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Afterword

Comparison in the Anthropological Study of Plural Religious Environments

Birgit Meyer

Highlighting common threads in the pieces by Beekers, Kasmani and Mattes, and Dilger, this concluding essay reflects on the potential of comparison as conceptual innovation in the anthropological study of religious plurality. Asking how to develop innovative practices of comparison for the sake of grasping the dynamics of plural societies in the light of the articles in this collection, I argue that it is necessary to transcend the bifurcation of the study of religions, which was accentuated with the rise of the anthropologies of Islam and Christianity, in favor of a focus on the secular configuration as a whole, paying attention to power dynamics that assign different spaces for action to different religions (notwithstanding their equality in legal terms). The point of comparison, understood as a critical project geared toward conceptual innovation, is not only to discern so far overlooked, unexpected differences and similarities, but also to understand how these differences and similarities, as well as the possibility to compare as such, are outcomes of long-standing entanglements.

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Introduction

Religious Plurality, Interreligious Pluralism, and Spatialities of Religious Difference

Jeremy F. Walton and Neena Mahadev

The introduction to this special section foregrounds the key distinction between ‘religious plurality’ and ‘interreligious pluralism’. Building from the example of a recent controversy over an exhibition on shared religious sites in Thessaloniki, Greece, we analyze the ways in which advocates and adversaries of pluralism alternately place minority religions at the center or attempt to relegate them to the margins of visual, spatial, and political fields. To establish the conceptual scaffolding that supports this special section, we engage the complex relations that govern the operations of state and civil society, sacrality and secularity, as well as spectacular acts of disavowal that simultaneously coincide with everyday multiplicities in the shared use of space. We conclude with brief summaries of the four articles that site religious plurality and interreligious pluralism in the diverse contexts of Brazil, Russia, Sri Lanka, and the Balkans.

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Singular Pluralities

A Critical Review of Religious Pluralism

Anne-Sophie Lamine

From the 1980s onwards, much research has been carried out in order to analyze and compare the situation and the management of religious plurality in Western countries. While scholars in the social sciences of religion have seized on the question of plurality, those in migration studies have started to pay more and more attention to the religious dimension of migrants and their descent. Although macro-level plurality is more commonly investigated, internal religious plurality is of equal importance. This article provides a critical review of the various approaches of religious pluralism and emphasizes some under-investigated areas such as conflicts and internal plurality.

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Abin Chakraborty

and represent both India and its Mughal ruler in affirmative and celebratory perspectives. He consistently refers to the “glorious court of the Mogul” ( Foster 1921, 255 ) and speaks admiringly of the cities; the general ambiance of religious plurality

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Surviving Hrant Dink

Carnal Mourning under the Specter of Senselessness

Alice von Bieberstein

history in Turkey. It thus also became an important channel for Turkish liberal and leftist circles eager to revive a post-Ottoman sensibility for ethnic and religious plurality and difference. Elizabeth Povinelli (2011) has complemented Berlant

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Portrait

J. D. Y. Peel

Marloes Janson, Wale Adebanwi, David Pratten, Ruth Marshall, Stephan Palmié, Amanda Villepastour and J. D. Y. Peel

Edited by Richard Fardon and Ramon Sarró

bases for, and continuities in, Yoruba pragmatism? This appears to me to be the question that guided Peel’s research for five decades. In pursuing answers to this core question, Peel shows us, even without invoking John Dewey, that religious plurality

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Introduction

The Presence of the Past in the Era of the Nation-State

Nicolas Argenti

their descendants. In other cases, it is not lost neighborliness, religious plurality, and cultural cosmopolitanism that form bodies of counter-memory, but the unconscious pull of unmourned deaths and separations experienced in the pogroms of the past