American Secularism

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American Secularism

American Secularism
  • Author : Joseph O. Baker,Buster G. Smith
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2015-09-25
  • Total pages :304
  • ISBN : 1479867411
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Summary : A rapidly growing number of Americans are embracing life outside the bounds of organized religion. Although America has long been viewed as a fervently religious Christian nation, survey data shows that more and more Americans are identifying as “not religious.” There are more non-religious Americans than ever before, yet social scientists have not adequately studied or typologized secularities, and the lived reality of secular individuals in America has not been astutely analyzed. American Secularism documents how changes to American society have fueled these shifts in the non-religious landscape and examines the diverse and dynamic world of secular Americans. This volume offers a theoretical framework for understanding secularisms. It explores secular Americans’ thought and practice to understand secularisms as worldviews in their own right, not just as negations of religion. Drawing on empirical data, the authors examine how people live secular lives and make meaning outside of organized religion. Joseph O. Baker and Buster G. Smith link secularities to broader issues of social power and organization, providing an empirical and cultural perspective on the secular landscape. In so doing, they demonstrate that shifts in American secularism are reflective of changes in the political meanings of “religion” in American culture. American Secularism addresses the contemporary lived reality of secular individuals, outlining forms of secular identity and showing their connection to patterns of family formation, sexuality, and politics, providing scholars of religion with a more comprehensive understanding of worldviews that do not include traditional religion. Data Analyses Appendix Instructor's Guide

Freethinkers

Freethinkers
  • Author : Susan Jacoby
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2005-01-07
  • Total pages :432
  • ISBN : 9781429934756
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Summary : An authoritative history of the vital role of secularist thinkers and activists in the United States, from a writer of "fierce intelligence and nimble, unfettered imagination" (The New York Times) At a time when the separation of church and state is under attack as never before, Freethinkers offers a powerful defense of the secularist heritage that gave Americans the first government in the world founded not on the authority of religion but on the bedrock of human reason. In impassioned, elegant prose, celebrated author Susan Jacoby paints a striking portrait of more than two hundred years of secularist activism, beginning with the fierce debate over the omission of God from the Constitution. Moving from nineteenth-century abolitionism and suffragism through the twentieth century's civil liberties, civil rights, and feminist movements, Freethinkers illuminates the neglected accomplishments of secularists who, allied with liberal and tolerant religious believers, have stood at the forefront of the battle for reforms opposed by reactionary forces in the past and today. Rich with such iconic figures as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Clarence Darrow—as well as once-famous secularists such as Robert Green Ingersoll, "the Great Agnostic"—Freethinkers restores to history generations of dedicated humanists. It is they, Jacoby shows, who have led the struggle to uphold the combination of secular government and religious liberty that is the glory of the American system.

American Secularism

American Secularism
  • Author : Joseph O. Baker,Buster G. Smith
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2015-09-25
  • Total pages :304
  • ISBN : 1479873721
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Summary : A rapidly growing number of Americans are embracing life outside the bounds of organized religion. Although America has long been viewed as a fervently religious Christian nation, survey data shows that more and more Americans are identifying as “not religious.” There are more non-religious Americans than ever before, yet social scientists have not adequately studied or typologized secularities, and the lived reality of secular individuals in America has not been astutely analyzed. American Secularism documents how changes to American society have fueled these shifts in the non-religious landscape and examines the diverse and dynamic world of secular Americans. This volume offers a theoretical framework for understanding secularisms. It explores secular Americans’ thought and practice to understand secularisms as worldviews in their own right, not just as negations of religion. Drawing on empirical data, the authors examine how people live secular lives and make meaning outside of organized religion. Joseph O. Baker and Buster G. Smith link secularities to broader issues of social power and organization, providing an empirical and cultural perspective on the secular landscape. In so doing, they demonstrate that shifts in American secularism are reflective of changes in the political meanings of “religion” in American culture. American Secularism addresses the contemporary lived reality of secular individuals, outlining forms of secular identity and showing their connection to patterns of family formation, sexuality, and politics, providing scholars of religion with a more comprehensive understanding of worldviews that do not include traditional religion. Data Analyses Appendix Instructor's Guide

