As subsequent chapters will make clear, religious pluralism is a significant aspect of life in a number of societies in the modern world. In fact, there are very few societies today where religious pluralism is not present to some degree, and where it is present, it is frequently a source of perplexing social and political problems.


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  1. 1.
    Those who have lingering doubts about the propriety of defining religion in the inclusive sense, might note that theists and atheists alike have found it meaningful and profitable. For example, Christ warned His listeners that they could not serve two masters, both God and mammon (Matthew 6 : 24), indicating His belief that the two were in part functional equivalents. Much more recently, the young and insightful Soviet poet, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, has compared Communism to Christianity, emphasizing their functional similarities, and ending by referring to Communism as “my religion” (see A Precocious Autobiography).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Joachim Wach, The Sociology of Religion (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1944), Chapters 4 and 5.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ruth Benedict, Patterns of Culture (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1934), Chapter 4.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    For a good recent summary of the literature on this subject see William H. McNeill, The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1963), Chapter z.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    See, for example, the chapter by John Gulick in this volume. specially Section IIIGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Max Weber, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (Tübingen: Mohr, 1925, 2nd edition), pp. 267–296. (Stände, Klassen und Religion) or The Sociology of Religion, trans. by E. Fischoff (Boston: Beacon, 1963), Chapters 6–8; Wach, op. cit., Chapter 6.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    H. Richard Niebuhr, Social Sources of Denominationalism (New York: Holt, 1929), Chapters 2 and 3; Max Weber, Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie (Tübingen: Mohr, 192o-21), vol. II, pp. 202–250, The Religion of India, translated by H. Gerth and Don Martindale (Glencoe: Free Press, 1958), Chapter 6.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (London: Methuen, 1896), vol. I, p. 28.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    For a good short discussion of this subject, see Robert A. Dahl and Charles E. Lindblom, Politics, Economics, and Welfare (New York: Harper, 1953), pp. 106–109 or Harold D. Lasswell and Abraham Kaplan, Power and Society (New Haven: Yale, 1950), pp, 139–141.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Quoted from The New York Times by Will Herberg in his book, ProtestantCatholic-Jew (Garden City: Doubleday, 1956), p. 97. Emphasis added.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    This is not to say that all are served equally.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    For an interesting review of the modern skeptical movement, see Franklin Baumer, Religion and the Rise of Skepticism (New Haven: Yale Press, 1960).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Max Weber, Ancient Judaism, trans. by H. Gerth and D. Martindale (Glencoe: Free Press, 1952), p. 155 or Gesammelte Aufsätze, op. cit., vol. III, pp. 166–167.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    See Niebuhr, op. cit., Chapter 6 for a good discussion of this movement which gave rise to the groups now known as the Disciples of Christ and the Churches of Christ.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    For some evidence on the frequency of denominational shifts, see Gerhard Lenski, The Religious Factor (Garden City: Doubleday, 19c1), n 2nGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Herberg, op. cit., especially Chapter 5.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Cf., e.g., Philip Hitti, History of the Arabs (London: Macmillan, 1960), pp. 233 f. and 353 f.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Educational limitations have been most pronounced in the case of high-status undergraduate institutions and medical schools. In the recent past such institutions often established quotas on the numbers of Jews to be admitted, with the result that many academically qualified Jewish students were denied admission. Such practices are less common today but apparently still continue unofficially in a number of institutions.Google Scholar

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© Westdeutscher Verlag Köln und Opladen 1965

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerhard Lenski

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