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The Power of Pluralist Thinking

The Power of Pluralist Thinking

Chapter:
(p.66) Chapter Five The Power of Pluralist Thinking
Source:
Politics of Religious Freedom
Author(s):
Courtney Bender
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226248646.003.0007

This essay illustrates the politics of American religious pluralism in the half-century of US history. American religious sociologists have moved from an understanding of religious pluralism as having a secularizing effect tending to produce a common civic faith to an understanding of religious pluralism founded on a market model as vitalizing religion. Both understandings affirm and underwrite an American exceptionalism that regards the United States as uniquely free in matters of religion.

Keywords:   separation of church and state, pluralism, United States, neoliberalism, secularism, free market model of religion

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