The Diversity of Religious Pluralism

Françoise Champion

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In her introduction to the texts of Jim Beckford, Grace Davie and Roberto Motta, Françoise Champion situates the transformations analysed by the authors in a twofold comparative perspective: between past and present and between different countries. Religious pluralism is understood as a political principle: religiously pluralistic societies are based on the right to religious freedom. This introduction distinguishes between several forms of religious pluralism. In the diachronic perspective, a distinction is drawn between an emancipatory pluralism pertaining strictly to the individual’s right to religious liberty (and entailing, in particular, a de-ethnicization of religion), and a pluralism of identities marked by the demand from the different religions for full and equal recognition of their individuality. The concrete forms of religious pluralism in different European countries have been, and still are, bound up with their respective religious traditions. The latter’s socio-religious content, organizational forms and process of integration into the nation-state have resulted in different types of pluralism such as the French "individualistic" pluralism, the "communitarian pluralism" characteristic of the Netherlands until the 1960s, and the "communitarian individualistic pluralism" of the United Kingdom. The article ends by addressing the role of "critical research" in the "management" of religious or ethno-religious plurality.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

Champion, Françoise. The Diversity of Religious Pluralism. IJMS: International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 1999, vol. 1, no.2, pp. 40-54. UNESCO. ISSN 1817-4574.

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