CURA Colloquium: Citizenship and Religious Belonging in State Formation

The Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs (CURA), an affiliated regional studies center of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, hosted a talk with Sheila Otieno, PhD Student at the BU School of Theology,  on December 6, 2019 as part of their 2019-2020 Colloquium on Religion and World Affairs.

Otieno gave a talk entitled “Splinter Effect: Interrogating Performances of Citizenship and Religious Belonging in State Formation,” in which she presented a comparative investigation on the precarity of religion as a moral intervention in three middle-income African countries (Rwanda, South Africa, and Kenya), particularly as pertaining to political instability and social fragmentation at crucial stages of nation-building and democratic development. 

CURA hosts a yearly interdisciplinary Colloquium on Religion and World Affairs, in cooperation with the BU School of Theology. The Colloquium meets bimonthly throughout the academic year to discuss working papers on the chosen theme, either written by CURA Fellows or invited scholars from outside BU. CURA Fellows are selected from across the BU community during a competitive application period every spring. The Colloquium sessions are open to the general public, but all attendees are expected to read the papers in advance. The sessions focus on providing feedback and suggestions to the authors. Authors do not make a formal presentation but are able to engage with the audience and answer questions after the papers are discussed.

The theme for the 2019-2020 colloquium is “Religion and Identity.” The working papers will explore the ways in which religion creates, shapes, and interacts with individual and social identities. We welcome work that explores specifically religious identity as race, gender, sexuality, and nationality.