Separation Anxiety: Can the American Approach to Religion Work Outside the West?

By Yehudah Mirsky

Democracy, Spring 2008

This review looks at Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America's Tradition of Religious Equality by Martha C. Nussbaum. The reviewer poses the question of whether it is possible for all people--wherever they are and whatever they have inherited--to live by the conviction that all men are created equal. The reviewer asserts that Nussbaum believes that it is possible and recounts how Nussbaum weaves the history of constitutional tradition of political and civil liberties from the twentieth century and onward while looking at the various debates that have arisen throughout this trajectory. The review explains how Nussbaum asserts that "under God," in the Pledge of Allegiance is both problematic for atheists as well as religious people who may view this as conflating God with the state. The review concludes by asserting that Nussbaum's conception of equality is attractive but questions whether it can endure in the long-term without being connected to some larger metaphysical truth especially when applied to different societies, which engage these topics in very different ways.

Topic: Theology, Policy, Religion and State, Law, Religion

Name of Publication: Democracy Journal

Page Number(s): 114-121

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Genre: Book Review

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Author

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Bibliographic Information:
Mirsky, Yehudah. Separation Anxiety: Can the American Approach to Religion Work Outside the West?. Democracy Journal. Democracy. Spring 2008: 114-121.


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