Sunday, January 01, 2012

Book Review: Pulpit and Politics

Dennis Gruending is a former journalist and NDP MP who blogs about political and religious issues - which in theory should make for an ideal background for a book focusing on the interplay between religion and politics in Canada.

And Pulpit and Politics is indeed well worth a read. But it does fall somewhat short of its potential in one key area.

By way of example, the subject of the influence of religion in Canadian politics - particularly on the right side of the spectrum - is one that's already been explored in plenty of detail by Marci McDonald. And part of what I'd hoped for out of Gruending's book was a deeper and better-connected discussion of some of the issues already made prominent in The Armageddon Factor.

But instead, Gruending's take on the religious right is limited in large part to relatively brief overviews of the same stories and personalities already covered so thoroughly by McDonald. Which means that while it's difficult to disagree with Gruending's take on her work (to the effect that people should be reporting more on the influence of the religious right in Canada), it's disappointing that Gruending's book on substantially the same subject doesn't advance the cause more than it does.

And that limited development of the theme of the religious right serves as the most stark example of the broader issue with Gruending's writing style. In effect, much of Pulpit and Politics reads as a collection of loosely-connected blog posts - detailing events and encounters from Gruending's own life, commenting on headlines, public debates and polls, and developing little by way of themes or theses from one chapter to the next - rather than the cohesive narrative that would have been ideal for a book format.

To his credit, Gruending is highly readable in that medium. In particular, his detailed discussion of polling data from the 2011 federal election and his extended review of the fate of KAIROS under the Harper Cons serve as important reminders of both what influence religious affiliation has in Canadian politics, and how the Cons are looking to change the current balance.

And the juxtaposition of political and religious institutions assembling by Gruending offers some noteworthy connections which aren't pointed to explicitly. For example, Gruending's rightful frustration as to how the Catholic Church dealt with its child sexual abuse scandal - by denying what it knew to be true, then minimizing and spinning the subject to avoid any consequences for abuses within its ranks - would ring equally true as a chronicle and criticism of how far too many political parties (particularly on the right) handle any news that doesn't suit their purposes.

But there does look to be plenty of room to expand on much of the content of Pulpit and Politics - both in doing deeper research into the areas dealt with as one-off vignettes by Gruending, and in analyzing the connections between them. And while I'll certainly recommend Pulpit and Politics as an important contribution to the discussion of the relationship between religion and politics in Canada, I'll hope to see Gruending and others engaged in moving the subject forward further in the years to come.

43 comments:

  1. Malcolm6:11 p.m.

    What I don't understand is why Dennis didn't spend more time fleshing out the fact that there is far more to "Pulpit and Politics" than the religious right.  Indeed, apart from direct issues of ecclesiastical control (principally in education), the religious influences in Canadian politics up until the 1980s were far more likely to be from the left.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Malcolm6:11 p.m.

    What I don't understand is why Dennis didn't spend more time fleshing out the fact that there is far more to "Pulpit and Politics" than the religious right.  Indeed, apart from direct issues of ecclesiastical control (principally in education), the religious influences in Canadian politics up until the 1980s were far more likely to be from the left.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Malcolm6:12 p.m.

    What I don't understand is why Dennis didn't spend more time fleshing out the fact that there is far more to "Pulpit and Politics" than the religious right.  Indeed, apart from direct issues of ecclesiastical control (principally in education), the religious influences in Canadian politics up until the 1980s were far more likely to be from the left.

    ReplyDelete
  4. jurist8:53 p.m.

    In fairness that theme comes through somewhat in the book. But again, Gruending's coverage is fairly haphazard - and that would look like an area particularly worth addressing from a more systematic perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous3:30 a.m.

    It is particularly helpful as you fight off this yeast infection in mouth.
    Are you looking to get rid of troublesome yeast infections.
    Finding the best vaginal yeast infection remedy that will work for you will end all the disturbing symptoms of
    the infection improving the quality of your life.


    Look at my blog yeast infection and symptoms of

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous6:12 a.m.

