Harper Academic

American Prophets

The Religious Roots of Progressive Politics and the Ongoing Fight for the Soul of the Country

by Jack Jenkins

On Sale: 04/21/2020

Price: $27.99

American Prophets

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American Prophets

The Religious Roots of Progressive Politics and the Ongoing Fight for the Soul of the Country

by Jack Jenkins

On Sale: 04/21/2020

Format:

Price: $27.99

About the Book

From one of the country’s most respected religion reporters, a paradigm-shifting discussion of how the Religious Left is actually the moral compass that has long steered America’s political debates, including today.

Since the ascendancy of the Religious Right in the 1970s, common wisdom holds that it is a coalition of fundamentalist powerbrokers who are the “moral majority,” setting the standard for conservative Christian values and working to preserve the status quo.

But, as national religion reporter Jack Jenkins contends, the country is also driven by a vibrant, long-standing moral force from the left. Constituting an amorphous group of interfaith activists that goes by many names and takes many forms, this coalition has operated since America’s founding — praying, protesting, and marching for common goals that have moved society forward. Throughout our history, the Religious Left has embodied and championed the progressive values at the heart of American democracy—abolition, labor reform, civil rights, environmental preservation.

Drawing on his years of reporting, Jenkins examines the re-emergence of progressive faith-based activism, detailing its origins and contrasting its goals with those of the Religious Right. Today’s rapidly expanding interfaith coalition — which includes Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and other faiths — has become a force within the larger “resistance” movement. Jenkins profiles Washington political insiders—including former White House staffers and faith outreach directors for the campaigns of Barack Obama, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton—as well as a new generation of progressive faith leaders at the forefront today, including:

  • Rev. William Barber II, leader of North Carolina’s Moral Mondays and co-chair of the nationwide Poor People’s campaign
  • Linda Sarsour, co-chair of the Women’s March
  • Rev. Traci Blackmon, a pastor near Ferguson, Missouri who works to lift up black liberation efforts across the country
  • Sister Simone Campbell, head of the Catholic social justice lobby and the “Nuns on the Bus” tour organizer
  • Native American “water protectors” who demonstrated against the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock
  • Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop

An exciting reevaluation of America’s moral center and an inspiring portrait of progressive faith-in-action, American Prophets will change the way we think about the intersection of politics and religion.

Critical Praise

"Jenkins is my go-to source when I want a snapshot of what’s happening in the American religious landscape... demonstrating how a vibrant and undeterred Religious Left has filled the moral vacuum with an unapologetically progressive agenda promoting peace, pluralism, and human dignity for all." - Reza Aslan, author of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

"A master storyteller." - Brian D McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration and A New Kind of Christianity

“Illuminating . . . [A] thoroughly reported and . . . revelatory history about the intersection of progressive politics and religion in America.” - PW

“Delves deeply into the origins, activities, and leadership of the Religious Left . . . highlighting the widespread—though not always widely recognized—role that progressive faith communities have long held in political and social causes. . . . A well-researched and timely work of journalism.” - Kirkus

American Prophets offers a fresh viewpoint that would not likely be noticed without the careful attention and study Jenkins put into his research, and it offers hope to those who may be experiencing dismay at the current political scene in this country." - New York Journal of Books

“Jenkins proves an able and engaging guide through all of these progressive movements. He approaches his subject through the personal stories of those intimately involved in the efforts he explores, and readers will see in his telling the human dimension of these broader justice campaigns." - National Catholic Reporter

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062935984
  • ISBN 10: 0062935984
  • Imprint: HarperOne
  • On Sale: 04/21/2020
  • Trimsize: 6.000 in (w) x 9.000 in (h) x 1.130 in (d)
  • Pages: 352
  • List Price: $27.99
  • BISAC1 : RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State
  • BISAC2 : POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Conservatism & Liberalism
  • BISAC3 : SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology of Religion