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By Thomas Banchoff

Non secular pluralism is in every single place in latest politics. elevated immigration flows, the cave in of communism, and the globalization of communications applied sciences have all fostered a greater variety of non secular ideals, practices, and enterprises inside of and throughout democratic societies. this is often actual in either the us and Europe, the place turning out to be and numerous minority groups are remodeling the political panorama. consequently, controversies over things like headscarves and depictions of Mohammed are unsettling a principally secular Europe, whereas a Christian majority within the US faces favourite questions on church-state family amidst remarkable spiritual range. faraway from receding into the heritage, non secular language pervades arguments round confirmed concerns akin to abortion and capital punishment, and new ones resembling stem mobilephone learn and same-sex marriage. In Democracy and the recent non secular Pluralism, major students from a number of disciplines discover those dynamics and their implications for democratic idea and perform. What are the contours of this new non secular pluralism? What are its implications for the idea and perform of democracy? Does expanding spiritual pluralism erode the cultural and social foundations of democracy? To what quantity do varied non secular groups embody comparable -- or no less than suitable -- moral and political commitments? by way of looking solutions to those questions and revealing spiritual pluralism as either a resource of animosity and a effective strength for peaceable engagement, this booklet bargains a revealing examine the way forward for faith in democratic societies.

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Eck, A New Religious America: How a ‘‘Christian Country’’ Has Become the World’s Most Religiously Diverse Nation (New York: Harper, 2001). 2. David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001). See also Harvey Cox, Fire from Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Religion in the 21st Century (Cambridge, MA: Da Capo, 2001). 3. Peter L. , The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics (Washington, DC: Ethics and Public Policy Center/Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999).

At the other extreme, the most secular nations include France, Denmark, and Britain. There is a fairly similar pattern across both indicators of religious behavior—attendance at religious services and prayer—suggesting that both collective and individual forms of participation are fairly consistent in each society. Although religion in the United States is distinctive among rich nations, it would still be misleading to refer to American ‘‘exceptionalism,’’ as so many emphasize, as though it were a deviant case from all other postindustrial nations.

It also occurs in the most militantly conservative groups, for there too individuals have chosen to be militantly conservative. In other words, there is a mountain of difference between traditional and neotraditional religion. Psychologically, the former can be very relaxed and tolerant; the latter is necessarily tense and has at least an inclination toward intolerance. Needless to say, these developments are not unique to religion. They affect all cognitive and normative definitions of reality and their behavioral consequences.

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