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Religion in the United States historically was, and continues to be, shaped by the continuous inflow of new immigrants, their cultures, and their religious traditions. Moreover, a voluntary religious order and a rapidly changing sociocultural environment combine to make religion here dynamic and fluid; sensitive to individual needs and preferences as a means of recruiting followers; responsive to shifts in public opinion; this-worldly oriented and socially activist; diverse in styles, beliefs, and practices, especially within major traditions; yet also creative not just in its capacity to adapt to varying social environments but also in mobilizing people and resources in support of benevolent causes. All this means that American religion (“American” as short for the United States) is a work in progress, always evolving. For this ...

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