A critical exploration of the place of ‘religion’ and ‘religious identity’ in social practice with ethnic communities: A case of African background communities
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Citation:Ayallo, I. (2021, November). A critical exploration of the place of ‘religion’ and ‘religious identity’ in social practice with ethnic communities: A case of African background communities. Paper presented at the Sociological Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (SAANZ) Conference 2021, Lincoln University, Christchurch.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5510
This presentation explores the critical role of ‘religion’ and ‘religious identity’ as an important wellbeing factor in social practice with ethnic communities, using African background communities as an example. Comparative research and literature on African philosophies and worldviews shows that religion is an important marker of identity. This has been shown to be true for African living in the African continent and those in diaspora. The importance of religion does not disappear or diminish with the process of immigration. In the context of wellbeing, religion has proven to be a primary force of social cohesion and building interpersonal and communal relationships. Qualities such as compassion, justice, solidarity, and guardianship are often intimately linked to religion. However, the presentation also acknowledges the ambiguous role of religion. Harmful qualities have also been reinforced based on religion. These include intolerance, hatred, sexism, racism, homophobia, poverty, and marginalisation. Nevertheless, religion remains an important wellbeing factor. Accordingly, its risk and protective elements in social practice with ethnic communities are discussed in this presentation.