American Jews remain the most pro-Democratic white ethnic group in the United States, a puzzling phenomenon because they exhibit social traits usually associated with conservative and Republican loyalties. In trying to account for this pattern, Kenneth D. Wald, distinguished professor emeritus of political science at the University of Florida, explored how concerns about the relationship between church and state became a central political priority of the American Jewish community on April 4 at 6 p.m. in the Pugh Hall Ocora.
Wald previously served as the the Samuel R. "Bud" Shorstein Professor of American Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Florida. He has written about the relationship of religion and politics in the United States, Great Britain, and Israel. His most recent books include Religion and Politics in the United States (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014, 7th ed.), The Politics of Cultural Differences: Social Change and Voter Mobilization Strategies in the Post-New Deal Period (Princeton University Press, 2002, co-authored), and The Politics of Gay Rights (University of Chicago Press, 2000, coedited with Craig Rimmerman and Clyde Wilcox).
He has held been a visiting appointments at Harvard University, the University of Michigan, Fulbright Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a visiting scholar at the University of Strathyclyde (ScotlandGlasgow), Haifa University (Israel), University of Toronto, Washington University in St. Louis, and Linnaeus University (Sweden). Harvard University, the University of Michigan, and the Centennial Center for Political Science & Public Affairs in Washington, DC.
Together with David C. Leege, he founded and coedits the Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion and Politics for Cambridge University Press. He has edited a special issue of the International Political Science Review and served on the editorial board of Political Behavior and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. He current serves on the editorial board of Politics and Religion.
Dr. Wald received his BA from the University of Nebraska, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.