Australian Soul: Religion and Spirituality in the 21st Century

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 16, 2006 - Social Science
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Australian Soul challenges the idea that religious and spiritual life in Australia is in decline. This fascinating book describes the character of religious and spiritual life in Australia today, and argues that, far from petering out, religion and spirituality are thriving. Gary Bouma, the leading expert on the state of religious life in Australia, provides the most up-to-date facts and figures and compares the 'tone' of Australian religious practices with those of other countries. Australians might be less vocal and more reticent about their religion than Americans are, but their religious and spiritual beliefs are no less potent. Australian Soul describes and analyses our religious and spiritual life in detail as well as providing a series of case studies that illustrate the range of practices and beliefs in Australia today. Australian Soul predicts a vital future for religion and spirituality.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
A shy hope in the heart
2
Postmodern
3
Secular
5
Diverse
6
Defining religion and spirituality
7
Spirituality religion persons and society
16
Spirituality religion and hope
18
Australia has become a multifaith society
116
Having to share
117
Postecumenical times
119
Critical changes in the social structure of Australia
122
Postpatriarchal times
126
New forms of social capital and cohesion
127
The mainstream From Christendom to comfortable on the margins
129
The move to the margins
130

Producing religion and spirituality
19
Spirituality and the sacred
25
A communal and social hope in the heart
27
A methodological reflection
28
Conclusion
30
Qualities of Australian religion and spirituality
31
Religious institutions
33
Origins of Australian spiritual and religious life
38
Comparing religious institutions
43
Pre1947 Australian religion and spirituality
45
Organised religion in Australia
47
Conclusion
48
Quantities of Australian religion and spirituality
49
Religious identity
50
Increased diversity
52
Buddhists Muslims and Hindus
55
Other religious groups
58
Other world religions in Australia
60
Nature religions
61
Multiple religious identities
63
Decline of British protestantism
65
Catholic growth
67
Other demographic dimensions
68
Education
69
Income and occupation
70
Demographic implications for the future
72
National comparisons
74
Religion and spirituality in social surveys
77
Declines in participation
78
Who attends church?
79
Retention rates
80
Normal levels of religious practice
83
Impact of belief and attendance
84
Conclusion
85
Spirituality and cultural change
86
Implications of cultural change
96
Impact on clergy
99
Implications for theology
101
Postbook times
103
Conclusion
105
The changing social location of religion and spirituality
106
Further disentangling church and state
107
Postcolonial times
109
Postnational times
111
A consumerist society
114
The comforts of marginalisation
137
Two patterns of marginalisation
139
The marginalisation of denominational and sectarian groups
140
Conclusion
142
Religion and spirituality respond to change
143
Religious revitalisation in Australia
144
Examples of revitalisation in civic rites
148
Megachurches
149
The rise of highdemand religious groups
154
Fundamentalisation
156
Fundamentalism and withdrawal from society
158
Spiritual innovation
162
Theological innovation in postmodernity
166
God in twentyfirstcentury Australia
169
Conclusion
171
Religion spirtuality and Australian social policy
172
How religion returned to the social policy agenda
173
Religion and the social policy discourse
175
How religion relates to social policy
176
The promotion of moderate Islam
178
Social policy as protection from religious excesses
179
Religion and education
181
Religion in the census and social policy
183
Religion as a source of social policy
185
Food health and religion
186
Employment law and religion
187
Religion as a shaper and implementer of social policy
190
Regulating religions in postmodern secularity
192
Managing religious diversity
193
Managing religious diversity around the world today
195
Social policy and the religious Rights transition from quietism to activism
196
Internal diversity
197
Religious competition
198
Living with and utilising diversity
201
Conclusion
202
Signs of hope in the twentyfirst century
204
Core drivers
205
Signs of hope
208
Grassroots interfaith activities
210
Interspirituality and bricolage
211
Religion and politics
212
Further reading
213
References
219
Index
228
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About the author (2006)

Professor Gary Bouma is head of the School of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash University. He holds the UNESCO Chair in Interreligious and Intercultural Relations – Asia Pacific and is Chair of the Standing Committee on Ethics in Research Involving Humans. He is the author of numerous works on the interaction between religion and society in Western countries including Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

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