Bibliographic Details

America and the challenges of religious diversity / Robert Wuthnow.

Author / Creator Wuthnow, Robert, author.
Imprint Princeton, N.J. ; Oxford : Princeton University Press, 2005.
Description 1 online resource (xvii, 391 pages)
Language English
Subject Christianity and other religions -- United States.
Cultural pluralism -- United States.
Religious pluralism -- United States.
Christianisme -- Relations -- États-Unis.
Pluralisme religieux -- États-Unis.
BODY, MIND & SPIRIT -- Gaia & Earth Energies.
RELIGION -- Christianity -- General.
SOCIAL SCIENCE -- Sociology of Religion.
Cultural pluralism.
Interfaith relations.
Religious pluralism.
Religiöser Pluralismus
Godsdienstige bewegingen.
United States -- Religion.
États-Unis -- Religion.
United States.
Electronic books.
Electronic books.
Format E-Resource, Book
URL for this record
ISBN 9781400837243
Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 351-370) and index.
Summary Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and adherents of other non-Western religions have become a significant presence in the United States in recent years. Yet many Americans continue to regard the United States as a Christian society. How are we adapting to the new diversity? Do we casually announce that we "respect" the faiths of non-Christians without understanding much about those faiths? Are we willing to do the hard work required to achieve genuine religious pluralism? Award-winning author Robert Wuthnow tackles these and other difficult questions surrounding religious diversity and does so with his characteristic rigor and style. America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity looks not only at how we have adapted to diversity in the past, but at the ways rank-and-file Americans, clergy, and other community leaders are responding today. Drawing from a new national survey and hundreds of in-depth qualitative interviews, this book is the first systematic effort to assess how well the nation is meeting the current challenges of religious and cultural diversity. The results, Wuthnow argues, are both encouraging and sobering--encouraging because most Americans do recognize the right of diverse groups to worship freely, but sobering because few Americans have bothered to learn much about religions other than their own or to engage in constructive interreligious dialogue. Wuthnow contends that responses to religious diversity are fundamentally deeper than polite discussions about civil liberties and tolerance would suggest. Rather, he writes, religious diversity strikes us at the very core of our personal and national theologies. Only by understanding this important dimension of our culture will we be able to move toward a more reflective approach to religious pluralism. --Publisher.
Other form Print version: Wuthnow, Robert. America and the challenges of religious diversity. Princeton, N.J. ; Oxford : Princeton University Press, 2007 9780691134116
Review by Choice Review

Another commendable study from prolific sociologist Wuthnow (Princeton Univ.), this comprehensive assessment of US religious self-understanding demonstrates how religious diversity is challenging the privileged notion of the US as a "Christian" nation. After historically situating the country's religious identity, chapter 2 introduces Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims--the major non-Christian/Jewish religions in the US. Chapters 4-6 describe three types of Americans based on interview data: "Spiritual Shoppers," who integrate disparate religious traditions; "Inclusive Christians," who remain precariously open to other faiths while adhering to their own; and "Exclusive Christians," who uncomfortably commit to their own tradition while trying to participate in the broader society. Chapter 7 summarizes survey responses on perceptions of the US religious heritage, personal influences on religion and spirituality, familiarity with teachings of other groups, and level of contact with as well as attitudes toward other religious and ethnic minority groups. Wuthnow also addresses congregational responses to diversity and the special case of religiously mixed marriages. Since Americans believe in the right of groups to worship freely but are not motivated to learn about or interact with diverse believers, Wuthnow advocates a proactive "reflective pluralism" for creating a more hospitable national ethos. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. G. Marti Davidson College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review