By Diana L. Eck
Why realizing America's non secular panorama Is an important problem dealing with Us this day The Nineties observed the U.S. military fee its first Muslim chaplain and open its first mosque.There are almost immediately greater than 300 temples in l. a., domestic to the best number of Buddhists within the world.There are extra American Muslims than there are American Episcopalians, Jews, or Presbyterians.
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Additional info for A New Religious America: How a ''Christian Country'' Has Become the World's Most Religiously Diverse Nation
I might sing “Give me that old-time religion! ” with as much gusto as anyone, but in my heart I know that the old-time religion is not “good enough” unless those of us who claim it are able to grapple honestly and faithfully with the new questions, challenges, and knowledge posed to us by the vibrant world of many living faiths. To be good enough, the old-time religion has to be up to the challenges of an intricately interdependent world. Theological questions and civic questions are different, however.
It is not surprising, therefore, that today’s incidents of hate crimes and xenophobia are also often aimed at religious markers of identity—mosques or temples, people in distinctive garb. ” Religious difference often signals whatever difference we most deeply fear. Of course there are strong secularizing currents among new immigrants as well. S. from traditional Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist societies breathe a sigh of relief, cherishing not only the freedom to practice religion but also the freedom not to, the freedom to be secular in their life and thought.
Didn’t these also belong in a course on American religion? Other colleagues were on the front lines of the developing fields of multicultural studies or ethnic studies. Reading their works, I was astonished to find a strong normative, ideological secularism that seemed studiously to avoid thinking about religion at all. For them, the religious traditions of America’s ethnic minorities were simply not on the screen. Their lively discussions of Asian immigrants, for example, proceeded as if Asian Americans had no religious lives, built no religious institutions, gathered in no religious communities.