Head and Heart American Christianities Garry Wills Penguin, $29.95, 640 pp.
God in Public Four Ways American Christianity and Public Life Relate Mark G. Toulouse Westminster John Knox Press, $19.95, 224 pp.
Souled Out Reclaiming Faith and Politics after the Religious Right E. J. Dionne Jr. Princeton University Press, $24.95, 256 pp.
What’s next for the vexed, much-debated relationship between religion and politics in America? For thirty years, the central subject of that debate has been the Religious Right—conservative Evangelicals and Catholics who, in their campaign against abortion and gay rights, helped deliver five of the past seven presidential elections to the Republicans. The conservative energy drove liberals into reactive mode. Some denied the legitimacy of religious activism in politics; others defined it so narrowly as to make the Religious Right’s methods and goals illegitimate; many just avoided the question.
But the elections of 2006 and 2008 have created a sense that a new kind of interaction between politics and religion might be possible—one in which the Religious Right, while still important,...