Description : Few areas of public policy in the United States are as politically contentious and legally confusing as church-state relations. And today the traditional view of a strict separation of church and state is being further confused by increasing levels of religious pluralism. This timely book provides the first analysis of a new paradigm for discussing church-state relations -- equal treatment, also sometimes referred to as neutrality -- that has growing popularity in Congress and has recently been used in several Supreme Court rulings. Ten leading scholars of constitutional law and political science trace the development of equal treatment theory, consider its implications for public policy and church-state relations, and evaluate it from a number of ideological perspectives.
Description : How does the gospel relate to a pluralist society? What is the Christian message in a society marked by religious pluralism, ethnic diversity and cultural relativism? Should Christians concentrate on evangelism or dialogue? The Gospel in a Pluralist Society addresses these kinds of questions - providing an excellent analysis of contemporary culture and suggests how Christians can more confidently affirm their faith in such a context. While drawing on scholars such as Michael Polanyi, Alasdair MacIntyre, Hendrikus Berkof, Walter Wink and Robert Wuthnow, this heartfelt work by a missionary pastor and preacher is not only suited to an academic readership; it also offers to Christian leaders and lay people many thoughtful, helpful and provocative reflections. When Lesslie Newbigin died in 1998, The Times' obituary writer described him as 'one of the foremost missionary statesmen of his generation', and amongst 'the outstanding figures on the world Christian stage of the second half of the century'. The Gospel in a Pluralist Society has been widely influential and deserves to be reissued as an SPCK Classic.
Description : 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 the nation is meeting the current challenges of religious and cultural diversity. The results, Wuthnow argues, are both encouraging and sobering--encouraging because most Americans do recognize the right of diverse groups to worship freely, but sobering because few Americans have bothered to learn much about religions other than their own or to engage in constructive interreligious dialogue. Wuthnow contends that responses to religious diversity are fundamentally deeper than polite discussions about civil liberties and tolerance would suggest. Rather, he writes, religious diversity strikes us at the very core of our personal and national theologies. Only by understanding this important dimension of our culture will we be able to move toward a more reflective approach to religious pluralism.
Description : In contemporary political philosophy, there is much debate over how to maintain a public order in pluralistic democracies in which citizens hold radically different religious views. The Political Problem of Religious Pluralism deals with this theoretically and practically difficult issue by examining three of the most influential figures of religious pluralism theory: John Rawls, Jacques Maritain, and Alasdair MacIntyre. Drawing on a diverse number of sources, Kozinski addresses the flaws in each philosopher's views and shows that the only philosophically defensible end of any overlapping consensus political order must be the eradication of the ideological pluralism that makes it necessary. In other words, a pluralistic society should have as its primary political aim to create the political conditions for the communal discovery and political establishment of that unifying tradition within which political justice can most effectively be obtained. Kozinski's analysis, though exhaustive and rigorous, still remains accessible and engaging, even for a reader unversed in the works of Rawls, Maritain, and MacIntyre. Interdisciplinary and multi-thematic in nature, it will appeal to anyone interested in the intersection of religion, politics, and culture.
Description : The series Religion and Society (RS) contributes to the exploration of religions as social systems – both in Western and non-Western societies; in particular, it examines religions in their differentiation from, and intersection with, other cultural systems, such as art, economy, law and politics. Due attention is given to paradigmatic case or comparative studies that exhibit a clear theoretical orientation with the empirical and historical data of religion and such aspects of religion as ritual, the religious imagination, constructions of tradition, iconography, or media. In addition, the formation of religious communities, their construction of identity, and their relation to society and the wider public are key issues of this series.