European religious minorities: between pluralism and exclusivism

GT 3.16 "El impacto político y cultural de las migraciones: dinámicas transnacionales, procesos de integración/exclusión e identidad en el mundo actual"

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Sesión 2
Día: viernes,22 de septiembre de 2017
Hora: 11:00 a 13:00
Lugar: Aula 0.1.

This paper reviews the religious diversity theory in the writings of Hick, Legenhausen and Netland, among other authors. It distinguishes two main approaches on religious diversity, pluralism and exclusivism, and examines their negative and positive application in the current situation of new (minorities’) management policies. The pluralist approach, in the literature, emphasizes that, within bounds, any religion is as good as any other and as a normative principle. Religious pluralism requires that people of all or most religions should be treated the same. The second approach, exclusivist or restrictivist, reflects that only one religion is uniquely valuable and it denies any form of pluralism. I review the consequences of the application of such approaches and illustrate them with relevant examples. In an unbalanced manner, exclusivist approaches have been used the most, especially, in the development and implementation of integration policies. The negative consequences of religious minorities’ des-integration processes advocate for the need to develop further actions that could effectively accommodate minority religious identities. I argue that religion is part of identity construction of many individuals/groups and therefore cannot be excluded from the integration policies. On the contrary, it should be incorporated as an integral part of such policies. Thus, a “reasonable” integration of religious identities would be necessary, in order to build a common and shared framework, with a certain degree of flexibility to be able to adapt to future social and cultural changes.

Palabras clave: pluralism, exclusivism, religion, integration policies, new minorities