Religion Returns to the Public Square: Faith and Policy in America

Despite talk of a naked public square , religion has never really lost its place in American public life. As the 21st century opened, it was re-emerging in unexpected and paradoxical ways. Religious institutions were considered for expanded roles in welfare and education, at the same time that the limits of religious pluralism - as, for example, in the relation of Islam to American values - became a question of urgent public concern. This text explores how and why religion has to be mixed up with American politics. Uncovering philosophical, historical, legal and social roots of this relationship, these essays go beyond hot-button issues to reflect on the current interactions and future possibilities of religion and politics in America.