A Nation of Religions: The Politics of Pluralism in by Stephen Prothero

By Stephen Prothero

The us has lengthy been defined as a state of immigrants, however it is usually a state of religions during which Muslims and Methodists, Buddhists and Baptists stay and paintings part by means of facet. This publication explores that state of religions, targeting how 4 non secular communities—Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs—are shaping and, in flip, formed by means of American values.

For a iteration, students were documenting how the landmark laws that loosened immigration regulations in 1965 catalyzed the advance of the USA as ''a country of Buddhists, Confucianists, and Taoists, in addition to Christians,'' as preferrred court docket Justice Tom Clark placed it. The individuals to this quantity take U.S. non secular variety no longer as a proposition to be proved yet because the truism it has turn into. Essays tackle now not no matter if the U.S. is a Christian or a multireligious nation—clearly, it's both—but how non secular variety is altering the general public values, rites, and associations of the country and the way these values, rites, and associations are affecting religions centuries outdated but quite new in the US. This dialog makes a massive contribution to the intensifying public debate in regards to the applicable position of faith in American politics and society.

Contributors: Ihsan Bagby, college of Kentucky Courtney Bender, Columbia collage Stephen Dawson, wooded area, Virginia David Franz, collage of Virginia Hien Duc Do, San Jose nation collage James Davison Hunter, collage of Virginia Prema A. Kurien, Syracuse collage Gurinder Singh Mann, college of California, Santa Barbara Vasudha Narayanan, college of Florida Stephen Prothero, Boston college Omid Safi, Colgate college Jennifer Snow, Pasadena, California Robert A. F. Thurman, Columbia college R. Stephen Warner, collage of Illinois at Chicago Duncan Ryžken Williams, collage of California, Berkeley

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We should pursue our rights in a society we choose to live in,’’ said Imam Hassan Qazwini. ’’∑ This urgent need to protect Muslim civil rights, reduce prejudice against Muslims, and change American foreign policy drives Muslim involvement and best explains Muslims’ tendency to be more politically active than other recent immigrant groups. Another motivation for political action springs from a religious impulse found in the Quranic ideals of doing good (2:82), cooperating with others in righteousness (5:3), commanding good and forbidding evil (3:110), protecting the weak (107:2), feeding the poor (76:8–9), and standing up for justice (4:135).

Progressive Muslims also advance unapologetically a ‘‘multiple critique’’ with respect to both Islam and modernity. That double engagement, plus an emphasis on concrete social action and transformation, is the defining characteristic of progressive Islam today. Unlike their liberal Muslim forefathers (and they usually were forefathers), progressive Muslims represent a broad coalition of female and male Muslim activists who aim not to develop new and beatific theologies but to e√ect change in Muslim and non-Muslim societies.

S. . S. ’’≤∂ Another prominent Muslim leader, Hamza Yusuf, has announced that he will drop any strident criticism of America and will focus more on a message of love and conciliation. At the 2002 Annual Convention of the Islamic Society of North America, which was attended by thirty thousand Muslims, American flags were prominently displayed on the platform for the first time in the organization’s history. During a commemoration of the first anniversary of 9/11 in Toledo, Ohio, a young Muslim girl wearing the hijab (head scarf ) sang the national anthem.

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