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A celebration of America’s religious diversity, showing how this multi-faith nation can and should play a leading role in promoting peace and goodwill among races, religions and nations, both at home and abroad. (2-chapter excerpt)
Two chapters of this book are shared here. To see the rest, please order a copy.

See some reviews, at end.

See also presentation.

Religious Myths and Visions of America:
How Minority Faiths Redefined America's World Role

by Christopher Buck

Westport, CT: Praeger, 2009

1. Contents of excerpts

The following excerpt, in two PDFs, includes the following:
click for larger image
Chapter 11:
Bahá'í Myths and Visions of America  
A Brief Introduction to the Bahá'í Faith175
Bahá'í Myths as a "Sacred History" of America   180
The Bahá'í Emancipation/Civil War Myth186
The Bahá'í Wilsonian Myth189
The Bahá'í Vision of the Destiny of America190
Chapter 12:
Conclusion: How Minority Faiths Redefined America’s World Role  
Religious Myths and Visions of America Recapitulated205
An Overview of America's World Role219
Final Reflections: A World Civil Religion?219

2. Chapter 11

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3. Chapter 12

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4. Reviews

The following are short excerpts. Fuller reviews will appear at
"Religious Myths and Visions of America has many strengths. The author has defended his thesis with solid research. He has also made an original contribution to American studies.”
    — Richard Kyle (Tabor College), Journal of American History (June 2011)
“This volume may be of interest to readers involved not only in Religious Studies, but also in Political Science, History, Intellectual History, American Studies, and Cultural Studies. . . . In the course of the detailed and well-documented analysis of individual religions, Buck reveals a highly elaborate and in-depth picture of the various beliefs, which is indeed impressive. . . He argues that the original myth and vision of America as a nation was captured by the Protestant notion of manifest destiny. This has been challenged by the other faiths . . . that have transformed the idea of manifest destiny into America’s common destiny. . . The book is overall a fresh and stimulating cultural reading of some of America’s religions and the complex ways in which their followers make sense of and act in the world.”
    — Irén E. Annus (University of Szeged, Hungary), Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions (Feb 2012)
“An experiment on the idea of America with engaging results, this book examines the role of ten religions in redefining America’s world role — a topic of importance given America’s influence in world affairs. On the premise that America is both nation and notion, this project is a breath of methodological fresh air. Religious Myths and Visions of America is a novel, imaginative and rigorously scholarly contribution to comparative religion, worthy of serious attention and debate. Of general contemporary and historical interest to students, scholars, and thinking people everywhere.”
    — Todd Lawson (Professor of Islamic Studies, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto)
“For those of us who have yearned for a more readable and scholarly book on the multifaceted ways in which minorities — be they racial, cultural or religious — have ‘redefined America’s World Role,’ Christopher Buck’s most recent book is a welcome addition to the fields of racial, cultural and ethnic studies. Using myths and visions of minority faiths as angels of visions, Buck has introduced an engaging and fresh new approach to understanding and appreciating the influence of these faiths on America’s role in the world. He does this by bringing these minority faiths from the periphery of scholarly discourse to the center of a new, more inclusive scholarly discourse. Above all, Buck keeps the reader engaged and intrigued in a study that reads like a good novel by a warm fire on a cold winter evening.”
    — Richard W, Thomas (Professor Emeritus of History, Michigan State University)
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