IPSA RC 43 - Religion and Politics

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Summer school on "Religion, Culture and Society"

Call for applications for the 2013 UCSIA summer school on "Religion, Culture and Society". This summer school is a one-week course taking place from Sunday 25th of August until Sunday 1st of September (dates of arrival and departure). This year the programme will focus on the topic of Religion, Reform and the Challenge of Plurality.


We will research processes of change that arise in the interaction between religions and societies in contexts of plurality - especially and also in a global world. Where a diversity of religions and societal perspectives are present, identity-claims are problematised, and the understanding of citizenship is evolving. What role can religions play in shaping such societies? How do plural societies affect religions towards changing their own attitudes towards one another and revising their role in society? How do religious convictions and perspectives on citizenship relate to one another? Can one 'belong' to various cultures and religions? These challenges can be studied in various areas: changes in the perception and self-image of religions and faith-based organizations (so-called 'identity-issues"), education, public health management, welfare programs, the relevance of voluntary work, attitudes towards (im)migration, gender and race issues, culture, politics, involvement in the public sphere, etc.

Guest lecturers are José Casanova (Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, Georgetown University, Washington DC), Robert W. Hefner (Boston University), John Hutchinson (London School of Economics) and Louise Ryan (Social Policy Research Centre, Middlesex University, London).

Practical details:

Participation and stay for young scholars and researchers are free of charge. Participants should pay for their own travel expenses to Antwerp.

You can submit your application via the electronic submission on the summer school website. The completed file as well as all other required application documents must be submitted to the UCSIA Selection Committee not later than Sunday 18 April 2013.

For further information regarding the programme and application procedure, please have a look at our website: http://www.ucsia.org/summerschool.

Please help us to distribute this call for application among PhD students and postdoctoral scholars who might be interested in applying for this summer school.

For all further information, do not hesitate to contact us on the address below.

Sara Mels

Project coordinator

UCSIA vzw Prinsstraat 14 B-2000 Antwerp T | +32 (0)3 265 45 99 F | +32 (0)3 707 09 31 E | sara.mels@ua.ac.be


Conference: Is Islamism the Arab Destiny?

Is Islamism the Arab Destiny?

Aziz Al-Azmeh

CEU University Professor, School of Historical and Interdisciplinary Studies, Central European University, Budapest

Date: 6 February 2013Time: 6:30 PM

Finishes: 6 February 2013Time: 8:30 PM

Venue: Brunei GalleryRoom: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Lecture

Series: The Globalisation Lectures

Contact email: ga3@soas.ac.uk



SOAS Political Islam Programme

Political Islam, also known as Islamism, is an increasingly important force in Muslim majority countries and regions of the world, within Muslim communities in western states, and at the level of global politics. Whether through violence or participatory democratic politics, Islamism is now contending for national political power in numerous Muslim majority countries and some transnational movements of political Islam pose challenges analogous to those of communism at various times in the twentieth century. Within western societies the rise of Islamism is perceived as a major threat to assimilation of immigrants and to the overall coherence of national political communities.

Despite its political centrality, Islamism remains poorly understood, partly because of its very complexity and controversial aspects, and partly because of sweeping generalisations and misrepresentations by the media. The purposes of this course are to enable participants to better understand the various components of Islamism, their contemporary political significance at the global, regional, national and subnational levels, and the likely future directions for the movement in those contexts.

It will be assumed that course participants will have a basic knowledge of Islam and a general awareness of at least one global region in which Islamism is an active political force. Participants will be provided with pre-course reading and course materials.

The programme will be led by a balance of world academic experts and practitioners, shaping a unique, wide-ranging informative course.



LSE Brismes Annual Lecture

The BRISMES annual lecture given by Baroness Haleh Afshar will take place on 16 January 2013 at the London School of Economics:

Baroness Haleh Afshar will be speaking on the very topical subject of Islam and the Politics of Resistance: the Case of Women in Iran. The lecture will start at 1830 and will take place in the Sheikh Zayed theatre, New Academic Building (corner of Lincoln’s Inn and Sardinia Street WC2), London School of Economics – see first hyperlink. The lecture will be followed by the awarding of the 2012 BRISMES Prize and a drinks reception.


For more information on Baroness Afshar see:


The lecture is free (as are the drinks) and open to all, ie you do not have to be a BRISMES member.


