By Stephen Prothero
Promotional info/Publisher's precis - "The usa has lengthy been defined as a state of immigrants, however it is additionally a country of religions within which Muslims and Methodists, Buddhists and Baptists stay and paintings facet through aspect. This publication explores that state of religions, concentrating on how 4 lately arrived non secular communities--Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs--are shaping and, in flip, formed through American values.
For a iteration, students were documenting how the landmark laws that loosened immigration regulations in 1965 catalyzed the improvement of the us as "a country of Buddhists, Confucianists, and Taoists, in addition to Christians," as best court docket Justice Tom Clark placed it. The participants to this quantity take U.S. non secular range no longer as a proposition to be proved yet because the truism it has develop into. Essays handle now not no matter if the U.S. is a Christian or a multireligious nation--clearly, it's both--but how spiritual range is altering the general public values, rites, and associations of the kingdom and the way these values, rites, and associations are affecting religions centuries outdated but really new in the US. This dialog makes an incredible contribution to the intensifying public debate concerning the acceptable position of faith in American politics and society.
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This e-book offers a superb number of Markan midrash, going verse-by-verse via Mark and explaining its assets. Mark pulls his tales of Jesus from Isaiah and the prophets, and cost makes a very good case for Mark additionally borrowing from the writings of Paul. cost additionally issues out the impression of the battle of 70 CE upon Mark's Gospel, an issue I talk about in my ebook approximately Revelation, yet to not the intensity of this publication. it's my opinion that this "war to finish all wars" is simply too usually understated in Gospel research, and Price's research may still give a contribution to scholarship at the topic.
The book's acknowledged goal is to teach that the Gospel of Mark was once written as an allegorical examine in response to the destruction of Judea in 70 CE, the purpose of which was once to painting Judean Jews as having introduced that destruction upon themselves. during this, cost proves his aspect rather well, notwithstanding it can be positive to finish, as he does, that this can be the first goal of the Gospel. A secondary objective of Price's ebook is to teach that there's no flesh-and-blood "Jesus" underneath Mark's midrash. Of this, I got here away a section unconvinced. even though cost does spotlight the dependency of Mark upon past Christian (Pauline) writings, he doesn't take the second one step of proving that Paul, himself, was once by no means writing a few flesh-and-blood Jesus. despite the fact that, I confess I learn Price's books out of order. i believe his remedy of Mark builds upon a origin laid in Jesus: a truly Jewish delusion, which i have never but learn. So, whereas there are many different average conclusions i may draw approximately Jesus' historicity from Mark's Gospel on my own, that subject will wait until eventually i have learn extra of what rate has to say.
But regardless of the reason behind Mark's parallels to different scripture, these parallels do absolutely exist, and students are correct to ask yourself why. This book's end information a truly attention-grabbing state of affairs approximately how the Synoptic Gospels have been derived. trace: No "Q" gospel. cost touches calmly upon the prospective derivation of John's Gospel to boot, yet in this subject, he and that i are at odds: i feel he neglects facts of Johannine familiarity with Judea, in its place portraying the Fourth Gospel because the construction of an anti-Jewish Gentile, and that i imagine he overlooks proof of John's dependence upon Pauline theology. yet John's Gospel is ancillary to what expense does do rather well, and that is to put out believable origins of Synoptic thinking.
If i've got one grievance, it is that the scriptural references might be condensed. usually, i discovered myself analyzing lengthy passages in outdated testomony references the place it appeared unmarried verse or will be enough. on reflection, I notice cost desires us accustomed to the settings of those tales, in order that we will realize Mark's many allusions to passages that take care of the destruction of Jerusalem. So, i am caution you of this up entrance; if I had understood his function, i'd have paid extra awareness to the long references.
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Extra info for A Nation of Religions
There is a real possibility that 9/11 will come to be seen as a turning point in the Muslim community, as the proponents of political participation overcome the misgivings of many Muslims and the objections of the vocal minority. Increased scrutiny may spur the community to greater accommodation with the mainstream. Muslims’ involvement in politics and engagement in the noisy process of negotiating their rightful place in America are bringing into being an American Muslim community at home with the patriotic symbols and myths of other Americans.
Many North American Muslims, steeped in a modernist, rationalist, and anti-mystical Salaﬁ understanding that in many ways does not reﬂect the wide historical spectrum of Islamic thought, do not adequately appreciate 46 omid safi this point. North America has no shortage of Suﬁ leaders, of course, and many turuq (Suﬁ lineages) such as the Mevlevis, Suﬁ Order International, Ni¿matullahi, Naqshbandi, Rifa¿i-Ma¿ruﬁ, and others have a prominent presence in the wider Muslim and American society here.
Discussions that pass for ‘‘comparative religion’’ in many 48 omid safi parts of the Muslim world are in reality no more than superﬁcial polemics against other traditions. That leaves American Muslims, particularly those inclined to progressive Islam, in a bind regarding religious authority. The solution for many Muslims has been a more democratic or even Protestant approach whereby any person who undertakes a serious study of Islam has the authority to interpret the tradition. This approach appeals to many American Muslims.
A Nation of Religions by Stephen Prothero