Religious Diversity, Social Cohesion, and the Role of Interfaith Cooperation in Resilient Global Cities

Tony Banout 1  and Brad Henderson 2
  • 1 Interfaith Youth Core, Chicago, USA
  • 2 Boston Consulting Group, IL, Chicago, USA
Tony Banout and Brad Henderson


The city of the future will have to come to terms with astronomical population growth comprised of individuals and communities that differ on matters of fundamental beliefs living in increasingly close proximity. The test will be whether religious diversity increasingly leads to clashing parochialisms or unlocks possibilities for human flourishing. With 7.5 billion people urbanized by 2050, cities simply must include attention to religious diversity, and the science of social capital and interfaith cooperation can inform the discourse of resiliency as humanity prepares. Ample sociological research supports the conclusion that societies thrive where and when they are able to build trusting relationships across lines of deep difference. The inverse failure to do so is a direct danger to civil peace. This article charts a path forward to building and sustaining those relationships in an urban setting.

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New Global Studies approaches contemporary globalization as a whole and across disciplinary lines. It draws from history, sociology, anthropology, political science and international relations to study the past and present of today's globalizing process. Topics include economic globalization, global media networks, preservation of the global environment, transnational manifestations of culture and the methodology of global studies itself.