The Battle for Meaning: Christians and Muslims at Odds over Indonesian Constitutionalism

The abortion debate in Indonesia is a fitting illustration of the global trend toward liberalization of access to abortion across the world. In Indonesia, this phenomenon cannot be separated from the constitutional reform that took place more than a decade ago. This phenomenon immediately raises a question of how Muslims and Christians will respond to the new notion of constitutionalism. Read the full article »

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ACI Africa – Pentecostal Pastors and the Crisis of Political Authority in Africa

Since January of this year, the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Nigeria has hosted Divine Encounter and Shiloh Hour, a special monthly ministration and prayer service, in Abuja, the Nigerian Federal Capital Territory (FCT). April’s version of Divine Encounter took place in the city’s 60,000 capacity National Stadium complex against a backdrop of a prolonged fuel scarcity that virtually crippled social life and economic activities across the country. Read the full article »

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Introducing ACI Africa

In its broad conception the Authority, Community, and Identity (ACI) Research project is about Africa’s complex modernities. Modernity is not one thing (see, for example, Eisentadt’s multiple modernities thesis). African individuals and communities find themselves at the intersection of multiple modern, global, local, traditional, secular and religious forces. Read the full article »

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Introducing ACI Indonesia

After a careful process of selecting the core research team, the Contending Modernities Authority, Community, and Identity (ACI) working group on Indonesia formally launched last year to begin a three-year research project to better understand the complex issues facing plural societies and to foster possible collaborations among various actors, religious and secular, at different levels: local and global, individuals and communities. Read the full article »

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The Un-Dutchable Challenge of Pluralism

In recent years pluralist co-existence has been pushed to the center of political and social discussion in the Netherlands, as once “received” understandings of integration, including various models of multiculturalism, are called into question. For Dutch society, otherwise known for its pragmatism and tolerance, the path forward to a more effective pluralist co-existence remains uncertain. Read the full article »

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The New Western Plurality and Citizen Co-Existence

Over the past generation the unprecedented expansion of migration to Western countries has coincided with the global revitalization of religion. These two developments have raised deep questions about received values and practices of pluralist co-existence in Western societies—questions that are likely to remain at the heart of political and social debate in Western societies for some years to come. Read the full article »

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Local ‘Political Friendships’: The Key to Making Multiculturalism Work

The business of creating a more practical multiculturalism and overcoming the challenges presented by diversity is more complex than it first seems. My research set out to investigate how projects in the UK are bringing diverse groups together and forming what Harvard scholar Danielle Allen has called ‘political friendships’ across difference. Dialogue is all very well, but without tangible common action it is hard to create any sense of shared destiny. The future success of multiculturalism will not be won by lofty new theories or more debates on national identity, but by encouraging real relationships at a grass roots level between people of every background and belief. Read the full article »

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