By Thomas Banchoff
Spiritual pluralism is in all places in ultra-modern politics. elevated immigration flows, the cave in of communism, and the globalization of communications applied sciences have all fostered a greater diversity of non secular ideals, practices, and enterprises inside and throughout democratic societies. this is often precise in either the USA and Europe, the place growing to be and various minority groups are remodeling the political panorama. consequently, controversies over things like headscarves and depictions of Mohammed are unsettling a principally secular Europe, whereas a Christian majority within the US faces standard questions about church-state family amidst extraordinary non secular variety. faraway from receding into the historical past, non secular language pervades arguments round proven matters equivalent to abortion and capital punishment, and new ones comparable to stem phone learn and same-sex marriage. In Democracy and the hot spiritual Pluralism, best students from a number of disciplines discover those dynamics and their implications for democratic idea and perform. What are the contours of this new spiritual pluralism? What are its implications for the idea and perform of democracy? Does expanding spiritual pluralism erode the cultural and social foundations of democracy? To what quantity do various non secular groups embody related -- or not less than appropriate -- moral and political commitments? through looking solutions to those questions and revealing non secular pluralism as either a resource of animosity and a effective strength for peaceable engagement, this publication deals a revealing examine the way forward for faith in democratic societies.
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Additional info for Democracy and the New Religious Pluralism
During these decades, the main erosion occurred among American Protestants at a time when patterns of adherence were changing within that community. Many studies report that congregations for newer evangelical churches have expanded their membership at the expense of mainline Protestant denominations such as the Methodists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians, in part due to changes in the American population and also patterns of immigration from Latin America and Asia. Meanwhile, the proportion of Catholics in the population has remained fairly steady, in part due to a substantial inﬂux of Hispanic immigrants with large families.
This situation inevitably affects the behavior of religious institutions, even if their theological self-understanding is averse to such changed behavior. The clergy (using this term broadly for the ofﬁcials of religious institutions) now face a rather inconvenient fact: since their authority is no longer a social given, they must seek to reestablish it by means of persuasion. This gives a new social role to the laity. No longer a subject population, the laity becomes a community of consumers whose notions, however objectionable on theological grounds, must be seriously addressed.
We argue that feelings of vulnerability to physical, societal, and personal risks are a key factor driving religiosity, and we demonstrate that the process of secularization—a systematic erosion of religious practices, values, and beliefs—has occurred most clearly among the most prosperous social sectors living in afﬂuent and secure postindustrial nations. We believe that the importance of religiosity persists most strongly among vulnerable populations, especially those living in poorer nations, facing personal survival-threatening risks.
Democracy and the New Religious Pluralism by Thomas Banchoff