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A union of The Witherspoon Society and Voices of Sophia

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Religion, Politics, and the Christian Right
a book note

Religion, Politics, and the Christian Right:
Post-9/11 Powers and American Empire

by Mark Lewis Taylor

A book notice from Fortress Press

"Mark Lewis Taylor is the most prophetic theologian, political activist and cultural critic of his generation. There is simply no one on the scene like him. Don't miss this book!" -- Cornel West, University Professor of Religion, Princeton University

Where The Christian Right Goes Wrong

MINNEAPOLIS (December 7, 2005)- Many in the United States find the political ascendancy of right-wing Christianity alarming and disturbing. In his new book, Religion, Politics, and the Christian Right, Princeton theologian Mark Lewis Taylor provides an astute analysis of how after 9/11, Christian nationalists have forged an imperial America that subverts what most U.S. citizens and most Christians hold dear about their democratic life. Even as he exposes the dangers of the Christian right, Taylor also retrieves and highlights an authentic democratic spirit that U.S. citizens can nurture and develop in public life.

The real gift of Taylor's book is his argument that this militant Christian faith must be viewed against a backdrop of the American political romanticism and corporatist liberalism of U.S. past and present. Taylor uses the best of cultural and historical studies, while deftly drawing lessons for American readers from theologian Paul Tillich's analysis of power and religion during the rise of fascism and nationalism in Germany of the 1930s.

The result is an innovative framework for interpreting how Christian nationalists, Pentagon war planners and corporate institutions today are forging alliances in the U.S. that have dramatic and destructive global impact. Moving beyond lament, Taylor also leaves readers with a new romance of revolutionary traditions and a new more radical liberalism, revitalizing American visions of spirit that are both prophetic and public for U.S. residents today.

"Mark Lewis Taylor's critique of American imperialism is searing, and his vision of radical liberalism is creative, insightful, and inspiring. Essential reading for all committed to the revolutionary spirit of democratic governance and ongoing emancipation."

-Sharon D. Welch, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Missouri-Columbia, and author of After Empire: The Art and Ethos of Enduring Peace

Mark Lewis Taylor is the Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Theology and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is author of such important works as Remembering Esperanza: A Cultural-Political Theology for North American Praxis (Orbis, 1990) and The Executed God: The Way of the Cross in Lockdown America (Fortress Press, 2001).


A Witherspoon note:  

Dr. Taylor will the the primary speaker at the Semper Reformanda/Witherspoon Pre-General Assembly Conversation, on the theme of American Empire.  It will be held on Wednesday, June 14, from 1 to 4 pm, in Birmingham.  Watch for details!

Dr Taylor was one of the leaders of the Witherspoon/Peace Fellowship seminar at Ghost Ranch in the summer of 2005.  Witherspoon board member Jake Young reported on the seminar, and especially on Taylor's presentations, in Network News, Summer 2005, pages 9-10.  You can read it in PDF format:  just click here, and scroll down to page 9.

Religion, Politics, and the Christian Right:  Post-9/11 Powers and American Empire

By Mark Lewis Taylor

ISBN: 0-8006-3776-3 Format: Paper, 208 pp Price: $16.00
ISBN: 0-8006-3783-6 Format: Hardcover, 208 pp Price: $26.00

Publisher: Fortress Press

To order Religion, Politics, and the Christian Right please call Fortress Press at 1-800-328-4648 or visit the web site at For review copies, or to discuss interviews with the author or speaking engagements contact Bob Todd at 612-330-3234 or e-mail



GA actions ratified (or not) by  the presbyteries   

A number of the most important actions of the 219th General Assembly have now been acted upon by the presbyteries, confirming most of them as amendments to the PC(USA) Book of Order.

We provided resources to help inform the reflection and debate, along with updates on the voting.

Our three areas of primary interest have been:

bullet Amendment 10-A, which  removes the current ban on lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender persons being considered as possible candidates for ordination as elder or ministers.  Approved!

bullet Amendment 10-2, which would add the Belhar Confession to our Book of Confessions.  Disapproved, because as an amendment to the Book of Confessions it needed a 2/3 vote, and did not receive that.

bullet Amendment 10-1, which  adopts the new Form of Government that was approved by the Assembly.   Approved.

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Some blogs worth visiting

PVJ's Facebook page

Mitch Trigger, PVJ's Secretary/Communicator, has created a Facebook page where Witherspoon members and others can gather to exchange news and views. Mitch and a few others have posted bits of news, both personal and organizational. But there’s room for more!

You can post your own news and views, or initiate a conversation about a topic of interest to you.


Voices of Sophia blog

Heather Reichgott, who has created this new blog for Voices of Sophia, introduces it:

After fifteen years of scholarship and activism, Voices of Sophia presents a blog. Here, we present the voices of feminist theologians of all stripes: scholars, clergy, students, exiles, missionaries, workers, thinkers, artists, lovers and devotees, from many parts of the world, all children of the God in whose image women are made. .... This blog seeks to glorify God through prayer, work, art, and intellectual reflection. Through articles and ensuing discussion we hope to become an active and thoughtful community.


John Harris’ Summit to Shore blogspot

Theological and philosophical reflections on everything between summit to shore, including kayaking, climbing, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology, politics, culture, travel, The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), New York City and the Queens neighborhood of Ridgewood by a progressive New York City Presbyterian Pastor. John is a former member of the Witherspoon board, and is designated pastor of North Presbyterian Church in Flushing, NY.


John Shuck’s Shuck and Jive

A Presbyterian minister, currently serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, Tenn., blogs about spirituality, culture, religion (both organized and disorganized), life, evolution, literature, Jesus, and lightening up.


Got more blogs to recommend?

Please send a note, and we'll see what we can do!


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