After Pluralism: Reimagining Religious Engagement

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Courtney Bender, Pamela E. Klassen
Columbia University Press, May 11, 2012 - Religion - 416 pages
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The contributors to this volume treat pluralism as a concept that is historically and ideologically produced or, put another way, as a doctrine that is embedded within a range of political, civic, and cultural institutions. Their critique considers how religious difference is framed as a problem that only pluralism can solve. Working comparatively across nations and disciplines, the essays in After Pluralism explore pluralism as a "term of art" that sets the norms of identity and the parameters of exchange, encounter, and conflict. Contributors locate pluralism's ideals in diverse sites—Broadway plays, Polish Holocaust memorials, Egyptian dream interpretations, German jails, and legal theories—and demonstrate its shaping of political and social interaction in surprising and powerful ways. Throughout, they question assumptions underlying pluralism's discourse and its influence on the legal decisions that shape modern religious practice. Contributors do more than deconstruct this theory; they tackle what comes next. Having established the genealogy and effects of pluralism, they generate new questions for engaging the collective worlds and multiple registers in which religion operates.

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introduction Habits of Pluralism
Part I Law Normativity and the Constitution of Religion
Part II Performing Religion After Pluralism
Part III The Ghosts of Pluralism
selected bibliography

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About the author (2012)

Courtney Bender is associate professor of religion at Columbia University and the author of The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination.

Pamela E. Klassen is associate professor of religion at the University of Toronto and the author of Healing Christians: Medicine, Modernity, and the Spirits of Protestantism.

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