Social Justice Research

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 283–295 | Cite as

Social Justice Issues in the Management of Religious Diversity in Australia

  • Gary D. Bouma


New religions, both those arriving by way of the cultural baggage of migrants and those which are part of the panoply of recent New Religious Movements and the New Age, have challenged and changed Australia's religious demography, but have been incorporated into Australian society in a comparatively peaceable way due to Australia's very tolerant religious institution. The effective management of this new religious diversity has been made possible by previously existing norms and expectations (i.e., institutions). The attempt to enact federal legislation to protect freedom of religion and belief in response to ICCPR Article 18 spearheaded by Australia's Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission provides an opportunity to examine a particular case of the management of religious diversity. Groups that viewed the consequences of religious difference from a social justice perspective supported the legislation, and those that essentialize religious difference opposed it.

religious diversity social justice religious freedom institutional analysis social institutions migration social policy Article 18 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary D. Bouma
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political and Social InquiryMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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