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Interfaith Encounters in America
     

Interfaith Encounters in America

by Kate McCarthy
 

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From its most cosmopolitan urban centers to the rural Midwest, the United States is experiencing a rising tide of religious interest. While terrorist attacks keep Americans fixed on an abhorrent vision of militant Islam, popular films such as The Passion of the Christ and The Da Vinci Code make blockbuster material of the origins of Christianity. The 2004

Overview


From its most cosmopolitan urban centers to the rural Midwest, the United States is experiencing a rising tide of religious interest. While terrorist attacks keep Americans fixed on an abhorrent vision of militant Islam, popular films such as The Passion of the Christ and The Da Vinci Code make blockbuster material of the origins of Christianity. The 2004 presidential election, we are told, was decided on the basis of religiously driven moral values. A majority of Americans are reported to believe that religious differences are the biggest obstacle to world peace.Beneath the superficial banter of the media and popular culture, however, are quieter conversations about what it means to be religious in America today-conversations among recent immigrants about how to adapt their practices to life in new land, conversations among young people who are finding new meaning in religions rejected by their parents, conversations among the religiously unaffiliated about eclectic new spiritualities encountered in magazines, book groups, or online. Interfaith Encounters in America takes a compelling look at these seldom acknowledged exchanges, showing how, despite their incompatibilities, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Hindu Americans, among others, are using their beliefs to commit to the values of a pluralistic society rather than to widen existing divisions.Chapters survey the intellectual exchanges among scholars of philosophy, religion, and theology about how to make sense of conflicting claims, as well as the relevance and applicability of these ideas "on the ground" where real people with different religious identities intentionally unite for shared purposes that range from national public policy initiatives to small town community interfaith groups, from couples negotiating interfaith marriages to those exploring religious issues with strangers in online interfaith discussion groups.Written in engaging and accessible prose, this book provides an important reassessment of the problems, values, and goals of contemporary religion in the United States. It is essential reading for scholars of religion, sociology, and American studies, as well as anyone who is concerned with the purported impossibility of religious pluralism.

Editorial Reviews

University of California at Santa Barbara - Wade Clark Roof
"The book offers an expanding mosaic of arenas in which interfaith contacts are now occurring, and their impact on American life—an excellent read."
Paul Tillich Chair of Theology, World Religions, and Culture, Union Theological Seminary - Paul F. Knitter
"While much has been written about the theory and method of interreligious dialogue, McCarthy offers something different: a picture, both encouraging and sobering, of what's really going on as people from different religious communities throughout the U.S. talk together and work together."
Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society
"McCarthy successfully portrays the rich diversity of religiously centered, interfaith relationships formed in communities across America."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813541358
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
03/28/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
248
File size:
702 KB

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