IWU Professor: Religious Right Ceding Ground To Progressives | WGLT

IWU Professor: Religious Right Ceding Ground To Progressives

Jul 24, 2018

A professor who has studied religious activism says progressives are getting more comfortable invoking their faith to push for political causes in much the same way the Christian right has done for decades.

Illinois Wesleyan University assistant sociology professor Todd Fuist said on GLT's Sound Ideas the movement of the religious left has intensified since the late stages of the Obama administration.

“Particularly as it seems to be slowly vacated by folks on the right, especially in the era of Trump,” Fuist said. “Maybe there’s a desire and a hunger to say, ‘Listen, we are a broad base of people here. We have religious people here. We have people who can speak to this with moral authority.”

Fuist has co-edited a book, "Religion and Progressive Activism: New Stories about Faith and Politics."

Fuist said many self-defined secular liberals don't recognize many of their philosophies are grounded in their religion.

“There’s actually this kind of difficulty expressing who they are theologically. What is the core identity here?” Fuist said.

Fuist said he and co-editor Ruth Braunstein, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut, were examining the topic of progressive religion for their graduate dissertations and they discovered a glaring lack in scholarly sources on it, so they decided to create one themselves.

WGLT depends on financial support from users to bring you stories and interviews like this one. As someone who values experienced, knowledgeable, and award-winning journalists covering meaningful stories in Central Illinois, please consider making a contribution.