Although media and technology are offering teachers and students richer and more diverse musical opportunities than ever before, hands-on music making and performance are still often promoted as the ideal for meaningful learning in schools. Whereas performance in schools once equated to the choral singing of national and religious repertoires (Keene 1982; Pajamo 1976), such narrow definitions of what was seen as musically good have largely been replaced by multicultural repertoires and ideals. For example, in Finland, the recently introduced National Core Curriculum for Basic Education (Finnish National Board of Education 2014) emphasizes the role of music instruction in guiding pupils to attain an appreciative and inquisitive attitude towards cultural diversity and the multiplicity of musical meanings (Finnish National Board of Education 2014, 141). In learning about cultures and difference through performance, music has increasingly been considered not as an artifact to learn about, in terms of its history or in terms of cultivating an aesthetic appreciation among students, but as social action. As such, the performance of different musics has been seen as one way to bring together students of different musical, ethnic, cultural, and religious identities and backgrounds. However, taking into account the inherent diversity of school populations, the social character of musical performance means that there is a heightened, or at least more explicit, potential for tensions and conflicts to arise between the values and beliefs embedded in students’ identifications and those legitimized through the selection of school repertoires.
In this chapter, we explore the potentials for conflict that exist at the intersection of music, education, and religion, as performances in schools elicit enactments of the religious or nonreligious beliefs of students and those of the school.1 This is often a meeting between multiple, incongruent, and often noncomplementary worlds. Drawing on the concept of performativity, through illustrations from the Finnish context, we argue that when music, education, and religion intersect in musical performance, complex questions arise about identity, subjectivity, and agency—requiring ethical and political negotiation from both teachers and students. This chapter has three main sections: First, we examine how feminist philosopher Judith Butler’s concept of performativity might extend and complicate our understanding of musical performance in formal music education contexts.2 When applied to the intersections between music, education, and religion, the lens of performativity allows us to reconsider the prevalent views on identity in contemporary multicultural music education, to consider identities not as singular, stable categorizations, but as multiple, situational, and under constant negotiation. These dynamic ideas of who students are and who they are becoming, are here seen to be constituted through performativities in, and through, musical performance. Second, we locate this discussion in the rituals and musical performances of the diverse, comprehensive school context, which we argue is a distinct type of public space. The boundaries established in separating this—often assumed to be secular—public space from the ideologies and doctrines associated with religious institutions may be seen to have resulted in a “collective amnesia” (Clarke 2009, 3). We question whether such amnesia, through the exclusion of religious histories, beliefs, values, and identities of students, and indeed teachers, can succeed in constructing a nonpartisan, inclusive, and neutral community. Finally, we consider the place of agency within these processes of school community building. We argue that through reconsidering the prevalent notion of recognition in multicultural music education scholarship, we might better attend to the power dynamics of inclusion and exclusion as they manifest in and through music education in the secular school. Although drawing on examples from the Finnish music education settings and curriculum documents, the chapter is by no means restricted to the Finnish context only. As a whole, the chapter aims to contribute to the theorization of social justice in music education.
Complicating Musical Performance
In recent decades, music education scholarship has emphasized multiculturalism not only as a means of recognizing the diversity of musical material and performance practices in the world, but also as a “social ideal; a policy of support for exchange among different groups of people to enrich all while respecting and preserving the integrity of each” (Elliott 1990, 151). The praxial turn toward the “apprenticeship tradition” (Schrag 1992) has offered an important contribution to how multiculturalism is navigated in schools. Through its various iterations (e.g., Alperson 1991; Elliott 1995; Bowman 2002) praxialism has shifted the focus of music education from a more distanced, normative, aesthetic appreciation of master works to musical action, through a hands-on, contextualized approach. In short, music has been conceptualized not as a thing, but as a verb, as seen in the concept of musicing (Elliott 1995).
This shift of perspective to regard music as something we do, has meant that music(s) ought not to be seen as something external to our identities but as collective doings involving the “exploring, affirming, and celebrating” (Small 1998) of musical, and other, values, beliefs, and relationships. By resisting idioms peculiar to schools and turning instead to the values and goods of music already found within communities and societies, scholars have extended the conceptualization of music from something we do, to something that we are (Elliott and Silverman 2015). This may be seen as particularly relevant for young people taught in schools as they negotiate their own conceptualizations of the self in relation to others, context, and situation within and beyond the peer group. Importantly, through this understanding, the school not only needs to take into account who students are, but also attend to ethical questions of who they are becoming (Bowman 2002; Kallio 2015; Karlsen and Westerlund 2015).
