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Religions 2017, 8(9), 169; doi:10.3390/rel8090169

Diversity vs. Pluralism: Reflections on the Current Situation in the United States

Department of Sociology & Anthropology, University of Redlands, 1200 Colton Avenue, Redlands, CA 92373, USA
Received: 5 August 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Diversity in a Pluralistic Society)
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Abstract

The United States has considerable religious and ethnic diversity; it has not always embraced pluralism. Known as “a nation of immigrants”, religion has often been seen as a way to integrate newcomers into its national project. That may have worked for European immigrants, who could become ‘White’; it has not worked so well for other ethnic migrants, who could not. The result is a diverse intersectionality that as the present moment is a source of significant religious, ethnic, and political division. Are calls for a vaguely defined “pluralism” enough? No, because deeper social factors are at work. These include increasing economic inequality, a complex split between socio-economic elites and the rest of the population, and shifts in the nature of the religious field. The latter include increased religious individualism, individually oriented prosperity theology, and a sectarian turn among American Evangelicals. Such factors make any simple call for pluralist engagement at best naïve. It is an open question whether or how social unity might be sufficiently reforged. View Full-Text
Keywords: diversity; pluralism; immigration; race; inequality; global economy; United States; civil religion diversity; pluralism; immigration; race; inequality; global economy; United States; civil religion
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Spickard, J.V. Diversity vs. Pluralism: Reflections on the Current Situation in the United States. Religions 2017, 8, 169.

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