EuARe Lectures. Conference proceedings

July 15, 2020

The second volume of the EuARe Lectures is out! Get your copy here!

The volume, edited by our former president, Jocelyne Cesari, collects the lectures delivered at the Second Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion (2019) on the topic "Empowering the Individual, Nurturing the Community".

Tackling the theme from the different perspectives of their fields of study, Craig Calhoun (Arizona State University) explores the meaning of secularisation for the individual and the community, and the challenges resulting from the reorganisation of human existence on a global scale and from new technologies; Maureen Junker-Kenny (Trinity College Dublin) analyses different approaches to the relationship between individuality and sociality, and the consequences of this for people’s views of religion; Sophie Nordmann (École Pratique des Hautes Études) discusses the contribution of Jewish philosophers to political theory in the twentieth century, and how they developed their conceptions of the way in which individuals belong to social, political, and cultural communities; finally, Tim Winter (University of Cambridge) surveys foundational Islamic assumptions about human diversity and measures their intelligibility to modern positivism.

If you missed it, the first EuARe Lectures volume (edited by our Secretary General, Francesca Cadeddu) is also available for download.

Artificial Intelligence: Challenges and Opportunities

May 4, 2021

How will artificial intelligence transform society? Join the G20 Interfaith Forum working group on Innovation for Science, Technology and Infrastructure in an online discussion on addressing challenges and capturing the opportunities.

The discussion, moderated by Branka Marijan (Project Ploughshares), will be joined by Peter Asaro (New School in New York City), Kanta Dihal (Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, University of Cambridge), John Markoff (Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, Stanford University), Illah Nourbakhsh (Carnegie Mellon University), Selma Šabanovic (Indiana University).

The webinar will be held on May 5, 2021, 15.00-16.00 CESTYou are welcomed to register here.

Research Project Presentation: The Legacy of Birgitta of Sweden

April 23, 2021

On Thursday, April 29, 17:00 CEST Prof. Anna Wainwright (University of New Hampshire) and Dr. Eleonora Cappuccilli (University of Oslo), in cooperation with FSCIRE, will present the research project The Legacy of Birgitta of Sweden. Women, Politics and Reform in Renaissance Italy.

European and American scholars have lately uncovered the extraordinary surge of women writers and philosophers in Early Modern Italy (1350–1700), a number that by far surpasses that of women writers in other countries during the Renaissance. In the same period, Birgitta of Sweden’s literary oeuvre circulated widely in Italy. Latin manuscripts of Birgitta’s work Revelaciones (Celestial Revelations) were copied in Italian scriptoria, translated into Italian vernacular, incorporated in compilations, and printed in Latin and Italian editions. However, the legacy of Birgitta’s extensive literary production and its possible impact on female writers and intellectuals in Renaissance Italy has hitherto not been explored.

The presentation will be held online. All those interested in participating can register themselves by writing to segreteria@fscire.it.

The project, organized by the University of Oslo and directed by Prof. Unn Falkeid (Alberigo Award 2019, Senior Category), is funded by the Research Council of Norway (FRIPRO).

G20 Interfaith Forum 2021: Joint ACLARS and IF20 Webinar

April 16, 2021

IF20 and Fscire invite you to the webinar The Role of Religion and Faith-Based Communities in the African COVID-19 Response which will take place on Tuesday, April 20th, 16:30 CEST.

Carlos Dos Santos (Ambassador of the Republic of Mozambique to the United States), Ramsey Day (Former Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Africa, U.S. Agency for International Development), Sister Barbara Brillant (Dean of Mother Patern College of Health Sciences, Liberia), Rahma Gulam (Acting Executive Director of Muslims for Human Rights, Kenya), and Francis Kuria Kagema (Secretary General of the African Council of Religious Leaders, Religions for Peace, Kenya) will engage in the conversation moderated by Esha Faki Mwinyihaji (Masemo University, Kenya).


The webinar is organised in the framework of the G20 Interfaith Forum 2021 (Bologna, 12-14 September 2021).

Registrations are open: save your spot!

G20 Interfaith Forum 2021: First Peoples, First Racism

April 12, 2021

On Monday, March 29, the G20 Interfaith Forum held a first webinar organized by its Anti-Racism Initiative. Panelists included Leah Gazan of the Canadian Parliament (Lakota Nation); Professor Michalyn Steele of Brigham Young University Law School (Seneca Nation); Romeo Saganash, Quebec’s first Indigenous Member of Parliament (Cree); and Ja:no’s Bowen, Seneca Language Department Director for the Allegany Territory (Seneca Nation). The event highlighted the critical issues that face leaders and communities at every level in countering the scourge of racism. In focusing on the North American legacies and present, the harsh realities of discrimination and the courage of those who face it, the speakers pointed towards responsibilities and possible actions, thus foreshadowing analytic and policy directions for the G20 Interfaith Forum that will be held in Bologna, Italy, September 12-14, 2021.

To know more about the event, you can read this brief summary (ITA/ENG) or watch the recording of the webinar.

Exploring Contemporary Shi'ism in European and Middle Eastern contexts:  A Glance at the Recent Evolutions of Shi’ism in the Region

April 1, 2021

The Sapienza University of Rome, Research Centre for Cooperation with Eurasia, the Mediterranean and sub-Saharan Africa (CEMAS), Institute of Political Studies “S. Pio V” Observatory on the Mediterranean (OSMED) and the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies ASPS's for the Virtual Events series n. V., are proud to invite you to the online study day on Shi'ism in Europe: Exploring Contemporary Shi’ism in European and Middle Eastern Contexts: A Glance at the Recent Evolutions of Shi'ism in the Region. 


Held online on April 9th, 2021 from 10:00 to 17:00

The complete program can be found here.

