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How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom

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How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Berlinerblau mounts a careful, judicious, and compelling argument that America needs more secularists—not only among nonbelievers but among believers as well. It will change the way we think and talk about religious freedom.” —Randall Balmer, author of Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts Faith and Threatens America

Weary of religious conservatives urging “defense of marriage” and atheist polemicists decrying the crimes of religion? Sick of pundits who want only to recast American life in their own image? Americans are stuck in an all-or-nothing landscape for religion in public life. What are reasonable citizens to do?

Seen as godless by the religious and weak by the atheists, secularism mostly has been misunderstood. In How to Be Secular, Berlinerblau argues for a return to America’s hard-won secular tradition; the best way to protect religious diversity and freedom lies in keeping an eye on the encroachment of each into the other.

Berlinerblau passionately defends the virtues of secularism, reminds us what it is and what it can protect, and urges us to mobilize around its cause, which is for all Americans to continue to enjoy freedom for—and from—religion. This is an urgent wake-up call for progressives in and out of all faiths.

Synopsis:

Equally tired of faith tests for politicians and atheist polemics about the crimes of religion? In HOW TO BE SECULAR, Jacques Berlinerblau issues a rousing defense of America's secular roots as our nation's best way of protecting religious freedom for all

About the Author

Jacques Berlinerblau, professor at Georgetown University and director of the Program for Jewish Civilization, is the author of four books. He has appeared on radio, television, and print, including NPR, CNN, Al-Jazeera, The Economist, The Jerusalem Post, U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post. He is the host of the webcast "Faith Complex," which appears on The Huffington Post and elsewhere.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Introduction: Is Secularism Dead? xv

What Secularism Is and Isnt

What Is Secularism? (The Basic Package) 3

Were the Founders Secular? 20

Does Secularism Equal Total Separation of Church and State? 35

Does Secularism Equal Atheism? 53

How Not to Be Secular 69

The Very Peculiar “Rise” and Fall of American Secularism

The Rise of American Secularism and the “Secularish” 85

The Fall of American Secularism 103

Are Democrats Secularists? 120

The Christian Nation and the GOP 137

Reviving American Secularism

Who Could Be a Secularist? 155

How to Be Secularish (In Praise of “Secular Jews” and “Cafeteria Catholics”) 171

Tough Love for American Secularism 190

Acknowledgments 211

Notes 212

Index 289

Product Details

ISBN:
9780547518282
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Subject:
Political Science : Political Ideologies - General
Author:
Berlinerblau, Jacques
Subject:
Philosophy : Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Subject:
Religion : General
Publication Date:
September 2012
Binding:
eBooks
Language:
English
Pages:
224

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » General
Humanities » Philosophy » Ethics
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Western Religions » Social and Political Issues

How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom
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Product details 224 pages Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - English 9780547518282 Reviews:
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Equally tired of faith tests for politicians and atheist polemics about the crimes of religion? In HOW TO BE SECULAR, Jacques Berlinerblau issues a rousing defense of America's secular roots as our nation's best way of protecting religious freedom for all
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