After September 11th: Religion, Diversity, and Social Cohesion under Globalisation

Des Cahill, Peter Phipps


The paper introduces the conceptual framework that gave rise to this collection of essays in one volume. It briefly describes the event which brought scholars together to discuss issues of religion and diversity twelve months after the events of September 11th 2001. The authors argue for three organising themes for thinking through these issues, put briefly: the changing nature of religious identity, growing religious diasporas and multi-faith societies, and the emergent notion of global risk as a mechanism of nation-state and multilateral relations with religious formations. The article is critical of the notion of social capital as it is commonly used, arguing that this concept subsumes religious, spiritual and community life under a category that is insidiously instrumental.

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