5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Profound Analysis of the Differences Between America & Europe,
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This review is from: Religious America, Secular Europe?: A Theme and Variations (Paperback)
Here is one of the most fascinating books I have read in quite a while. As an American having spent almost thirty years of my life in Europe, this book has caused me to think again about the prevalent religiosity of the US and the prevalent secularity of Europe.
The book seeks to answer to question, "Why is America so religious and Europe so secular?" After an introductory chapter, the second chapter touches on the question in a general way by discussing what is different and what is similar. Then chapters three to six deal with the causes for the differences. They are: 1) different histories, 2) different intellectual approaches; 3) what is called "institutional carriers" namely church-state, judicial and educational carriers and their influence; and 4) differences in religion and class.
The final chapter entitled "So What? Policy Implications" moves the analysis of the difference into the arena of practicality.
This book has made a profound difference in my thinking about the differences between the US and Europe in the domain of religion and has both answered some of my questions and at the same time has given me more to think through. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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