Religion & Public Life
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Religion and Public Life

Articles by Bruce T. Murray

Religion and society

Religiosity in America

The United States combines high religiosity with political civility, but not without pitfalls.

Understanding People of Faith

Public intellectual Rowland A. Sherrill offers pointers for understanding the “religious creature.”

With ‘God on our side?’

Rowland A. Sherrill explores the contours of civil religion in America.

Religion and politics

Religion, politics and the Christian right

The era of the religious right is on the wane, but religion still matters in American politics. A discussion by Trinity College's Mark Silk at a conference sponsored by the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion and Public Life at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Religion and region in the United States

Americans' views toward religion vary considerably throughout the different regions of the United States. This discussion provides an overview of America's religious landscape, focusing particularly on the West Coast. Mark Silk of Trinity College and Wade Clark Roof of UCSB lead off the discussion.

The black church in America

Dual streams of African-American religion

R. Drew Smith of Morehouse College discusses the activist and spiritual dimensions of the black church in America.

Foundations of the Black Church

A primer on the African-American church tradition

The Hispanic church

Demographic Shifts and Trends

Latin Americans are strongly associated with Catholicism, but almost one quarter of all Latinos in the United States are Protestants. Gastón Espinosa of Claremont McKenna College explores religious trends and demographics among Latinos.

World religions

Understanding ‘The Big Three’

Judaism, Christianity and Islam arose in an age of transcendence. Boston University Professor Adam Seligman provides an overview.

A ‘moody’ God

Author Robert Wright takes a look at the many facets of God, and correlates the tone of scripture with “events on the ground.” Summary of a presentation June 10, 2009 at the Zócalo forum.

‘Clash of civilizations’

What is the West’s Problem with Islam?

Author Christopher Caldwell takes on the "clash of civilizations," Nov. 19, 2008 at the Zócalo forum.

The challenge of religious diversity

First Amendment Center Senior Scholar Charles Haynes discusses solutions to the challenge of religious diversity.

Integration for Europe

Steven Simon of the Council on Foreign Relations offers policy solutions for Europe's immigration-integration challenges.

Beyond the clash of civilizations

Boston University Professor Adam Seligman explains why internal conflicts within societies can be even more dangerous than international conflicts and the so-called “clash of civilizations.”

Iran and the clash within civilizations

The deadly street demonstrations during the summer of 2009 highlight the concept of “clash within civilization” — a turnaround of the much-bandied phrase, “clash of civilizations.”

Religion and terrorism

Making sense of fundamentalists
Professor Richard Antoun outlines the origins and characteristics of fundamentalism.
‘Terror in the Mind of God’

University of California, Santa Barbara Professor Mark Juergensmeyer interviews religious militants around the world and offers insight into their thinking.

Inside the Global Jihad

Steven Simon of the Council on Foreign Relations explains why Osama bin Laden's words have currency in the Islamic world – with extremists and ordinary Muslims alike.

Homeland Defense in America’s heartland

Experts assess the threats to America’s infrastructure and food supply; and Abraham Sofaer reviews the evolution of the response to terrorism — from criminal law enforcement to national security threat.

Religious liberty and the First Amendment

An archive of content on the First Amendment. Articles include the Historical Basis for the First Amendment, Faith and Conscience in America, Religion and Public Schools, and the First Amendment defined.