Why I Wrote The Great Awakening | Sojourners

Why I Wrote The Great Awakening

My book God’s Politics called on people to take back their faith, after it had been “hijacked” by the Religious Right. Millions of Christ­ians have done just that, and now the question is what are we going to do with our faith, now that we have it back? My new book, The Great Awakening: Reviving Faith and Politics in a Post-Religious Right America, addresses that new question.

My friend E.J. Dionne, a Washington Post syndicated columnist, has read the new book and describes how it is different from the last one. “The Great Awakening is the perfect successor to God’s Politics,” Dionne says. “If the earlier book helped open our eyes to what had gone wrong, The Great Awakening ... provides an historical and theological foundation for a transformative public religion.”

When I am asked what has changed since God’s Politics, I reply, “Everything.” The subtitle of God’s Politics was “Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It.” Well, the hard Right continues to get it wrong, but evangelicals are leaving the Religious Right in droves. Meanwhile the Left is starting to get the idea that politics should be about values and that religion has much to contribute to progressive politics.

Two things in particular have changed. First, we now see the “leveling of the praying field” as many Democrats are rediscovering their own reli­gious roots, with many coming out of the closet as people of faith. And their candidates are actively reaching out to the faith community. In recent years perceived as the “secular party,” hostile to religion and values, Democrats are becoming a much more faith-friendly party—that’s a real sea change.

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Sojourners Magazine February 2008
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