The Liberal Soul: Applying the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Politics, Available September 24th! September 18 2014

by Richard Davis
Paperback, 198 pages
ISBN 978-1-58958-583-6

Pre-order yours here!

(This title is also available for pre-order in e-book for Amazon Kindle)

Greg Kofford Books announces the release on September 24th of a thoughtful new book on the relationship between LDS principles and progressive politics: 
The Liberal Soul: Applying the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Politics, by Richard Davis.


A respected political scientist and professor at Brigham Young University, Davis addresses key issues for those interested in the intersection of religious values and public policy, and offers readers something largely absent from LDS culture: an alternative approach to the question of how to be a Christian disciple and a good citizen. In contrast to most Mormon literature on the subject, The Liberal Soul makes a strong case for the good of government, for the possibility of using government to achieve noble Christian ends like poverty reduction, environmental protection, and peace. 

Davis’s work also departs from most books on politics and Mormonism by declining to make its case in absolutist terms: where other authors claim that LDS principles demand certain political commitments, Davis argues that a more progressive approach is merely one of many permitted by the Gospel. The result is a book and a conversation starter with back-cover endorsements from both Senator Harry Reid (a Democrat) and former Utah Governor Olene Walker (a Republican).

Early reviews of The Liberal Soul have praised its thoughtfulness and its balance:

  • “Richard Davis searches the scriptures to indicate the many times that Christ and prophets urge us to be “the liberal soul” when dealing with individuals and society. Suffering and need are obvious to everyone, but applying these scriptures to the value of good government brings a new dimension to its importance . . . based on the premise that “governments were instituted of God . . . for the good and safety of society” (D&C 134:1).” — Former Utah Governor Olene S. Walker
  • “Davis provides a thoughtful exploration into the principles of generosity, equality, and Christian discipleship and their important relationship to democratic government. This book clearly explains the strong connection between liberalism and Mormonism. I would recommend it to anyone who has ever asked me, ‘How can you be a Democrat and a Mormon?’” — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
  • Professor Davis’s book, The Liberal Soul, has built a strong case based on gospel tenets to support a more progressive agenda and will begin the process of dismantling the notion that a ‘good’ Mormon must be a Republican.” — Former Congressman Richard Stallings (D-Idaho 2 1985–1993)
  • The Liberal Soul is an eye-opening read, providing significant insight into the all-encompassing nature of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Each unique chapter enhances our understanding of the inclusive mission of the Savior, through modern and ancient examples, leading to a greater increase of true discipleship.” — Scott N Howell, Utah State Senate Minority Leader (1992-2000) and 2012 Candidate for United States Senate
Finally, Please join us for a special event commemorating the release of The Liberal Soul, next Wednesday, September 24th, at 7:00 pm at Zion's Books in downtown Provo Utah (274 W Center St.). Come meet the author, get book copies signed, and experience one of downtown Provo's most charming bibliophile destinations. The event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.

Read an excerpt from The Liberal Soul here.

Richard Davis is a professor of Political Science and the Director of the Office of Civic Engagement at BYU. He is the author of several books and articles on American politics, and holds a PhD from Syracuse University. He and his wife, Molina, have five children and twelve grandchildren.