Politics State

Democracy and the New Religious Pluralism by Thomas Banchoff

By Thomas Banchoff

Spiritual pluralism is all over the place in modern day politics. elevated immigration flows, the cave in of communism, and the globalization of communications applied sciences have all fostered a greater diversity of spiritual ideals, practices, and organisations inside of and throughout democratic societies. this can be actual in either the U.S. and Europe, the place starting to be and numerous minority groups are remodeling the political panorama. hence, controversies over things like headscarves and depictions of Mohammed are unsettling a mostly secular Europe, whereas a Christian majority within the US faces frequent questions on church-state kin amidst unheard of spiritual variety. faraway from receding into the historical past, non secular language pervades arguments round proven concerns resembling abortion and capital punishment, and new ones similar to stem mobile learn and same-sex marriage. In Democracy and the recent non secular Pluralism, best students from a number of disciplines discover those dynamics and their implications for democratic concept and perform. What are the contours of this new non secular pluralism? What are its implications for the speculation and perform of democracy? Does expanding non secular pluralism erode the cultural and social foundations of democracy? To what volume do diversified non secular groups include comparable -- or at the least 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 powerful strength for peaceable engagement, this e-book bargains a revealing examine the way forward for faith in democratic societies.

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Sample text

It would be mistaken, though, to conclude that any project of religious totalitarianism is impossible. pluralism, protestantization, and the voluntary principle 27 A regime willing to use ruthless and continuous repression, and indifferent to the material misery of its subjects, could yet pull such a project off. The less ambitious form of religious fundamentalism is the sectarian one. It seeks to restore taken-for-grantedness in a subculture under its control, while the rest of society is, as it were, abandoned to the enemy.

The theory claims to be a universal generalization applicable to all faiths, although the evidence to support this argument is drawn largely from the United States and Western Europe. The proliferation of diverse churches in the United States, such as Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Episcopalian mainline churches, as well as the Southern Baptist Convention, the Assemblies of God, Pentecostal, and Holiness churches among conservative denominations, is claimed to have maximized choice and competition among faiths, thereby mobilizing the American public.

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). 4. See, for example, Rodney Stark, One True God: Historical Consequences of Monotheism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003). 5. ‘‘Baptists’ Ardor for Evangelism Angers Some Jews and Hindus,’’ New York Times, Dec.

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