Church, State, and the Crisis in American Secularism

Church, State, and the Crisis in American Secularism
  • Author : Bruce Ledewitz
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2011-06-01
  • Total pages :312
  • ISBN : 0253001366
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Summary : Since 1947, the Supreme Court has promised government neutrality toward religion, but in a nation whose motto is "In God We Trust" and which pledges allegiance to "One Nation under God," the public square is anything but neutral -- a paradox not lost on a rapidly secularizing America and a point of contention among those who identify all expressions of religion by government as threats to a free society. Yeshiva student turned secularist, Bruce Ledewitz seeks common ground for believers and nonbelievers regarding the law of church and state. He argues that allowing government to promote higher law values through the use of religious imagery would resolve the current impasse in the interpretation of the Establishment Clause. It would offer secularism an escape from its current tendency toward relativism in its dismissal of all that religion represents and encourage a deepening of the expression of meaning in the public square without compromising secular conceptions of government.

Race and Secularism in America

Race and Secularism in America
  • Author : Jonathon S. Kahn,Vincent W. Lloyd
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2016-03-01
  • Total pages :304
  • ISBN : 0231541279
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Summary : This anthology draws bold comparisons between secularist strategies to contain, privatize, and discipline religion and the treatment of racialized subjects by the American state. Specializing in history, literature, anthropology, theology, religious studies, and political theory, contributors expose secularism's prohibitive practices in all facets of American society and suggest opportunities for change.

Black Freethinkers

Black Freethinkers
  • Author : Christopher Cameron
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2019-09-15
  • Total pages :248
  • ISBN : 9780810140783
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Summary : Black Freethinkers is the first study to offer a comprehensive historical treatment of African American freethought (including atheism, agnosticism, and secular humanism) from the nineteenth century to the present.

Make Yourselves Gods

Make Yourselves Gods
  • Author : Peter Coviello
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2019-11-13
  • Total pages :304
  • ISBN : 022647447X
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Summary : From the perspective of Protestant America, nineteenth-century Mormons were the victims of a peculiar zealotry, a population deranged––socially, sexually, even racially––by the extravagances of belief they called “religion.” Make Yourselves Gods offers a counter-history of early Mormon theology and practice, tracking the Saints from their emergence as a dissident sect to their renunciation of polygamy at century’s end. Over these turbulent decades, Mormons would appear by turns as heretics, sex-radicals, refugees, anti-imperialists, colonizers, and, eventually, reluctant monogamists and enfranchised citizens. Reading Mormonism through a synthesis of religious history, political theology, native studies, and queer theory, Peter Coviello deftly crafts a new framework for imagining orthodoxy, citizenship, and the fate of the flesh in nineteenth-century America. What emerges is a story about the violence, wild beauty, and extravagant imaginative power of this era of Mormonism—an impassioned book with a keen interest in the racial history of sexuality and the unfinished business of American secularism.

Secularism in Antebellum America

Secularism in Antebellum America
  • Author : John Lardas Modern
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2011-11-11
  • Total pages :352
  • ISBN : 0226533255
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Summary : Ghosts. Railroads. Sing Sing. Sex machines. These are just a few of the phenomena that appear in John Lardas Modern’s pioneering account of religion and society in nineteenth-century America. This book uncovers surprising connections between secular ideology and the rise of technologies that opened up new ways of being religious. Exploring the eruptions of religion in New York’s penny presses, the budding fields of anthropology and phrenology, and Moby-Dick, Modern challenges the strict separation between the religious and the secular that remains integral to discussions about religion today. Modern frames his study around the dread, wonder, paranoia, and manic confidence of being haunted, arguing that experiences and explanations of enchantment fueled secularism’s emergence. The awareness of spectral energies coincided with attempts to tame the unruly fruits of secularism—in the cultivation of a spiritual self among Unitarians, for instance, or in John Murray Spear’s erotic longings for a perpetual motion machine. Combining rigorous theoretical inquiry with beguiling historical arcana, Modern unsettles long-held views of religion and the methods of narrating its past.