G20 Interfaith Forum 2021: First Peoples, First Racism

March 20, 2021

IF20 and Fscire invite you to the webinar First Peoples, First Racism: a discussion with first nation and indigenous leaders which will take place on Monday, March 29, 1-2.30 pm EST (7-8.30 pm CEST).

Leah Gazan, MP (Winnipeg Centre, Manitoba), Michalyn Steele (Professor of Law at Brigham Young University), Ja:no's Bowen (Language Department Director, Allegany Territory, Seneca Nations), Romeo Saganash (Former Director of Cree-Quebec Relations), and Claudette Commanda (Professor of Law at Ottawa University) will engage in the conversation moderated by Christina Tobias-Nahi, Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Islamic Relief USA.


The webinar is organised in the framework of the G20 Interfaith Forum 2021 (Bologna, 12-14 September 2021).

Registrations are open: save your spot!

Religious minorities at the margins

March 12, 2021

The University of Milan is organising a webinar on the topic: Religious minorities at the margins: religious diversity in Italy between law and politics. The webinar will be held on Zoom, May 6, 10:00 CET.

The meeting aims at examining the situation of belief and religious minorities, which are at the margins of the Italian society and its legal system. Through an analysis, that also covers the historical, political and sociological profiles of the issue, speakers and participants will discuss how well the Italian legal system is able to respect and promote the rights of religious and belief organizations, including the smallest and newest ones. The debate will also put under scrutiny the capacity of the Italian legal system to include the smallest and most controversial religious minorities and the best strategies to achieve this goal.

The coordinators of the event are Cristiana Cianitto and Silvio Ferrari.

More information about the program of the event and how to register are available here.

G20 Interfaith Forum 2021: COVID Vaccination Challenges

March 12, 2021

IF20 presents the webinar COVID Vaccination Challenges: Ethical Imperatives and Local Realities, organized on February 24 by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University in collaboration with IF20, Fscire and other partners.


Mohamed Elsanousi (Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers), Sister Sharon Eubank (LDS Charities), and Gerard McGlone, S.J. (Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs) discussed the challenges posed by immunization plans worldwide and reflected on the role that faith communities can play in response to these issues.


The meeting was moderated by the Vice President of the IF20, Katherine Marshall.

To know more about the event, you can read this brief summary (ITA/ENG) or watch the recording of the webinar.

RESILIENCE. TUA Webinar on Early Modern Studies

February 23, 2021

The period 1450-1650 demonstrates intellectual, cultural, political and societal changes that mainly resulted from religious changes and that have become decisive for Europe’s situation today. The split in the Christian church – initiated by Martin Luther – into a catholic and a protestant camp caused a southern Europe mainly characterized by Catholicism and a northern Europe largely dominated by Protestantism. The fact that in the Early Modern period Catholic and Protestant rulers joined forces against the spread of the Ottoman Empire, is one of the causes of a more multireligious situation in south-eastern Europe. These facts underline the need for interdisciplinary research on the Early Modern era.

On March 17, 2021 (6-7 p.m. CET), Prof. Dr. Herman J. Selderhuis, Dean of the Theologische Universiteit Apeldoorn (TUA), will present the question during the webinar Early Modern Studies as a Key to Understanding the Religious Situation in Europe Today.


You are all invited to participate!

More information about the webinar and how to register is available here.

Research news from Münster

February 12, 2021

Find out the latest research news from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster:


Society doesn’t really care about people like me

People who perceive their own social group as disadvantaged are more dissatisfied with democracy than others, tend to see migrants as a threat, and are more likely to vote for the AfD. These are the findings of a study from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster.

Read the full article here.


Jan Assmann: „Internet unsuitable as a means to store cultural memory“

According to cultural scientist Jan Assmann, the Internet fails to fulfil important functions in the cultural memory of societies. “First of all, it is not suitable as a means to store cultural memory because it is unreliable”, says the Blumenberg Visiting Professor at the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”.

Read the full article here.


Jan Assmann: „Nationalisms and religion fuse in authoritarian regimes“

Nationalism and religion are increasingly uniting in authoritarian states around the world, according to renowned cultural scientist and Blumenberg professor Jan Assmann. “Putin’s Russia, Erdogan’s Turkey, Modi’s India, Netanyahu’s Israel, Duda’s Poland, Orban’s Hungary, and even Trump’s USA are examples of this tendency in anti-democratic, authoritarian regimes”, said Assmann at the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” on Tuesday evening.

Read the full article here.


New network for African research related to religion

An international network for African research related to religion at the Cluster of Excellence will start next week with a conference on Islam as a source of political mobilization in Mali. Anthropologist Dorothea Schulz and Souleymane Diallo from the Institute of Anthropology at the University of Münster have invited researchers from Africa, Europe, and the USA to look at the influence of Muslim actors on the legitimization of political rule in Mali.

Read the full article here.


New newsletter published

The latest newsletter of the Cluster of Excellence has been published. It informs about the annual theme and about research results, personalities and publications.

Read the full article here.


Jan Assmann is the new Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professor

The cultural scientist and Egyptologist Jan Assmann is the new Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professor at the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, where he will focus on the effects of digitalization on his concept of cultural memory and on the relationship between religion and culture from Ancient Egypt to early forms of Judaism, and to Christianity in the modern era.

Read the full article here.


Germany and the Idea of Belonging in Colonialism and Human Rights Activism

This lecture by historian Lora Wildenthal from Rice University traces themes of belonging, gender, and rights in two arenas of German interaction with the world: colonialism and human rights activism. Debates among Germans in the era of Germany’s colonial empire about how to classify people in terms of “race” rested on ideas of gender. These are briefly compared to racial classification ideas in the French colonial case.

Read the full article here.