Editorial: Rabbi Considers Contemporary Discussion on Religious Pluralism

July 6, 2004

Source: The Indianapolis Star


On July 6, 2004 The Indianapolis Star reported, "When the sociologist Will Herberg wrote a seminal book in 1955 titled 'Protestant, Catholic and Jew,' he was reflecting on what he saw were the primary religious affiliations in the United States. He wrote of ethnic divisions fading against a backdrop of three primary faith expressions that made up the American landscape. That landscape has changed significantly since his writing. We can no longer claim to be merely a 'Christian' or even a 'Judeo-Christian' country. We are a country of Christians and Jews, but also Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Hindus, among the many religious groups who have made a home in America. Diana Eck in her book 'A New Religious America' affirms that the United States is the most religiously diverse nation in the world. Religious freedom and the separation of church and state enshrined in our Bill of Rights helped to ensure that we would also be the 'most religious' nation in the world. Even as our country is home to more religions and is 'more religious' than other nations, we have still to decide what the reality of this diversity will mean for America."