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.

International Qur’anic Studies Association: Call for Papers

April 1, 2021

The International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) is happy to announce its fourth international conference from July 4-11, 2021, hosted by the “Giorgio La Pira” Library (Palermo, Italy). The conference will welcome papers on any topic within the range of the interests of the Qur’anic text encouraging in particular papers that will explore the theme Qur’an in contact: Plurality of views from other traditions, disciplines and peripheries.


The Palermo IQSA Conference Committee welcomes proposals of single papers as well as panels that gather selected speakers invited by the proponent to present on a specific topic.

Applicants are kindly asked to submit their abstracts to the attention of Dr. Alba Fedeli at, by April 23, 2021. The organizing committee will send a notification of acceptance for abstracts on May 16, 2021.

Read the call for papers in full here.

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.

JDR Special Issue: Vulnerability and Power

March 3, 2021

The EuARe is pleased to share the news of the recent publishing of the volume: Vulnerability and Religion.


A special issue of the Journal of Disability and Religion, the volume collects the contributions originally planned for the panel Theologies of disability: the power of vulnerability to be held at the EuARe conference 2020.

The editorial for this issue is available in open access here.

Congratulations to our fellow colleagues!

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.

Call for applications. Fscire PhD Programme 2021-2024

February 15, 2021

Fscire is offering three posts, of which at least one with a scholarship, in the fields of the history of religions, exegesis, and theology for the three-year PhD course (2021-2024) at the «Giuseppe Alberigo» European School for Advanced Religious Studies.


The call is open to candidates of any nationality holding a Master’s degree – or equivalent advanced degree qualificationr ecognised by the Italian academic system – in fields relating to the subjects of the specialisation course and obtained before 30 September 2021.


Candidates, less than 26 years of age as of 1 October 2021, may apply for the scholarship.


The application and all additional documents must be sent or delivered by hand to the «Giuseppe Alberigo» School’s secretariat (via San Vitale 114, 40125 Bologna, Italy) by 31 May 2021. The postmark or courier service stamp will serve as proof of the date of dispatch. Applicants are strongly advised to send an electronic copy of their application form and all additional documents in .pdf format (email address:, in addition to the hard copy which must, however, reach the School’s secretariat before the deadline indicated.


For more information please visit the section of the «Giuseppe Alberigo» School for Advanced Religious Studies at this link.

G20 Interfaith Forum 2021: A Time to Heal

February 12, 2021

From September 12 to September 14, Bologna and Fscire will host the 2021 edition of the G20 Interfaith Forum, a network of institutions linked through religions that contribute ideas and recommendations in response to global issues.


The central theme around which the activities and discussions of IF20 2021 will converge is A Time to Heal. Peace Among Cultures, Understanding Between Religions, inspired by a biblical verse from Ecclesiastes.

In this video, Alberto Melloni, Secretary of Fscire and Chairman of the Italian Organising Committee, and Susanna Mancini, professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Bologna School of Law, introduce the Forum and its topic.

To know more about the G20 Interfaith Forum, visit

More information about the programme of the Forum and how to participate and will follow: stay tuned!

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.

Save the Dates: RESILIENCE Webinars in 2021

December 14, 2020

The European Research Infrastructure on Religious Studies RESILIENCE is preparing a series of webinars related to Religious Studies which you are welcome to join.

The webinars aim at presenting a specificity of the RESILIENCE partners and the added value of a Research Infrastructure for all Religious Studies, at the same time at collecting feedback from users: what are their needs in this respect? The presentations will deal with a variety of topics and will be of interest for a wide audience, including researchers, librarians, employees of NGOs etc.

The first webinars are scheduled January 14 and 26, 2021, organised by the University of Sofia (EU Enlargement and Linguistic Challenges in the Balkans, January 14, 2021, 9:30 CET | 10:30 EET) and IEG/EPHE (eScriptorium for Handwritten Text Recognition in Humanities Research, January 26, 2021, 14.00-15.00 CET).