The Origins of American Religious Nationalism

The Origins of American Religious Nationalism
  • Author : Sam Haselby
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2016-12-01
  • Total pages :352
  • ISBN : 0190266503
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Summary : Sam Haselby offers a new and persuasive account of the role of religion in the formation of American nationality, showing how a contest within Protestantism reshaped American political culture and led to the creation of an enduring religious nationalism. Following U.S. independence, the new republic faced vital challenges, including a vast and unique continental colonization project undertaken without, in the centuries-old European senses of the terms, either "a church" or "a state." Amid this crisis, two distinct Protestant movements arose: a popular and rambunctious frontier revivalism; and a nationalist, corporate missionary movement dominated by Northeastern elites. The former heralded the birth of popular American Protestantism, while the latter marked the advent of systematic Protestant missionary activity in the West. The explosive economic and territorial growth in the early American republic, and the complexity of its political life, gave both movements opportunities for innovation and influence. This book explores the competition between them in relation to major contemporary developments-political democratization, large-scale immigration and unruly migration, fears of political disintegration, the rise of American capitalism and American slavery, and the need to nationalize the frontier. Haselby traces these developments from before the American Revolution to the rise of Andrew Jackson. His approach illuminates important changes in American history, including the decline of religious distinctions and the rise of racial ones, how and why "Indian removal" happened when it did, and with Andrew Jackson, the appearance of the first full-blown expression of American religious nationalism.

The Oxford Handbook of Secularism

The Oxford Handbook of Secularism
  • Author : Phil Zuckerman,John R. Shook
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2017-01-25
  • Total pages :760
  • ISBN : 0199988455
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Summary : As recent headlines reveal, conflicts and debates around the world more and more frequently involve secularism. National borders and traditional religions can no longer keep people in tidy boxes anymore as political struggles, doctrinal divergences, and demographic trends sweep across regionsand entire continents. Secularity is increasing in society, with a growing number of people in many regions having no religious affiliation or lacking interest in religion. Simultaneously, there is a resurgence of religious participation in the politics of many countries. How might these diversephenomena be interrelated, and better understood? The Oxford Handbook of Secularism offers a wide-ranging examination of secularism on a global scale, bringing together an international collection of views from prominent experts in a variety of fields. This volume reflects the impressive level of academic attention now given to secularism acrossthe humanities, social sciences, law and public policy, and international relations. Long-reigning theories about the pace of secularization, and ideal church-state relations, are here scrutinized by a new generation of scholars studying secularism with new questions, better data, and freshperspectives.This is the essential volume for comprehending the core issues and methodological approaches to the demographics and sociology of secularity; the history and variety of political secularisms; the comparison of constitutional secularisms across countries spanning from America to Asia; the keyproblems now convulsing church-state relations; the intersections of liberalism, multiculturalism, and religion; the latest psychological research into secular lives and lifestyles; and the naturalistic and humanistic worldviews available to nonreligious people. The Oxford Handbook of Secularismaddresses a wide breadth of interrelated issues and problems from multi-disciplinary stances, covering scholarly territory not addressed previously.

The Attack Upon the American Secular School

The Attack Upon the American Secular School
  • Author : Vivian Trow Thayer
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :1951
  • Total pages :257
  • ISBN :
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Summary :

Religious Politics and Secular States

Religious Politics and Secular States
  • Author : Scott W. Hibbard
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2010-10-15
  • Total pages :328
  • ISBN : 9780801899201
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Summary : This comparative analysis probes why conservative renderings of religious tradition in the United States, India, and Egypt remain so influential in the politics of these three ostensibly secular societies. The United States, Egypt, and India were quintessential models of secular modernity in the 1950s and 1960s. By the 1980s and 1990s, conservative Islamists challenged the Egyptian government, India witnessed a surge in Hindu nationalism, and the Christian right in the United States rose to dominate the Republican Party and large swaths of the public discourse. Using a nuanced theoretical framework that emphasizes the interaction of religion and politics, Scott W. Hibbard argues that three interrelated issues led to this state of affairs. First, as an essential part of the construction of collective identities, religion serves as a basis for social solidarity and political mobilization. Second, in providing a moral framework, religion's traditional elements make it relevant to modern political life. Third, and most significant, in manipulating religion for political gain, political elites undermined the secular consensus of the modern state that had been in place since the end of World War II. Together, these factors sparked a new era of right-wing religious populism in the three nations. Although much has been written about the resurgence of religious politics, scholars have paid less attention to the role of state actors in promoting new visions of religion and society. Religious Politics and Secular States fills this gap by situating this trend within long-standing debates over the proper role of religion in public life.

