Wilfred McClay and Jacques Berlinerblau discuss Religion, Politics, and the 2008 Election.
The Wolfson Center for National Affairs at The New School presents a conversation with Wilfred McClay, senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center at the University of Tennessee and co-author of Religion Returns to the Public Square, and Jacques Berlinerblau, with the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and author ofThe Secular Bible: Why Nonbelievers Must Take Religion Seriously.
With the 2008 election season approaching, McClay and Berlinerblau, two of America's more thoughtful observers of the intersection of politics and religion, comment on how religion is likely to influence segments of the electorate, ranging from white evangelicals to liberal Catholics to militant secularists, with respect to issues such as abortion, stem-cell research, gay marriage, climate change, and the war in Iraq- The New School
Jacques Berlinerblau holds separate doctorates in ancient Near Eastern Languages and Literatures, and in Sociology. He is currently an Associate Professor and Director of the Program for Jewish Civilization at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
Berlinerblau has published on a wide variety of issues ranging from the composition of the Hebrew Bible, to the sociology of heresy, to modern Jewish intellectuals, to African-American and Jewish-American relations. His articles on these and other subjects have appeared in Biblica, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Semeia, Biblical Interpretation, Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages, Hebrew Studies, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and History of Religions.
He has published five books, the most recent being How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. His previous works include Thumpin' It: The Use and Abuse of the Bible in Today's Presidential Politics (Westminster John Knox), Heresy in the University: The Black Athena Controversy and the Responsibility of American Intellectuals (Rutgers University Press), and The Secular Bible: Why Nonbelievers Must Take Religion Seriously (Cambridge University Press).
Wilfred M. McClay, a Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, is a widely acclaimed expert on American intellectual and cultural history. His activities at EPPC include co-directing the Evangelicals in Civic Life program.
In U.S. politics, a political organization that controls enough votes to maintain political and administrative control of its community. The rapid growth of cities in the 19th century created huge problems for city governments, which were often poorly organized and unable to provide services. Enterprising politicians were able to win support by offering favours, including patronage jobs and housing, in exchange for votes. Though machines often helped to restructure city governments to the benefit of their constituents, they just as often resulted in poorer service (when jobs were doled out as political rewards), corruption (when contracts or concessions were awarded in return for kickbacks), and aggravation of racial or ethnic hostilities (when the machine did not reflect the city's diversity). Reforms, suburban flight, and a more mobile population with fewer ties to city neighbourhoods have weakened machine politics. Famous machines include those of William Magear Tweed (New York), James Michael Curley (Boston), Thomas Pendergast (Kansas City, Mo.), and Richard J. Daley (Chicago). See alsocivil service.