The Culture of Disbelief by Stephen L. Carter
How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion

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Synopsis

Written by the author of "Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby", this book argues that in America's zeal to keep religion out of politics, it has forced the religiously devout to act as if their faith doesn't really matter. Stephen Carter takes on the conventional wisdom that to secure religious freedom we must keep religion out of the public realm. Carter uses liberal means to arrive at what are often considered conservative ends. A firm believer in the separation of church and state (just as he endorses some forms of affirmative action), he argues that it is possible, even vital, to maintain that separation without trivializing religious belief or treating religious believers with disdain. A wide range of issues appear in a new light - from religion in schools to Moonie weddings, from abortion to the Clarence Thomas hearings.
 

About Stephen L. Carter

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Stephen L. Carter was born in Washington, D.C. on October 26, 1954. He received a bachelor's degree in history from Stanford University in 1976 and a law degree from Yale University in 1979. After graduation, he served as a law clerk for Judge Spottswood W. Robinson, III, of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. In 1982, he joined the Yale University faculty and is currently the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law. He is the author of numerous non-fiction works including Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby (1991); The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion (1993); The Confirmation Mess: Cleaning Up the Federal Appointments Process (1994); Integrity (1996); The Dissent of the Governed: A Meditation on Law, Religion, and Loyalty (1998); Civility: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy (1998); and God's Name in Vain: The Wrongs and Rights of Religion in Politics (2000). He has also written several fiction works including The Emperor of Ocean Park and Jericho's Fall. He was the first non-theologian to receive the prestigious Louisville-Grawemeyer Award in religion.
 
Published August 1, 1993 by Basic Books. 328 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Culture of Disbelief

Kirkus Reviews

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But today, Carter says, the media and the liberal establishment wish to tuck religious beliefs back in the closet (witness the dismay when Hillary Rodham Clinton wore a cross around her neck to some inaugural events).

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Publishers Weekly

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The author of Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby examines the role of religion in American society.

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Publishers Weekly

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Carter does, however, reject organized prayer in public schools for fear of advancing ``the interests of one religious tradition over another.'' He suggests religious dialogue should be part of the debate over euthanasia and abortion and that pro-choicers would do better to argue positive constit...

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Los Angeles Times

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"The Culture of Disbelief" is Carter's spirited call for greater tolerance of religious diversity in what he calls "the public square," a manifesto in favor of the accommodation of religion by law and government.

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