2018 Agnes Heller annual sociology lecture

Event status:

Professor Douglas Ezzy Living well with religious diversity: Deep equality in troubled times

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Thursday 06 December 2018 04:30 pm until Thursday 06 December 2018 06:30 pm (Add to calendar)
Wendy Mee
W.Mee@latrobe.edu.au; +61 3 94791703
Presented by:

Douglas Ezzy
Professor of Sociology
School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania

Type of Event:
Current Student: Undergraduate; Current Student: Postgraduate; Public Lecture; Public

Living well with religious diversity requires new ways of relating rather than commitment to shared values.

Australia is increasingly religiously diverse. Non-Christian religions are growing, Christianity is becoming more ethnically diverse, and many more people are identifying as not religious.

I argue that this diversity demands new practices to facilitate respectful relationships. We need create etiquettes, practices of respectful and agonistic engagement with difference. This draws on the social theory of Levinas and Butler. Most recently this has been articulated in Beaman's conception of 'deep equality'. I take this further to incorporate the need for practices to negotiate deep and confronting otherness. The Victorian Racial and Religious Tolerance Act, 2001 is a fascinating example of the institutionalisation of just such an etiquette of respectful relationships.

This new diversity has challenged discourses of social cohesion informed by Durkheim and Putman that sought solidarity in shared values. Social cohesion, some claim, requires the rolling back of multiculturalism and multi-faith to rediscover shared values and identities. In contrast, I argue that this diversity demands new practices to facilitate respectful relationships.

Professor Douglas Ezzy is Editor of The Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, and has published widely on contemporary religion including the books: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christians (2017, with Bronwyn Fielder), Reinventing Church (2018, with Helen and James Collins), Sex, Death and Witchcraft (2014) and Teenage Witches (2007, with Helen Berger). He current leads an ARC Discovery project on "Religious Diversity in Australia" with Gary Bouma, Greg Barton, and Anna Halafoff. His research focuses on the sociology of religion and health sociology and is driven by a fascination with how people make meaningful and dignified lives.


Level 2, Room 2.11

La Trobe City Campus, 360 Collins Street, Melbourne



22nd Jul 2019 3:27pm

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