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Pastors and Public Life$
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Corwin E. Smidt

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190455491

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190455491.001.0001

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The Social Theologies of American Protestant Clergy

The Social Theologies of American Protestant Clergy

(p.85) 4 The Social Theologies of American Protestant Clergy
Pastors and Public Life

Corwin E. Smidt

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines clergy perspectives related to social theology and how they may have changed over time. The first section deals with possible changes in how clergy view the church and cultural change, the role of religion in American life, and the nature of political life. The second portion of the chapter examines how clergy views along an individualism‒communitarian dimension of social theology; it analyses how such views may have changed over time as well as how those factors shaping this perspective may have also changed over time. Finally, the chapter examines the extent to which knowing differences in the social theology of clergy contributes to explaining important political differences among clergy even when one takes into account the level of theological orthodoxy exhibited by clergy.

Keywords:   social theology, cultural change, political life, individualism, communitarianism

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