Gary Bouma

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Gary D. Bouma AM (born 1942) is an author and a professor of sociology at Monash University in Melbourne, Victoria. He was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is a citizen of both the United States and Australia. His primary research interests have been related to the topics of multiculturalism and religious pluralism.[1] He is also a priest in the Anglican Church.[2] Bouma works to promote communication and respect between religious communities. He commenced with Monash University in 1979 and has served in leadership roles in the World Conference of Religions for Peace and the Christian Research Association. In an interview in 2004 he said:[3]

The situation in the Middle East won’t be resolved until there is a religious solution. And groups like Al Qaeda, which are puritanical Muslims with a religious agenda, will continue their efforts until stopped by those Muslims who disagree with the aims of Al Qaeda, just like Cromwell in England.

Gary D Bouma AM is the UNESCO Chair in Intercultural and Interreligious Relations – Asia Pacific, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Monash University, the Australian node of the Religion and Diversity Project at the University of Ottawa, Director of the Global Terrorism Research Centre, and Associate Priest in the Anglican Parish of St John’s East Malvern. He is Past-President of the Australian Association for the Study of Religions. He was Chair, Board of Directors for The Parliament of the World’s Religions 2009. His research in the sociology of religion examines the management of religious diversity in plural multicultural societies, education about religions, postmodernity as a context for doing theology, religion and terror, religion and public policy. He is the author or co-author of over 30 books and 360 articles. Recent books include: Australian Soul: Religion and Spirituality in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge University Press); Democracy in Islam (Routledge); Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands: National Case Studies (Springer); and Freedom of Religion and Belief in 21st Century Australia (Australian Human Rights Commission): Being Faithful in Diversity: Religions and Social Policy in Multifaith Societies (ATF), and Reimagining Church: Positive Ministry Responses to the Age of Experience (CRA). In 2013 Bouma was invested as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to Sociology, to interreligious relations and to the Anglican Church of Australia.

Bouma has devoted much energy to supporting moves to establish social justice and increase social cohesion through efforts to include diverse groups across divides. This includes early work in the civil rights movement, support for women's liberation and abortion reform, and has been a champion for marriage equality and greater acceptance of and respect for LGBTIQ people. Most notably he works to reduce the barriers between religious groups through interactions designed to increase understanding and mutual respect.


  • Bouma, Gary D. (1984). How the saints persevere : social factors in the vitality of the Christian Reformed Church. Clayton, Victoria, Australia: Dept. of Anthropology and Sociology, Monash University. ISBN 0867463104.
  • Dixon, Beverly R.; Bouma, Gary D. (1986). The religious factor in Australian life. Melbourne: MARK Australia, World Vision in association with the ZADOK Centre for Christianity and Society. ISBN 0959691561.
  • Bouma, G.D. (1992). Religion : meaning, transcendence, and community in Australia. Melbourne, Australia: Longman Cheshire. ISBN 0582870119.
  • Atkinson, G.B.J.; Bouma, Gary D. (1995). A handbook of social science research (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198280017.
  • Bouma, Gary D. (2000). The research process (4th ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195512243.
  • Khatab, Sayed; Bouma, Gary D. (2007). Democracy in Islam. New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 0415425743.
  • Pratt, Douglas; Bouma, Gary D.; Ling, Rod (2010). Religious diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific : national case studies. Dordrecht [The Netherlands]: Springer. ISBN 9048133882.


  1. ^ "Gary Bouma". Monash University. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  2. ^ Morris, Linda (23 February 2006). "Rise of megachurches may be dangerous, top cleric warns". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  3. ^ "Alumni Profile • Gary Bouma '63". Calvin College. Retrieved 27 February 2014.