Why do people engage in religious pluralism?
Religious Pluralism as an Imaginative Practice
To understand the complex religious dynamics in a globalizing world, Arjun Appadurai's view on imagination as a social practice, Charles Taylor's view on social imaginaries, and John Dewey's view on moral imagination are discussed. Their views enable us to understand religious dynamics as a "space of contestation" in which secular and religious and religious images and voices (sometimes embodied in the same person) interact, argue, and clash. Imagination can be used in violent ways in service of extremist world images that spread over the world by the intensive use of social media. This raises an urgent question for psychology of religion: what enables people psychologically to engage in religious pluralism, understood as negotiating and perhaps stimulating diversity in non-violent, constructive ways? It is argued that dialogical psychology helps us to understand the self as the anchor point and navigational system of social imaginaries that are at play in religious dynamics.
Photo by K.J. Messick
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