    In the world of social networking, numbers say a lot about one's business. They are designed to suit the individual needs of businesses that wish to either use sponsorship ads, advertising programs, business events, Facebook widgets for business websites, Facebook Like for corporate blogs, forums etc. One way of looking at the cost of the purchase of fans for fan pages is whether to place an ad, you would have to pay for it.

    my web blog ... http://socialbears.com/facebook-fans/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous6:31 p.m.

    It was developed by Walter L. Let me tell you a quick story about the beauty of filling up on a paleo diet breakfast.
    The Paleo Gluten Free Diet has many health claims.

    Check out my weblog - paleo diet alcohol

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous12:27 a.m.

    You might also want to visit my blog at blog.

    You are going to begin your internet marketing plan by publishing your articles to the
    following sites. Make sure that your subscription box is very noticeable.



    Feel free to visit my homepage :: Internet Marketing Techniques

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous10:29 a.m.

    He will know when he’s done something bad or good.
    The truth is this isn't aversion education. Oh, Behave Dog Training and Behavior Counseling.

    Also visit my blog good dog training advice

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous5:39 p.m.

    When you stop PPC, traffic dies immediately and your business is dead in
    the water. Of course if you want an internet marketing plan to actually
    fulfill its intended function, then it has to be constructed in a competent
    manner. There are many blog plug-ins  such as Caffeinated Content for Wordpress  that  pulls.



    Here is my weblog: Internet Marketing Techniques

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous4:22 a.m.

    Wrap it in gauze and put it in the infected area.

    Nylon underclothing may also cause an allergic reaction in
    some woman. ** Burning Sensation While Urination.

    My webpage - yeast infection after hysterectomy
    my web site :: what is a yeast infection and symptoms

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous11:01 a.m.

    This is easy and doesn't cost the clicker money but the problem is getting these individuals together. Everyone knows that the internet is a global village where it is very simple to reach your audience for the promotion of specific business idea, products or services. Buy facebook fans or buy twitter followers is a way to increase the frequency of customer visits to your site and in other way, to bring more potential customers to your business.

    Here is my blog post :: http://socialbears.com/google-plus-one/

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous11:25 p.m.

    Simple and Easy to Create Recipes with clear step by step instructions
    you will be able to produce paleo friendly meals that get rave reviews from friends and family every- time.
    By meat I mean red meat, white meat and seafood. Ingredients.


    my web site - paleo diet alcoholic drinks

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous12:02 a.m.

    Have I tried a few, most definitely. You are now familiar with the
    advanced search feature of Yahoo Answers, once you do
    a. Hours of daily internet marketing available.

    Here is my web site ... Internet Marketing Plan
    Also see my site > Internet Marketing Plan

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous1:21 a.m.

    Especially, Facebook the social networking website that was a hub for youngsters when it was launched is now a market place where people
    not only try to flaunt their services and products rather try to sell their services
    too. Facebook fans and you can get Facebook fans cheap if
    you follow the link at the bottom of this article.
    Facebook fans offers the opportunity for you to be spontaneous and quick responses as well
    as receive messages from your users.

    Check out my site http://socialbears.com/facebook-fans/

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous5:23 a.m.

    Douching and unique scented bathroom items can upset the pure stability
    of bacteria in the vagina and make yeast infections much more possible.
    The most common feature of yeast infection are-. Candida bacteria feed on other
    weakened friendly bacteria in the human body.


    Feel free to visit my web-site; chronic yeast infection and pregnancy
    My site > can you get a yeast infection after period

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous7:24 a.m.

    This is usually considered a fun and effective learning method in general.
    The sooner you memorize some chords, the easier will be for you to perform
    plenty of styles of music. Once you know these scales, in all twelve keys, then
    you have a very solid foundation on which to learn how to play piano chords.



    Look at my web site - understanding piano chords and scales
    My web page > piano chords a thousand miles

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous9:42 a.m.

    G# or Ab - (lower) so#, (middle) do, (middle) re# G#, C, D# keys.
    Do not overlook this part of your learning. Pretend that we are palming an egg and keep
    your arms relaxed and fingers curled.

    Here is my web-site Piano Chords Am F
    my webpage :: piano chords apologize

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous5:13 p.m.

    And that is the first rule of keywords - Relevance. You need to utilise every
    tool and potential outlet you possibly can.
    , to all your fans.

