Category: Professor News
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.
Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu’s ongoing research on Catholics, Muslims, and the New Pluralist Citizenship in Southern California
Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu is a Research Fellow in the ongoing project on Catholics, Muslims, and the New Pluralist Citizenship in the U.S, Canada, Netherlands, and France. The project is sponsored by the Kroc Institute for Peace at Notre Dame University and CURA.
Ahmet has been carrying out research on inter-faith relations in Los Angeles and Orange Counties since July 2013. From March 9 through 15th, Bob Hefner visited Ahmet and met with some of the many extraordinary Muslim, Catholic, and secular leaders active in interfaith affairs in southern California.
Southern California has the largest Catholic archdiocese in the United States, and, under the leadership of Rt. Rev Archimandrite Alexei Smith, it also has one of the most remarkable and active offices for Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs. The Los Angeles and Orange Counties also has one of the oldest and largest Muslim communities in the United States; its network of Muslim schools, councils, and inter-faith programs, as well as its Shura Council, are among the most dynamic in North America. Ahmet has also been active in the African American Muslim community, also among the oldest and largest in the United States.
A renowned cultural psychologist, anthropologist of religion, and New York Times op-ed author, Tanya M. Luhrmann of Stanford University visited CURA on February 12 to present the third annual Peter L. Berger Lecture in the Sociology and Anthropology of Religion. The event is sponsored by the School of Theology, the Departments of Sociology and Anthropology, the Center for the Study of Global Christianity and Mission, and CURA. Luhrmann’s talk built on the topic of her best selling book, When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God (Knopf 2012), examining the cultural and psychological logic of the American turn toward a deeply personalized and loving God. The presentation was followed by a lively question-and-answer period and reception.
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.
Professor Jeffrey W. Rubin and Emma Sokoloff-Rubin tell the behind-the-scenes story of this remarkable movement in their new book Sustaining Activism: A Brazilian Women’s Movement and a Father-Daughter Collaboration. As a father-daughter team, they describe the challenges of ethnographic research and the way their collaboration gave them a unique window into a fiery struggle for equality.
In 1986, a group of young Brazilian women started a movement to secure economic rights for rural women and transform women’s roles in their homes and communities. Together with activists across the country, they built a new democracy in the wake of a military dictatorship. In Sustaining Activism, Jeffrey W. Rubin and Emma Sokoloff-Rubin tell the behind-the-scenes story of this remarkable movement.
Starting in 2002, Rubin and Sokoloff-Rubin traveled together to southern Brazil, where they interviewed activists over the course of ten years. Their vivid descriptions of women’s lives reveal the hard work of sustaining a social movement in the years after initial victories, when the political way forward was no longer clear and the goal of remaking gender roles proved more difficult than activists had ever imagined. Highlighting the tensions within the movement about how best to effect change, Sustaining Activism ultimately shows that democracies need social movements in order to improve people’s lives and create a more just society.
For more information and to purchase the book you can visit their website here.
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.
Professor Adam Seligman received the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the Faculty of History and Philosophy of the Paissiy Hilendarski University of Plovdiv in Bulgaria at a ceremony on Monday, January 16th. The honor was bestowed for his achievements in integrating scientific work with practical work around issues of the public good and overcoming religious and ethnic enmities between communities. He delivered a lecture entitled, “What Makes us Moral” on the occasion.