‘Hijab envy’: the visible angst of immigrant Christians in a pluralist Canada

Arlene Macdonald

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations


    This article explores the predilection of Christians of immigrant background to perceive themselves as a disadvantaged group in the new reality of Canada’s growing religious diversity. The present inquiry challenges loss as the definitive emotional register for Christian engagement with Canada’s new religious minorities, demonstrating that religious minorities have elicited begrudging admiration and envy from their Christian counterparts. This inquiry insists that contemporary Canada, not ‘Christian Canada’, is the most important frame for understanding the perceptions and predilections of the Christians in this study. It argues that pluralist ideals, the policy instruments, and social practices that carry these ideals and the cultural forums that display and debate these ideals shape not only the ‘attitudes’ of young Christians, but also the regimes of visibility in which and from which they operate. While scholars impute an increasing visibility to religion, this article demonstrates that the array of affects between viewer and viewed are highly variable and context specific.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)53-69
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Contemporary Religion
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 2 2018


    • Muslim expressive repertoire
    • Religious pluralism in Canada
    • politics of religious visibility
    • second-generation immigrant Christians

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cultural Studies
    • Religious studies
    • Philosophy


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