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Religious literacy in policy and practice$
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Adam Dinham and Matthew Francis

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447316657

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447316657.001.0001

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Religious literacy as lokahi

Religious literacy as lokahi

social harmony through diversity

(p.77) Five Religious literacy as lokahi
Religious literacy in policy and practice

Michael Barnes SJ

Jonathan D. Smith

Policy Press

This chapter explores religious literacy through a dialogue with the concept of lokahi – a Hawaiian theory of positive interaction through diversity – and the projects of The Lokahi Foundation, a UK charity engaged in research and social impact projects. The chapter argues that rather than knowledge about diversity, religious literacy can be developed through relational engagement with diversity, using a specific set of knowledge, skills, attitudes and aspirations. The first section articulates the ancient philosophical concept of lokahi from its Hawaiian roots to its post-modern relevance in our complex multi-faith societies. The second section engages with four aspects of the definition of religious literacy by Dinham and Jones (2010) and proposes a definition of religious literacy as lokahi. The third section presents three case studies in different professional contexts and continents: trauma therapy in Uganda, deradicalisation in Pakistan, and engagement between UK police and Muslim communities around violent extremism.

Keywords:   religious literacy, diversity, social harmony, multi-faith, trauma therapy, deradicalisation, extremism

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