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Religious diversity in Australia: rethinking social cohesion

Ezzy, Douglas, Bouma, Gary, Barton, Greg, Halafoff, Anna, Banham, Rebecca, Jackson, Robert and Beaman, Lori 2020, Religious diversity in Australia: rethinking social cohesion, Religions, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 1-16, doi: 10.3390/rel11020092.

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Title Religious diversity in Australia: rethinking social cohesion
Author(s) Ezzy, Douglas
Bouma, Gary
Barton, GregORCID iD for Barton, Greg orcid.org/0000-0002-2134-0704
Halafoff, AnnaORCID iD for Halafoff, Anna orcid.org/0000-0003-4274-5951
Banham, Rebecca
Jackson, Robert
Beaman, Lori
Journal name Religions
Volume number 11
Issue number 2
Article ID 92
Start page 1
End page 16
Total pages 16
Publisher MDPI
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2020-02
ISSN 2077-1444
Keyword(s) social cohesion
Australia
religious diversity
social policy
cosmopolitanism
deep equality
reasonable pluralism
Summary This paper argues for a reconsideration of social cohesion as an analytical concept and a policy goal in response to increasing levels of religious diversity in contemporary Australia. In recent decades, Australian has seen a revitalization of religion, increasing numbers of those who do not identify with a religion (the ”nones”), and the growth of religious minorities, including Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism. These changes are often understood as problematic for social cohesion. In this paper, we review some conceptualizations of social cohesion and religious diversity in Australia, arguing that the concept of social cohesion, despite its initial promise, is ultimately problematic, particularly when it is used to defend privilege. We survey Australian policy responses to religious diversity, noting that these are varied, often piecemeal, and that the hyperdiverse state of Victoria generally has the most sophisticated set of public policies. We conclude with a call for more nuanced and contextualized analyses of religious diversity and social cohesion in Australia. Religious diversity presents both opportunities as well as challenges to social cohesion. Both these aspects need to be considered in the formation of policy responses.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/rel11020092
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 220405 Religion and Society
Socio Economic Objective 950404 Religion and Society
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Grant ID DP180101664
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30135228

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.