University Of Tasmania

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Religious diversity, legislation, and Christian privilege

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 23:55 authored by Douglas EzzyDouglas Ezzy, Rebecca BanhamRebecca Banham, Beaman, L
This article examines the role of legal frameworks and everyday interaction in the negotiation of religious diversity in Victoria, Australia. We argue that both formal legal frameworks and everyday interactions are significant in encouraging the respectful negotiation of religious difference. Experiences of historical privilege and visibility impact how religious people and groups experience and understand these processes. Or, put another way, the social position of various faith groups in Australian society shapes how people engage with both legal frameworks such as anti-discrimination legislation, and with other people in everyday interaction. Further, people’s everyday interactions shape their responses towards legal frameworks. Anti-discrimination and anti-vilification laws also shape everyday interactions through an effect that can be described as the ‘shadow of the law’, in which legal decisions communicate information about normative expectations that particular forms of behaviour are acceptable or unacceptable.


Australian Research Council


Publication title

Journal of Sociology


1- 17




School of Social Sciences



Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

© The Author(s) 2021

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Religion and society