Negotiating faith: observant Catholics, conservatism and the 2000 Bush campaign

Parsons, Warren (2018). Negotiating faith: observant Catholics, conservatism and the 2000 Bush campaign. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis examines the religious/political relationship between George W. Bush (the 43rd President of the United States) and conservative Catholics. Served by the over-lapping ideology of conservatism it presents a unique insight into the pragmatic, strategic and functionary role each played in the political service of the other. Unlike other studies this work argues that conservative Catholics, not Evangelicals, were at the vanguard of Bush’s political drive. Although a transitory arrangement – centred around a select set of characters - the religious, ideological and political dynamic surrounding Bush was purposefully informed by careful, empirical analysis. Apprised by decades of examples: of challenges and changes, mistakes and opportunities, we see certain individuals move beyond ideas and analysis into coordinated organisation. The narrative of this transition, its players and outcomes argues that faith and politics deliberately negotiated with one another to strategically gain a moment for political traction. This negotiation was not, as has been frequently argued, a negotiation with religion or theology singularly in mind; but politics and policy. Mutual ideology, political affiliation and core aspects of their particular religious creeds facilitated this.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Government and Society
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)


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