Religious Diversity and Civil Society
This collection of essays by leading scholars focuses on two controversial propositions central to the contemporary issues faced by multi-religious societies. Firstly, societies that are culturally and ethnically diverse can be more difficult to govern than those that are homogenous. Secondly globalization, particularly of religion, makes these problems increasingly endemic, global and potentially catastrophic. As a result there is tension between the transnational identities of the world religions and the national identities of secular citizenship. Modern religious diversity is now a profound political and cultural issue, because of a lack of robust social policies and institutions to manage the social tensions that flow from increasing cultural complexity. Many conventional liberal solutions appear to be in crisis. The societies examined in this book, such as Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Canada, and Great Britain, suggest some common problems and policy solutions that may help in creating a more stable and lawful social order.
"A truly international enterprise, incorporating the perspectives of an international cast of authors whose essays are of a consistently high quality. It provides an admirable balance of theoretical considerations and "on the ground" examples. A must read for all interested in civil society."
"This is a timely book of essays by some of the world's leading experts on religious diversity in a range of countries and regions. Edited by Professor Bryan Turner, who in his new location in Singapore has done much to encourage the comparative study of religions and cultures, it will be a valuable source book." - John Rex, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick