Event: Religion and Political Theory lecture series launch

‘Neutrality and Religious Freedom
Daniel Weinstock, McGill University

Thursday 6 February 2014

5pm Council Room, School of Public Policy, The Rubin Building, 29-30 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9QU

Daniel Weinstock will deliver the first in the RAPT (Religion and Political Theory) lecture series (see below for full details of the series and news of upcoming lectures). Weinstock is Professor in the Faculty of Law and Director of the Institute for Health and Policy at McGill University. He was previously Professor of Philosophy and director of the Research Centre on Ethics, both at Université de Montréal (CRÉUM), and he has held the Canadian Research Chair on Ethics and Political Philosophy. He has published extensively on the question of cultural and religious diversity in liberal democracies.


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RAPT (Religion and Political Theory) Lecture Series
The RAPT lecture series showcases the work of prominent international scholars in the study of religion and political theory. It is organised by UCL’s Religion and Political Theory (RAPT) Centre. RAPT is a 5-year project funded by the European Research Council and led by Professor Cécile Laborde. It aims to interrogate the special status of religion (ethics, epistemology and practices) in western political and legal theory.

Unless otherwise stated, all lectures take place at 5pm and will be held in the Council Room, School of Public Policy, The Rubin Building, 29-30 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9QU.

All are welcome. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please email Aurelia Bardon (a.bardon@ucl.ac.uk) or Lois Lee (lois.lee@ucl.ac.uk). To attend, please register at www.uclspp.eventbrite.com

Thursday 6 February 2014 
‘Neutrality and Religious Freedom’

Daniel Weinstock, McGill University

Tuesday 25 March 2014
‘Religious Exemptions and Self-Respect’

Jonathan Seglow, Royal Holloway, University of London
*Venue tbc*

Wednesday 28 May 2014
‘Religious Freedom and Fairness: An Egalitarian View’
Jocelyn MacLure, Université Laval

Wednesday 4 June 2014
‘Modes of Secularism’
Slavica Jakelic, University of Virginia

Thursday 3 July 2014
‘Hinduism, Christianity, and Religious Liberal Toleration’
Jeff Spinner-Halev, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

CFP: Religion Indifference, Due 2/28

CFP: Religious Indifference

The Emmy-Noether-Project, “The Diversity of Nonreligion,” (www.nonreligion.net) is happy to be hosting a workshop on “religious indifference” in Frankfurt am Main, from November 13th to 15th.

The concept of religious indifference has been used to describe a specific mode of nonreligiosity that is an expression of extremely low concern for religion. As such “indifference” is to be distinguished from religiosity on one hand and avowed atheism on the other. Furthermore, religious indifference can take various modes, for example that of “existential” or “cognitive” indifference (Pollack, Wohlrab-Sahr, and Gärtner 2003).

As with other modes of nonreligiosity, the social status of religious indifference varies according to the constitution of the religious field and the general socio-cultural context (Quack 2013, 2014). Referring to the British case, Bagg and Voas (2010) argue that current indifference is primarily the result of changes in the religious landscape of Britain and the increasing religious and social acceptance of people who do not practice any religion. Conversely, if religion is deeply embedded in civil culture, religious indifference might be negatively perceived as a form of social dissent (Wohlrab-Sahr and Kaden 2013). Bullivant (2012) by contrast, has introduced an alternative meaning of religious indifference by hinting at the seemingly paradoxical situation of rising interest and concern with religion in European secularized societies; what is at stake here is not a positioning towards personal religious belief, behavior, or belonging, but the (dis)interest in public-political manifestations of religion.

While anti-clericalism or other anti-religious expressions have visibly accompanied processes of secularization, indifference seems to be an important yet unaccounted feature of contemporary societies. In the upcoming workshop, we seek to bring together different scholars who wish to (further) engage with the concept of religious indifference.

The workshop will take place in Frankfurt am Main, from November 13th-15th.

Please note that the workshop’s primary goal is to develop a joint publication. In order to do so, we suggest that all participants write a draft article and distribute it to the other participants prior to the workshop. These articles will be discussed during the workshop itself. We welcome theoretical contributions and methodological and methodic reflections as well as case studies from different national or regional contexts.

Please send a short abstract for consideration to schuh@em.uni-frankfurt.de. Deadline for application is February 28th.

Further dates of importance:

  • All participants will be provided an extended conceptual sketch: Spring 2014
  • Participants submit a draft article: October 2014
  • Revision of articles by participants: Spring 2015
  • Final Submission: Summer 2015

PhD Studentship: The Institute of Cognition and Culture at Queen’s University Belfast and the Religion, Cognition, and Culture unit at Aarhus University

The Institute of Cognition and Culture at Queen’s University Belfast and the Religion, Cognition, and Culture unit at Aarhus University are offering a new joint PhD studentship in the cognitive science of religion.
Applications would be welcome regarding the intersection of atheism or non-religion and cognitive science.