In making space available for multiple musical doings and beings in schools, careful repertoire selection has been thought to support and contribute to each student’s identity construction (Elliott 1995, 212). Accordingly, cultural recognition has guided teacher’s selections of musical repertoire for classes and school performances (Drummond 2005; Elliott 1995), and lessons have paid close attention to the ethnocultural characteristics of music (Volk 1998, 4). This focus on ethnic diversity and cultural representation has seen school music take considerable strides toward making lessons more accessible for more students. In the process, however, it has neglected other diversities, such as the religious identities of students and religiously defined musical practices. Although perhaps not explicated in curricula or music education scholarship, religious values and beliefs may be intricately bound with musical expression and musical performance—as musical doings.
There has been considerable criticism of multicultural approaches that direct teachers to select repertoire and activities solely on the basis of their perceptions of students’ ethnic backgrounds. For instance, Karlsen (2013) and Sæther (2008) have argued against teachers relying on their own assumptions about who their students are, noting that in the Nordic countries immigrant students often wished to conceal their ethnic-geographical musical identities, as they seek to fit in with what they perceived to be mainstream school culture. Students did not wish to be categorized as Other, even if it were a musical Other. In many cases, if the teacher were to include music that was representative of these students’ assumed backgrounds, “what may have been intended as an act of cultural inclusion and recognition from the teacher’s side would instead have functioned as an act of social alienation” (Karlsen 2013, 172). In Sæther’s (2008) study in Sweden, immigrant students defined the quality of their music lessons not in terms of whether their own music was recognizable in school repertoires, but rather according to their own level of engagement, the cooperation between students, and the cohesion that was achieved through playing popular music—which they saw as a broader “youth culture.” However, this desire to fit in through performing youth culture together is not unproblematic. As Karlsen and Sæther both note, conflicts may arise between students’ engagements with popular music at school and the values and religious convictions of their families. Understanding musical meaning as something that arises through social action, diversity as it relates to the social constructions of race, history, culture, and religion—among others — can intersect with music making. Therefore, music making with others may not always result in social cohesion. Moreover, if music is understood as action, as something we do, as music making intersects with religion, it also intersects with other social constructs that accompany religious beliefs and practices, such as gender. For instance, in the United Kingdom, Harris (2003) found that “Muslims are almost unanimously unhappy about the idea of boys and girls being taught together at secondary age,” particularly in the “secular” performing arts.
In considering the complexity of student identifications in, and through, music, the feminist lens put forward by Judith Butler (2007) allows for identity to be understood not as something you already are (a “being”), but as something that is performed again and again (a “doing”) in one’s becoming. If, then, to participate in music is also such a doing (as something we are), we are also doing identity through music making, as praxialist philosophers have long pointed out. This means that there need not be a “doer behind the deed,” but the doer “is variably constructed in and through the deed” (Butler 2007, 195). There is no subject prior to the cultural field that it negotiates. In this sense, musical performance is performative, as an impersonation of ethnic, cultural, linguistic, geographical, or religious identities and norms that, through repetition, constitute the self. Extending Butler’s focus on linguistic constructions of identity to music, we might understand the work of the performative in the school music context as “draw[ing] upon and recit[ing] a set of linguistic/[musical] conventions which have traditionally worked to bind or engage certain kinds of effects. . . . This power of recitation is not a function of an individual intention, but is an effect of historically sedimented linguistic/[musical] conventions” (Butler 1995, 134). Nevertheless, it is important to note that this process is not so simple as to say that by performing a Japanese Hichiriki flute piece the student is constituted as Shinto. Or that by singing the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah, the student is constituted as Christian. Rather, in this account, the subject of the student is constituted not just through negotiating and reproducing, but also contesting identities in any given musical performance. This in turn (re)enforces the boundaries of which identities are made possible, thinkable, sayable, or musicable. The imposition of normative categories is “thus not a repressive act by one subject against another,” but it is rather this categorization that “makes possible the formation of the subject . . . a reiterated effect of a structure” rather than any singular action (Butler 1998, 255). Religiosity, irreligiosity, or any identification between may thus be in conflict with a musical practice or music educational practice. For instance, as mentioned earlier, the common school practice of girls and boys playing and singing together is one that may clash with religious doctrine or identifications.
