The Middle Atlantic region's religious diversity began in the 17th century and continues today. European religious minorities recognized the need to tolerate other faiths if they themselves were to be tolerated. From Quaker Pennsylvania to English Catholic Maryland to New York with no state religion, the Middle Atlantic colonies inspired the framers of the Constitution to keep a wall of separation between religion and government. But the religious diversity of the region is tempered by the many religious institutions that have centers in the area, especially in Washington, DC and New York City. The diversity here is due less to fluid identities and emerging religions than to many established religious institutions recognizing and tolerating each other. Protestant, Catholic and Jewish traditions function alongside each other here and they make room for the religions of new immigrants.
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Meet the Author
Randall Balmer is professor of American religious history at Barnard College, Columbia University. He is the author of 10 books including Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America, which was made into a three-part PBS series. Mark Silk is associate professor of religion in public life and founding director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College.
Chapter 1 Introduction: The Proving Ground for Pluralism Chapter 2 The Religious Diversity of an Immigrant Region Chapter 3 Protestants in the Middle Atlantic Region Chapter 4 Catholicism in the Middle Atlantic Chapter 5 Jews-Middle Atlantic and Beyond Chapter 6 Religions of Immigrants in the Middle Atlantic States Chapter 7 Conclusion: The Pluralist Imperative