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The Religious Left and Political Films

Barack Obama may seem like the perfect candidate for the Religious Left.

He's outspoken about his faith, he has a staff devoted to religious outreach, and he talks about finding common ground on divisive issues like abortion. Still, recent polls show he hasn't pulled many votes away from John McCain.

David R. Swartz, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Notre Dame, writes about the Religious Left's influence among evangelicals in CT's sister publication Books & Culture.

"Evangelicals' engagement of diverse politics - including New Left, progressive New Deal, and right-wing politics, all since the early 1970s - suggests the volatility of evangelical politics and its susceptibility to co-optation, sudden shifts, and identity politics. The politicization of evangelicalism has exposed the limits of evangelical politics."

Swartz says Amy Sullivan and Jim Wallis may have the best case for a "sea change" now than at any other time since 1973.

"But given the persisting limits of evangelical ...
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