|previous article in this issue|
Document Details :
Title: An Unsettled Frontier
Subtitle: Religious Diversity and Interfaith Encounter in America
Author(s): BRECHT, Mara
Journal: Studies in Interreligious Dialogue
Volume: 25 Issue: 2 Date: 2015
This article explores how religious traditions interact—or fail to interact—with each other in the United States in order to explain the shape and texture of religious diversity in a nation established on the free practice of religion. The introductory section surveys the landscape of multifaith America by examining historical and contemporary trends in immigration. The second section discusses the American legal system, with a focus on new challenges from growing numbers of religiously diverse communities and the accompanying increase in diverse religious expressions across the country. The legal system exposes the tension at the heart of multifaith America: Americans are committed, in principle, to the free practice of all religions, and yet a history of bias toward minority traditions remains. The final section calls for a reassessment of the 'marketplace' metaphor frequently used to describe religious diversity in America, as it encourages consumeristic and individualistic ways of thinking about religion.