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The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotionby Stephen L. Carter
Synopses & Reviews
The Culture Of Disbelief has been the subject of an enormous amount of media attention from the first moment it was published. Hugely successful in hardcover, the Anchor paperback is sure to find a large audience as the ever-increasing, enduring debate about the relationship of church and state in America continues.
In The Culture Of Disbelief, Stephen Carter explains how we can preserve the vital separation of church and state while embracing rather than trivializing the faith of millions of citizens or treating religious believers with disdain. What makes Carter's work so intriguing is that he uses liberal means to arrive at what are often considered conservative ends. Explaining how preserving a special role for religious communities can strengthen our democracy, The Culture Of Disbelief recovers the long tradition of liberal religious witness (for example, the antislavery, antisegregation, and Vietnam-era antiwar movements). Carter argues that the problem with the 1992 Republican convention was not the fact of open religious advocacy, but the political positions being advocated.
"A provocative summons to rethink the role of religion in American law, politics and culture." Newsweek
Weandrsquo;ve all seen the images from Abu Ghraib: stress positions, US soldiers kneeling on the heads of prisoners, and dehumanizing pyramids formed from black-hooded bodies. We have watched officials elected to our highest offices defend enhanced interrogation in terms of efficacy and justify drone strikes in terms of retribution and deterrence. But the mainstream secular media rarely addresses the morality of these choices, leaving us to ask individually: Is this right?
In this singular examination of the American discourse over war and torture, Douglas V. Porpora, Alexander Nikolaev, Julia Hagemann May, and Alexander Jenkins investigate the opinion pages of American newspapers, television commentary, and online discussion groups to offer the first empirical study of the national conversation about the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the revelations of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib a year later. Post-Ethical Society is not just another shot fired in the ongoing culture war between conservatives and liberals, but a pensive and ethically engaged reflection of Americaandrsquo;s feelings about itself and our actions as a nation. And while many writers and commentators have opined about our moral place in the world, the vast amount of empirical data amassed in Post-Ethical Society sets it apartandmdash;and makes its findings that much more damning.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
About the Author
Douglas V. Porpora is professor of sociology in the Department of Culture and Communication at Drexel University. His books include How Holocausts Happen: The U.S. in Central America and Landscapes of the Soul: The Loss of Moral Meaning in American Life.
Alexander Nikolaev is associate professor of communication at Drexel University. He is the author of International Negotiations: Theory, Practice, and the Connection with Domestic Politics and coeditor of Leading to the 2003 Iraq War: The Global Media Debate and Ethical Issues in International Communication.
Julia Hagemann May is a doctoral candidate at Drexel University.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Do We Need Religion?
1and#160;and#160;and#160; Prudential and Moral Argumentation about the Iraq War
2and#160;and#160;and#160; Setting the Context: President Bushand#8217;s Prewar Rhetoric on Iraq
3and#160;and#160;and#160; The Multiply Muted Opposition of the Press
4and#160;and#160;and#160; Abu Ghraib and Torture: Whither Dostoyevsky?
5and#160;and#160;and#160; How Television Debated the Attack on Iraq
6and#160;and#160;and#160; The Online Debate about Iraq and Abu Ghraib
7and#160;and#160;and#160; Congress: Gone Fishing
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