Please see details below and contact Paulo Sousa p.sousa@qub.ac.uk for questions regarding the first studentship, available for this upcoming year (2014-2015). 

 
A new Doctoral programme in the cognitive the science of religion has been established by Aarhus University (Graduate School of Arts/Religion, Cognition and Culture Research Unit–see http://www.rcc.au.dk/) and Queen’s University, Belfast (School of History and Anthropology/Institute of Cognition and Culture—see http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/InstituteofCognitionCulture/).Students should apply for admission via one of the two Universities, and will be considered in line with their normal Postgraduate Admission Procedures, which require, among other things, a research proposal on a topic relevant to the cognitive science of religion. The normal duration of the Doctoral programme is full time for three years. In general, admitted students will spend the first six months and the last six months of their doctoral studies at the University where they are admitted. The intervening 24 months are spent according to a PhD plan established for each individual student. In completion, the student receives a single degree certificate issued by Aarhus University and Queen’s University.

Each University agreed to provide two fellowships to support the programme. One fellowship shall be available each year—Queen’s University will allocate funding in the academic years 2014-15 and 2016-17, while Aarhus University will allocate funding in academic years 2015-16 and 2017-18. Students who wish to compete for a fellowship will be required to apply to the University responsible for offering the support in the related year. For more information about the programme, please contact Armin W. Geertz (AWG@teo.au.dk) or Paulo Sousa (p.sousa@qub.ac.uk)

 

Event: Inform Anniversary Conference Minority Religions: Contemplating the Past and Anticipating the Future

Inform Anniversary Conference
Minority Religions:
Contemplating the Past and Anticipating the Future

New Academic Building, London School of Economics, London
Friday 31 January – Sunday 2 February 2014

Inform is celebrating over a quarter of a century of providing information that is as reliable and up-to-date
as possible about minority religions with an Anniversary Conference to be held at the London School of Economics, UK.

Registration for the full conference (including Friday Ashgate-Inform book launch and reception with refreshments, Saturday and Sunday tea/coffee/lunch) is
£100 standard and £75 concession for students and unwaged. Tickets booked after January 6th will be £120 or £85.
We are offering single day registrations for £45, or £55 after January 6th.

Inform will also be hosting an Anniversary Dinner at Dicken’s Inn, St Katharine Dock, near the Tower of London on Saturday 1 February.
The cost, which is not included in the registration fee, of the three course set meal and coffee is £38.50. The menu for the dinner can be seen here. Dietary requirements can be catered for.
Drinks are not included although there will be a cash bar. Booking and payment for the dinner must be done by January 6th and is non-refundable.

How to Pay: Registration for the conference and Saturday evening dinner can be completed online here, using a credit/debit card or through a PayPal account if you have one
or by posting a completed booking form and cheque made out to Inform in pounds sterling and sent to ‘Inform, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE’

A full programme will be posted soon.

For more on the Ashgate-Inform book series, please visit the website www.ashgate.com/inform.

Draft Programme Outline (20/11/13)

Friday 31 January 2014

15.00:  Registration opens
15.30: Tour of the LSE campus
16.30: Introductory talk about the LSE
17.30: Welcome and Plenary Panel A: a Word from our “Stakeholders” when representatives of some of the sections of society that have used Inform will briefly describe what they have gained from their association with Inform and what they would like Inform and students of minority religions to focus on in the future:
     The Established Church: The Right Reverend Graham James, Lord Bishop of Norwich
     The Media: Dr Damian Thompson, Editor of Telegraph Blogs and a Director of the Catholic Herald
     Politics: Stuart Hoggan, Deputy Director, Integration Division, Department for Communities and Local Government
     The Police: Ron Gilbertson, former police officer
     The Law: Philip Katz QC, Barrister
     Academia: Professor Conor Gearty, Professor of Human Rights Law, LSE
19.30: Launch of the Ashgate/Inform Series on Minority Religions and Spiritual Movements and a reception with refreshments

Saturday 1 February 2014

Registration from 9.00
9.30–11.15: Plenary Panel B: Members or former members of new religious movements 
with high visibility in the 1980s. Richard Barlow, former member of the Unification Church; Abi Freeman, formerly a spokesperson and member of The Family International (TFI); Gauri das, executive secretary of ISKCON; and Terrill Park, Scientology Freezone will talk about how their respective movements have changed over the past 25 years and how they envision their future.
11.15–11.40:   tea/coffee
11.40–13.25:  Parallel Sessions I
13.25 –14.15: lunch
14.15 –16.00:  Parallel Session II
16.00–16.30: tea/coffee
16.30–18.15:  Parallel Session III

