America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity
^Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and adherents of other non-Western religions have become a significant presence in the United States in recent years. Yet many Americans continue to regard the United States as a Christian society. How are we adapting to the new diversity? Do we casually announce that we "respect" the faiths of non-Christians without understanding much about those faiths? Are we willing to do the hard work required to achieve genuine religious pluralism?^Award-winning author Robert Wuthnow tackles these and other difficult questions surrounding religious diversity and does so with his characteristic rigor and style. "America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity" looks not only at how we have adapted to diversity in the past, but at the ways rank-and-file Americans, clergy, and other community leaders are responding today. Drawing from a new national survey and hundreds of in-depth qualitative interviews, this book is the first systematic effort to assess how well
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Meet the Author
Robert Wuthnow is Gerhard Andlinger Professor of Social Sciences, Professor of Sociology, and Director of the Center for the Study of American Religion, at Princeton University.
Table Of Contents
- List Of Tables Ix Preface Xi Introduction Confronting Diversity 1 Chapter 1: A Special People In A Diverse World 8 First Encounters 10 Toward A New Nation 14 From Missions To Comparative Religion 19 The Tripartite Settlement 30 Beyond Christian America? 34 Chapter 2: The New Diversity 37 American Hindus 38 American Buddhists 47 American Muslims 56 Living Among Christians 63 Pluralism Or Coexistence? 73 Chapter 3: The Signi .cance Of Religious Diversity 75 A Threat To Democracy? 78 Fairness And Decency 84 Challenges To American Values 88 Religion As Moral Order 95 Chapter 4: Embracing Diversity: Shopping In The Spiritual Marketplace 106 Trev Granger's Story 108 Becoming A Spiritual Shopper 110 The Shopping Mentality 119 Toward A New Consciousness? 126 Chapter 5: "many Mansions": Accepting Diversity 130 Sandra Michaelson: Beauty In Every Religion 133 Coming To Terms With Diversity 135 How To Be An Inclusive Christian 143 Envisioning An Inclusive Society 153 Chapter 6: "one Way" : Resisting Diversity 159 Trisha Mobley: "it Is Written" 160 The Road To Resistance 163 Maintaining An Exclusivist Worldview 173 The Social Implications Of Christian Exclusivism 183 Chapter 7: The Public's Beliefs And Practices 188 Beliefs About Religious Truth 190 Views Of America 198 The Impact Of Non-western Religions 201 Social And Cultural Factors 208 Interreligious Contact And Attitudes 212 Interreligious Programs 220 Conclusions 228 Chapter 8: How Congregations Manage Diversity 230 What Churches Are Doing 233 The Role Of Theology 237 Strategies Of Avoidance 244 Strategies Of Engagement 247 The Imprint Of Pluralism 253 Beyond Insularity? 255 Chapter 9: Negotiating Religiously Mixed Marriages 259 Falling In Love 260 Negotiating With Religious Authorities 264 The Parsing Of Practices 270 Disaggregating Religious Identities 276 The Normalization Of Diversity 278 From Religion To Culture 281 Chapter 10: How Pluralistic Should We Be? 286 Reflective Pluralism 287 The Case For Cooperation 292 An Effort To Promote Understanding 295 Multiple Models 299 Why Interreligious Efforts Fail 301 How Interreligious Efforts Succeed 303 What Else Needs To Be Done 305 Extrapolating To Other Kinds Of Diversity 306 The Challenges Ahead 308 Notes 315 Selected Bibliography 351 Index 371