The Challenges of Pluralism: Locating Religion in a World of Diversity
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Ammerman, Nancy T.
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CitationAmmerman, Nancy T. 2010. “The Challenges of Pluralism: Locating Religion in a World of Diversity.” Social Compass 57:154 -167.
The author argues that religious pluralism is the normal state of affairs. Religion itself is multi-dimensional, and the several dimensions of religious and spiritual experience can be combined in myriad ways across individual lives. Preliminary findings from new research are presented, detailing modes of spiritual discourse that include mystery, majesty, meaning, moral compassion, and social connection. These dimensions find expression across multiple social institutions. In addition, religion is multi-traditional and organized by plural producers of the goods and services and events that embody and transform religious tradition. Finally, it is argued that religious pluralism must be studied in terms of the structures of power and privilege that allow some religious ideas to be given free voice, but limit the practice of other religious rituals or the gathering of dissident religious communities.
This is a postprint (author's final draft) version of an article published in the journal Social Compass in 2010. The final version of this article may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0037768610362406 (login may be required). The version made available in OpenBU was supplied by the author.