The Dutch Association for the Study of Religion will host its annual conference in Groningen this year from 30 October to 1 November focusing on Religion and the Production of Difference. Deadline for panel suggestions is 1 April, Deadline for papers is 1 June.more
Our former Senior Research Fellow Dagmar Schwerk will present a talk titled "Carrying a Basket of Gold: A Historical Reflection on Buddhist Concepts and Ethics in Bhutan" on 18 March at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She currently holds the Khyentse Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Tibetan Buddhist Studies at UBC. In this talk she will present some of the findings of her research project carried out at the KFG "Multiple Secularities" in 2018.more
In early January, the media worldwide reported on political and religious turmoil around a temple in the southern Indian state of Kerala. The protests started with two women who had entered the Sabarimala Temple. They thus took the rights that the Supreme Court in India had just reaffirmed for women in September 2018, after the temple had long been accessible only to men.
Roopesh OB from the Indian Institute for Technology in Bombay comments on the protests and points out that this is more than a conflict between political and religious order.more
In France, President Emmanuel Macron, with his attempt to support the training of French Imams, has provoked heated debates and, at the same time, clearly revealed the limits of the laicist system. In various countries, efforts are being made to guide the training of imams by the state and thus to cultivate a generation of imams who naturally represent and defend not only Islam but also fundamental European values. Lena Dreier illuminates the discussion against the background of the German attempts.more
Mini Kapoor of "The Hindu" wrote a piece on "Iran through Literature" featuring our Senior Research Fellow Nahid Mozzafari's anthology of contemporary Iranian Literature "Strange Times, My Dear".more
With some delay, the current issue of the Journal of Law and Islam (Zeitschrift für Recht und Islam, ZRI) has finally been published. The issue contains, among other interesting articles related to the KFG's research focus, a report on our workshop on "Muslim Secularities: Explorations into Concepts of Distiction and Practices of Differentiation" (18-20 June 2017) by Julia Heilen and Mohammad Magout.more
In the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a 35-year-old woman lawyer, after years of dispute with the local authorities, has succeeded in obtaining an official certificate confirming that she belongs neither to a religion nor to a caste. The woman comes from a very secular family, all her siblings and children have names that do not relate to any caste or religion.
While Indian secularism is theoretically supposed to guarantee freedom of religion, this now enforced freedom of religion presents itself as problematic in everyday life, since the assignment to castes and religions plays an important, self-evident role in many public areas, such as education.more
Thomas David DuBois, historian of modern China and transnational Asia, kindly reported for us on the “Law and the Politics of Freedom of Religion in Asia” workshop (12-14 December, 2018) at the NUS Law School, co-sponsored by the BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies.
With seven panels, and a closing roundtable, the event covered a great deal of ground. Papers discussed the evolution of legal ideas and bureaucratic structures, with a significant emphasis on the events or cases that made individual jurisdictions unique. Geographically, papers focused largely on Southeast Asia, but reached from Japan to Pakistan, with some discussion of Australia as a point of comparison with other countries that share a Common law background.more
On 12 February at 7 p.m., our Senior Research Fellow Wolfgang Höpken will give lecture on “Secularity as a challenge. Religion, nation and modernity in Bosnian Islam from 1878 to today (Säkularität als Herausforderung Der bosnische Islam von 1878 bis zur Gegenwart)” at the Lew Kopelew Forum in Cologne. He will place particular emphasis on the long lines in the discursive confrontation with secularity in Bosnia and Herzegovina and highlight the multi-layered picture that emerges in relation to Islam in today's Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Jutta Lauth Bacas (Head of the Cologne branch of the Society for South East Europe) will moderate the evening. The lecture will be held in German.more
The KFG's Senior Research Fellow Edith Franke wrote a Bulletin entry on her recent research trip to Indonesia, reflecting on how a religious dimension is introduced into secular areas through spatial design and naming, serving secular means like increasing turnover by creating the impression of quality.more
On 27 and 28 July, the East Asian Society for the Scientific Study of Religion will hold its 2nd annual conference at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan with a focus on “East-West Encounters and Religious Change in Modernizing East Asia”. Deadline for abstracts (200-500 words) is 31 January.more
Our recent Senior Fellow Florian Zemmin calls for papers for an international conference on "The Near Eastern Saddle Period: The Formation of Modern Concepts in Arabic, Turkish, and Persian" (University of Bern, 12-14 June 2019). The conference aims at strengthening the integration of the field of conceptual history of Near Eastern languages by bringing together scholars – of all career stages – already working on conceptual history in Arabic, Turkish, and Persian. more