19.00: Anniversary Dinner (the cost of this is not included in the registration feeBooking for dinner must be completed by January 6)

Sunday 2 February 2014

Registration from 9:00
9.30–11.15:  Parallel Session IV
11.15 -11.40 coffee/tea
11.40–13.25: Parallel Session V
13.25–14.15: lunch
14.15–16.15: Plenary Panel C:  a Word from the “Cult Watchers” with Dr Michael Langone of the International Cultic Studies Association, Professor Gordon Melton of the Institute for the Study of American Religion, Professor Eileen Barker of Inform, Mike Kropveld of Info-Secte, Professor James T. Richardson of University of Nevada, Reno, Dr Massimo Introvigne of CESNUR
16.15: Conference ends

Postdoc: Studying New Atheism at Uppsala University

The Faculty of Theology at Uppsala University wishes to appoint a Postdoctoral fellow studying New Atheism for a period of two years, beginning as soon as possible and April 1, 2014 at the latest. Application is due on January 15, 2014.The Faculty is looking for a project with a critical scientific focus on New Atheism/contemporary atheistic positions or groups. What characterizes the phenomenon in question? What historical roots does it have? How does it relate to earlier forms of atheism and critique of religion? What understanding of religion and which ideological assumptions does it presuppose? Towards which forms of religions and ideologies is the atheistic criticism directed? What are the arguments for atheism and against religion, and what weight should be awarded to these arguments? How does the phenomenon relate to the contemporary criticism of secularization theses and secularism? What normative grounds and political ambitions does it have? What role does the phenomenon play in today’s society and politics?

http://www.uu.se/en/jobs/?positionId=29394#

 

 

Event: Church Growth and Decline in a Global City: London, 1980 to the Present

Church Growth and Decline in a Global City: London, 1980 to the Present

A Colloquium organised by the Centre for Church Growth Research
Cranmer Hall, St Johns College, Durham University and
by the Institute of Historical Research, University of London

Date: 2 May 2014, 10 am to 4 pm

Venue: Room 349 Senate House, University of London

Cost: £50 (£35 for post- and under-graduate students)

Speakers include:

Professor David Martin (LSE)
Professor John Wolffe (Open University)
Dr Peter Brierley (Brierley Consulting)
Dr Lois Lee (University College, London)
Dr Alana Harris (Lincoln College, Oxford)
Dr Andrew Rogers (University of Roehampton)
Rev Dr Babatunde Adedibu (RCCG)

For detailed information and to book a place, visit: www.durham.ac.uk/churchgrowth.research

 

 

Event: Church Growth and Decline in a Global City: London, 1980 to the Present

Church Growth and Decline in a Global City: London, 1980 to the Present
 
A Colloquium organised by the Centre for Church Growth Research
Cranmer Hall, St Johns College, Durham University and
by the Institute of Historical Research, University of London
 
Date: 2 May 2014, 10 am to 4 pm
 
Venue: Room 349 Senate House, University of London
 
Cost: £50 (£35 for post- and under-graduate students)
 
Speakers include:
 
Professor David Martin (LSE)
Professor John Wolffe (Open University)
Dr Peter Brierley (Brierley Consulting)
Dr Lois Lee (University College, London)
Dr Alana Harris (Lincoln College, Oxford)
Dr Andrew Rogers (University of Roehampton)
Rev Dr Babatunde Adedibu (RCCG)
 
 
For detailed information and to book a place, visit: www.durham.ac.uk/churchgrowth.research

Event: Symposium on Atheism: the Contemporary Debate

Symposium on Atheism: the Contemporary Debate

The Florida State University Program for the History and Philosophy of Science, the Friends of the FSU Libraries, the FSU Center for the Humanities and Society and the FSU Libraries will host a symposium titled “Atheism: The Contemporary Debate.” 

This event is a celebration and exploration of major themes addressed by “The Oxford Handbook to Atheism.” The book was edited by Stephen Bullivant, senior lecturer in theology and ethics, St. Mary’s University College, London, who will address the symposium, and Michael Ruse, Florida State’s Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor and director of the university’s Program for the History and Philosophy of Science, who will serve as the symposium’s master of ceremonies.

The symposium will take place:

FRIDAY, DEC. 6

9 A.M.-4:45 P.M.

STROZIER LIBRARY
SCHOLARS COMMONS READING ROOM

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY

TALLAHASSEE, FLA.

