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Book: Navigating Universalism and Particularism in the Study of Religions

Chapter: Multiple Identifications: An Issue of Growing Diversity and Complexity in Religious and Secular Worldviews?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.44301


Many young adults today seem to express multiple religious identifications as part of their life-views. Yet, it remains unclear how we should comprehend and conceptualize this phenomenon. Observations about multiple religious identifications offer an impetus to better capture the heterogeneity, complexity and fluidity with regard to how religion is currently reconfigured and structured due to e.g. religious change and globalization (Nynäs et al 2021). It also implies a need to further investigate the diversification of secular and religious identities. The aim of this chapter is to explore forms of multiple identifications as part of a larger discussion on contemporary diversity and pluralism. We assess several recent contributions to understanding multiple identifications from a cross-disciplinary perspective including how diversity as a social process of change has been contested in more general terms (Giordan and Pace 2014; Illman et al 2015; Berghuis et al 2018). Analyses of a diverse mixed-method data from thirteen countries contribute with empirical observations regarding both overarching patterns of identifications and individual life narratives.

Chapter Contributors

  • Ruth Illman ( - rillman) 'The Donner Institute for Research in Religion and Culture'
  • Peter Nynäs ( - pnynas) 'Åbo Akademi University'
  • Nurit Novis-Deutsch ( - ndeutsch) 'University of Haifa'