- Series: Religious Forces in the Modern Political World
- Hardcover: 228 pages
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (January 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0847685683
- ISBN-13: 978-0847685684
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,898,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Challenge of Pluralism
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An exceptionally illuminating book...this volume is, in short, an excellent piece of scholarship and derserves a wide readership. (George Moyser Journal Of Church And State, Vol. 41, No.1, Winter 99)
A marvelous book. The authors perform the rare and difficult feat of generating a genuinely cross-national analysis, while paying strict, detailed attention to the nuances of each country. After reading this book, no one will think about church-state relations in quite the same way. This book will change the manner in which church-state relations are contested in the United States, and is required reading for anyone, at any level. (Jelen, Ted G.)
The Challenge of Pluralism is a genuine comparative study undertaken by two political scientists surveying church-state relations and it brings together a great deal of valuable historical, legal, and other information-some of it very up to date-relevant to its subject. (John T.S. Madeley West European Politics Jan 1999)
A useful comparative study... This survey can help Americans appreciate the peculiarities, both good and bad, of our church-state arrangements. (First Things Feb 1998)
“The argument of the book is not why America is right, but on the contrary, why the other democracies do it better. The methodology is comparative only after the historical evolution of church-state relationships in each society has been examined with some subtlety. It is a model of a worthwhile comparative study.” (Michael Hogan Australian Journal Of Political Science)
Monsma and Soper provide one of the most detailed and best studies of the range of church-state relations in different liberal democracies. They explode the myth of church-state separation in several countries of Europe and make a persuasive case for allowing religion greater space in the public arena than exists in America. (Gill, Anthony)
As a sourcebook, this volume is without peer. The authors have donea fine job of assembling a remarkable array of material and fashioning it into a coherent whole. The Challenge of Pluralism offers a series of well-executed portraits of five nations that attempt to harmonize the religious sentiments of their citizens with the demands of public policy. (Wald, Kenneth D. Public Policy, Vol.18, No.2, 1999)
Monsma and Soper's project opens up the possibility and vitality of constructive religion in American public life. (Tokunbo Adelekan Journal For The Social Scientific Study Of Religion)
The book concludes that state financial aid may actually encourage religious freedom by making it more widely available. Upper-division undergraduates and above. (H. Zeigler Choice, July / August 1998, Vol. 35, No. 11 / 12)
An eye-opener. (Hans-Martien ten Napel Acta Politica)
About the Author
Stephen V. Monsma is professor of political science at Pepperdine University and author of When Sacred and Secular Mix: Religious Nonprofit Organizations and Public Money (Rowman & Littlefield, 1996).
J. Christopher Soper is assistant professor of political science at Pepperdine University.
Top customer reviews
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If the book's warm cozy cover, pressing Christianity, Judaism and Islam together doesn't give you a clue, the ridiculous association of the word Secularist with atheist and agnostic should. (See title of review) Secularism and Secularists advocate the separation of church and state. The original Secularists were in fact religious, and were pleading for protection by the government from different religions. (The Danbury Baptists, for instance).
I would expect better prose from a 5th Grader, and the book is so entirely banal that I, and any literate individual living in the 21st century would also feel, insulted.
The book is in essence, a critique of secularism- stating that it is an antiquated policy that best be tossed away in order to make everyone feel yet again, pleasant happy and cozy. This however is not the nature of religion, and the Founding Fathers knew this to be the case. Religion thrives on opposition and WILL NEVER BE HAPPY until everyone is of the same mind AT WHICH POINT reformations and schisms occur, naturally creating a divide where there once was none.