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Centre for Religion and Public Life

February 2018

Relaunch of the Religion in Public blog

On 24 January 2018, the Centre for Religion and Public Life relaunched its Religion in Public blog. The blog has been a platform for showcasing the work being undertaken by CRPL members since Dr Caroline Starkey set it up three years ago. We have recently worked to further build on this platform to create greater participation and promote collaboration across CRPL members, as well as academic and non-academic partners. Not only has the website of Religion in Public been redesigned, but also a bigger social media presence has been created across different platforms. Religion in Public now links to the CRPL Twitter, Facebook page and Flickr account, all with the new signature design developed my CRPL Intern Hollie Gowan.
The design relaunch went hand-in-hand with new content that showcased some of the new categories that are available. The blog will now have a ‘Researcher of the Month’ Profile that will introduce a member of academic staff or student, including what their academic interests and inspirations are. This will be complimented with the new ‘Spotlight’ pieces where organisations or members of our Leeds community who work in the field of religion in public life, will have a light shone on their important work. Finally, the relaunch saw the introduction of ‘Photo Voice’ where submissions will use a photograph to explore key themes or experiences from their research. All of this was greatly received by CRPL members in the relaunch event, with discussion on what could come next and ideas shared for future pieces. This enthusiasm was mirrored online, and many engaged with the new content and design. Moving forward, we look forward to working with all CRPL members, and the wider community interested in the role that religion plays in public life, to build on this exciting relaunch to create a vibrant, collaborative and flourishing forum of discussion.
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Prof Emma Tomalin about Religion and Development in China

Emma Tomalin, Professor of Religion and Public Life – University of Leeds, reflects on her recent trip to Nanjing, China where she spoke at the first Amity-Heren International Philanthropy Forum on ‘Social Innovation and Sustainable Development’. 

I have been researching the topic of religions and development for more than a decade but have not focused on China in any of my work. With the rapid social and developmental changes that have taken place in China over the past few decades, as well as the growth of religious practices and identities, as the country moves away from the strict secularism of earlier periods, I was becoming increasingly interested in learning more about religion and development in China. Read further...

CRPL Research Grant Successes

Various CRPL members have recently been successful in applying for research grants. Dr Johanna Stiebert is co-investigator of a successful grant, funded by the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN). This project, entitled "An Intersectional Exploration of Religion and Gender-Based Violence: A Case Study of Accra in Global Context," will create a network of both scholars and third-sector groups working in the area of either or both gender-based violence and religion. Participating scholars are from the Universities of Ghana, Leeds, Sheffield and Auckland and activities will be based at new WUN member the University of Ghana. The project-lead is Dr. George Ossom-Batsa (University of Ghana). Events will take place later this year and we will report back on progress!

Dr Stiebert is also co-investigator of a successful collaboration grant funded by the White Rose Consortium. The purpose of the grant is to bring together scholars from across the White Rose Universities (York, Sheffield and Leeds) to collaborate on an interdisciplinary project of significance. The title of the project is "Using Religious Imagery in Popular Culture to Explore and Challenge Everyday Sexism, Sexual Harassment and Abuse Together with Secondary School Students". Also participating from Leeds are Sofia Rehman, Jasjit Singh and Caroline Starkey. The project-lead is Professor Vanita Sundaram (University of York). Events will begin after the start date in April of this year. Please see the project website for more information.

Dr Adriaan van Klinken successfully applied for a collaborative research grant with the American Academy of Religion. He will be leading the project "Queering, Decolonizing, Religionizing: African, Queer and Religious Studies at the Crossroads", together with collaborators Dr Kwame Edwin Otu from the University of Virginia and Dr Rose Mary Amenga-Etego from the University of Ghana. The aim of this project is specifically to contribute to capacity building among early career African scholars working at the intersections of queer and religious studies in African contexts. To that aim, a research and writing workshop will be organised later this year, hosted by the University of Ghana.

Congratulations to Dr Ai Fatimah Nur Fuad

Ai Fatimah Nur Fuad has recently been awarded the PhD degree, on the basis of her dissertation "Islamism and Dakwah in Late Modern Indonesia: Official Discourses and Lived Experiences of Leaders and Members of the Tarbiyah Movement". In this thesis she offers an analysis of the dakwah (Islamic preaching and mission) of contemporary Islamist movements with a case study of the Indonesian Tarbiyah movement. Her analysis borrows from aspects of social movement theory and conceptions of lived religion to illuminate both the official discourses and everyday experiences of the movement in a novel way. The dissertation can be accessed through the White Rose e-theses repository. We warmly congratulate Dr Nur Fuad, as well as her supervisor, Professor Sean McLoughlin.

CRPL Research in the Media

Over the past couple of weeks, Dr Jasjit Singh has had several media performances:

  • On 8 January, he contributed to the BBC Radio Asian Network Big Debate, to a discussion of the recent ban on Indian officials speaking in UK Gurdwaras. He spoke on the same topic at Al Jazeera, on 11 January, explaining the history driving a recent ban on Indian officials speaking in UK, US and Canadian Gurdwaras by Sikh religious organisations.
  • He spoke about the topic of Sikh radicalisation in Britain, based on his recent report on this issue, at Akaal Channel on 10th January. The full interview is available on Youtube. On 22nd January, he discussed the report findings on KTV - A Sikh Perspective. He also hosted an online webinar on 20th January with the Sikh Research Institute, on ‘The idea, context, framing and realities of Sikh radicalisation in Britain".

Upcoming Events

Events take place in the seminar room in Botany House (room 1.03) unless indicated otherwise.
  • 7 February, 1-2 pm: Research seminar with Hollie Gowan (Leeds): “The Pursuit of Happiness’: a study of women working in ‘Religiously-Inspired Charitable Organisations’ and their search for social change in contemporary China”.
  • 14 February, 1-2 pm: Public/Religion reading group. Discussion of Claire Dwyer, “Transnational Religion, Multiculturalism and Global Suburbs: A Case Study from Vancouver”. In Religion and the Global City, David Garbin and Anna Strahn, eds. London: Bloomsbury 2017, 173-188.
  • 21 February, 1-2 pm: Research seminar with Dr Karen O’Donnell (University of Durham): “Reflecting on Miscarriage: Towards a Theology of Body/ies”.
  • 28 February, 1-2 pm: Public/Theology reading group. The reading, which is yet to announced, can be requested from Dr Rachel Muers or Dr Adriaan van Klinken.
  • 7 March, 1-2 pm: Research seminar with Jamys Carter (University of Leeds): "Women ministers? The Pentecostal grassroots tensions."
     

ABOUT THE Centre for Religion and Public Life

The Centre for Religion and Public Life at the University of Leeds is a hub for research into the important, and increasingly contentious, role of religion in public life in the world today, both locally, nationally and internationally. It provide a forum in which contemporary research and scholarship can be debated and disseminated. The Centre works closely with non-academic partners to identify the ways in which religion is relevant to their work and to produce research that is capable of meeting their need to better understand the nature of religion and religious organisations locally, nationally and internationally.

     
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Check here the CRPL website and blog

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School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science
University of Leeds
LS2 9JT LEEDS

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Centre for Religion and Public Life · Woodhouse lane · University of Leeds · Leeds, LS2 9JT · United Kingdom

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