On April 21 and 22, Professor Bob Hefner hosted an International Research Conference at Georgetown University, entitled “Religious Change and Gender Relations in Southeast Asia: What the Policy Community Needs to Know.” Sponsored by the Luce Foundation and co-hosted by Katherine Marshall of the Berkeley Center at Georgetown, the conference was the second of three international research conferences CURA is co-organizing with the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The conferences bring together scholars and policy analysts from eight countries in Southeast Asia, in an effort to provide state-of-the-field perspectives on religious change for policy analysts working on within the Southeast Asian region.
Click here for a video of the panel discussion.
Contrary to some media mis-impressions, Islamic education in most countries of the world is dynamic and forward-looking. On October 29-31, the Faculty of Tarbiya and Teacher Training at the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University in Jakarta, Indonesia, hosted an international conference on innovation in Islamic education. Bob Hefner was invited to present the conference’s keynote address. He spoke on, “Mediating Modernity through Educational Innovation: The Cultural Past and Pivotal Future of Islamic Schooling.”
Information is now available for the Religion Fellows Program for Faculty who include religion in their academic research area. The seminar series is funded by stipend.
Click here for information on the program.
Partnership with Luce and ICRS-Yogyakarta for Project on Religion and Public Policy in Southeast Asia
With funding from the Henry Luce Foundation, CURA joined with the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS) at Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia to organize the first international conference in a three year project on how states and societies are responding to religious change in eight Southeast Asian Countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The ICRS heads the project, and has brought together research teams in each of the Southeast Asian countries. CURA is coordinating the U.S.-based wing of the project, focusing on how U.S. policy analysts and think tanks perceive and respond to religious change in the Southeast Asian region. Next year’s conference will be held in Washington DC; the 2016 conference will take place in Bangkok, Thailand. This year’s conference included visits from ministers in Indonesia’s Ministry of Religion as well as the U.S. Embassy. It also featured a speech on the challenge of pluralism from the much-respected Sultan of Yogyakarta, as well as a two-hour appearance on a nationally-broadcast Indonesian talk show.
On January 31, Bob Hefner, CURA Director, and Bernie Ardeney-Risakotta, CURA Visiting Scholar, traveled to Georgetown University to launch the first in a series of workshops and conferences to take place over the next three years on “Religion and Public Policy in Southeast Asia.” The program is funded by the Luce Foundation; the portion under the direction of Hefner and CURA represents the American wing of an eight-country project on religion and policy in the Southeast Asia Region. The larger project is being carried out under the auspices of the Institute on Culture and Religious Studies (ICRS) at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia Dr. Dicky Sofyan is the director of the larger project; Bernie Ardeney-Risakotta is the former director of the ICRS. Katherine Marshall of the Berkley Center at Georgetown University kindly hosted the Georgetown event. Other participants in this first-stage workshop included Peter Phan and Crystal Corman of Georgetown, Charles Keyes of the University of Washington Seattle, Juliane Schober of Arizona State University, and Vivienne Angeles of LaSalle University. The next conference, in Mach 2014, will take place in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and will bring together teams of researchers and policy analysts from across Southeast Asia to address the question of how governments and policy makers are, and are not, engaging the far-reaching changes taking place in Southeast Asian nations.
On December 14, 2013, Marthen Tahun, Zainal Abidin Bagir, and Bob Hefner presented a paper on Islam, Christianity, and Religious Freedom in Indonesia. The presentation was part of Georgetown University’s international conference on religious freedom, under the direction of Dr. Thomas Farr and Dr. Timothy S. Shah. Participants from the conference had the pleasure of a private audience with Pope Francis, who greeted the group with his trademark mix of warmth and wit.
On October 17th and 18th Professor Peter Berger hosted a conference at CURA on Religious Puralism: Formulas of Peace. The conference brought together experts on religion and politics from North America and Europe to discuss examples of religious pluralism throughout history in the different regions of the world. Topics of talks included the Errors of Vatican II, the Varieties of Eurosecularism, Religious Clauses of the US Constitution, and the journey from Caste System to the Secular Republic.
The Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs co-sponsored a conference called Religion, Social Movements, and Zones of Crisis in Latin America with the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future in April, 2012. Below are two links to recordings of two of the talks presented at this conference.
This is a recording of one of the talks at that event by Amanda Horhardt, a master’s student at the State University of Campinas, Brazil (UNICAMP), titled, “Everyday Politics in the Periphery of São Paulo: Catholic Church and Housing Movement Intertwined.” In her talk, Ms. Horhardt shared experiences from her field work that illustrate the dynamics between the housing movement, Evangelicals, and Catholics.
This is recording of one of the talks at that event by an expert on Latin America, Rafael Sánchez from Amsterdam University College titled, “Seized by the Spirit: The Mystical Foundation of Squatting among Pentecostals in Caracas.” In his talk, he discussed his field research with the squatters. He calls their mission, “The most aggressive logic of…spatial occupation I have ever seen.” He said the movement fits into a larger picture of “horizontal recuperation” and a withdrawal from political life in Venezuela.