After Pluralism: Reimagining Religious Engagement (Religion, Culture, and Public Life)

3.14 avg rating
( 7 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780231152334: After Pluralism: Reimagining Religious Engagement (Religion, Culture, and Public Life)
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

The contributors to this volume treat pluralism as a concept that is historically and ideologically produced or, put another way, as a doctrine that is embedded within a range of political, civic, and cultural institutions. Their critique considers how religious difference is framed as a problem that only pluralism can solve. Working comparatively across nations and disciplines, the essays in After Pluralism explore pluralism as a "term of art" that sets the norms of identity and the parameters of exchange, encounter, and conflict. Contributors locate pluralism's ideals in diverse sites—Broadway plays, Polish Holocaust memorials, Egyptian dream interpretations, German jails, and legal theories—and demonstrate its shaping of political and social interaction in surprising and powerful ways. Throughout, they question assumptions underlying pluralism's discourse and its influence on the legal decisions that shape modern religious practice. Contributors do more than deconstruct this theory; they tackle what comes next. Having established the genealogy and effects of pluralism, they generate new questions for engaging the collective worlds and multiple registers in which religion operates.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Courtney Bender is associate professor of religion at Columbia University and the author of The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination.

Pamela E. Klassen is associate professor of religion at the University of Toronto and the author of Spirits of Protestantism: Medicine, Healing, and Liberal Christianity.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Copyright information

Introduction

Habits of Pluralism

Pamela E. Klassen and Courtney Bender

Throughout the world, "Parliaments of Religion" are no longer experiments held at a World's Fair but instead are everyday assemblies occurring in schools, hospitals, and city streets throughout North America, Asia, and Europe. At the same time, combatants in new "wars of religion" base their legitimacy on claims to defend religious traditions or worldviews, in such diverse places as Pakistan, Nigeria, and (in a less overtly militarized zone) Washington, D.C. Religion is proliferating; academics, journalists, and policymakers increasingly take religion as a subject of inquiry, and laypeople of all sorts consider it a rubric by which to understand shifting social forces in local neighborhoods and around the globe. Part of this proliferation has come in the guise of religious pluralism, in which a multiplicity of individuals and communities recognize each other as parallel forms of the phenomenon called religion. Whether considering the ways religion secures the diversity of identities in liberal democracies or the ways religion fosters antagonisms in war zones, thinking about how people construct and live with religious difference has clearly become a necessary task for states, scholars, and neighbors.

Pluralism, variously specified as cultural, political, legal, or religious, has come to represent a powerful ideal meant to resolve the question of how to get along in a conflict-ridden world. The authors in After Pluralism consider various definitions and discourses of pluralism, but put most simply, in this book we focus on pluralism defined as a commitment to recognize and understand others across perceived or claimed lines of religious difference. For example, civic and academic organizations have lately adopted pluralism as an ideal model or doctrine for bringing about tangible social engagement across religious differences. From Harvard University's "Pluralism Project," through the proposed cooperation between the Aga Khan Foundation and the Canadian government in the Global Centre for Pluralism, to the European Union's quest for "A Soul for Europe," politicians, religious leaders, and academics in North American and Europe have converged on pluralism as the best path for proceeding into an admittedly uncertain future.

We start with the understanding that modern practices of religion take place in the wake of this doctrine of pluralism, that is, after pluralism has become a widely recognized social ideal embedded in a range of political, civic, and cultural institutions. Our goal is to examine the grounds on which religious difference is itself constructed as a problem that has pluralism as its solution. Working comparatively across both national and disciplinary borders, the essays in this volume invite readers into a conversation about the conditions that have made pluralism a dominant frame in which diversity and heterogeneity can be recognized and engaged.

As our title suggests, After Pluralism takes this convergence on the doctrine of pluralism as its beginning but not its end. We thus consider what comes after pluralism in both temporal and theoretical terms. The episodic and genealogical analyses in After Pluralism explore the ways pluralism works as a "term of art," in Anver Emon's words, casting prescriptive norms of identity and engagement, creating new possibilities and curtailing others. We inquire into what comes after the recognition that current forms of religious pluralism are not naturally occurring ones and what comes after we begin taking account of the historical emergence and institutional production of certain practices and peoples as plural forms of religion. By querying the genealogy and effects of the concept of pluralism within a range of national and transnational contexts, this book generates new sets of questions for engaging and imagining the collective worlds and multiple registers in which religion matters.

