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Open AccessArticle

Religion in Coalition: Balancing Moderate and Progressive Politics in the Sydney Alliance

The Institute for Ethics and Society, The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia
Religions 2019, 10(11), 610;
Received: 23 September 2019 / Revised: 21 October 2019 / Accepted: 21 October 2019 / Published: 4 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion in Australian Public Life: Resurgence, Insurgence, Cooption?)
This article examines how the engagement of diverse religious organisations and individuals in grassroots politics impacts the nature of politics and coalition building through a case study of an urban grassroots political coalition in Australia: the Sydney Alliance. Based on eight-months of exploratory ethnographic fieldwork in one campaign team, this article argues that whilst religious organisations bring significant symbolic and institutional resources to political coalitions, and can be flexible coalition partners, they tend to moderate both conservative and progressive political tendencies within a coalition and demand focused attention from organisers and leaders to manage the coalition dynamics. This article examines the way many religious activists understand their political action to be an inherent and necessary part of their religious practice: problematizing the characterisation common in much social science literature that religious engagement in more progressive politics primarily serves political, and not religious, ends. In doing so, it shows how political action can be directed both outward towards the work, and inward towards the ‘church’. View Full-Text
Keywords: community organizing; religious diversity; political participation community organizing; religious diversity; political participation
MDPI and ACS Style

Hancock, R. Religion in Coalition: Balancing Moderate and Progressive Politics in the Sydney Alliance. Religions 2019, 10, 610.

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