Religion and NGOs

Religion Returns To The Public Square: Faith and Policy in America

The International Journal
of Not-for-Profit Law

Volume 6, Issue 1, September 2003

Edited by Hugh Heclo and Wilfred M. McClay. Foreword by E.J. Dionne, Jr. Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2003.
382 pp. $50 hardcover, $22.50 paper.

In the foreword, E.J. Dionne, a Washington Post columnist who is also a scholar at the Brookings Institution, cites a revealing contrast between two presidential campaigns. In 1960, he writes, presidential candidate John F. Kennedy “made the case for his own election on the grounds that his religion was not important at all to his role as a politician.” Forty years later, Senator Joe Lieberman, the Democratic nominee for vice-president, adopted a starkly different approach. “He thanked God for his new public role. He spoke at length about the importance of his faith and about the legitimacy of a politician bringing his or her faith to the public arena. Unlike Kennedy, Lieberman said: My religion is really, really important to me.”

The eleven papers that follow examine such topics as secularism, the religious conscience in American constitutional law, faith in politics and in public policy, charitable choice, religion and public education, and religious influences on U.S. foreign policy. Coeditor Hugh Heclo is a professor of public affairs at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia; Wilfred M. McClay is a professor of history at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.