Vivre dans la diversité / Living with Diversity – Concilium 2014/1
Recent debates about various instances of dissension attribute to cultural and religious diversity have led many communities to discuss how to live together in harmony. As a result, experts in postcolonial studies have advocated new approaches to various aspects of multiculturalism, interculturalism and interculturality. This issue of Concilium examines these dimensions of diversity. It is largely based on papers delivered at the Montreal meeting of directors, editors, and publishers of the journal held at Montreal University (Canada) in May 2013, with financial aid from the Canadian Social Sciences and Human Research Council (a French edition of the proceedings will appear eventually at http:// published by the faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of Montreal University).
According to the Ministry of Citizenship and immigration Canada (CIC), multiculturalism should promote the fundamental belief that all citizens are equal. Multiculturalism was introduced as a policy during the 1970s, and was guaranteed to make sure that all citizens could be proud of ancestors and maintain their identity and a sense of belonging. Accordingly, an acceptance of traditions should foster the confidence and peace of mind of Canadian citizens. The country is recognized as one of the most historically progressive nations in this regard. Many experiences in Canada have shown how multiculturalism encourages cross-cultural understanding and racial and ethnic harmony in society, yet there are some problems in this respect, as indicated in Denise Couture’s and Gregory Baum’s articles.
More generally, the theological implications of diversity remain complex in many societies around the world the theological implications of diversity remain complex in many societies around the world. Interreligious dialogue with regard to pluralism, privatization of religious faith, and religious mobility raises serious questions for communities where basic human rights and freedoms are often compromised by the mechanisms of the global economy. It is important to discover how the ‘first world’ and the ‘two-thirds world’ can improve multicultural relations by collaborating in the transnational exchange of information or material and cultural resources.
Some subjects raised during the Concilium meeting are: how scholars construct and treat the question of the ‘other’ or the ‘alien’; ways of expressing tension between global and local; how to examine relations between immigrants and societies, and the symbolic resources drawn on in those studies; possible neocolonial impositions implicit in the general system of approaching dialogue about diversity; the phenomena shared by or specific to various geographic areas, and the implications for globalization.
Present-day global and increasingly multicultural contexts require theorists to revitalize postcolonial criticism, to apply their result to the regional circumstances of developing nations, and to share details of models that might act as alternatives to multiculturalism. Discrimination and unequal treatment of religious practices and indigenous peoples still have many implications for colonial societies. This issue of Concilium enables voices from what might be termed diverse cultural ‘crucibles’ to describe and criticize certain neocolonial obstacles to multicultural policy, and offers an opportunity for directly concerned readers to benefit from the insights of contributors around the planet talking about common experiences of subjugation. ……