Conservative Protestant Politics

Conservative Protestant Politics

Conservative Protestant Politics

Conservative Protestant Politics

Synopsis

This timely new study examines the place and nature of religion in industrial societies through a comparative analysis of conservative Protestant politics in a variety of 'first world' societies. Rejecting the popular, but misleading, grouping of diverse movements under the heading of 'fundamentalism', Bruce presents a series of detailed case studies of the Christian Right in the United States, Protestant unionism in Northen Ireland, anti-Catholicism in Scotland, Afrikaner politics in South Africa, and Empire Loyalism in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. He proceeds to examine the constraints that culturally diverse societies place on those who wish to promote political agendas based on religious ideas or on religiously informed ethnic identities.

Excerpt

My research on various conservative Protestant movements has appeared in two very different forms. The books--No Pope of Rome: Militant Protestantism in Modern Scotland, God Save Ulster: The Religion and Politics of Paisleyism, and The Rise and Fall of the New Christian Right--were intended for a general readership and were very detailed accounts of particular settings: Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the USA respectively. I also produced a series of articles for sociology and politics journals which either concentrated on some analytically interesting feature of one movement or tried to illuminate crucial differences by paired comparisons. It was always my intention to try to develop my understanding of this particular form of religiously inspired political intervention by bringing the systematic comparisons together with enough detail of each setting to make the case but not so much that the finished product would be too large for commercial publication. This study is the culmination of that strand of my research. I have also taken the opportunity to update the history of specific movements.

Naturally many debts have been incurred over the course of the research summarized here. The greatest is the one that I owe to the late Roy Wallis, who supervised my doctoral research and appointed me to my first academic post. Between 1978 and 1990 we worked closely together and almost anything of virtue I have written since bears the imprint of his intellect. I also benefited greatly from conversations with my former colleague Steven Yearley, now Professor of Sociology at the University of York.

I would also like to thank the staff of Oxford University Press, which has published most of my work. Editors Henry Hardy, Tim Barton, and Dominic Byatt have always offered critical encouragement, as have the Press's anonymous . . .

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