By Stephen Prothero
Promotional info/Publisher's precis - "The usa has lengthy been defined as a kingdom of immigrants, however it is usually a state of religions within which Muslims and Methodists, Buddhists and Baptists dwell and paintings facet by way of aspect. This e-book explores that kingdom of religions, concentrating on how 4 lately arrived spiritual communities--Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs--are shaping and, in flip, formed via American values.
For a new release, students were documenting how the landmark laws that loosened immigration regulations in 1965 catalyzed the advance of the us as "a country of Buddhists, Confucianists, and Taoists, in addition to Christians," as ultimate court docket Justice Tom Clark placed it. The participants 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 even if the USA is a Christian or a multireligious nation--clearly, it truly is both--but how non secular variety is altering the general public values, rites, and associations of the kingdom and the way these values, rites, and associations are affecting religions centuries previous but fairly new in the United States. This dialog makes a major contribution to the intensifying public debate in regards to the acceptable function of faith in American politics and society.
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Additional resources for A Nation of Religions
I will come back to a fuller discussion of these broad commitments at the end of this essay. ’’ Progressive Muslims are found everywhere in the global Muslim umma. When it comes to implementing a progressive understanding of Islam in Muslim communities, groups in Iran, Malaysia, and South Africa lead the United States. Many American Muslim communities —and much of the leadership represented in groups such as the Islamic Circle of North America,∏ the Islamic Society of North America,π and the Council on 44 omid safi American-Islamic Relations∫ —are far too uncritical of Salaﬁ and Wahhabi tendencies that progressives oppose.
The other argument, propounded by Muslim intellectual Robert Crane, is that Islam is more in line with the Founding Fathers’ vision than are its present-day secular interpreters. If Muslims join forces with other like38 ihsan bagby minded traditionalists, Crane believes, America can be saved from those who would subvert its spiritual foundations: ‘‘To be the best Muslim is to be a good American, and to be the best American is to be Islamic. This should be the identity of American Muslims. ’’∞Ω Such thinking, similar to that of fundamentalist Christians who claim ancestors among the nation’s founders while decrying today’s politics and culture, would make the Islamic and American identities inseparable.
Whereas these institutions once attracted the community’s brightest minds, today they are often a refuge for those who have been unable to achieve admission to more lucrative medicine, engineering, and computer science programs. This is not meant as an indictment of all those who enroll in madrassas, of course, and western media have made far too much recently about madrassas as havens for terrorism. S. has many compassionate and pluralistic imams who for decades have led wonderful interfaith discussions.
A Nation of Religions by Stephen Prothero