The schedule, subject to change, is as follows:

8:45-9:15 a.m.: greetings and coffee

9:15-9:30 a.m.: introductions

9.30-10:25 a.m.: John Schneider, Professor Emeritus of Religion, Calvin College, “Aesthetic Goods, God, and Evolutionary Evils”

10:30-11:25 a.m.: Stephen Bullivant, Senior Lecturer in Theology and Ethics, St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham

11:30 a.m.-12:25 p.m.: Kimberly Blessing, Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, SUNY Buffalo State, “Theism, Atheism, and The Meaning of Life”

12:30-1:45 p.m.: lunch

1:45-2:30 p.m.: Jeffrey O’Connell, Ph.D. Student in Philosophy, FSU, “Nietzsche and Atheism”

2:35-3:10 p.m.: Kirk Essary, Ph.D. Student in Religion, FSU, “The Silence of God from Calvin to Cormac McCarthy”

3:10-3:30 p.m.: tea break

3:30-4:25 p.m.: John Kelsay, Professor of Ethics and Religion, FSU, “Atheism in the History of Religions”

For more information contact Sarah A. Buck Kachaluba at sbuckkachaluba@fsu.edu or (850) 645-2600.

CFP: EASR Conference 2014 NSRN Panel Call for Papers

EASR Conference 2014 NSRN Panel Call for Papers

Nations and Nonreligions – Understanding ‘Secular Europe’

Panel sponsored by the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network, chaired by NSRN co-director, Dr Lois Lee (UCL)

Whilst the vitality of religion was the chief interest emerging out of the secularisation paradigm, recent years have seen growing interest in the new populations that emerge from secularisation processes. This enables the historicisation of these populations and allows scholars to attend to the specificities and contingencies of non- or irreligious cultures and of people’s experience of secularity and secularism. This panel considers these experiences and cultures in national context and will enable cross-national comparison by bringing case studies from different national settings together, allowing continuities and discontinuities to emerge. The panel scrutinises the extent to which national variation is a useful way to differentiate nonreligious cultures.

We invite empirical papers, contemporary or historical, that explore nonreligious cultures or secular experiences within a national context from famously ‘secular’ Europe as well as theoretical papers investigating the relationship between nationalism and secularity and/or nonreligious in general.

Abstracts of no more than 150 words and a short biography should be sent to Dr Lois Lee at lois.lee@ucl.ac.uk by Wednesday 27 November 2013.

This panel is sponsored by the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network (NSRN). The NSRN is an international and interdisciplinary network of researchers, founded in 2008 to centralise existing research on the topic of nonreligion and secularity and to facilitate discussion in this area. The NSRN co-runs an academic journal Secularism and Nonreligion (Ubiquity Press; run in partnership with the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC)) and a book series, Religion and Its Other: Studies in Religion, Nonreligion and Secularity (De Gruyter)

Event: LSE: Governing Difference through Rights: The Politics of Religious Freedom

FORUM ON RELIGION SEMINAR

Governing Difference through Rights: The Politics of Religious Freedom

Speaker: Elizabeth Shakman Hurd (Northwestern University)

Chair: Mathijs Pelkmans

Date: Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Time: 6.30-8.00pm
Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE, WC2A 2AE

What happens when social difference is conceived through the prism of religious rights and religious freedom? Far from occupying an autonomous sphere independent of religious affairs, human rights advocacy is a site of difference and governance that implicates religion in complex ways. This paper explores the consequences of a religious rights model for both politics and religion. It argues that this model regulates the spaces in which people live out their religion in specific and identifiable ways: singling out groups for legal protection as religious groups; moulding religions into discrete “faith communities” with clean boundaries, clearly defined orthodoxies, and seniorleaders who speak on their behalf; and privileging a modern liberal understanding of faith. The right to religious freedom is a specific, historically situated mode of governing difference through rights.

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd teaches and writes on the politics of religious diversity, the intersection of law and religion, the history and politics of US foreign relations, and the international relations of the Middle East including Turkey and Iran. She is the author of The Politics of Secularism in International Relations (Princeton, 2008), which won an APSA award for the best book in religion and politics (2008-2010) and co-editor of Comparative Secularisms in a Global Age (Palgrave, 2010) which will appear in paperback in 2013. Recent publications include “International politics after secularism” in Review of International Studies (2012) and “Contested secularisms in Turkey and Iran” in Contesting Secularism: Comparative Perspectives (Ashgate, 2013). Hurd is currently writing a book on the “strategic operationalization” of religion in international affairs and its implications for religion, law and public policy.

The event is free and open to all. For further information, please contact Dr Mathijs Pelkmans, m.e.pelkmans@lse.ac.uk.