To speak of religious identity is to refer to a particular way of approaching ‘difference’. Religious identity is, above all, a discourse of boundaries, relatedness and otherness, on the one hand, and encompassment and inclusiveness, on the other and of the powerful forces that are perceived to challenge, contest and preserve these distinctions and unities. In this sense the conjunction of religion and identity is both more, and less, than religion, seen broadly as a world-encompassing way of life relating to the sacred, and identity, as the locus of self and subjectivity. Religious identity may be invoked to explain or legitimise conflicts between and within religious groups. It emerges whenever groups are torn apart by schismatic or sectarian divisions, or engage among ...