News

This page contains news about or of interest to CPS members.  

Members are encouraged to send information about recent publications, job openings, etc.

to Mark Hall at mhall@georgefox.edu.



CPS member David Ryden is in charge of the programming for the Religion & Politics section at the Southern Political Science Association annual conference, to be held in New Orleans January 9-11, 2014The deadline for submission of paper/panel proposals is August 16, so is fast approaching. This is a wonderful opportunity to present your research in the form of a paper, panel, or roundtable, while enjoying the charm and culture of the city of New Orleans. I urge you to consider submitting a proposal. Below are several important links for the 2014 SPSA conference. I Look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!
 
 
All Academic, SPSA's Conference Management Site:  http://convention2.allacademic.com/one/spsa/spsa14/
 
The Hyatt Regency, New Orleans: http://neworleans.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html



Christians in Political Science Mentoring Program

Christians in Political Science is pleased to continue its mentoring program for Ph.D. students. Current Ph.D. students interested in a mentor, as well as senior scholars willing to serve as a mentor, are encouraged to apply. For more information on the program, please visit the Mentoring section of our website.




Special Offer for Members of Christians in Political Science

The Institute for Global Engagement has agreed to let CPS members subscribe to
The Review of Faith & International Affairs for $30 per year (as compared to the regular rate of $43).  CPS members can contact Taylor and Francis to subscribe by any of the following means and simply reference
"RFIA Privilege Rate" to get the discount:
 
Call 1-800-354-1420, ext 4 (toll free from within the US) or 1-215-354-1420, ext 4, or email customerservice@taylorandfrancis.com to
subscribe, quoting the reference 'RFIA Privilege Rate'.
 
Subscriptions are on a calendar year basis and can be taken out at any time within a year (meaning that people can subscribe now and they will still receive the spring and summer 2012 issues, even those have already been published).


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 Recent Books and Articles by CPS Members
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                                                                                                Reason, Revelation, Revolution

Gregg L. Frazer

May 2012
296 pages, 6-1⁄8 x 9-1⁄4
American Political Thought
Cloth ISBN 978-0-7006-1845-3, $34.95

Were America’s Founders Christians or deists? Conservatives and secularists have taken each position respectively, mustering evidence to insist just how tall the wall separating church and state should be. Now Gregg Frazer puts their arguments to rest in the first comprehensive analysis of the Founders’ beliefs as they themselves expressed them—showing that today’s political right and left are both wrong.

Going beyond church attendance or public pronouncements made for political ends, Frazer scrutinizes the Founders’ candid declarations regarding religion found in their private writings. Distilling decades of research, he contends that these men were neither Christian nor deist but rather adherents of a system he labels “theistic rationalism,” a hybrid belief system that combined elements of natural religion, Protestantism, and reason—with reason the decisive element.

Frazer explains how this theological middle ground developed, what its core beliefs were, and how they were reflected in the thought of eight Founders: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, Gouverneur Morris, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and George Washington. He argues convincingly that Congregationalist Adams is the clearest example of theistic rationalism; that presumed deists Jefferson and Franklin are less secular than supposed; and that even the famously taciturn Washington adheres to this theology. He also shows that the Founders held genuinely religious beliefs that aligned with morality, republican government, natural rights, science, and progress.

Frazer’s careful explication helps readers better understand the case for revolutionary recruitment, the religious references in the Declaration of Independence, and the religious elements—and lack thereof—in the Constitution. He also reveals how influential clergymen, backing their theology of theistic rationalism with reinterpreted Scripture, preached and published liberal democratic theory to justify rebellion. 

Deftly blending history, religion, and political thought, Frazer succeeds in showing that the American experiment was neither a wholly secular venture nor an attempt to create a Christian nation founded on biblical principles. By showcasing the actual approach taken by these key Founders, he suggests a viable solution to the twenty-first-century standoff over the relationship between church and state—and challenges partisans on both sides to articulate their visions for America on their own merits without holding the Founders hostage to positions they never held.

“Sophisticated, well-documented, and forcefully argued. Extreme partisans who champion ‘Christian America’ or complete secularism will not like this book, but all other readers should come away much better informed about the past and also much better situated to adjudicate religious-political debates today.”—Mark Noll, author of God and Race in American Politics: A Short History

“Slices through prevailing understandings of the founders’ religious beliefs by showing that they are neither what contemporary secularists nor what contemporary Christians often wish they were.”—Russell Muirhead, author of Just Work

“Lucidly written and suffused with great honesty.”—Thomas L. Pangle, author of Political Philosophy and the God of Abraham

GREGG L. FRAZER is professor of history and political studies at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, California.