    Check out my page - internet marketing Tips

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous2:40 a.m.

    On Sunday nights Erin Jaimes hosts a blues jam where anyone from Alan Haynes to
    Gary Clark, Jr. Local country clubs are offering trivia fun for
    as little as forty dollars per couple. They feature almost nightly drink specials and some form of entertainment every night of
    the week--DJ's, live music, trivia, you name it.

    Also visit my website: free quiz answer sheets
    Also see my page: brainstormer pub quiz answers

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous12:49 p.m.

    ' Satanic Ritual - Decorate the space with human sacrifice, goblets of blood, pentagrams, and things draped in black. Unfortunately for me as an addict, I need my crime fix. Now, one of my co-workers was applying to the Secret Service and I knew that I was down as a reference for her.

    my webpage: americanexpress

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous3:00 p.m.

    With the increasing fan base your product sale will also considerably increase
    and your marketing objectives will be easily achieved.

    For those who do not have much experience, there are many sites that offer a free book on how
    to better sell their products through Facebook fans, so do not wait,
    build your site and buy some fans now. This is the reason why most of organizations are now being into
    contact with social networking solution providers.


    Here is my webpage: get facebook fans
    my site :: http://socialbears.com/facebook-fans/

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous7:13 p.m.

    Douching and unique scented bathroom items can upset
    the pure stability of bacteria in the vagina and make yeast infections
    much more possible. - Direct vaginal contact with chemicals, dyes and perfumes.
    Candida bacteria feed on other weakened friendly bacteria in the human body.


    Feel free to visit my web page; yeast infection and pregnancy sign
    my website - chronic yeast infection and pregnancy

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous2:34 a.m.

    - Set thoroughly cooked chicken aside. The diet program is generally known as the caveman diet or perhaps the
    Paleolithic Diet. Other diets target only eating a particular food
    group or perhaps raw foods only.

    Also visit my site: the paleo diet and alcohol
    Also see my page: paleo diet acne

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous3:42 p.m.

    Oils, beverages and Paleo sweets should also be used in moderate quantities and
    also keep in mind that Paleo diet food list does not contain in it all processed foods made out of dairy products,
    powdered milk, ice creams, cereal grains and legumes and should be avoided.
    Pizza crust, bread, pancakes, and any food that contain sugar should be
    taken out and erased from the list of foods
    one can eat. Consider the following statistic.

    Here is my web-site: the paleo diet and acne
    My website :: paleo diet and weight loss reviews

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous4:15 a.m.

    Moreover it helps in promoting the services of various organizations.
    Buy facebook fans are actually referred to now as Facebook, but often are used interchangeably.
    There are many ways of doing this and this article take a look at some of them.



    Feel free to visit my page: http://socialbears.com/facebook-fans/

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous6:15 a.m.

    Have I tried a few, most definitely. Of course if you want an internet marketing plan
    to actually fulfill its intended function, then it has to be constructed in a competent manner.
    There are many blog plug-ins  such as Caffeinated Content for Wordpress 
    that  pulls.

    Look into my web site; Internet Marketing Tips
    my web page: Internet Marketing Tips

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous11:54 a.m.

    Depending on what type of business you have you should
    build a fan base that consists of your target audience.
    If it is a new product, a gift, the introduction of a new group or even the
    details of the products and services, Facebook provides an easy field of advertising.

    One way of looking at the cost of the purchase of fans for
    fan pages is whether to place an ad, you would have to pay
    for it.

    Here is my page - http://new.kpcm.org/index.php?mid=paul_board&listStyle=list&page=2&document_srl=16186&hl=
    Also see my website - http://socialbears.com/facebook-fans/

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous6:32 p.m.

    You still have to expert all of those other guitar chords so as to engage
    in very easy popular music. The sooner you memorize some chords, the easier will be for
    you to perform plenty of styles of music. These hail every little thing played getting rid of
    barely the sophisticated keys, so you ought to keep effective toward crush extra listed
    below barely a limited area of time.

    Visit my webpage virtual piano chords and scales

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous7:50 p.m.

    There are many sources to choose from that can offer simple solutions to the problems you are experiencing with your canine.

