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Read e-book online A Nation of Religions PDF

By Stephen Prothero

ISBN-10: 0807830526

ISBN-13: 9780807830529

Promotional info/Publisher's precis - "The usa has lengthy been defined as a state of immigrants, however it can be a kingdom of religions during which Muslims and Methodists, Buddhists and Baptists dwell and paintings facet through part. This e-book explores that state of religions, concentrating on how 4 lately arrived non secular communities--Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs--are shaping and, in flip, formed through American values.

For a iteration, students were documenting how the landmark laws that loosened immigration regulations in 1965 catalyzed the improvement of the USA as "a state of Buddhists, Confucianists, and Taoists, in addition to Christians," as ideal court docket Justice Tom Clark positioned it. The participants to this quantity take U.S. spiritual range now not as a proposition to be proved yet because the truism it has turn into. Essays deal with now not no matter if the us is a Christian or a multireligious nation--clearly, it really is both--but how spiritual variety is altering the general public values, rites, and associations of the kingdom and the way these values, rites, and associations are affecting religions centuries outdated but quite new in the United States. This dialog makes an incredible contribution to the intensifying public debate in regards to the acceptable position of faith in American politics and society.

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Example text

The Hizb al-Tahrir is revolutionary in that it envisions the overthrow of Isolate, Insulate, Assimilate 35 current Muslim regimes, but most Salafi groups have no real political agenda. Their priority is the purification of the faith. The Tablighi Jamaat does not argue against political participation but simply ignores the issue, which it sees as irrelevant to its agenda of encouraging Muslims fully to practice Islam. Resistance to political involvement, like the strong sentiments against America’s immorality, is found in only a small minority (11 percent) of mosque leaders—for the most part, African American leaders of hsaam mosques and mosque leaders who follow a literal interpretation of Islamic texts.

Muslims need to be insulated from America’s immorality. Muslims’ objections to this perceived immorality are not accompanied by a hatred and rejection of American society. In this regard, Muslim views resemble those of Christian evangelicals and fundamentalists who are concerned about the country’s deteriorating moral climate. Important gradations of responses exist. Leaders who say that they ‘‘somewhat agree’’ that America is immoral qualify their response with various points. The most common qualification is that there are a lot of good, decent American people—in other words, not all Americans are immoral.

The recognition phase constitutes a time when the religious group enters the periphery of public awareness and starts making public claims that are often met with initial hostility. The negotiation phase is a tumultuous time when the religious group struggles with the larger society for acceptance and both sides consequently reconfigure their boundaries and perceptions of one another. The establishment period is when the religious group is accepted as a full member and partner in American society.

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A Nation of Religions by Stephen Prothero

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