Many People, Many Faiths, One Nation: A Primer on Religious Pluralism

We are pleased to release “Many People, Many Faiths, One Nation: A Primer on Religious Pluralism.” This short, fifteen-minute curriculum is a response to the question we frequently field: what is religious pluralism? We hope you find it useful. Feel free to share and let us know what you think.

What is Religious Pluralism and Why is it Important?

Religious pluralism is a vision of the world in which diverse religious communities and non-believers engage each other in beneficial ways, maintain their distinct identities, and thrive and defend each others’ right to thrive.

The first clause of the First Amendment encapsulates an ideal of American religious freedom amid a recognition of American religious diversity. Today, that ideal is challenged from many sides. Distrust between and about faith communities is increasing and exacerbating polarization. Hate crime rates are soaring, and targets include both minority and majority religious communities.

If diversity is merely the presence of difference, however, pluralism is the thriving engagement of it. With over 75% of Americans claiming a religious affiliation, one asset we know brings us together is the strength of our incredibly diverse faith communities. Religion can be a force for positive social change, enabling us to understand ourselves and our relationship to one another. This is not just a nice idea; it is critical to the health of our democracy. Understanding and engaging faith communities and building bridges across difference is absolutely necessary to maintaining a strong civil society and a strong democracy.

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“Religious pluralism offers us, as Americans, the opportunity to strengthen our democracy.” To have a deeper understanding of the relationship between religion and democracy, read this primer created by @AspenInstitute’s Inclusive America Project, @AspenJSP: http://bit.ly/RPprimer. #InclusiveAmerica

Though our country is becoming more religiously diverse, religion has gradually become a polarizing topic. This guide provided by @AspenInstitute’s Inclusive America Project, @AspenJSP, can help achieve a national vision of religious pluralism: http://bit.ly/RPprimer. #InclusiveAmerica

Engaging in our differences can help to build a stronger civic society. @AspenInstitute’s Inclusive America Project, @AspenJSP, created this primer on religious pluralism to help navigate religious diversity in our country: http://bit.ly/RPprimer. #InclusiveAmerica

“The strength of our civil society relies on our understanding and engaging faith communities.” This resource provided by @AspenInstitute’s Inclusive America Project, @AspenJSP, can help you better understand religious pluralism and what it means for our country. http://bit.ly/RPprimer. #InclusiveAmerica