    Superdog has facilities in Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Walnut Creek, Oakland, Napa, and Orange County.
    435-896-1737 Annabella, Utah Trainers: Chris and Julie
    Holt.

    My website - dog training advice pet
    Also see my page > agility dog training at home

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous7:56 p.m.

    There are many sources to choose from that can offer simple solutions
    to the problems you are experiencing with your canine.
    The truth is this isn't aversion education. 435-896-1737 Annabella, Utah Trainers: Chris and Julie Holt.

    Here is my blog blue ribbon dog training academy
    My web site :: dog training austin

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous11:43 p.m.

    In this article I will teach you the basics
    of how to have fun learning your chords by playing out of a Fake
    Book. Now among the advice of your educational materials,
    shoring jar discover all the things of the substitute chords.
    Once you know these scales, in all twelve keys, then you have a very solid foundation on which to learn how to play
    piano chords.

    Feel free to visit my site - free piano chords and lyrics

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous1:50 a.m.

    One quick and important note: make sure you know the requirements and can get them
    all accomplished for your out-of-state or out-of-country wedding.
    5. Out of town guests will feel especially welcome if you give them special
    attention at the reception.

    My web site; wedding website about me
    My site :: the knot wedding website amanda isgate and brandon hicks

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous3:17 a.m.

    there are lots of family dog web pages which provide totally free information on several unique instruction troubles.
    In the event you employ strategies that may be employed in agreement together with your
    dog's normal urge and instincts, you'll be able to improve its character and provide
    restrictions that can maintain your dog satisfied.
    With the Easy Walk Harness, if your dog attempts to pull forward the straps across
    the chest and shoulder blades begin to tighten.


    my web site ... cadaver dog training aids
    My site :: dog training atlanta ga

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous4:30 a.m.

    The owner decided after the event to donate half of the proceeds back to the students.
    Unfortunately for me as an addict, I need my crime fix.
    I hope you have fun planing a birthday party for your tween, I hope
    my birthday party ideas for tween's helped you.

    Also visit my website - Automobile Insurance
    my web site - antiterrorism

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous2:33 a.m.

    Howdy exceptional website! Does running a blog like this
    take a great deal of work? I have very little understanding of coding
    however I had been hoping to start my own blog in the near future.

    Anyways, if you have any ideas or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I understand this is off topic nevertheless I just wanted to ask.
    Kudos!

    my web blog :: similar site
    My webpage > cleaning company

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous3:16 a.m.

    Some were practical, of course, but others were psychological and emotional.
    Anna had been looking through my phone while I was naked.

    They feature almost nightly drink specials and some form of entertainment every night of the week--DJ's, live music, trivia, you name it.

    My homepage: pub quiz archives
    Also see my web page: brainstormer pub quiz answers

    ReplyDelete
  38. Anonymous5:00 a.m.

    They buy Twitter followers as Twitter is an effective marketing platform as much as it is
    a social networking media. It means the more the number of followers, the expensive would be the cost of the package.

    When you buy Twitter followers, the package specifies whether following others
    is included or not.

    Feel free to surf to my weblog - http://socialbears.com/twitter-followers/

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous6:39 a.m.

    Hi, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam responses?

    If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can
    suggest? I get so much lately it's driving me mad so any assistance is very much appreciated.

    my blog post zetaclear reviews

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anonymous10:57 p.m.

    bookmarked!!, I love your blog!

    Feel free to surf to my blog - frances bean cobain boyfriend

    ReplyDelete
  41. Anonymous8:39 a.m.

    Geile MILF Sarah schrieb: Na Süßer, hast Lust auf ein bisschen Laune.
    Diese neue Technik lässt die Grenze zwischen Realität
    und Fiktion völlig verwischen und du wirst
    das Gefühl haben, du stehst bei der kleinen Hobbyhure
    direkt im Schlafzimmer. Naja mindestens die Anmeldung und das surfen auf dieser Seite ist zu 100% kostenlos, das reden bzw.


    meine Page live strip gutschein

    ReplyDelete
  42. It is really good review. You can think about self-publishing. It has many advantages. You can write a book and publish it within less time. You can also have the several marketing strategy to increase the sales of the book.

    ReplyDelete