Religion Returns to the Public Square: Faith and Policy in America
Despite talk of a “naked public square,&rdquot; religion has never really lost its place in American public life. As the twenty-first 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.
Religion Returns to the Public Square:Faith and Policy in America 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.
Hugh Heclo is Robinson Professor of Public Affairs at George Mason University. Wilfred M. McClay is SunTrust Chair of Excellence in the Humanities and Professor of History at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Both are former Fellows of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
A full transcript of the book launch discussion that occurred on February 28, 2003, can be found at the Pew Forum for Religion in Public Life website.