Christianity and Civil Society: The Contemporary Debate
Questions about civil society have been reopened in recent years with increasing urgency. How can we preserve and protect democracy? Is it possible to bring a moral dimension back into public life? How strong or weak do we want government to be? What can motivate us to be better, more responsibly engaged citizens? In this book, well-known author Robert Wuthnow presents an engaging and provocative exploration of the role of Christianity in civil society which, he says, applies to other U.S. religions as will. Professor Wuthnow considers three aspects of the relationship between Christianity and civil society: (1) whether civil society is in jeopardy and what effects the declining influence of Christianity has on civil society; (2) whether Christians can be civil, including an examination of the conflicts that have arisen among religious groups in the public arena and the so-called culture wars that many in the media have been discussing; and (3) the growing multiculturalism in the United States, how Christian groups are responding to the new diversity, and how Christianity can regain a critical voice for itself in these debates. Robert Wuthnow is the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor of Social Sciences and Director of the Center for the Study of American Religion at Princeton University. He is the author of fifteen books, including Learning to Care: Elementary Kindness in an Age of Indifference and God Mammon in America.
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