This important study compares and evaluates the nature of church-state relations in the United States, the Netherlands, Australia, Germany, and England. The authors conclude that the American conception of church-state separation, with its traditional emphasis on avoiding government establishment of religion, actually discriminates against religious groups by denying religious organizations, particularly schools, access to government services provided to other organizations. The authors persuasively argue that the U.S. can learn a great deal from these other nations in promoting religious neutrality and the free exercise of religion. A book in the series Religious Forces in the Modern Political World, edited by Allen D. Hertzke.
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Stephen V. Monsma is professor of political science at Pepperdine University and author of When Sacred and Secular Mix: Religious Nonprofit Organizations and Public Money (Rowman & Littlefield, 1996).
J. Christopher Soper is assistant professor of political science at Pepperdine University.
An exceptionally illuminating book...this volume is, in short, an excellent piece of scholarship and derserves a wide readership. (George Moyser Journal Of Church And State, Vol. 41, No.1, Winter 99)
A marvelous book. The authors perform the rare and difficult feat of generating a genuinely cross-national analysis, while paying strict, detailed attention to the nuances of each country. After reading this book, no one will think about church-state relations in quite the same way. This book will change the manner in which church-state relations are contested in the United States, and is required reading for anyone, at any level. (Jelen, Ted G.)
The Challenge of Pluralism is a genuine comparative study undertaken by two political scientists surveying church-state relations and it brings together a great deal of valuable historical, legal, and other information-some of it very up to date-relevant to its subject. (John T.S. Madeley West European Politics Jan 1999)
A useful comparative study... This survey can help Americans appreciate the peculiarities, both good and bad, of our church-state arrangements. (First Things Feb 1998)
“The argument of the book is not why America is right, but on the contrary, why the other democracies do it better. The methodology is comparative only after the historical evolution of church-state relationships in each society has been examined with some subtlety. It is a model of a worthwhile comparative study.” (Michael Hogan Australian Journal Of Political Science)
Monsma and Soper provide one of the most detailed and best studies of the range of church-state relations in different liberal democracies. They explode the myth of church-state separation in several countries of Europe and make a persuasive case for allowing religion greater space in the public arena than exists in America. (Gill, Anthony)
As a sourcebook, this volume is without peer. The authors have donea fine job of assembling a remarkable array of material and fashioning it into a coherent whole. The Challenge of Pluralism offers a series of well-executed portraits of five nations that attempt to harmonize the religious sentiments of their citizens with the demands of public policy. (Wald, Kenneth D. Public Policy, Vol.18, No.2, 1999)
Monsma and Soper's project opens up the possibility and vitality of constructive religion in American public life. (Tokunbo Adelekan Journal For The Social Scientific Study Of Religion)
The book concludes that state financial aid may actually encourage religious freedom by making it more widely available. Upper-division undergraduates and above. (H. Zeigler Choice, July / August 1998, Vol. 35, No. 11 / 12)
An eye-opener. (Hans-Martien ten Napel Acta Politica)
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Book Description U.S.A.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. No Jacket. Small remainder mark at bottom, else near-new. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-1474186902017