Keeping Religion in the Closet? Adapting to the Changing Religious Landscape in Sweden and Denmark

Projekt: Avhandling


Confronted with multiple factors, such as mass migration and loosening of denominational attachments, Europe faces an unprecedented pluralism of beliefs. Secularism, influential until recently, no longer constitutes a fair approach toward the place given to religion in the public sphere. As scholars such as Silvio Ferrari (2012) pointed out, even on such a rudimentary level as legal equality, secularism proved to be favorable to some, but hostile to others. Thus, in recent decades, secularism began to be replaced by a new understanding of religion and the public sphere more and more oriented toward accommodation of religious plurality. This tendency received the name of “Multi-Faith Paradigm” (MFP) (Dinham 2012; Smith 2016a). Simultaneously, different religions and denominations began to lean toward each other, which resulted in inter-faith initiatives, and exclusivism, dominant for a long time, began to give way to theologies of pluralism.

In my PhD project, I claim that the current approach to the "secular/religious" division is untenable as it creates growing polarisation. It also deprives the law of its necessary mediatory and balancing position, reducing rule of law into rule by law. Instead, I plan to propose a renewed Multi-Faith Paradigm based on the notions of encounter and "necessary coalitions", facilitated through religious literacy and translation.
Gällande start-/slutdatum2018/09/012022/08/31