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Secularity, Religion and the Possibilities for Religious Citizenship

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Abstract Scholarly predictions of the secularization of the world have proven premature. We see a heterogeneous world in which religion remains a significant and vital social and political force. This paper reflects critically upon secularization theory in order to see how scholars can productively respond to the, at least partly, religious condition of the world at the beginning of the twenty first century. We note that conventional multiculturalism theory and policy neglects religion, and argue the need for a reconceptualization of understanding of religion and secularity, particularly in a context of multicultural citizenship — such as in Australia and Indonesia. We consider the possibilities for religious pluralism in citizenship and for “religious citizenship”. Finally, we propose that religious citizenship education might be a site for fostering a tolerant and enquiring attitude towards religious diversity.

Affiliations: 1: The University of Western Australia, and Singapore Management University


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