Hence, musical performativity is not simply a matter of trying on roles and identities, to discard at the end of music making in class. Rather, if musicing is a social process of becoming oneself, performances in schools (and the possible repetitions of negotiations or nonnegotiations) may be seen as constituting the subjectivities of students. In other words, as the negotiations involved in musical performativity are not necessarily easy and may be emotionally charged, they are not to be seen as simply intellectual tasks, creative exercises or fictive identifications to be conducted for musical learning to take place, but rather as normative frames within which students become who they are. We can then further ask by means of an oversimplified dichotomy of religious/nonreligious, how does assumed secularization constitute the subjectivities of religious students in schools? Or vice versa, how might (explicitly or implicitly) religious music repertoires constitute the subjectivities of students who identify themselves as irreligious or antireligious? While individual instances are complicated by various identifications, categorizations, and performativities of (non)religiosity (among any number of other performativities), how normative frames of religiosity or nonreligiosity afford or limit student agency is, ultimately, an ethical and political question.
The School as Public Space
Butler’s analysis of the performative conceptualizes the world as something not necessarily chosen by the individual. Therefore, some crucial conditions are set for teaching and learning when viewing school music education through the lens of the performative of performance, particularly when it comes to assumptions of shared identifications. First, whereas many other school subjects may be approached more or less through individual work, performance in the music classroom and group situations requires at least some semblance of cohesion, typically achieved through a collective approach to music making. The musical ensemble—be it a peer group, a class, a choir, an orchestra, or rock band—is then required to participate in a common process of identification, through sharing values, beliefs, and ideals as part of the musical performance. Moreover, school performances are often at least partially public, meaning they are framed in ways by which individuals present an image of themselves for acceptance by, or at least the appreciation of, audiences beyond their peers or immediate colearners. Therefore, processes of identification do not take place backstage in private but are required to be performed in front of others—emerging through a negotiated relationship between self-image and public image (Jenkins 2008, 93).
Second, ignoring religious identities in secularized public schooling does not necessarily afford each student an equal opportunity to exercise agency and may negate the inherent heterogeneity of school populations. Indeed, some researchers argue that a secularist order is itself based on discriminatory universalism, “since it does not recognise the particularities of religious bodies in the public space” (Poulter, Riitaoja, and Kuusisto 2016, 70). Grounded in the philosophies of the French revolution and eighteenth-century Enlightenment thinking, secularism as a neutralizing concept separated religion from concerns of the public domain, rather seeing faith as an individual, private, personal matter. This widespread, and in many places widening, rift between the private-religious and secularized public sphere is manifest even in research fields such as the sociology of religion (e.g., Clarke 2009, 14). Consequently, religion is often thought to have nothing to do, or ought to have nothing to do, with comprehensive, state-run schooling, seen through the legislative divides between church and state in the curricula of the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom, for example. Yet researchers have stressed that even in secularized contexts, there is no “such a thing as a neutral public space or neutral education. . . . They are always social, political and historical constructions” (Poulter, Riitaoja, and Kuusisto 2016, 78). The religious diversity of school populations is therefore not erased simply through secular mandates.
This assumption that secular schooling is somehow neutral can suppress, marginalize, or erase students’ own (non)religious identities. This possibility raises questions about how inclusive a secular music education can be, if in restricting the religious content or identifications of school repertoires we also impose a neutralizing framework on students’ expressions. This is particularly relevant if we take into account that only about 15 percent of the world’s population identifies as nonreligious or atheist (Castells 2010, xviii). The cohesive aims of school music making and the inherent diversity of the worldviews of student populations may thus come into conflict when processes of community building collide with individual (non)religious identities and values. This importance of recognizing, rather than restraining, multiple beliefs, religions, and value systems is now understood to be an integral part of Finnish comprehensive education, and schools are encouraged to direct pupils in both acknowledging and critically reflecting on the values they encounter, as well as in building their own worldviews (Finnish National Board of Education 2014, 15).
