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Religious Systems - Essay Example

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Summary
The extent to which religion creates enmity or solidarity among individuals or between groups of individuals in the society has been extensively studied by different scholars…
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Religious Systems

Download file to see previous pages... The authors explore how religious landscape of America has altered over time and also dig deep into the causes of these alterations in the present American society. It is undisputed that the United States’ peaceful coexistence between individuals of different religions is built on the harmony among individuals of different faiths who do not question the role of any particular religion in America (Putnam & Campbell, 2012). In recent periods, many Christians have questioned the morality and the role of Islamic religion, not only in America, but in other Christian dominated countries around the world in the wake of series of terrorist attacks. These attacks have been majorly associated with the Islamic religion shaking the peaceful coexistence between religions that has long defined happiness and peaceful living. Putnam and Campbell focus on the past fifty years in examining how religion can divide and unite people. As the authors explain, in early centuries, intermarriages between individuals of different denomination were nothing more than a fairy tale. The practice was unwelcome, particularly in Protestant and Catholic denominations. However, in recent periods, the Catholics and Protestants in the United States feel like they all belong to one camp. Putnam and Campbell argue that by 2000s, the denomination in which an individual belonged bore no significance, but how religious a person is had gained great importance as a diving line in politics (Putnam & Campbell, 2012). However, this argument evokes one big question that underlies the present disharmony in peaceful religious coexistence. Everyone would ask why Muslims do not form part of the claimed unified religious family that fits Putnam and Campbell’s description. According to Putnam and Campbell, America’s religious diversity has never entailed extensive religious intolerance. As they explain, coexistence has been ensured through willingness of believers to bend fundamental doctrines so as to foster interfaith amity (Putnam & Campbell, 2012). Most Christians have a conviction that everybody, including non-Christians, can find their way into heaven. In this manner, it is apparent that Christians are bending a crucial doctrine that underlies their religion that no one can ever go to heaven without going through God’s son, Jesus Christ. Putnam and Campbell explain the Americans have become more tolerant because they have on average two friends with different religious backgrounds. In their survey in 2007, Putnam and Campbell ascertained that similar to the evangelicals, the mainstream Protestants, perceived Muslims to be worse than Buddhists. On the other hand, black Protestants perceived Muslims in a more positive way than they did with Buddhists (Putnam & Campbell, 2012). In the latter observation, the result could be attributed to the fact that black Christians are more familiar with their black Muslims counterparts. The authors proceed to explain this scenario by exploring social theory in which they point out factors such as mutual goals as possible causes of familiarity resulting into strong cohesion among individuals of different faiths. Assessing Michael Emerson and Christian Smith's Divided by Faith: Evangelical ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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