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Good News for Common Goods

Multicultural Evangelicalism and Ethical Democracy in America

Wes Markofski

Publication Date - 17 March 2023

ISBN: 9780197659700

408 pages
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches

In Stock


What is the relationship between evangelical Christianity and democracy in America? In Good News for Common Goods, sociologist Wes Markofski explores how multicultural evangelicals across the United States are addressing race, poverty, inequality, politics, and religious and cultural difference in America's increasingly plural and polarized public arena. Based on extensive original research on multicultural evangelicals active in faith-based community organizing, community development, political advocacy, and public service organizations across the country-including over 90 in-depth interviews with racially diverse evangelical and non-evangelical activists, community leaders, and neighborhood residents-Markofski shows how the varieties of public religion practiced by evangelical Christians are not always bad news for non-evangelicals, people of color, and those advancing ethical democracy in the United States.

Markofski argues that multicultural evangelicals can and do work with others across race, class, religious, and political lines to achieve common good solutions to public problems, and that they can do so without abandoning their own distinctive convictions and identities or demanding that others do so. Just as ethical democracy calls for a more reflexive evangelicalism, it also calls for a more reflexive secularism and progressivism.


  • Features 12 months of original, unpublished ethnographic data on multicultural evangelicals across the U.S (Los Angeles, Portland, Atlanta, and Boston), including over 90 in-depth interviews and extensive organizational data
  • Develops new theoretical and methodological concepts of use to researchers, journalists, and practitioners alike
  • Describes multicultural evangelical approaches to pluralism, politics, and public religion that support ethical democracy

About the Author(s)

Wes Markofski is Chair and Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton College and received his Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of New Monasticism and the Transformation of American Evangelicalism.


"Markofski has written an ambitious and wide-ranging book mapping new terrain in the study of American evangelicalism and marking future directions for that broad religious movement so critical to American and global society. The book's compelling argument will matter for the future of evangelical Christianity, for the future of democracy, and for how we understand 'public religion' generally. We need this book for meeting the current historical moment." -- Richard L. Wood, Professor of Sociology at the University of New Mexico, author of A Shared Future: Faith-based Organizing for Racial Equity (with Brad Fulton)

"Markofski's ethnography on multicultural evangelicalism is much needed, deeply nuanced, and highly accessible. A must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of race, politics, and evangelicals in America." -- John Inazu, Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law and Religion, Washington University in St. Louis

Table of Contents


    Introduction: Collaboration for Common Goods: Evangelicals and Others Seeking Justice and Power Together

    Chapter 1: Good News? Common Goods? Multicultural Evangelicalism? Ethical Democracy?

    Chapter 2: Engaging Race and Inequality

    Chapter 3: Engaging Poverty and Inequality

    Chapter 4: Engaging Politics, Culture, and Religious Difference

    Chapter 5: Reflexive Evangelicalism: Learning from Experience and Scripture

    Chapter 6: Ethical Democracy and Four Modes of Social Reflexivity

    Conclusion: Multicultural Evangelicalism and Democracy in America

    Appendix: Multisite Ethnography and the Exceptional Case Method


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