Case Study 2: Public Platform Interreligious Activity
This case study considers the function of religious thinking within ‘public platform’ interreligious events being organised events at which representatives of different faith communities and worldviews speak in front of an invited audience. It reports varied examples of such interreligious activity where the speeches have religious or secular framing depending on speakers’ and organisers’ divergent assumptions as to what discourse is appropriate in a plural setting and for addressing a plural society. Translations between religious and secular language and discourses are found to work in both directions. The selection of language and content for different occasions and audiences is noted and related to Goffman’s theories of presentation of self and his distinction between ‘behind curtain’ and ‘front of curtain’ performance. The case study is interested in participants’ strategic use of religious thinking to position self or community in an interreligious order and observes the differences in strategies according to the faith community’s current position in society as historic, established tradition, as religious community countering a negative public image, as minority communities seeking a place and voice in public consciousness.
KeywordsPublic platform Performance Faith representatives Strategy Positioning Translation
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