A paradigm-shifting discussion of how the Religious Left is actually the moral compass that has long steered America’s political debates, including today.
Product Code: 6979
ISBN: 9780062935984
Format: Hardback
Publisher: HarperOne
Published Date: 04/21/2020
Pages: 256
Availability:In stock
N/A
Price: $27.99

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.


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"In this thoroughly reported and illuminating debut, Religion News Service journalist Jenkins examines issues important to the religious left today. Through a panoply of portraits, Jenkins contends that the spiritual and “moral center” of America can be found within the liberal wing, and he devotes chapters to individual topics, including health care, electoral politics, racism, police violence, immigration, environmentalism, economic inequality, LGBTQ equality, hate crimes, and multifaith work. A particularly revealing section details his reporting on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, where Hawaiian tribal elders successfully protested to halt the environmentally destructive construction of a large telescope. His investigation into Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Ariz., a church that has become a bedrock of the New Sanctuary movement sheltering the undocumented, is also a highlight. This revelatory history about the intersection of progressive politics and religion in America will appeal." - Publishers Weekly

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