Unity in Diversity

Representations of Religious Minorities in the Literature of Interfaith Scotland

  • Liam T. Sutherland University of Edinburgh


Interfaith Scotland (IFS) represents a substantial number of religious bodies in Scotland and the representation of non-Christian religious minorities is fundamental to the interfaith movement. In a country in which religious minorities make up a tiny fraction of the population, in comparison with England and other European countries, narratives of diversity have become more prominent in the public sphere. Interfaith Scotland has depended on the world religions paradigm to promote its version of religious pluralism as embodied in its structure and represented in its literature, reinforcing the equivalency and paramount importance of the ‘major traditions’, while groups which do not fit neatly into one of these traditions have no representation on the organisation’s governing board. On the other hand, the world religions approach means that religious groups like the Scottish Pagan Federation are re-made according to that mould in Interfaith literature, with stress on an overarching intellectualised tradition constructed from disparate sources. This closely parallels the processes out of which the world religions paradigm arose in the 19th century with the construction of ‘Hinduism’, ‘Buddhism’ and other world religions as discrete intellectualised traditions.

How to Cite
SUTHERLAND, Liam T.. Unity in Diversity. Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religion (JBASR), [S.l.], v. 20, p. 145-168, sep. 2018. ISSN 2516-6379. Available at: <https://www.jbasr.com/ojs/index.php/jbasr/article/view/34>. Date accessed: 29 mar. 2023. doi: https://doi.org/10.18792/jbasr.v20i0.34.