The Multi-faith Paradigm in Policy and Practice: Problems, Challenges, Directions

Dinham, Adam. 2012. The Multi-faith Paradigm in Policy and Practice: Problems, Challenges, Directions. Social Policy and Society, 11(4), pp. 577-587. ISSN 1474-7464 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

A significant infrastructure of multi-faith engagement grew and consolidated throughout the first decade of the twenty-first century in England, called forth, at least in part, by government policy. This arose in response to three narratives of religious faith: a policy narrative which constructs faith groups as repositories of resources; a faith narrative which is concerned with the lived experiences of faith; and a partnership narrative which reflects the growing role of faith groups in the mixed economy of welfare (see Dinham and Lowndes, 2008). It is inflected, too, by a fourth narrative located in the bundle of ‘Prevent’ policies which sought to address the risks of religious radicalisation and extremism. This article examines multi-faith policy in England, and the issues driving it, and explores its relationship to the faith-based practices which are imagined by it. It asks the question whether the multi-faith paradigm, as crystallised in the policy document ‘Face to Face and Side by Side: A Framework for Partnership in Our Multi Faith Society’ (CLG, 2008), engages with a real and lived experience or remains a policy chimera and a parallel world.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)



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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 11:46

Last Modified:

10 Jul 2017 08:34

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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