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Sacramental Politics

Religious Worship as Political Action

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Brian Kaylor

Religion and politics have often been called taboo topics for polite dinner conversation, but in political campaigns and religious services, the two often mix. This book looks at how religious worship remains embedded with inherent political messages and behaviors, showing that conflicts between church and state exist not just in the public arena, but in each sanctuary and house of worship. To explore this religious-political tension, the book first examines more obvious examples of worship as political action, such as when candidates speak during church services or when political parties hold prayer services at party events. The initial analysis acts as a foundation for the idea of worship serving a political purpose, and is followed by analysis of non-partisan and less obvious political worship services. Religious sacraments (such as baptism, confirmation, communion/mass, and confession) function as key moments in which religious participants pledge allegiance to a power that resides outside Washington, D.C. or statehouses, thus highlighting the alternative political messages and space carved out through worship.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Kaylor, Brian. Sacramental politics: religious worship as political action / Brian Kaylor. pages cm. — (Frontiers in political communication; Vol. 30) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Christianity and politics. 2. Worship. I. Title. BR115.P7K326 261.7—dc23 2014031264 ISBN 978-1-4331-2615-4 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4539-1440-3 (e-book) ISSN 1525-9730

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de/.

Cover photograph by Brian Kaylor

© 2015 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006 www.peterlang.com

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