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Red State Religion:
Faith and Politics in America's Heartland
Robert Wuthnow

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"Wuthnow does an excellent job tracing the development of religious institutions in the state."--James E. Sherow, Great Plains Research

"Red State Religion is an ambitious, comprehensive, and rigorous study that provides a thoughtful corrective to past efforts to portray what's the matter with Kansas."--Finbarr Curtis, Religion


"Robert Wuthnow's study of religion and public life in Kansas--from controversies over the Kansas-Nebraska Act in the 1850s to strife over abortion, evolution, and gay rights in the 2000s--is thoughtful, fact-filled, empathetic, often moving, and always informative. When he addresses the hackneyed question, 'what's the matter with Kansas?' his answer eschews simplistic blue state-red state stereotyping in favor of patient attention to moderate Methodists and Catholics and a historically flexible Republican Party, along with careful explanation of when and how that moderation began to give way. This is sparkling history."--Mark A. Noll, author of God and Race in American Politics: A Short History

"Scrutinizing Kansas's red state religion, Wuthnow discovers a complex, compassionate, and balanced approach to social goods and moral choices. Upending stereotypes about his home state's embrace of the Religious Right, he reveals that the beating heart of the heartland is devotion to church and community."--Diane Winston, USC Annenberg School for Communication

"This is a fascinating portrait of the interplay between religion and politics in the Midwest over the past 150 years. It also provides a necessary corrective to accounts that have long portrayed Kansas as a monolithic cultural backwater populated by dupes who cannot grasp their own interests. As a native son, Robert Wuthnow has an understanding of Kansas that runs deep; as a leading scholar, he provides an analysis with broad implications. This is an illuminating and impressive book."--Brian Steensland, Indiana University

"Red State Religion is an impressive work. In contrast to the simple headline-grabbing arguments that something is the matter with Kansas, Robert Wuthnow starts from the beginning to understand the current confluence of religion and politics in his home state. Drawing on an enormous range of sources and data, he uses his nearly unrivaled ability to explore important debates and to set them in the context of compelling stories of the lives of ordinary people."--Paul A. Djupe, Denison University

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File created: 4/24/2017

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