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The End of Empathy – Why White Protestants Stopped Loving Their Neighbors - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The End of Empathy: Why White Protestants Stopped Loving Their Neighbors

John W. Compton


The End of Empathy develops a theoretical framework to explain both the rise of white Protestant social concern in the latter part of the nineteenth century and its sudden demise at the end of the twentieth. The theory proceeds from the premise that religious conviction by itself is rarely sufficient to motivate empathetic political behavior. When believers do act empathetically—for example, by championing reforms that transfer resources or political influence to less privileged groups within society—it is typically because strong religious institutions have compelled them to do so. For much o ... More

Keywords: religion, mainline Protestants, evangelicals, civil rights, welfare state, New Deal, Progressive Era, Religious Right

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780190069186
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190069186.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John W. Compton, author
Associate Professor of Political Science, Chapman University