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Vortex of Conflict by Dan Caldwell

March 19th marks the eighth anniversary of the American invasion and occupation of Iraq. Regrettably, however, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have become so much a part of our post-9/11 lives that most Americans no longer have a clear, accurate understanding of their origins—much less how and why the U.S. became so involved in the affairs of Pakistan. And while there have been many books on each of these wars, there has been no single-volume resource to which readers can turn for a more holistic view of these wars and their inter-relationship. Dan Caldwell, Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Pepperdine University, aims to rectify that in his new book, Vortex of Conflict: U.S. Policy Toward Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq (Stanford University Press, April 15, 2011, $25.95).  



CPS Member Daryl Charles's Book Receives Rave Reviews

     War, Peace, and Christianity: Questions and Answers from a Just-War Perspective with Timothy J. Demy

When two of the brightest minds around put their insights together on questions about war, peace, and Christianity, you get this remarkable book... No question, regardless of difficulty, is off-limits for Charles and Demy, whose own perspectives are generously rooted in the natural moral law inscribed on the human heart, in a Christian worldview revealed in Scripture, and in the classic just-war tradition.” 
David Naugle, Professor of Philosophy, Dallas Baptist University; Author, Worldview: The History of a Concept

“Charles and Demy have done a masterful job not only of posing the most important moral questions surrounding war but also of proposing trenchant and sophisticated answers to these questions firmly grounded in the natural-law tradition... I highly recommend this book.”
Stephen J. Grabill, Senior Research Scholar in Theology, Acton Institute for the Study of Religion

“As one who has written about just-war theory in the media during times of conflict, I find it refreshing to be able to recommend a book that explains that just war is not a theory that gives license to the use of violence, but one that attempts morally and responsibly to address the issue of the proper use of force. This book is well done and repays the time one gives to grapple with the difficult area of human conflict.”
Darrell L. Bock, Research Professor of NT Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

“The new threats to international peace and security have cried out for moral clarity, for a fresh appraisal of the relevance of the Christian just-war tradition. In War, Peace, and Christianity, J. Daryl Charles and Timothy Demy have answered the call admirably. Unlike most of what passes for ‘biblical ethics,’ their careful analysis refuses to use the Bible as a proof text for political propaganda. With great intelligence and common sense, the authors have assembled the insights of natural law, historical experience, political realism, and biblical theology. Those who hope to impose utopian schemes for world peace will find no comfort here. But those who seek justice as part of the command to ‘love thy neighbor’ will find much wisdom to light the way.”
Joseph Loconte, Senior Fellow and Lecturer in Politics, The King's College, New York

“Far too much recent commentary emanating from the Christian community on matters of war and peace has been ad hoc, sentimental, and ill-informed, without any grounding in the church’s profound and nuanced tradition of moral and practical reflection on the subject. Charles and Demy have sought to address this problem, answering even the most knotty questions with lucid and learned essays that provide Christians of various backgrounds—philosophers, historians, statesmen, theologians, combatants, and ordinary individuals—with an inviting point of entry into that rich tradition. The result is a book to be grateful for, one that has the potential to improve the quality of our thinking on these essential matters.”
Wilfred M. McClay, SunTrust Chair of Excellence in Humanities, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

“This is an important book. In an era when Christians are tempted to think that pacifism is the biblical and responsible position of a Jesus-follower, this volume makes a reasoned and erudite argument to the contrary. It makes available to readers a wealth of scholarship in a format that is inviting to the nonspecialist. I recommend this book for university courses in political science and ethics, to Sunday school classes on contemporary issues, and to thinking Christians considering one of our most urgent societal debates.”
Gerald R. McDermott, Professor of Religion, Roanoke College

“Warfare as I knew it in the 1980s and ’90s has changed forever. My son, an Army Infantry officer on his third deployment to Iraq/Afghanistan, is dead center in the middle of this country’s modern-day warfare—international terrorism. In light of the statement ‘there will always be evil men, and thus there will also be the need to restrain evil men,’ authors Charles and Demy tackle the tough questions: Are we justified in responding to and intervening in this global threat? What is our just-war theory toward rogue groups that target innocent people and our military? Does the United States of America have a moral obligation to militarily respond to global terrorism? Is all use of force just? What is the definition of classic just-war tradition and war against evil and injustice? This in-depth volume will answer these and many other pertinent questions that face our country today.” 
Robert J. Keneally, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), United States Air Force
 

Daryl has recently published Thriving in Babylon: Essays in Honor of A.J. Conyers, edited with David B. Capes, (Princeton Theological Monograph Series; Pickwick Publications, 2011).



CPS Member Publishes Article on Religion Clauses

CPS Member Leah Faris, MA, JD, recently published a piece in the Journal of Religion and Society on interpreting the First Amendment's Religion Clauses with the aid of Calvinist political thought. It is available to read on the Journal of Religion and Society website

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