Through the Butlerian perspective, secular music education practices can be understood to be just as much social rituals as religious music education practices. Through these rituals, secular communities are necessarily normative, regulating students (and indeed teachers) through processes of interpellation. Jackson and Mazzei (2012) describe this interpellation as acts of hailing: “This hailing (or, “Hey, you!”) is an act of forming the subject to comply with and obey the laws of its domain” (74). Hailing, we argue, can take place not only through religious musical repertoire, but also when conformity to secularization, or at least the suppression of one’s own religious identity, is the anticipated outcome. According to Butlerian logic, discursive (or musical) interpellations are attempts to pull or put someone “in their place,” forcing individuals into subjection according to social norms. This interpellation is not descriptive, but inaugurative, in the sense that it “seeks to introduce a reality rather than report on an existing one” (Jackson and Mazzei 2012, 79). For instance, in our own institution, some student music teachers have refused to perform ancient Finnish pagan music as part of a compulsory folk music course. These student teachers explained that performing this musical tradition would be a violation of their Christian faith and understandings of what music is for. Through their justifications for not participating in this particular performance, the Sibelius Academy’s student music teachers contested and also produced understandings and meanings of their own Christianity, of the paganness of the ancient folk music, and of the secular normative educational framework that interpreted the religious and the pagan not as issues of identity but rather as historical, cultural knowledge.
Hence, it is not necessarily clear which musical repertoires are experienced as religious, so to speak, as it is (re)inscribed through performativities of performance. For instance, as Lauri Väkevä suggests in this volume, it is possible that most Finnish school students do not experience the singing of the summer hymn Suvivirsi as particularly religious, as the song has long been considered a part of Finnish cultural heritage, heralding the end of the school year and the beginning of summer holidays. The relations between music and religious experiences are thus contingent and under constant negotiation, and this complexity extends from the role(s) that music plays in religious institutions and activities to considerations of which genres, styles, and instruments are considered appropriate for believers, or communal services, rituals, festivals, devotions, and prayer (Brown 2014). Indeed, the distinction between religious music and nonreligious music “is a variable and fluid one” (Brown 2014, 124), and which musics are considered to be religious, by whom, and in what circumstance vary from one individual to another, and from one situation to another. What is important, however, is whether this music is interpellative; whether the musical performance hails and forms the subject to obey the laws of its domain. It can be argued that, for some, Suvivirsi certainly works as a citational practice through which available identities are regularly (re)constituted.
Although any social act constitutes subjectivity through the ritualized repetition of norms, it might be argued that school rituals represent perhaps the most canonized forms of such acts where music and religion intersect, and where musical acts of interpellation can take place. It has been noted that school rituals and musical performances in rituals reveal the “deep grammar of school culture” (Nikkanen and Westerlund 2017, 117), and “function as stagings of the body, as symbolic actions, as aesthetic spectacles and ethical events” (Wulf 2008, 45). In this way, school music can also shape the social relations of the school, oscillating between conflict and processes of integration. Ritualization thus legitimizes values and ideals that are desirable as “fundamentally a way of doing things to trigger the perception that these practices are special” (Hollywood 2002, 112). With this in mind, a distinction often made is between teaching about religious holidays in the classroom and celebrating them (as has been stated in the State of Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction  Equity and Civil Rights guidelines, as just one example of many). In music rituals, however, the boundaries between teaching about and celebrating are blurred, since music making is a social performance of who we are and who we aspire to become. It is important to note that participating in school celebrations through collective music making, such as through performing the Finnish summer hymn Suvivirsi, is often presented as nonnegotiable, and the only way to resist the citational practice is to merely listen or to leave.
If, as we have suggested, our engagements with music in school always carry the potential to be religiously loaded, schools are never wholly secular or neutral. Rather, schools are a particular kind of public spaces where conflict and tensions are unavoidable products of collaborative work, community, and constant negotiation. Uncritical assumptions of secularity thus negate the dynamic political and ethical negotiations that constitute (non)religious musical meanings and student identities through the performativity of performances. Moreover, as secularization projects conflict with situational performativities, these political and ethical negotiations can be seen as not taking place in a way that is natural or free. Yet this consideration does not exclude the importance of the creation of community in a school context. The invocation and making of the “us” through concerted action in school rituals is not, however, related just to past communities and their ethnicities but could be “bound up with a future that is yet to be lived out” (Butler 2015, 169) and in this way be seen as forms of political performativity in which the conditions of coming together are constantly under negotiation (Westerlund, Partti, and Karlsen 2017).
As already mentioned, a multicultural ethos informing the selection of musical repertoires within a secularized school environment has been intended to “extend the reference of ‘us’ as far as we can” (Woodford 2005, 89), including more students as part of a cohesive school community. However, if school performances take into account the performativity of the performance, such a neutralizing, assimilatory approach may negate students’ complex and dynamic (non)religious identities, resulting in processes of exclusion more than inclusion (Kallio 2015). Prioritizing consensus in terms of secularization, or assuming an automatic consensus to take place through school performances, limits which religious identifications are legitimized in the school context through insisting that “certain kinds of . . . events be narrated [or performed] only one way” (Butler 1997, 134).
