Journal Article

Painting Landscapes of Religion in America: Four Models of Religion in Democracy

Mark S. Cladis

in Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Published on behalf of American Academy of Religion

Volume 76, issue 4, pages 874-904
Published in print December 2008 | ISSN: 0002-7189
Published online December 2008 | e-ISSN: 1477-4585 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jaarel/lfn088
Painting Landscapes of Religion in America: Four Models of Religion in Democracy

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This article explores the role and place of religion in contemporary democratic societies, particularly in American public life. Four models are proposed for thinking about religion in public: (1) Religion over the Public Landscape (in which religion is necessary for the health of public and political life); (2) Religion Banned from the Public Landscape (in which religion is kept mostly out of public and political life); (3) Public Landscape as Religious Space (in which the health of the republic depends on a shared, civil religion); and (4) Public Landscape as Varied Topography (in which religion is not initially treated as a special case, but rather is treated like any other more or less comprehensive view that may offer a voice in public and political debate). I champion this final model and argue that the risk of allowing religion in public and political exchange is not as great as the promise of inviting it in.

Journal Article.  12264 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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