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18 - Religious World Views

from Part II - Competing Perspectives

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 November 2021

Brooke L. Blower
Affiliation:
Boston University
Andrew Preston
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
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Summary

From the Puritans to President Ronald Reagan, many Americans have viewed their nation as a model for the rest of the world to emulate. In part they believed that the American people’s fervent religious commitments and their incorporation of religion into public life and policy made the United States exceptional among the world’s leading powers. Yet when the founders crafted the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, they ensured that the federal government could not establish an official church, and they insisted that Americans maintain the right to exercise their faiths freely. Religious leaders, lacking state support, sought creative ways to remain relevant, to strengthen and expand the power and influence of religion in their nation and abroad. They sought new and innovative ways to make the United States the world’s “city on a hill.”1

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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