Category: research abroad

Hefner Named to Indonesia-U.S. Council on Religion and Pluralism

August 22nd, 2016 in Professor News, research abroad

Bob Hefner has been named to the executive board of the newly-formed Indonesia-US Council on Religion and Pluralism. Click here for more info.

Catholics, Muslims and secularists in Quebec: Citizenships in tension in the aftermath of the Quiet Revolution

July 19th, 2016 in Blog, research abroad

A two year project between the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and CURA has resulted in a series of blog post articles on topics of “Global Migration and the New Cosmopolitanisms: Religion, Public Ethics, and Citizenship in Plural Societies”.

Find researcher Azeddine Hmimssa’s article on “Catholics, Muslims and secularists in Quebec: Citizenships in tension in the aftermath of the Quiet Revolution” on the University of Notre Dame’s blog Contending Modernities.

Here’s an excerpt from Azeddine’s article:

The introduction of a proposed “Charter of Quebec values” ​​by the Government of Quebec on September 10, 2013 was as a major event which can be considered part of a long process of secularization in Quebecois society, dating back to the so-called “Quiet Revolution” of the 1960s, which achieved its last success in the late 1990s by denominating schools based on languages (French versus English) rather than religion (Catholic versus Protestant). Throughout its history, Quebecois society has been strongly tied to the Catholic Church, which historically maintained a powerful presence in education, healthcare, and even political parties. In the wake of the “Quiet Revolution”, French Canadians, who represent the majority of the province’s Catholics, have become less religiously observant. At the same time, the Quebecois national movement that had its birth within a Catholic movement—“Action sociale catholique,” which was active between 1905 and 1962—has itself become increasingly secular.”

The un-Dutchable challenge of pluralism

July 13th, 2016 in Blog, research abroad

A two year project between the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and CURA has resulted in a series of blog post articles on topics of “Global Migration and the New Cosmopolitanisms: Religion, Public Ethics, and Citizenship in Plural Societies”.

Find researcher Ahmet Yukleyen’s article on “The Un-Dutchable challenge of pluralism” on the University of Notre Dame’s blog Contending Modernities.

Here’s an excerpt from Ahmet’s article:

“Every year on December 5th, tens of thousands of Dutch people paint their faces black, dress up in antique costume, and assume the persona of Zwarte Piet (“Black Pete”) to help Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) distribute candy and presents to children throughout the Netherlands. In recent years, Dutch citizens of Caribbean ancestry have spoken out against the portrayal of Black Pete as a racist caricature. In early October of 2013, Quinsy Gario, a Curaçao-born Dutch performance artist, argued on TV that Black Pete perpetuates a stereotype of African people as second-class citizens in Dutch society. The following week, the mayor of Amsterdam met with residents who asked that Black Pete be removed from the city’s Sinterklaas parade. Most white Dutch reacted angrily to accusations that the Black Pete tradition is racist, and the character continues to be popular in society. According to a 2013 survey, 92% of the Dutch public do not perceive Black Pete as racist or associate him with slavery, and 91% are opposed to altering the character’s appearance.”

Struggling to mieux vivre ensemble: The sobering reality of France’s new plurality

June 28th, 2016 in Blog, research abroad

A two year project between the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and CURA has resulted in a series of blog post articles on topics of “Global Migration and the New Cosmopolitanisms: Religion, Public Ethics, and Citizenship in Plural Societies”.

Find researcher Carol Ferrara’s article on “Struggling to mieux vivre ensemble: The sobering reality of France’s new plurality” on the University of Notre Dame’s blog Contending Modernities.

An excerpt from the article:

2015 was a devastating year for France. At the end of my 15-month fieldwork research in December of 2014, the country was already dealing with an ongoing economic recession, a wildly unpopular president, and a fervent and growing far-right political party. Furthermore, social tensions surrounding Islam, laïcité, and immigration had been escalating over the past few decades, with same-sex marriage being added to the heated public debates in recent years. The Charlie Hebdo attacks of January 2015 took a heavy toll on the already vulnerable state of the country. But ensuing unifying events such as the Marche Republicane – the biggest rally (~3.7 million people nationwide) in France since the liberation in 1944 – helped France to pull together and brush off at least some of the dust.”

