cover of book

Religion and Radical Politics: An Alternative Christian Tradition in the United States
by Robert Craig
Temple University Press, 1995
Cloth: 978-0-87722-973-5 | Paper: 978-1-56639-335-5
Library of Congress Classification BR115.P7C689 1992
Dewey Decimal Classification 261.70973

"This meticulously researched study....discusses a varied array of movements, organizations, and activists, many largely unstudied, who sought to aid the poor and oppressed through Christian social action....[This] thoughtful, lucid book will engage not only historians but also theologians, ethicists, political scientists, sociologists, indeed anyone interested in the convergence of religion and politics in the United States."

--Journal of American History

Robert Craig explores the history of American left-wing Christians who discovered the convergence between radical politics and Christian faith. He examines the life histories of individuals, movements, and organizations that encompass more than a century of American history and discusses the role of religious activism in movements of social transformation.

Craig describes the activists who participated in this (largely ignored) alternative tradition of social action on behalf of the poor. Among those included are Jesse H. Jones, Edward H. Rogers, the Christian Labor Union, and the Knights of labor, which represented workers; Frances Willard and Mother Jones, who worked to improve the status of women and working-class people; Reverdy Ransom, W.E.B. Du Bois, Hubert Harrison, and George Washington Woodbey, who wrestled with the relationship between race and class; Southern radicals, such as Howard Kester, Claude Williams, and the southern Tenant Farmers' Union, which struggled for radical equality; and those involved in the politics of nonviolence, such as Dorothy Day and A.J.. Muste.

"Religion and Radical Politics is a helpful analysis of several chapters in American a religious history....built around a series of biographical sketches that explore the lives of people such as Terence Powederly, Frances Willard, Mother Jones, George Washington Woodbey, Claude Williams, Howard Kester, Harry F. Ward, A.J. Juste, and Dorothy Day. ...[It] is a remarkably strong book."

--Journal of Church and State

"A major contribution to American history and to Christian ethics. It will be controversial in the best way, raising questions which are the right questions, at least right for those who care for a democracy of human rights, universal participation, and social justice."

--David J. O'Brien, College of the Holy Cross
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