Explaining After Pluralism

Several scholars of religion have shown how contemporary articulations of religious pluralism have reproduced older distinctions between "world religions" that in their very origins exercised or abetted various forms of colonial and imperial control over foreign ideological, cultural, and legal systems (Asad 2003; Dirks 2001; Masuzawa 2005; Mitchell 2000; Said 1978). They rightly caution that the revivification of religious difference within frames of pluralism carries with it the violence of these earlier encounters. Political theorists have similarly questioned the ways in which the concept of political pluralism has been used to celebrate American exceptionalism and, more recently, have asked about the unexamined ontological grounding of the concept as it has served dual purposes as both a political ideal and an analytical tool (Campbell and Schoolman 2008).

Our own interests in this multidisciplinary volume are not to reproduce arguments that have taken shape within political theory or to rehash the well-documented story of the construction of pluralism. Rather, the authors in this volume take these positions as the obvious ground on which to pose our questions about what happens after pluralism. With an awareness of the construction of the category of religion at the fore, we ask the following: What does pluralism look like in practice, as a set of tools, projects, and political claims? We consider how the frame of pluralism recognizes some kinds of religious interactions and encounters and some kinds of religions (but not others) as normal and natural. We thus proceed by asking how pluralism is at work in the world, considering how pluralist aspirations and pluralist logics shape modes of public engagement and the various religious and nonreligious subjects that can take part within them. The specific sites in which our collective inquiry proceeds are themselves heterogeneous and include legal systems, theaters, prisons, interfaith coalitions, dream interpretation, and public memorials. Considering these realms as sites of the performance and policing of religious difference, we have compared conclusions about projects of pluralism in Canada, the United States, Egypt, Poland, and Germany.

Our focus on comparative cases and on specific examples allows close scrutiny of social processes that often appear to be more theoretical than concrete and more global than local. Many of the most contentious sites of debates about religious pluralism are simultaneously home to processes of transnationalism, globalization, and postwar (or intrawar) state formation. None of these are new phenomena, but they have taken new forms within current networks of global capitalism (Sassen 2006). Recent debates over immigration legislation in Europe and North America, conflicts over the legitimacy of religious legal systems within secular or multireligious states, and a variety of other flashpoints (including controversies over comic strips and religiously marked attire) all point to the ways in which the movement of peoples and ideas reveals the power relations within polities and communities. These revelations are not the simple consequence of certain religious actors and organizations showing up in new places, necessitating the response of host societies. Multinational religious corporations and networks are actively involved in both developing and critiquing religious pluralism at every level. While citizenship in a nation-state remains an unavoidable necessity for survival and stability, religious leaders make transnational claims to authority over increasingly dispersed universal communities, and the production and circulation of religious objects and media pay little heed to national borders (Jain 2007; Levitt 2007; Meyer and Moors 2006).

Shaped by this flurry of mediated images of religion and by the claims to authority made in the name of particular texts, histories, or lineages, public discussions of religion and religious pluralism within nation-states that consider themselves modern often carry with them a welter of tacit concerns about changing norms of political and moral authority. In many discussions of religious pluralism, what is "religious" itself appears as newly unsettled and out of place. The rules of what counts as recognized and recognizable religious difference (and shared notions about the privatization or laicization of religion within secular cultures) are ever more diversely challenged, whether from neo-pagan Wiccans or practitioners of Cuban Santeria. For some commentators, religious pluralism requires either new rules for public engagement or better enforcement of the old rules.

The urgency surrounding the current manifestations of religious pluralism can therefore be partly explained by the ways they challenge, or even produce, what it means to be a multicultural, modern citizen (Modood and Levey 2008). "New" religious diversity becomes a condition through which commentators, politicians, and scholars can focus their various concerns about how personal liberties and minority self-determination will shape the futures of modern democratic engagement. These are not just matters for pundits and politicians: Many prominent scholars are reopening debates about what constitutes the ideal relationship between religious claims and state power in liberal democracies (Chambers 2007; Habermas 2006; Taylor 2007). One of the most prominent of these scholars, Charles Taylor, has offered his perspective in the form of a lengthy scholarly book and a government-sponsored report. Taylor's A Secular Age, in which he argues that a secular "modern social imaginary" robustly undergirds and shapes the conditions through which people can be religious in both intimate and public arenas, has inspired academic blogs and much scholarly rethinking of the structures of religious identity in secular societies. With historian and sociologist Gérard Bouchard, Taylor has also coauthored a report commission...

