Religion and Social Action in a City of Posts

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This article explores the ramifications of religious engagement in social action initiatives in ethnically and religiously plural urban environments in the UK. In particular, it explores this engagement through a series of inter-related analytical frames, which explain the trajectory and political significance of religiously inflected
social action in different ways, before examining specific initiatives in localised context. Behind this approach is the recognition of the need to situate religion in complex contexts, resisting its crosscultural and trans-historical claims, and of the ways in which religion is deployed as a specific mode of both domination and resistance. The author argues that the pluralism of the contemporary city has
critical implications for understanding contemporary religion and social action, both in terms of the range of organisations involved and in terms of the negotiation of difference which is an everyday facet of multicultural urban living. The spaces of engagement opened up by these contemporary contexts allow for the development of new ways of conceptualising religion and new potentialities for the role of religion in the developing politics of living in the city.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-82
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Contemporary Religion
Issue number1
Early online date22 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • Urban religion
  • Religious diversities
  • ethnic diversity
  • Postcolonialism
  • postsecularism
  • multifaith
  • British religion


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