"Building on his prowess as an interfaith pioneer in American colleges, Patel offers a vision of pluralism that aims to guard against religious preference and particularism, advances everyday ethics, and invites Americans of many religious persuasions into civic participation. . . . Readers will be rewarded with Patel’s rich perspective on religious diversity in America as he champions the strength of its civic identity and the possibility of religious pluralism in the years to come."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
Out of Many Faiths
Religious Diversity and the American Promise
A timely defense of religious diversity and its centrality to American identity
America is the most religiously devout country in the Western world and the most religiously diverse nation on the planet. In today’s volatile climate of religious conflict, prejudice, and distrust, how do we affirm the principle that the American promise is deeply intertwined with how each of us engages with people of different faiths and beliefs? Eboo Patel, former faith adviser to Barack Obama and named one of America’s best leaders by U.S. News & World Report, provides answers to this timely and consequential question.
In this inspiring and thought-provoking book, Patel draws on his personal experience as a Muslim in America to examine broader questions about the importance of religious diversity in the cultural, political, and economic life of the nation. He explores how religious language has given the United States some of its most enduring symbols and inspired many of its most vital civic institutions—and demonstrates how the genius of the American experiment lies in its empowerment of people of all creeds, ethnicities, and convictions.
Will America’s identity as a Judeo-Christian nation shift as citizens of different backgrounds grow in numbers and influence? In what ways will minority religious communities themselves change as they take root in American soil? In addressing these and other questions, Patel shows how America’s promise is the guarantee of equal rights and dignity for all, and how that promise is the foundation of America’s unrivaled strength as a nation. The book also includes incisive commentaries by John Inazu, Robert Jones, and Laurie Patton on American civil religion, faith and law, and the increasing number of nonreligious Americans.
Eboo Patel is founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, a nonprofit organization that promotes interfaith leadership on college campuses. He is the author of Interfaith Leadership: A Primer; Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America; and Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation. He lives in Chicago.