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From far and wide: Canadian religious and cultural diversity in global/local context

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Chapter Summary

This chapter takes a historical view to show how late twentieth-century Canada is the outcome of its own history and how that history has always been a reflection of the global context. It examines some of the concrete consequences of the recent changes with specific reference to the issue of religious diversity in contemporary Canada. The chapter focuses on how these questions of identity and diversity manifest themselves in the lives of a specific portion of the Canadian population. Christianity is the largest religion; but other world religions like Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism also have a substantial history in Canada. The consequences of immigration for religious diversity in Canada is that the "newcomers" arrive and adapt to the local styles and forms that are dominant among the "natives," but at the same time the global specificity of the "newcomers" helps to transform the religious diversity of the "natives".

Keywords: Buddhism; Canada; Christianity; cultural diversity; Hinduism; immigrant groups; Islam; Judaism; religious diversity; Sikhism



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