Claiming Society for God

Claiming Society for God

Religious Movements and Social Welfare
Nancy J. Davis and Robert V. Robinson
Distribution: World
Publication date: 05/30/2012
Format: Paperback 3 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-00238-9
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Gold Medal winner, Religion category, 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards

Claiming Society for God focuses on common strategies employed by religiously orthodox, fundamentalist movements around the world. Rather than employing terrorism, as much of post-9/11 thinking suggests, these movements use a patient, under-the-radar strategy of infiltrating and subtly transforming civil society. Nancy J. Davis and Robert V. Robinson tell the story of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Shas in Israel, Comunione e Liberazione in Italy, and the Salvation Army in the United States. They show how these movements build massive grassroots networks of religiously based social service agencies, hospitals, schools, and businesses to bring their own brand of faith to popular and political fronts.

Author Bio

Nancy J. Davis is Lester Martin Jones Professor of Sociology at DePauw University.

Robert V. Robinson is the Class of 1964 Chancellor’s Professor of Sociology at Indiana University, Bloomington.


“Illuminating intersections of religion and public life in four different nations, this book is topical. Given that two of these nations are in the Middle East and one of them is Egypt, it is timely, even urgent.”
 — R. Stephen Warner, University of Illinois at Chicago

“Claiming Society for God is a brilliant piece of work—a beautiful example of sociology at its very best. It is very well organized, clearly written, focused on the four movements, central to major social developments in today's world, professionally researched and analyzed, both pragmatic and theoretical, overwhelmingly convincing, and an important corrective to a lot of current beliefs. It is the kind of book that I wish everyone will read and take to heart, including policy makers. It was also a great read—fascinating from beginning to end. ”
 — Wendell Bell, Yale University

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Table of Contents

1. Contesting the State by Bypassing It
2. The Muslim Brotherhood: Building a State within a State in Egypt
3. The Sephardi Torah Guardians: Penetrating the Israeli State to Circumvent It
4. Comunione e Liberazione: Laying the Building Blocks of a Parallel Christian Society in Italy
5. The Salvation Army USA: Doing Good to Hasten the Second Coming

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