on 17 December 2007
This book looks at the position of religion in public life in the pluralist societies in which we now live. Roger Trigg considers whether diversity and tolerance mean that religion, and its emphasis on being 'the truth', cannot be publicly encouraged. Despite this book being about 'religion' it focuses almost exclusively on Christianity and how religion and state interact in within Western nations (mainly the UK, France, Canada and the USA). He offers examples from many different areas, including the established church in the UK, the separation of church and state in the US, Canada's multicultural legacy, Christian education, the church and the law and more. There is also a fascinating chapter that focuses on some specific religious organisations and how they have had to fight for liberty to practice their religion as they wish, including Christian Scientists, the Amish and and Islamic people wanting to wear their traditional dress.
There were frequent footnotes which referenced other authors on the subjects and this would provide a good basis for further study. The writing style was clear but sometimes a little wordy and it didn't keep my attention as well as the subject matter offered. Trigg's conclusion, that religion is an important part of public life, was thoroughly argued but I wasn't always convinced by his views and felt that some of the examples and opinions he gave were rather too one-sided.