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Gods in AmericaReligious Pluralism in the United States$
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Charles L. Cohen and Ronald L. Numbers

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199931903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931903.001.0001

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Piety, International Politics, and Religious Pluralism in the American Experience

Piety, International Politics, and Religious Pluralism in the American Experience

Chapter:
(p.320) Chapter 14 Piety, International Politics, and Religious Pluralism in the American Experience
Source:
Gods in America
Author(s):

Paul Boyer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931903.003.0014

Religious perspectives on America's world role are deeply embedded in the nation's history. During the Cold War foreign-policy issues were often formulated and debated within frameworks of religious meaning: the United States as a redeemer nation (upholding godliness against the atheistic Soviet Union), a polity implicated in the apocalypse as predicted by biblical prophecy, or a state making immoral decisions (like conducting the Vietnam War. The Cold War's sudden end around 1990 radically reconfigured global realities, but the basic interpretive templates remained, having particular impact on policies towards Israel and radical Islam. The ways in which religion has influenced foreign policy and perceptions of America's world role has also had a mixed impact on religious pluralism within the nation. To some degree, the involvement of religious groups in foreign policy issues has advanced the pluralist goal of overcoming barriers between them, but, in other ways, it has only exacerbated divisions.

Keywords:   America's religious identity and mission, Cold War, anti-communism, premillennial dispensationalism, biblical prophecy, Vietnam War, Iraq War

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