Download PDF by Robert Wuthnow: America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity

By Robert Wuthnow

ISBN-10: 0691134111

ISBN-13: 9780691134116

Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and adherents of alternative non-Western religions became an important presence within the usa in recent times. but many americans proceed to treat the U.S. as a Christian society. How are we adapting to the hot range? will we casually announce that we "respect" the faiths of non-Christians with out figuring out a lot approximately these faiths? Are we keen to do the exertions required to accomplish actual spiritual pluralism?

Award-winning writer Robert Wuthnow tackles those and different tricky questions surrounding non secular range and does so together with his attribute rigor and elegance. the US and the demanding situations of spiritual variety appears not just at how now we have tailored to range some time past, yet on the methods rank-and-file american citizens, clergy, and different group leaders are responding at the present time. Drawing from a brand new nationwide survey and thousands of in-depth qualitative interviews, this ebook is the 1st systematic attempt to evaluate how good the kingdom is assembly the present demanding situations of spiritual and cultural diversity.

The effects, Wuthnow argues, are either encouraging and sobering--encouraging simply because so much american citizens do realize the precise of various teams to worship freely, yet sobering simply because few americans have afflicted to profit a lot approximately religions except their very own or to have interaction in confident interreligious discussion. Wuthnow contends that responses to spiritual range are essentially deeper than well mannered discussions approximately civil liberties and tolerance might recommend. fairly, he writes, non secular variety moves us on the very middle of our own and nationwide theologies. in simple terms via realizing this significant measurement of our tradition can we be capable to flow towards a extra reflective method of spiritual pluralism.

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Sample text

I further argue, however, that this awareness is probably greater among rank-and-file Americans now than in the past because of mass communications, immigration, and our nation’s role in the global economy. In this, I am in agreement with historians such as Sydney Ahlstrom and William Hutchison who have argued that the present acceptance and welcoming of religious diversity is relatively new, dating perhaps only to the mid-twentieth century (Hutchison’s book, Religious Pluralism in America is especially helpful in this regard).

To say that some people were Christian implied that others were not. Our moral universe included assumptions about Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and practitioners of Native American religions. They, too, had duties to fulfill, roles in the cultural drama to perform. Religious diversity was inscribed in the moral order. Another popular approach to religion among social scientists is to deal with it as if it were purely an expression of something else, such as class, race, gender, and region, or to explain its trends and patterns with reference to demography, organizations, leadership styles, and theories about rational choice.

The reality of large numbers of Americans who are Muslims, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Sikhs, Hindus, and followers of other non-Western religions poses a new challenge to American self-understandings. When Christian leaders and their followers think about it, they will have more trouble knowing what exactly to think about their neighbors who belong to these other religions than they ever did simply thinking about the differences between Methodists and Baptists or Protestants and Catholics. That is, if they stop to think about it.

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America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity by Robert Wuthnow

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