Mark A. Smith is professor of Political Science and an adjunct professor of Comparative Religion and Communication at the University of Washington. His research focuses on economic and religious groups, ideas, and influences in American politics. In his new book, Secular Faith: How Culture Has Trumped Religion in American Politics, Dr. Smith argues that religion is not nearly the unchanging conservative influence in American politics that we have come to think it is and is best understood as responding to changing political and cultural values rather than shaping them.
If you missed today’s event on “Religion and the American Presidency,” hosted by the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America and featuring a panel of leading scholars, you can listen to it by following the link above. The event kicked off the release of a new book, Religion and the American Presidency, which situates the current election within its historical context. The panelists included:
- Barbara Bradley Hagerty, an author and National Religion Correspondent for NPR
- Dr. Melissa Deckman, Associate Professor of Political Science and Louis L. Goldstein Associate Professor of Public Affairs at Washington College
- Dr. Robert P. Jones CEO, Public Religion Research Institute
- Dr. Mark Rozell, Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University
- Dr. Stephen Schneck, Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America
If you want to check out the book, you can find it on Amazon. An extra incentive to give it a read: the chapter on President Obama’s faith and its role in his 2008 campaign and presidency was co-written me and our Research Director, Daniel Cox.