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Public Commissions on Cultural and Religious Diversity
Analysis, Reception and Challenges
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"This ground-breaking study of a number of important yet under-studied national commissions addresses the role of religion and management of religious diversification in modern societies. The theoretically informed volume offers detailed and comparative examinations of how a number of nation's efforts to understand what increasing, and controversial, religious diversification means for national identity and cohesion." - James T. Richardson, Emeritus Foundation Professor of Sociology and Judicial Studies, University of Nevada. "This book is innovative and insightful in equal measure. It looks at the management of diversity - and in particular religious diversity - in an entirely new way. It does so by comparing the official and less official commissions that have addressed this question across a wide range of countries in recent years. The authors cover the origins of these ad hoc bodies, their membership, their purpose, their working practices, their conclusions, and their reception by the wider society. The cumulative knowledge that emerges is deeply impressive; in every sense of the term this book is more than the sum of its parts. It will become a must-read text." - Grace Davie, Professor of Sociology, University of Exeter.
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Solange Lefebvre holds the Research Chair in Management of Cultural and Religious Diversity at the Faculty of Theology and the Sciences of Religions, University of Montreal. She is the principal investigator of the international project on National Commissions on Diversity. She has conducted extensive research and published widely on issues of religion in the public arena, management of religious diversity, religion and education, and religious heritage. Lefebvre also served as a member of the Committee of Experts for the Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences, chaired by Gerard Bouchard and Charles Taylor. Patrice Brodeur is an associate professor at the Faculty of Theology and the Sciences of Religions at the University of Montreal (Canada), as well as senior adviser at the international Dialogue Centre (KAICID) in Vienna, Austria. He studied at McGill University and Harvard University. His career highlights include a Junior Canada Research Chair on Islam, Pluralism and Globalization at the University of Montreal (2005-2015), leading an interdisciplinary research team on contemporary Islamic thought as well as on various forms of dialogue, and developing a Peace Mapping Project.
List of Figures and Tables Acknowledgements List of Contributors List of Figures and Tables Foreword Charles Taylor Preface: The Benefit of Analysing National Public Commissions on Diversity for Research and Policy Making Solange Lefebvre and Patrice Brodeur Introduction: National Commissions on Diversity: When Reflective Processes Happen in Parallel within Several Nation-States Solange Lefebvre Layout of the Book Part I: Britain, France, Quebec, and Belgium Chapter 1-National Commissions on Collective Identity and Diversity: Britain, France, Quebec, and Belgium Solange Lefebvre Chapter 2-`Stories are the secret reservoirs of values': Personal Recollections of Two Commissions in the United Kingdom Robin Richardson Chapter 3-Assumptions of Power Subverted: Media and Emotions in the Wake of the Parekh Report Sarah Neal and Eugene McLaughlin Chapter 4-From the Stasi (2003) to the Machelon Commission (2006): The Use of Commissions in Religious Regulation in France Pierre-Henri Prelot Chapter 5-The Outcome of the Stasi Report in France: Much Ado About Nothing? Anne Fornerod Chapter 6-The Bouchard-Taylor Commission in Quebec and Reasonable Accommodations: Collective Creation and Multilevel Reception Solange Lefebvre Chapter 7-Debating Intercultural Integration in Belgium: From the Commission for Intercultural Dialogue to the Round Tables on Interculturalism Karel J. Leyva and Leopold Vanbellingen Part II: Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives Chapter 8-The Commissions: Caught between Media Simplifications and Political Interests Solange Lefebvre, Karel J. Leyva, Giomny H. Ruiz, Mathilde Vanasse-Pelletier Chapter 9-Control, Instrumentalization and Co-operation: The Relation between Law and Religion in Four National Contexts Jean-Francois Gaudreault-DesBiens and Bertrand Lavoie Chapter 10-Glocalizations of a Common Discourse: The United Kingdom and Quebec Compared in the Context of Four National Commissions on Diversity Peter Beyer and Marie-Eve Lariviere Chapter 11-The Altar of Victory and the Crucifix: A Tale of Two Controversial Symbols Lori G. Beaman and Marie-Claude L'Archer Chapter 12-A Coherent Public Policy on Religion in Norway? An Analysis of the 2013 Report `A Society Open to Religious and Worldview Diversity' Ingunn Folkestad Breistein and Inger Furseth Chapter 13-A National Enquiry into Freedom of Religion and Belief in Australia Gary D. Bouma, AM Chapter 14-Public-Policy Discourses on Selected Significant Issues of Cultural and Religious Diversity in Singapore Lai Ah-Eng Chapter 15-The Religious Diversity `Conundrum' in Morocco: The Case of the National Commission for Dialogue on Civil Society and New Constitutional Prerogatives (2012) Mohamed Fadil General Conclusion Patrice Brodeur