This award winning and tragically timely book examines religion's strained and often violent role in some fourteen countries around the globe, ranging from Brazil and Guatemala to Poland, Northern Ireland, Sweden, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, Israel, India, Thailand, Japan, China and the United States. It offers both a personal account of the author's travels to each of these nations and bold new observations on issues such as globalization, fundamentalism, terrorism, and secularization, now vexing scholars and policy-makers alike. Jay Demerath describes how each world religion differs in its various national contexts by, for example, depicting "Islams" in no less than six countries. He argues that the crucial factor in religion's relation to violence is its relation to power, but draws a careful distinction between religion's unavoidable involvement in politics and its unjustifiable involvement in the state. Finally, he views America's claim as the world's most religion nation through a comparative kaleidoscope. The result is a country that is not "more religious" but "differently religious," with its unique combination of congregational religion, religious pluralism, civil religion, and the separation of church and state. In short, this is a uniquely valuable work, especially in a post-9/11 world.