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Prophets and PatriotsFaith in Democracy across the Political Divide$
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Ruth Braunstein

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520293649

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520293649.001.0001

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(p.179) 7 Conclusion
Prophets and Patriots

Ruth Braunstein

University of California Press

Chapter 7 summarizes the key findings and contributions of the book. First, it highlights the book’s contributions to understanding how broadly shared democratic ideals can refract into different understandings of what it means to be a good citizen in practice, and ultimately, different styles of engaging in active citizenship. It then discusses the implications of these findings for American democracy itself. Although Interfaith and the Patriots disagree about how democracy ought to work and the proper role of citizens within it, they share an abiding faith in the American democratic project itself. Moreover, the book suggests that this disagreement is not new, and that the complexity of America’s democratic tradition is both a blessing and a curse, fueling perpetual disagreement over what it means to be a good citizen, but also encouraging political commitment. It concludes by suggesting that as long as groups like Interfaith and the Patriots continue to cultivate and enact many different stories of America, and no single story becomes dominant, then citizens can productively interrogate their respective benefits and drawbacks.

Keywords:   American democracy, active citizenship, democracy, disagreement, political commitment, stories

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