Banal is not trivial: Visibility, recognition, and inequalities between religious groups in prison

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Abstract

© 2014 Taylor & Francis. Recognizing religious groups is not only a question of granting rights, but also a question of the possibility of being perceived as unproblematic, especially in contexts where religion is a contested issue. Spain is a compelling case to examine this proposition. There, the rise of migration-driven religious diversity and the attacks of 11 March 2004 have led religious minorities into the sensitive terrain of 'supra-visibility'. Drawing upon research conducted in prisons, we show that, in this situation, being classified as a 'religion' becomes more a cause for alarm than a sign of normalcy. The most powerful actors in the field have actively distanced themselves from the category of 'religion', either because they are presented as spiritual therapies or because they are embedded in cultural traditions - the banal Catholicism that prevails in many southern European settings. Overall, religious inequalities are not only related to the recognition of rights, but also to the (in)visibility of some social and cultural forms over others.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-37
JournalJournal of Contemporary Religion
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2015

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