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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 Political Activities of Clergy within Congregational Life

The Political Activities of Clergy within Congregational Life

(p.153) 7 The Political Activities of Clergy within Congregational Life
Pastors and Public Life

Corwin E. Smidt

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the political activities of clergy within congregational life. The first section of the chapter examines political cue-giving behavior within the context of worship, while the second portion of the chapter examines the possible development of political learning among congregants within congregational programs of study and action. Clergy willingly report that they engage in various forms of political cue-giving, but the frequency with which they employ these particular forms varies with the passage of time, with no evidence indicating that clergy are more likely to engage in political cue-giving now than twenty years ago. Churches (and clergy) also hold great potential as sites for (and agents of) public deliberation. The second section of the chapter addresses this matter and examines the extent to which this may occur based on the study’s data.

Keywords:   political activities of clergy, congregational life, cue-giving behavior, political learning, public deliberation

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