Jim Guth

Jim Guth

William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor, Politics and International Affairs; Senior Distinguished Fellow, Riley Institute; Distinguished Scholar for the Tocqueville Center

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Jim Guth has taught at Furman since 1973. He has served as chair of the University Faculty (1987-89) and of the Politics and International Affairs Department (1988-91), as well as on many faculty committees and task forces. A specialist in American politics, his recent work has assessed the impact of religion on the electoral process and on public policy in the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. Guth also initiated Furman’s Washington Internship program, which has sent more than a thousand Furman students to Washington since 1978. He has directed the program fifteen times, most recently in Spring 2013. The program has twice won the Washington Center’s Award for the outstanding small college program in the country. Guth has commented on American politics for CNN, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, ABC World News Tonight, All Things Considered, CBS Sunday Morning, the BBC and many other media outlets. From 1975 to 1979 Guth coached the Furman University wrestling team.


  • Excellence in Teaching Award, South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, 2013
  • Paul J. Weber Award for the Best Paper on Religion and Politics Presented at the 2007 Annual Meeting, American Political Science Association
  • Governor’s Distinguished Professor, South Carolina 2005
  • Alester G. and Janie Earle Furman Award for Meritorious Teaching, Furman University, 1990-1991
  • Association of Furman Students, Faculty Member of the Year, 1975-76.


  • Ph.D., Harvard University
  • B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison


  • Religion and the Struggle for European Union: Confessional Culture and the Limits of European Integration (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2015). (Co-author: Brent F. Nelsen)
  • The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009). (Co-editors: Corwin E. Smidt and Lyman A. Kellstedt)
  • The Bully Pulpit: The Politics of Protestant Clergy (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1997). (Co-authors: John C. Green, Lyman A. Kellstedt, Corwin A. Smidt, and Margaret M. Poloma)
  • Religion and the Culture Wars: Dispatches from the Front (Lanham MD and London: Rowman and Littlefield, 1996). (Co-editors: John C. Green, Lyman A. Kellstedt, and Corwin E. Smidt)
  • The Bible and the Ballot Box: Religion in the1988 Election (Boulder CO: Westview, 1991). (Co-editor: John C. Green)

Scholarly Articles and Chapters

  • "Religion and the Creation of European Identity: The Message of the Flags," Review of Faith and International Affairs (2016). (Co-author, Brent F. Nelsen).
  • "Religion and Environmental Politics in the U.S. House of Representatives," Environmental Politics (on-line November 2015). (Co-authors, Brian Newman, William Cole, Chris Doran, and Edward Larson).
  • "Religion in the European Union: The Forgotten Factor," in Luke M. Harrington, Alasdair McKay, and Jeffrey Haynes, eds. Nations Under God: The Geopolitics of Faith in the Twenty-First Century (E-International Relations Publishing, 2015)
  • "Religious Groups as a Force in American Party Politics," in William Crotty, ed. Party Polarization in the United States (Lynne Rienner, 2015). (Co-author, Lyman A. Kellstedt)
  • "The Soul of the South: Religion and Southern Politics in the New Millennium," in Charles S. Bullock, III and Mark J. Rozell, ed. The New Politics of the Old South: An Introduction to Southern Politics, 5th ed. (Lanham MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2013, in press). (Co-authors: Lyman Kellstedt, Corwin Smidt, and John Green)

Selected Publications