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Facing the other: Religious and community leadersí negotiations of religious difference in Hobart, Tasmania


Remund, A, Facing the other: Religious and community leaders' negotiations of religious difference in Hobart, Tasmania, Fieldwork in Religion, 14, (1) pp. 33-52. ISSN 1743-0615 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1558/firn.39234


This article examines religious and community leadersí perceptions of diversity and the ways in which they, and their communities, negotiate difference. Hobart, in Tasmania, Australia, is experiencing growing religious and ethnic diversity that is posing challenges for existing faith communities. The data consists of twelve in-depth interviews with Hobartís religious leaders in which participants described two modes of negotiating difference: seeking sameness and agreeing to disagree. These modes of negotiation are positive examples of Lori Beamanís (2014) understanding of agonistic respect in processes of "deep equality". Growing diversity is, however, causing tensions for some communities, most notably conservative Christians in this study, who perceived growing hostility towards Christianity from secular society. Social issues, including marriage equality, have heightened tensions between conservative Christians and anti-religious Nones (Not Religious). I argue that social cohesion is reliant upon a commitment to liberal democratic values. This commitment provides the capacity for individuals to live with sometimes confronting difference that in turn underlies the celebration of diversity and difference in multiculturalism and pluralism.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:social cohesion, religious diversity
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Religious studies
Research Field:Religion, society and culture
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Religion
Objective Field:Religion and society
UTAS Author:Remund, A (Ms Ariel Remund)
ID Code:137030
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2020-01-29
Last Modified:2020-07-31

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