By Robert Wuthnow
Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and adherents of alternative non-Western religions became an important presence within the usa in recent times. but many american citizens 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 knowing a lot approximately these faiths? Are we prepared to do the labor required to accomplish actual non secular pluralism?
Award-winning writer Robert Wuthnow tackles those and different tough questions surrounding non secular range and does so along with his attribute rigor and magnificence. the US and the demanding situations of spiritual range seems to be not just at how we have now tailored to variety long ago, yet on the methods rank-and-file americans, clergy, and different group leaders are responding at the present time. Drawing from a brand new nationwide survey and enormous quantities of in-depth qualitative interviews, this booklet is the 1st systematic attempt to evaluate how good the country 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 suitable of numerous teams to worship freely, yet sobering simply because few americans have troubled to profit a lot approximately religions except their very own or to interact in optimistic interreligious discussion. Wuthnow contends that responses to non secular range are essentially deeper than well mannered discussions approximately civil liberties and tolerance may recommend. quite, he writes, non secular variety moves us on the very center of our own and nationwide theologies. in simple terms by way of figuring out this significant measurement of our tradition can we be capable to circulate towards a extra reflective method of non secular pluralism.
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Extra info for America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity
Throughout his writings, Jefferson’s most frequent references to Indians occur in the context of discussing land purchases, treaties, and alliances, often appearing alongside British, French, Spanish, and Canadians with whom business is being conducted. 44 If Jefferson’s thought provided a political framework in which religious diversity could be tolerated, this framework was nevertheless governed by a more general understanding of the limits of acceptable diversity. 46 Monotheistic belief, expressed in the essentials that Priestley draws from Christianity, is in his view the highest source of morality and reason.
16 Colonists’ encounters with Indians also evoked questions about how these people fit into the biblical story of human origins. Most writers were satisfied to trace the Indians back to Adam and Eve. They also sought support for common ancestry in similarities of word usage, dress, and other cultural traits between Indians and ancient Greeks, Scythians, Tartars, and biblical Hebrews. 17 But if Indians had descended from Adam and Eve, it remained to explain why their customs were so different from European Christians’.
8 After the survey, we contacted two hundred of the respondents who were church members and asked them twenty to thirty minutes of open-ended questions about their beliefs and the activities of their churches. We also contacted the pastors at fifty of their churches to find out from them what their churches had been doing vis-à-vis followers of other faiths. To put this contemporary evidence in historical perspective, I examined hundreds of primary and secondary documents from the past, ranging from books and letters to journal articles and statements issued by religious organizations.