Agency and Recognition
The challenges of performance, particularly as they relate to matters of religion, thus arise when engaged in as a collective. As the focus in recent scholarly work has been on cultivating a school community through music making together, individual agency, and its place in relation to the collective, has been somewhat neglected (Schmidt 2012). Hence, with musical performance and the performativity of identities both seen as doings, a central concern for music teachers is how difference can be performed within the public spaces of the school community—in which agency is key. Instead of seeing agency as an ability to act on and within the world to make choices that are willed rather than determined, Butler suggests that agency is rather derived from within the constitution of subject, when a subject’s performative acts both reproduce and contest the foundations and origins of stable identity categories (Butler 2007, 195). The subject is generated through “a regulated process of repetition that both conceals itself and enforces its rules,” and agency “is to be located within the possibility of a variation on that repetition” (Butler 2007, 198; emphasis orig.). From this perspective, the Finnish student music teachers who refused to perform ancient Finnish pagan music because of their Christian faith, contesting the nonreligious identity of an otherwise pluralist musician, multicultural music teacher, and curriculum worker, performed agency. For them, this music was not neutral. Through this example, it may be seen that there is a difference between learning about Finnish pagan music and performing this music, with the performative act of performing seen to reproduce the identity category associated with any given repertoire. The irony here is that the same student music teachers may, in their future careers, accompany the hymn Suvivirsi, which arguably is a ritual that interpellates the student subjects in schools in exactly this same way.
Agency, here, is thus not simply referring to the ability to do or think outside interpellative categorizations. Butler (2004) notes an important paradox: that agency is both constrained and dependent on normative categories imposed on individuals, in a social world they never chose—in this way, the paradox of agency is the “condition of its possibility” (Butler 2004, 3, emphasis added). The Christian student teachers’ performative contestations against the assumption of secularized schooling would not be possible if they had not been asked to perform pagan music that conflicted with their own religious subjectivities. Imposed identity categorizations are thus sites of “necessary trouble” (Jackson and Mazzei 2012), allowing for relational conflicts that produce nuanced and contextualized understandings of one’s own identifications and those of others in any given situation.
Hence, the canonized rituals and musical repertoires of the school music context not only foreclose (Butler 1998) the agential options made available to students but provide the necessary conditions for the recognition of the student as a viable subject. In her work on immigrant students’ musical agency in Finland, Norway, and Sweden, Karlsen (2013) demonstrates how some students were happy to be identified musically according to their or their parents’ homeland and others found it was a limiting categorization, particularly in the school context. Karlsen argued that such identity negotiation “not only draws on but also produced complexity” (172, emphasis added) in music lessons and school life as a whole. Therefore, although the experience of recognition is necessary for us to become socially viable beings, this recognition needs to be recognized as a matter of power “with the problem of who qualifies as the recognizably human and who does not” (Butler 2004, 2). As part and parcel of cultivating a school community, teachers should allow for recognition also referring to the possibility of not being labeled according to normative identity categories. Moreover, expressions of subjectivity can be silent, erased, or hidden. Performativity can emerge as provisional, an error, or a mistake. As Butler writes, “If a subject were constituted once and for all, there would be no possibility of a reiteration of those constituting conventions or norms. That the subject is that which must be constituted again and again implies that it is open to formations that are not fully constrained in advance. Hence, the insistence of finding agency as resignification” (Butler 1995, 135). The performative is therefore a social ritual where the modalities of practice are powerful, precisely because they are so insistent and insinuating.
In this way, Butler’s understanding of recognition reaches beyond the voluntarist notion of self and recognition that liberal multiculturalism has suggested. In contemporary multicultural liberalism, “Indigenous subjects are called on to perform an authentic self-identity of prenational, ‘traditional’ cultural difference” (Butler and Athanasiou 2013, 76), and students are expected to strengthen this identity, which is reserved and defined for them by the dominant understanding of cultural diversity and identity. The public space of the school thus serves as a site where contests for recognition are waged between different, and at times opposing, (non)religious doctrines, practices, values, and musical expressions (Kallio 2015). This recognition, as a site of power, is one means “by which the human is differently produced” (Butler 2004, 2).