The new western plurality and citizen co-existence

June 24th, 2016 in Blog, Professor News, research abroad

A two year project between the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and CURA has resulted in a series of blog post articles on topics of “Global Migration and the New Cosmopolitanisms: Religion, Public Ethics, and Citizenship in Plural Societies”.

Find Director Bob Hefner’s article on “The new western plurality and citizen co-existence” on the University of Notre Dame’s blog Contending Modernities.

An excerpt from the article:

Two developments over the past generation have presented serious challenges to the ideals and practice of Western citizenship. The first has been an unprecedented expansion of migration to Western countries, including that from Muslim societies and the broader global south. It goes without saying that the migratory vectors of our age pass not just from south to north, but across countries of the developing world. But the late-modern march of humanity to Western lands is of such a scale and complexity that it has raised questions about existing models of pluralist citizenship—a challenge which has been exacerbated by its cultural timing. In the aftermath of the great secularist surges of the 1960s and 1970s, most Western European and North American countries had reached a new consensus on the place of religion in public life. But many new immigrants brought with them, or discovered in their new homelands, different ideas as to how and where to be religiously observant.”

Hefner Speaks in Indonesia

February 8th, 2016 in Conference, Professor News, research abroad

Check out the Pardee School news item on Director Bob Hefner’s most recent trip to Indonesia. Hefner Speaks in Indonesia

CURA researcher Carol Ferrara in Paris

December 22nd, 2014 in research abroad

Carol Ferrara is a Research Fellow for the Contending Modernities project funded by CURA and the Kroc Institute for Peace at Notre Dame.  Carol has been carrying out research in Paris, Lyon and Lille, France over the past 15 months. The following photos are from Bob Hefner’s visit to Paris in early October 2014.

IMG_2954

Carol Ferrara with Antoine Arjakovsky, co-Director of Collège des Bernardins’ research department “Société, Liberté, Paix” The Collège’s research branch “Société, Liberté, Paix” focuses on the intersection of religion and politics, seeking new solutions for peace building and the establishment of politically just democratic regimes.

 

IMG_2987

Father Christophe Roucou in front of his office at the Service Nationale pour les relations avec Islam (SRI) in Paris. Father Roucou has been the Catholic Church’s appointed Director of SRI since 2006. In this role, he is responsible for maintaining and building relationships with Muslim leaders throughout France and for fostering amicably engaged relations between Muslims and Catholics. Carol has had the opportunity to work with Father Roucou over the past year on numerous occasions, from visits to Catholic schools to national level interreligious dialogues.

 

IMG_2978

Carol Ferrara with Ghaleb Bencheikh in his office at private high school Foyer de Cachan just outside of Paris. Mr. Bencheikh is the Chair of World Religions for Peace, anchor for the weekly France 2 television program about Islam, and frequent interlocuteur in interreligious dialogue in France. Both Father Roucou (above) and Mr. Bencheikh were in attendance at the 4th Annual Forum Islamo-Chrétien at the end of November in which Carol took part. The Forum, this year held in Lyon, France, is a chance for French Muslim and Christian leaders to come together to discuss pressing issues, problems, and solutions, as well as to brainstorm progress and steps toward better dialogue and relationships between the two religious groups throughout France.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Conference on Education in Muslim Society

December 19th, 2014 in Conference, Professor News, research abroad

IMG_3012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.”

Partnership with Luce and ICRS-Yogyakarta for Project on Religion and Public Policy in Southeast Asia

April 3rd, 2014 in Conference, research abroad

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.

IMG_2245IMG_2272IMG_2240

International Conference on Religious Freedom in Vatican City

January 8th, 2014 in Conference, Professor News, research abroad

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.

Audience with the pope

Audience with the pope