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Engaging with Diversity

Multidisciplinary Reflections on Plurality from Quebec

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Edited By Stéphan Gervais, Raffaele Iacovino and Mary-Anne Poutanen

Contributed by leading scholars of Quebec Studies, both emerging and established, the 30 essays of this comprehensive collection offer a multidisciplinary survey of the study of diversity in Quebec over space and time. The volume is organized around a variety of themes through which Quebec’s plural reality is expressed, including conceptual, historical and contemporary approaches, covering a wide range of social and economic cleavages, identity markers, political contestation and, broadly, the lived experiences of Quebecers negotiating difference over time. In an environment increasingly demarcated by conflicts around values and cultural and social practices, this collection hopes to contribute to broadening the spectrum of voices to the current debate, adding an inclusive reflection to a conversation that has only intensified over the last decade. Quebec as a pluri-national and multi-ethnic society has been and remains a great laboratory to study and to test public policies on ethnic diversity. It allows us to identify the tensions and to evaluate the balance between the majority and the minority; and between settler society and indigenous nations, in conceptualizing and finding a normative consensus around the configuration of collective rights. In short, the contributions in this volume seek to illustrate how pluralism has and continues to constitute the lifeblood of belonging in Quebec.

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The Changing Landscape of Religious Diversity in Montreal (Frédéric Castel / Frédéric Dejean / Annick Germain)

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The Changing Landscape of Religious Diversity in Montreal

Frédéric CASTEL, Frédéric DEJEAN, and Annick GERMAIN

Religious diversity in Quebec has been increasing since the mid-1970s, especially in Montreal. Yet it is only recently that numerous debates and controversies concerning some religious manifestations, often relayed by the media, have occurred. They culminated with the “reasonable accommodation crisis” and the creation of a “Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences”, better known as the “Bouchard-Taylor Commission”, referring to the two co-commissioners: historian and sociologist Gérard Bouchard and philosopher Charles Taylor (2008). The discussions related to accommodation practices shifted quickly from cultural and religious differences to those related to immigration, leading to an overlap of questions quite different in nature.

The religious landscape has been growing complex in the last several years and it seems important to have a look at the different components and to try to unpack them. That is precisely what we seek to do here. To this aim, we will analyze the religious landscape from a spatial perspective, namely considering the places of worship and their location in the urban space in Montreal. In order to bring out the recent evolutions of the landscape, we will consider the changing geography of religious diversity.

We will draw this chapter out of our own respective and recent research, especially that focusing on mosques and on Evangelical and Pentecostal churches. While European and...

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