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Religious Identity in US Politics

Matthew R. Miles
Religious Identity in US Politics
ISBN: 978-1-62637-809-4
ISBN: 978-1-62637-816-2
2019/190 pages/LC: 2019000493
"Miles makes a compelling case for examining religious social identity in a way that moves beyond affiliation. The work is a welcome addition to the literature on American political behavior." —Samuel Snideman, Religious Studies Review

"At just the right time, Matt Miles offers this sustained treatment of how political and religious identities intersect, embracing the causal ambiguity between them to explore questions of system support, trust, and political behavior. His book should be required reading for scholars of religion and politics." —Paul A. Djupe, Denison University


While existing scholarship addresses the influence of religious affiliation on political attitudes and behaviors in the United States, a number of puzzling questions remain unanswered. In response, Matthew Miles demonstrates that a more complete conceptualization of religion as a social identity can help to explain many of those puzzles. As he explores the impact, both positive and negative, of religious identity on political attitudes, he also shows that the religion-politics relationship is not a one-way street.


Matthew R. Miles is associate professor of political science at Brigham Young University–Idaho.


  • The Role of Religious Identity in US Politics.
  • Defining Religious Identity.
  • Religious Identity and Support for Members of Congress.
  • Religious Identity and Political Trust: The Obama Era.
  • Christian Identity and Anti-Atheist Intolerance.
  • The Religious Divide.
  • When Religious and Partisan Social Identities Collide.
  • How Political Identities Influence Religious Beliefs.
  • Is Reconciliation Possible?