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Religious diversity in the world's major cities is, first and foremost, a phenomenon of globalization. The global circulation of people and their cultures forces urban dwellers to encounter different collective identities, often defined by language, race, ethnicity, or religion. Cities have always been places where strangers interact. Members of different faith communities have been sharing the social spaces of modern urban communities for as long as modern societies have existed. The question of how these “cultural strangers” get along—sometimes peacefully and sometimes less so—is key to understanding contemporary urban life and culture.

There are numerous meanings of the term global city. One kind of definition fixes the category based on the roles cities play in the worldwide capitalist system. For example, a global city is a ...

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