging volume. * Bible Today *

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