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A Nation of Religions


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About the Author

Stephen Prothero is professor of religion at Boston University and author or editor of six books, including American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon.


Prothero, author of the critically acclaimed American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon, edits this uncoordinated exploration of how various religions outside the Judeo-Christian umbrella have been affected by the American political process. Chapters focus on how Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims are becoming more politically involved, seeking recognition of their holidays and espousing their values in the public square. Although American Muslims appear to be the most politically involved of the surveyed groups, the chapters on them are weak, citing outdated statistics. The other chapters on Buddhists and religious-themed legal challenges are accurate but sometimes densely academic. Although the essays are uneven, Prothero is to be admired for tackling this topic, as members of these religions are sometimes wrongly regarded as politically invisible. The brightest light is the edifying section on Hindus and Sikhs: Syracuse University professor Prema Kurien explains how the American Hindu community envies the attention American Muslims have received since 9/11, and UC-Santa Barbara professor Gurinder Singh Mann writes a fascinating capsule history of Sikhs in America. (Oct. 30) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Enlarges the scholarly conversation about American religious pluralism and points to the importance of conducting that conversation across disciplines. . . . Extremely valuable and suggestive of additional future projects that place such comparisons at their center."
-- "American Journal of Sociology"

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