chapter  11
18 Pages

Religion materialised in the everyday

Young people’s attitudes towards material expressions of religion
WithElisabeth Arweck

This chapter draws on both qualitative and quantitative data arising from the three-year project 'Young People's Attitudes towards Religious Diversity', which was based in the Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit at the University of Warwick. The Diversity Project sought to explore the attitudes of 13–16-year-old pupils across the United Kingdom towards religious diversity. Using data collected in focus group discussions and from a quantitative survey of almost 12,000 young people, the chapter reports perceptions and attitudes towards material expressions of religious belonging or adherence. Legal cases have contested arguments in favour of and against allowing religious dress and symbols to be worn or displayed in public places, testing legislation at the national and European level. The notion of 'material expression' is understood in terms of any physical, tangible or embodied indication of lived religion, in this case including religious symbols, religious clothing and observance of particular requirements, such as dietary rules.