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02.05.2022

Russia’s War in Ukraine and the Limits of Religious Diplomacy

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Continuing our irregular series on the war between Russia and Ukraine, our Senior Research Fellow Ina Merdjanova has written a short piece on the limits of faith-based diplomacy - especially when church and state embrace each other in a symbiotic alliance to pursue their respective hegemonic ambitions.

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28.03.2022

Podcast: The colonial affects of secular Europe

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Together with Jonas Bens from the Collaborative Research Center “Affective Societies” at Freie Universität Berlin, our Senior Researcher Nur Yasemin Ural produced a Podcast on "The colonial affects of secular Europe" for the Podcast series of the Affect and Colonialism Web Lab. The Podcast series aims to shed a critical light on colonialism’s affective lives and afterlives.

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14.03.2022

Researching Islam in Denmark: Public Debates, Political Opinions, and Freedom of Research

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Our Senior Research Fellow Dietrich Jung reflects on the current state of academic freedom in Denmark. Drawing on his personal experiences researching modern Islam, he observes a tendency towards increasing public and political pressure on independent research on controversial topics, which could ultimately endanger the academic integrity and freedom of Danish research.

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07.03.2022

The End of the Russian Orthodox Church as we Know it

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Taking into account the dynamics of the current developments, this is a continuation of Sebastian Rimestad's previous bulletin entry. Whereas his first article provided a basic understanding of the Orthodox view of the conflict in Ukraine, this one analyses a number of new developments, especially the latest utterances of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.

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04.03.2022

How do Orthodox Christians Perceive the Russian Aggression in Ukraine?

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Against the backdrop of the ongoing Russian military assault, our former Senior Research Fellow and current Heisenberg Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Religions at Leipzig University Sebastian Rimestad sheds light on Orthodox Christianity in Ukraine and its role in the conflict. He points out the role of the religious aspect for the perception of the conflict and in the run-up to it, and also hints at how the religious landscape might ultimately be affected by it, but he seriously doubts that religion can play a decisive role in resolving the conflict.

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02.12.2021

Conference Report: The Formation of the Concepts of Secularity/Secularism in the Arab/Islamicate Worlds

The panel “The Formation of the Concepts of Secularity/Secularism in the Arab/Islamicate Worlds”, was held at University of Osnabrück from 16 to 18 September 2021, in hybrid format. It was organised and chaired by Housamedden Darwish, as part of the 27th International DAVO Congress, which was jointly organized by the Institute for Islamic Theology, and the German Middle East Studies Association for Contemporary Research and Documentation (DAVO).

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11.10.2021

Exhibition „Translated Religion: In a Forest of True Words”

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The KFG's associated member Katja Triplett is the curator of a current exhibition on „Translated Religion: In a Forest of True Words” at Leipzig University's Bibliotheca Albertina (8 October 2021-13 February 2022).

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17.08.2021

Zoroastrianism and Secularity in Sinjar

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In his account of recent developments in Sinjar, northern Iraq, Benjamin Raßbach analyses the (re-)construction of sacral architecture after the defeat of ISIS in the region with regard to the varying conceptions of religious, ethnic, and political identity of the involved groups and their agendas.

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08.08.2021

German Imams in the Making

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Opening on 15 June, Islamkolleg, a university training site for Imams, is the first academic institution in Germany to offer such training. Our associate researcher Lena Dreier reflects on the effects the establishment of an academic Imam training in Germany has in different areas of tension: Between various Islamic theological branches, between political and religious claims, between co-operation and religious autonomy and within various European models of training Imams and new Islamic knowledge.

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08.04.2021

Workshop Report: Realising Understanding: Language in Cross-cultural Migration/Integration and Secular-Religious Contexts

The workshop “Realising Understanding: Language in Cross-cultural Migration/Integration and Secular-Religious Contexts” took place online, on 18 February 2021. It was co-organised by Housamedden Darwish and Jan-Christoph Heilinger, and was generously funded and supported by Academics in Solidarity.

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29.03.2021

A Swiss Way to Ban the Veil: Face Covering and the Future of the Secular Order

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On 7 March, 51.4% of the Swiss population voted in favour of an article prohibiting the covering of one’s face in public. Reinhard Schulze, director of the Forum Islam and Middle East (FINO) at the University of Berne, discusses the political preconditions and implications of this result and locates them within an unresolved conflict between secularism and laïcism.

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25.02.2021

Has Confucius won the Corona war?

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The considerable national differences in infection figures and mortality rates in connection with Covid-19 raise questions about the causes for national successes or failures in the fight against the virus. Our director Christoph Kleine critically engages with explanations that stress cultural preconditions as causal factors.

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