From the Introduction- Religion makes an important difference in the lives of nations, peoples, communities, and individuals. In this book we ask, How does religion matter in the everyday lives of ordinary people and in the present-tense affairs of the communities in which we live? The emphasis is on our own country, the United States. Religion--so we maintain--makes vast difference in the social order, and for most Americans it forms a primary fact of life. But how, in concrete terms, are we to identify the difference religion makes? The contributors to this volume provide answers to that question.