Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific
National Case Studies
Religious diversity is now a social fact in most countries of the world. While reports of the impact of religious diversity on Europe and North America are reasonably well-known, the ways in which Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific are religiously diverse and the ways this diversity has been managed are not. This book addresses this lack of information about one of the largest and most diverse regions of the world. It describes the religious diversity of 27 nations, as large and complex as Indonesia and as small as Tuvalu, outlining the current issues and the basic policy approaches to religious diversity. Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands are portrayed as a living laboratory of various religious blends, with a wide variance of histories and many different approaches to managing religious diversity. While interesting in their own right, a study of these nations provides a wealth of case studies of diversity management – most of them stories of success and inclusion.
Gary D Bouma is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and UNESCO Chair in Interreligious and Intercultural Relations – Asia Pacific at Monash University in Victoria, Australia, and Chair of Board of Directors for The Parliament of the World’s Religions 2009. He is Associate Priest in the Anglican Parish of St John’s East Malvern, Melbourne.
Rod Ling is a Research Assistant in the Institute for Social Change, University of Manchester and was until recently UNESCO Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University.
Douglas Pratt is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. He is also the New Zealand Associate of the UNESCO Chair in Intercultural and Interreligious Relations – Asia Pacific and an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow of the School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University.