Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Political Science

Content Description

1 online resource (v, 283 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Anne Hildreth

Committee Members

Patricia Strach, Bruce Miroff, Sally Friedman


interest groups, progressive, religion, religious movements, Christians, Political activists, Christianity and politics, Pressure groups

Subject Categories

Political Science


Although the Religious Right has largely dominated the discourse on religion and politics in America, recent political changes suggest that there may be new opportunities for Christian groups with a social justice perspective to shape policy debates. Using qualitative case studies that include interviews and framing analysis, this project examines how these organizations have adapted to a changing political environment, and the ways they have successfully engaged diverse faith communities in grassroots action. More specifically, it examines how factors such as organizational goals and identities, as well as political factors, have shaped the framing, collaborative, and mobilization strategies of progressive Christian organizations. This project demonstrates that these groups are becoming increasingly sophisticated as they bring attention to the moral implications of issues not typically associated with faith-based activism, including health care, climate change, and the federal budget. Also, it sheds some light on the changing nature of faith-based activism, the fluid divisions among American Christians, and the budding relationships between secular and religious progressives.