Secularism and Religion-Making

Secularism and Religion-Making
  • Author : Markus Dressler,Arvind Mandair
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2011-10-03
  • Total pages :288
  • ISBN : 0199911290
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Summary : This book conceives of "religion-making" broadly as the multiple ways in which social and cultural phenomena are configured and reconfigured within the matrix of a world-religion discourse that is historically and semantically rooted in particular Western and predominantly Christian experiences, knowledges, and institutions. It investigates how religion is universalized and certain ideas, social formations, and practices rendered "religious" are thus integrated in and subordinated to very particular - mostly liberal-secular - assumptions about the relationship between history, politics, and religion. The individual contributions, written by a new generation of scholars with decisively interdisciplinary approaches, examine the processes of translation and globalization of historically specific concepts and practices of religion - and its dialectical counterpart, the secular - into new contexts. This volume contributes to the relatively new field of thought that aspires to unravel the thoroughly intertwined relationships between religion and secularism as modern concepts.

The Muslim Community in North America

The Muslim Community in North America
  • Author : Earle H. Waugh,Baha Abu-Laban,Regula Qureshi
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :1983
  • Total pages :316
  • ISBN : 9780888640345
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Summary : Fourteen scholars examine what it is like to be a Muslim in North America today-the pressures inherent in an increasingly secular society; the need for people from radically different cultures to work together to maintain their religion; and the struggles of black Muslims to graft an indigenous North American branch onto mainline Islam.

Religion in America

Religion in America
  • Author : Denis Lacorne
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2011-08-02
  • Total pages :256
  • ISBN : 0231526407
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Summary : Denis Lacorne identifies two competing narratives defining the American identity. The first narrative, derived from the philosophy of the Enlightenment, is essentially secular. Associated with the Founding Fathers and reflected in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers, this line of reasoning is predicated on separating religion from politics to preserve political freedom from an overpowering church. Prominent thinkers such as Voltaire, Thomas Paine, and Jean-Nicolas Démeunier, who viewed the American project as a radical attempt to create a new regime free from religion and the weight of ancient history, embraced this American effort to establish a genuine "wall of separation" between church and state. The second narrative is based on the premise that religion is a fundamental part of the American identity and emphasizes the importance of the original settlement of America by New England Puritans. This alternative vision was elaborated by Whig politicians and Romantic historians in the first half of the nineteenth century. It is still shared by modern political scientists such as Samuel Huntington. These thinkers insist America possesses a core, stable "Creed" mixing Protestant and republican values. Lacorne outlines the role of religion in the making of these narratives and examines, against this backdrop, how key historians, philosophers, novelists, and intellectuals situate religion in American politics.

Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy

Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy
  • Author : Nader Hashemi
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2009-04-08
  • Total pages :310
  • ISBN : 0199886520
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Summary : Islam's relationship to liberal-democratic politics has emerged as one of the most pressing and contentious issues in international affairs. In Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy, Nader Hashemi challenges the widely held belief among social scientists that religious politics and liberal-democratic development are structurally incompatible. This book argues for a rethinking of democratic theory so that it incorporates the variable of religion in the development of liberal democracy. In the process, it proves that an indigenous theory of Muslim secularism is not only possible, but is a necessary requirement for the advancement of liberal democracy in Muslim societies.

American Religious Democracy

American Religious Democracy
  • Author : Bruce Ledewitz
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2007
  • Total pages :242
  • ISBN : 9780275994600
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Summary : The @collapse of American secular democracy -- Is religious democracy possible? -- The religious void in American political life.

