Social Diversity is an essential element in a living, breathing multicultural society. This diversity extends to embracing the different religious traditions which make their home in a nation.
Being Faithful in diversity is authored by Professor Gary Bouma, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Monash University and UNESCO Chair in Interreligious and Intercultural Relations – Asia Pacific.
Based on the Lloyd Geering Lectures in New Zealand in 2010, Gary Bouma was in fact the first sociologist of religion to deliver these addresses in the area of Religion and Society.
This is a challenging book, and this reviewer jumped chapters and read the later chapters first, before returning to the foundation, and would recommend students of sociology and religion to read the book in its proffered order. Nonetheless, an engaging read in a seldom considered aspect of human life and society: How do the different religions co-exist harmoniously in a vibrant social fabric?
This is likely a book the reader will return to again and again and glean more felt understanding of its contents and narratives. Certainly, this reviewer felt at home jumping around between chapters and thus, found the book all the more enjoyable. The charisma of Gary Bouma, open, affable and ingenuous, permeates the pages.
This is a critically important book. In it the current doyen of the sociology of religion in Australia, Professor Gary Bouma, deals with the development of religious diversity in Australasia and comparable societies, and then goes on to analyse how it is possible to be faithful to one's own beliefs in the face of emerging religious competition and possible conflict. The data is presented and analysed, and the argumentation is patent and cogent. This excellent book needs to be read by religious leaders, theologians and all those concerned with cohesive societies everywhere. Reverend Professor James Haire AM, Executive Director, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture and Director of Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre at Charles Sturt University
Working from demographic data, Professor Bouma shows that we face a new religious diversity and that this poses serious issues for public policy, the theologies of the different faith groups, and social cohesion. This study of religious diversity gives a comprehensive overview of the salient issues and will be of interest to theologians, social scientists, policy makers and the educated lay public. Professor Paul Morris, Religious Studies, Victoria University of Wellington
Published by ATF Press Distributed by John Garratt Publishing, this book is available from John Garratt Publishing. To order this book, download the Order Form.