Conference: Jury Decision-Making and New Religious Movements

The Religion and Society Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney invites you to attend a Public Lecture:

‘Jury Decision-Making and New Religious Movements’

Speaker: Associate Professor Jeffrey Pfeifer

Date: Thursday 13 December, 2012 Time: 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm Venue: Bankstown Campus, Building 1 Level 1 Room 117


Jeffrey Pfeifer will present an overview of the research that has been conducted in the last 25 years on jury decision-making and its relationship to New Religious Movements. In addition to providing a contextual overview of the issue (i.e., the legal and social psychological issues relating to New Religious Movements and juror decision making), this lecture will also include a review of the research regarding the ways that jurors may be impacted by religious information, including: expert testimony, defendant/victim religious affiliation, juror religious affiliation, and impacts on civil trials. A review of future areas for research will also be presented.

Jeffrey Pfeifer received his Ph.D. and M.Leg.St. (Master of Legal Studies) from the University of Nebraska and has been teaching and conducting research in forensic psychology for the past 15 years. He is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Life and Social Sciences at Swinburne University of Technology.

In addition to his research on jury decision-making, policing, and corrections, he has also conducted a number of training workshops and program evaluations for security agencies in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Tanzania, Namibia, Zambia, and Russia. He has testified as an expert witness in a number of capital (death penalty) and non-capital cases and his research has been cited by a number of courts including the Supreme Court of Canada and the Supreme Court of British Columbia.


Conference: Religion and democracy. Local Questions, Global Perspectives

IRNRD New Delhi Conference Week 2012 Religion and Democracy: Local Questions, Global Perspectives

New Delhi 10-14 December 2012

Marking the fifth year of the collaboration and scholarly work within the framework of the IRNRD, the Network has organized a series of scholarly events that include two conferences and two workshops. The themes of these events will reflect on issues bearing special importance for the contemporary discourse on the problems concerning religion, politics and democracy. At the same time, the thematic components and the design of these events express the ‘philosophy’ behind the five-year long scholarly undertaking of the Network: the inter- and multi-disciplinary character of the research, the combination of theoretical and empirical work, as well as our conviction regarding the importance of the intellectual traffic between the different cultural and religious contexts.



Symposium: The Hizmet Movement and Peacebuilding

International Symposium The Hizmet Movement and Peacebuilding: Global Cases

Rumi Forum and major academic centers in Washington area will hold an international symposium on the Hizmet Movement and peacebuilding, in Washington, DC, on October 24-26, 2013.


The symposium will address the peacebuilding efforts/impact of the Hizmet (Gülen) Movement institutions worldwide. Peacebuilding, broadly defined, include activities like education, inter-faith and intra-faith dialogue, advocacy, conflict resolution, and peace education which can create trust and cooperation over ethnic, religious and other divisions. The Hizmet Movement established hundreds of educational and communal organizations and institutions in over 140 countries, most of which suffer from internal conflicts and communal divisions, such as Sudan, Philippines, Kosovo, Northern Iraq, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Tajikistan, South Africa, and Nigeria. These organizations and institutions engage in various peacebuilding initiatives that foster inclusiveness, build capacity, and create shared spaces. The symposium will assess the societal impact of these initiatives under thematic and regional categories.

Call for Paper

The symposium seeks to engage the societal impact of the Hizmet Movement and invites contributions from across the social sciences, humanities, and fields of professional and community practice that critically explore the intersection of the movement and peacebuilding. We encourage paper proposals in these two broad topic areas: (1) Regional focus: Peacebuilding initiatives of Hizmet organizations and institutions in different parts of the world such as Turkey, the Balkans, Central Asia, Middle East, Africa, North America, Australiasia, and comparison of such initiatives across regions (2) Thematic focus: The Hizmet movement’s approach to peacebuilding as it compares and contrasts with other secular and faith-based, ethnic and non-ethnic, global and regional, and governmental and non-governmental initiatives around the world

Proposal Guidelines

Proposals should include the title of the paper, biographies of the authors, and an abstract not to exceed 300 words in length, which describes the substance of the paper and relation to symposium theme. All proposals should be sent to the program committee (info@peacebuilding2013.org) by March 1, 2013. Accepted authors should submit complete papers by September 1, 2013. Accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings.

Advisory Board

Muhammad Abu-Nimer (Professor and Director of Peacebuilding and Development Institute, American University); Gertrude Conway (Professor of Philosophy, Mount St. Mary’s University); Rev. Ian S. Markham (Dean and President, Virginia Theological Seminary); Thomas Michel, S. J. (Research Fellow, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University); Wilhelmus Valkenberg (Ordinary Professor of Religion and Culture, The Catholic University of America); Emre Celik (President, Rumi Forum)

For more information contact the program committee at info@peaceduilding2013.org

Rumi Forum was founded in 1999 with the mission to foster interfaith and intercultural dialogue, stimulate thinking and exchange of opinions on supporting and fostering democracy and peace all over the world and to provide a common platform for education and information exchange.


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