Christmas is not a holiday just for Christians anymore, if it ever was. Embedded in calendars around the world and long a lucrative merchandis- ing opportunity, Christmas enters multicultural, multi-religious public spaces, provoking both fes- tivity and controversy, hospitality and hostility. The Public Work of Christmas provides a com- parative historical and ethnographic perspective on the politics of Christmas in multicultural con- texts ranging from a Jewish museum in Berlin to a shopping boulevard in Singapore. A seasonal cele- bration that is at once inclusive and assimilatory, Christmas offers a clarifying lens for considering the historical and ongoing intersections of multi- culturalism, Christianity, and the nationalizing and racializing of religion. The essays gathered here examine how cathedrals, banquets, and carols serve as infrastructures of memory that hold up Christmas as a civic, yet unavoidably Christian holiday. At the same time, the authors show how the public work of Christmas depends on cultural forms that mark, mask, and resist the ongoing power of Christianity in the lives of Christians and non-Christians alike. Legislated into paid holidays and commodified into marketplaces, Christmas has arguably become more cultural than religious, making ever wider both its audience and the pool of workers who make it happen every year. The Public Work of Christmas articulates a fresh reading of Christmas – as fantasy, ethos, consumable product, site of memory, and terrain for the revival of exclusionary visions of nation and whiteness – at a time of re- newed attention to the fragility of belonging in diverse societies. Pamela E. Klassen is professor of religion at the University of Toronto. Monique Scheer is professor of historical and cul- tural anthropology at the University of Tübingen. 2 6 M Q U P S P R I N G 2 0 1 9 S P E C I F I C AT I O N S £Cmo8$t8: crdCt03 t8 w0.t:t98 c02t03 April 2019 -5,7a755pl7ln5-7- 4s-i-l£ bAU1 4s-i-l£ Dc1 kssi-- 6o602 -5,7a755pl7ln5,7s 4Ssaiaac bAU1 4Ssaiaac Dc1 k-niaa $.9ru n B - pah66 Sl 6u9r931 p roN.03 0g99T omot.oN.0 R E L I G I O U S S T U D I E S • A N T H R O P O L O G Y The Public Work of Christmas Difference and Belonging in Multicultural Societies edited by pamela e. klassen and monique scheer A frank conversation about how Christmas spurs conflict and compromise in multicultural societies.