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780231152327: After Pluralism: Reimagining Religious Engagement (Religion, Culture, and Public Life)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0231152329 ISBN 13:  9780231152327
Publisher: Columbia University Press, 2010
Hardcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Klassen, Pamela
ISBN 10: 0231152337 ISBN 13: 9780231152334
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2010. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # WI-9780231152334

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 25.10
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Published by Columbia University Press, United States (2010)
ISBN 10: 0231152337 ISBN 13: 9780231152334
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Columbia University Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The contributors to this volume treat pluralism as a concept that is historically and ideologically produced or, put another way, as a doctrine that is embedded within a range of political, civic, and cultural institutions. Their critique considers how religious difference is framed as a problem that only pluralism can solve. Working comparatively across nations and disciplines, the essays in After Pluralism explore pluralism as a "term of art" that sets the norms of identity and the parameters of exchange, encounter, and conflict. Contributors locate pluralism's ideals in diverse sites--Broadway plays, Polish Holocaust memorials, Egyptian dream interpretations, German jails, and legal theories--and demonstrate its shaping of political and social interaction in surprising and powerful ways. Throughout, they question assumptions underlying pluralism's discourse and its influence on the legal decisions that shape modern religious practice. Contributors do more than deconstruct this theory; they tackle what comes next.Having established the genealogy and effects of pluralism, they generate new questions for engaging the collective worlds and multiple registers in which religion operates. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780231152334

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 29.12
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Published by Columbia University Press, United States (2010)
ISBN 10: 0231152337 ISBN 13: 9780231152334
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Book Depository International
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Columbia University Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The contributors to this volume treat pluralism as a concept that is historically and ideologically produced or, put another way, as a doctrine that is embedded within a range of political, civic, and cultural institutions. Their critique considers how religious difference is framed as a problem that only pluralism can solve. Working comparatively across nations and disciplines, the essays in After Pluralism explore pluralism as a "term of art" that sets the norms of identity and the parameters of exchange, encounter, and conflict. Contributors locate pluralism's ideals in diverse sites--Broadway plays, Polish Holocaust memorials, Egyptian dream interpretations, German jails, and legal theories--and demonstrate its shaping of political and social interaction in surprising and powerful ways. Throughout, they question assumptions underlying pluralism's discourse and its influence on the legal decisions that shape modern religious practice. Contributors do more than deconstruct this theory; they tackle what comes next.Having established the genealogy and effects of pluralism, they generate new questions for engaging the collective worlds and multiple registers in which religion operates. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780231152334

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 31.76
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

ISBN 10: 0231152337 ISBN 13: 9780231152334
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Speedy Hen LLC
(Sunrise, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST0231152337. Seller Inventory # ST0231152337

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 31.77
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Courtney Bender
Published by Columbia University Press (2010)
ISBN 10: 0231152337 ISBN 13: 9780231152334
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Columbia University Press, 2010. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # WI-9780231152334

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 22.59
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 11.33
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Courtney Bender
Published by Columbia University Press
ISBN 10: 0231152337 ISBN 13: 9780231152334
New Paperback / softback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Columbia University Press. Paperback / softback. Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Seller Inventory # B9780231152334

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 28.40
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 8.74
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Courtney Bender, Pamela E. Klassen
ISBN 10: 0231152337 ISBN 13: 9780231152334
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ria Christie Collections
(Uxbridge, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Not Signed; The contributors to this volume treat pluralism as a concept that is historically and ideologically produced or, put another way, as a doctrine that is embedded within a range of political, civic, and cultural institutions. Their critique considers how religious difference is framed as a problem tha. book. Seller Inventory # ria9780231152334_rkm

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 32.88
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.87
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Courtney Bender, Pamela Klassen
Published by Columbia University Press (2010)
ISBN 10: 0231152337 ISBN 13: 9780231152334
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Monster Bookshop
(Fleckney, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Columbia University Press, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. BRAND NEW ** SUPER FAST SHIPPING FROM UK WAREHOUSE ** 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. Seller Inventory # mon0000213722

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 33.10
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 5.03
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

9.

Courtney Bender (editor), Pamela Klassen (editor)
Published by Columbia University Press 2010-11-26, New York |Chichester (2010)
ISBN 10: 0231152337 ISBN 13: 9780231152334
New paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Columbia University Press 2010-11-26, New York |Chichester, 2010. paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 9780231152334

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 27.23
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 11.32
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

10.

Bender, Courtney, Klassen, Pamela
Published by Columbia University Press (2010)
ISBN 10: 0231152337 ISBN 13: 9780231152334
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Rating
[?]

Book Description Columbia University Press, 2010. Condition: New. 2010. Paperback. Editor(s): Bender, Courtney; Klassen, Pamela E. Series: Religion, Culture and Public Life. Num Pages: 352 pages. BIC Classification: HRAC; JFSR. Category: (UP) Postgraduate, Research & Scholarly. Dimension: 225 x 152 x 16. Weight in Grams: 482. Reimagining Religious Engagement. Series: Religion, Culture and Public Life. 352 pages. Editor(s): Bender, Courtney; Klassen, Pamela E. Cateogry: (UP) Postgraduate, Research & Scholarly. BIC Classification: HRAC; JFSR. Dimension: 225 x 152 x 16. Weight: 468. . . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780231152334

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 41.28
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From Ireland to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book