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US Law and Religion Today

US Law and Religion Today

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction US Law and Religion Today
Source:
A Ministry of Presence
Author(s):
Winnifred Fallers Sullivan
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226145594.003.0001

This chapter introduces the reader to the chaplain as exemplar of the contemporary US accommodation between law and religion, ministering to a citizen understood to be in need of spiritual care. The chaplain, a medieval office with a postmodern mission, is situated at the intersection between spirituality as a religious/cultural formation and a new legal anthropology of religion. On the one hand, spirituality is coming to denote a religious universalism that transcends religious diversity. On the other, spirituality as an abstraction of religion solves constitutional concerns with establishment and enables government promotion and support.

Keywords:   chaplain, legal anthropology, establishment, spirituality

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