Muslim American Renaissance Project

Muslim American Renaissance Project
  • Author : Dr. Souheil Ghannouchi
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2012-05-24
  • Total pages :372
  • ISBN : 1469158264
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Summary : This is more than a book; it is a manifesto. It advocates a project through which participants will launch an American renaissance movement inspired by a new, revitalized, and uniquely American expression of Islam. This book is the product of more than twenty years of extensive research and interaction with communities across America. That background preparation has given the author, Dr. Souheil Ghannouchi, a deep understanding of Islam, of history, and of the reality in which all Americans (including Muslim Americans) live. Additionally, the text benefits from Dr. Ghannouchis careful study and observation of world events, and from his comprehension of the universal rules that govern the rise and fall of both nations and movements. This volume was originally meant to be the intellectual foundation for a renaissance movement for all Americans, and it was to be aimed at reviving the American Dream and restoring Americas fundamental values based on the founding fathers vision. The idea of recruiting all Americans to the task was inspired by serious concerns about Americas current situation and future risks, and by a firm belief that America can and should be the worlds foremost champion for compassion, peace, justice, and prosperity. At the same time, the book was intended to spearhead the renaissance of the Muslim American community so that it would begin to play a meaningful role in making the needed change in America. However, even though both the entire country and, more specifically, the Muslim community are in dire need of fundamental change, it became clear to the author that the two objectives could not be adequately advocated with one publication. Thus, this book focuses mainly on Muslim Americans, and it constitutes a manifesto for a renaissance in the American Muslim community and a blueprint for our full integration into the greater American society. Stemming from the authors firm conviction that both our nation and our community are experiencing a severe crisis, this book is prompted by his grave concern for the future as well as his unshakable resolve to significantly contribute towards the fundamental change that is needed right now within our society. His concerns and his resolve are shared by other Muslim Americans who will join in launching this project. We invite all Americans to participate. Even though Islam and Muslims have been present in the U.S. in one form or another for a long time, the Muslim American community is still regarded as a newcomer. One reason is that the connections with the greater American society have been weak and complicated. The Nation of Islam, which is largely comprised of United States-born African American Muslims, is widely viewed as a Black nationalist movement rather than an Islamic phenomenon. And even though immigrant Muslims began to establish Islamic centers as early as the beginning of the 20th century and also despite the establishment of the first chapter of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) in 1963 the organized presence of orthodox Islam did not truly emerge in America until the 1970s. The real proliferation of mosques, schools, and Islamic organizations took place as recently as the 80s and 90s. Furthermore, the integration of the Muslim American community into the greater American society stalled because of some typical factors that were exacerbated by religious and political issues and by some domestic and global events. As a result, the Muslim community was plunged into a deep crisis and became, for other Americans, a puzzle and a source of major challenge, especially after the 9/11 catastrophe. A huge divide was established between the community and American society at large, and a vicious action-reaction cycle is only reinforcing the divide and widening the gap. Moreover, the attempts at healing undertaken by both sides are not really improving the situation because the efforts made are too few and too i

Children and Childhood in American Religions

Children and Childhood in American Religions
  • Author : Don S. Browning,Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2009-02-16
  • Total pages :224
  • ISBN : 9780813546957
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Summary : Whether First Communion or bar mitzvah, religious traditions play a central role in the lives of many American children. In this collection of essays, leading scholars reveal for the first time how various religions interpret, reconstruct, and mediate their traditions to help guide children and their parents in navigating the opportunities and challenges of American life. The book examines ten religions, among other topics: How the Catholic Church confronts the tension between its teachings about children and actual practic The Oglala Lakota's struggle to preserve their spiritual tradition The impact of modernity on Hinduism Only by discussing the unique challenges faced by all religions, and their followers, can we take the first step toward a greater understanding for all of us.

Rethinking Secularism

Rethinking Secularism
  • Author : Craig Calhoun,Mark Juergensmeyer,Jonathan VanAntwerpen
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2011-08-12
  • Total pages :328
  • ISBN : 0199911304
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Summary : This collection of essays presents groundbreaking work from an interdisciplinary group of leading theorists and scholars representing the fields of history, philosophy, political science, sociology, and anthropology. The volume will introduce readers to some of the most compelling new conceptual and theoretical understandings of secularism and the secular, while also examining socio-political trends involving the relationship between the religious and the secular from a variety of locations across the globe. In recent decades, the public has become increasingly aware of the important role religious commitments play in the cultural, social, and political dynamics of domestic and world affairs. This so called ''resurgence'' of religion in the public sphere has elicited a wide array of responses, including vehement opposition to the very idea that religious reasons should ever have a right to expression in public political debate. The current global landscape forces scholars to reconsider not only once predominant understandings of secularization, but also the definition and implications of secular assumptions and secularist positions. The notion that there is no singular secularism, but rather a range of multiple secularisms, is one of many emerging efforts to reconceptualize the meanings of religion and the secular. Rethinking Secularism surveys these efforts and helps to reframe discussions of religion in the social sciences by drawing attention to the central issue of how ''the secular'' is constituted and understood. It provides valuable insight into how new understandings of secularism and religion shape analytic perspectives in the social sciences, politics, and international affairs.