Democracy and the New Religious Pluralism

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Religious pluralism is everywhere in today's politics. Increased immigration flows, the collapse of communism, and the globalization of communications technologies have all fostered a wider variety of religious beliefs, practices, and organizations within and across democratic societies. This is true in both the United States and Europe, where growing and diverse minority communities are transforming the political landscape. As a result, controversies over such things as headscarves and depictions of Mohammed are unsettling a largely secular Europe, while a Christian majority in the United States faces familiar questions about church-state relations amid unprecedented religious diversity. Far from receding into the background, religious language pervades arguments around established issues such as abortion and capital punishment, and new ones such as stem cell research and same-sex marriage.

In Democracy and the New Religious Pluralism, leading scholars from multiple disciplines explore these dynamics and their implications for democratic theory and practice. What are the contours of this new religious pluralism? What are its implications for the theory and practice of democracy? Does increasing religious pluralism erode the cultural and social foundations of democracy? To what extent do different religious communities embrace similar-or at least compatible-ethical and political commitments? By seeking answers to these questions and revealing religious pluralism as both a source of animosity and a potent force for peaceful engagement, this book offers a revealing look at the future of religion in democratic societies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195307221
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/7/2007
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Banchoff is Associate Professor of Government and Director of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University. He is the author of The German Problem Transformed: Institutions, Politics, and Foreign Policy (1999) and co-editor of Legitimacy and the European Union: The Contested Polity (1999).

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Table of Contents

Contributors     ix
Introduction   Thomas Banchoff     3
Contours of the New Religious Pluralism
Pluralism, Protestantization, and the Voluntary Principle   Peter L. Berger     19
Uneven Secularization in the United States and Western Europe   Pippa Norris   Ronald Inglehart     31
Immigration and the New Religious Pluralism: A European Union/United States Comparison   Jose Casanova     59
The Transnational Struggle for Jewish Pluralism   Yossi Shain     85
Politicians' Perceptions of the "Muslim Problem": The Dutch Example in European Context   Sam Cherribi     133
America's Muslims: Issues of Identity, Religious Diversity, and Pluralism   John L. Esposito     133
Religious Diversity in a "Christian Nation": American Identity and American Democracy   Robert Wuthnow     151
Democratic Responses to the New Religious Pluralism
Radical Evil in Liberal Democracies: The Neglect of the Political Emotions   Martha C. Nussbaum     171
Islam and the Republic: The French Case   Daniele Hervieu-Leger     203
Pluralism, Tolerance, and Democracy: Theory and Practice in Europe   Grace Davie     223
American Religious Pluralism: Civic and Theological Discourse   Diana L.Eck     243
A Voice of One's Own: Public Faith in a Pluralistic World   Miroslav Volf     271
The End of Religious Pluralism: A Tribute to David Burrell   Stanley Hauerwas     283
Stem Cell Politics, Religious and Secular: The United States and France Compared   Thomas Banchoff     301
Index     323
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