In this chapter, we have extended earlier theorizations of musical performance in education to consider the potential conflicts and tensions that arise at the intersection of music and religion in school. We have aimed to demonstrate how music education is not only simply a matter of transmitting neutral knowledge, even in secular schooling, and that there is a need to consider how various (non)religious identifications are produced in the school context, particularly in musical performances as expressions of assumed collectives. The development of secularism as “epistemic ethnocentrism” (Poulter, Riitaoja, and Kuusisto 2016, 69) has created a false assumption that students arrive at the music classroom having left their (non)religious backgrounds or beliefs at the door. In reality, students’ identities, values, and beliefs may foreclose certain musical practices if they are to identify with particular religious doctrines. Through highlighting the performativity of musical performance, we have argued that students are constituted (but not determined) through the practices of music making and how the making and remaking of subjectivities through the performative processes means that students may be continually resignified. Identity categories such as Muslim student, Catholic student, or secular school are therefore signifiers laden with different, and situated, social, historical, political, and ethical meanings.
If citizenship and a democratic approach to education takes equity and social justice as a central premise, questions may be raised whether equity is achieved through the dismissal of difference through adopting what is believed to be a religiously neutral, secular stance. With the diversity within school populations, it may be questioned whether we can assume a consensus of social values, moral frameworks, and worldviews, even if that consensus is one of educational neutrality. Instead, the assumption of neutrality isolates the student to navigate between religion-based home cultures and secular school culture alone. Paradoxically, secularization also prevents us from recognizing that, despite the presumed neutrality, schools still include historically established religious musical repertoires, particularly in festivities and ceremonies. Assuming secularization thus obfuscates the political modalities of the most fundamental ethical questions.
We therefore suggest that in attending to the intersection of music, education, and religion, we need to recognize the messiness, the contradictions, the complexity, and the politics of practices previously seen as perhaps simply cognitively challenging but ultimately socially harmonious musical performance. The teacher in today’s diverse schools is required to make conscious attempts to understand which musics and musical practices interpellate religious identities, and which school rituals may result in processes of (non)religious coercion or exclusion. In navigating this complexity, difference is not an obstacle to overcome. Rather, there is a need to understand diversity in music education beyond the idea of an expansion of knowledge in and through musical practices of the world and to see curricular content itself as a potentially conflicting and contested arena for constituting agency. When conceptualizing musical performance as an inclusive practice in school, we therefore need to constantly search for, and respond to, the ethical and political dimensions of musical performance—the performativity of performance.
HEIDI WESTERLUND is Professor of Music Education at the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts–Helsinki, Finland. She currently leads two large-scale research projects: The Arts as Public Service: Strategic Steps towards Equality (ArtsEqual) and Global Visions through Mobilizing Networks: Co-developing Intercultural Music Teacher Education in Finland, Israel, and Nepal. She is coeditor of the book Collaborative Learning in Higher Music Education and editor-in-chief of the Finnish Journal of Music Education.
ALEXIS ANJA KALLIO is a music education researcher at the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts–Helsinki, working as part of the Global Visions through Mobilizing Networks: Co-developing Intercultural Music Teacher Education in Finland, Israel, and Nepal project. She is coeditor of the Nordic Yearbook of Music Education Research.
HEIDI PARTTI is Acting Professor of Music Education at the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts–Helsinki, Finland. She is coeditor of the book Visions for Intercultural Music Teacher Education and coauthor of Säveltäjyyden Jäljillä, a book on composing pedagogy.
This study has been conducted as part of the ArtsEqual research project, funded by the Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland and its Equality in Society strategic research program (project number 293199) and the Global Visions through Mobilizing Networks project funded by the Academy of Finland (project number 286162).
1. The authors acknowledge that terms such as religious and nonreligious are an oversimplification of the wide variety of worldviews held by individuals, even those who explicitly align themselves with particular religious organizations or doctrine, or those who distance themselves from organized religion altogether. As various scholars have pointed out (see, e.g., Woodhead 2013), religiosity and spirituality is becoming increasingly dispersed, taking various forms of multireligiosity. For the purposes of this chapter, we use the terms in their broadest sense, pertaining to beliefs about extraordinary realities.
2. The concept of performativity has been applied in a number of different fields. With origins in the work of John L. Austin on the philosophy of language, in this chapter we apply the concept beyond speech acts to refer to other means of communication.
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