More specific information is expected but you can already subscribe to the Sofia University Open Webinar January 14, 2021, here.

Discover the topics of the forthcoming webinars, save the dates and remember: if you want us to keep you posted, you can subscribe at any moment to the RESILIENCE newsletter:

Research news from Münster

December 7, 2020

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


“Corona pandemic is obviously influencing religiosity” | Initial results of a survey by the Cluster of Excellence on corona and faith

Initial results of a survey conducted by the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster on the link between the corona pandemic and religiosity are now available. They show that the COVID 19 crisis is having an impact on people’s faith, explains political scientist Carolin Hillenbrand of the Cluster of Excellence.

Read the full article here.


Corona pandemic: wide-ranging research in the humanities and social sciences on epidemics

Since the beginnings of the corona pandemic, members of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” have conducted wide-ranging research in the humanities and social sciences on epidemics in the past and present.

Read the full article here.


“We are seeing serious conflicts across the world over belonging and demarcation”

First thematic year of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” sheds light on the social challenges of “belonging and demarcation” – science and politics discuss dynamics and tensions between political, cultural, and religious groups – case studies from antiquity to the present – public annual programme 2020/21 comprises a wide range of event and media formats.

Read the full article here.

“Repercussions of colonial pasts still causing problems for populations today”
An interdisciplinary lecture series organized by the Cluster of Excellence examines the influence of imperial legacies on social, cultural and religious affiliations – examples ranging from the Jews in Ancient Rome, to the multi-confessional Fatimid dynasty in the Middle Ages, and to West Africans soldiers employed in the French army – with lectures by Herfried Münkler, Brigitte Reinwald, Lora Wildenthal, Wolfgang Reinhard – as a prelude to the first thematic year “Belonging and Demarcation”.

Read the full article here.


New research projects expand the range of themes at the Cluster of Excellence
The Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” is expanding its research programme with five projects from the fields of the sociology of religion and political science, as well as from classical studies and history. The new projects deal with themes ranging from “Religious conservatism and the support for right-wing populist parties” and “Localism and religion in ancient Greece”, to “Divination and politics in the early-modern period” and “Ephesus and its cult spaces: projections of political and religious practice”, to “Cross-organizational and cross-national differences in religious accommodation”.

Read the full article here.


International comparison of religious diversity | NRW graduate school on the regulation of religious diversity enters its second funding phase

The NRW graduate school “Religious Plurality” at the universities of Münster and Bochum is to be extended and will in future examine regional religious diversity in comparison with different countries. This was announced by the University of Münster’s Centre for Religion and Modernity (CRM) and the University of Bochum’s Centre for Religious Studies (CERES) on Tuesday.

Read the full article here.

FSCIRE to host the G20 Interfaith Forum in 2021

December 2, 2020

In 2021, Italy will host the G20 Summit. In the run-up to the Summit, the Presidency will host several meetings featuring ministers, senior government officials as well as civil society representatives. We are glad to announce that FSCIRE will cooperate with the Italian Presidency in organising and convening the G20 Interfaith Forum (IF20) in Bologna.

The G20 Interfaith Forum is the annual platform that, since 2014, seeks global solutions by collaborating with religious thought leaders and political representatives. It builds on vital roles that religious institutions and beliefs play in world affairs, reflecting a rich diversity of institutions, ideas, and values. The membership includes interfaith and intercultural organizations, religious leaders, scholars, development and humanitarian entities, and business and civil society actors.

The theme for the global gathering, to be held in September 2021, will be: “Time to Heal: Peace Among Cultures, Understanding Between Religions.”

As the Saudi Presidency passes the torch to Italy, the G20 Interfaith Forum will host an online handover ceremony on Thursday, December 3, 4.30-5.30 pm (Rome time). Here you can find the program of the ceremony and the link to register to the Zoom webinar. You are all invited to join the meeting!


The European Academy of Religion (EuARe) is a research initiative which offers an exchange platform to scholars, universities, centres, research infrastructures, scientific journals and publishers coming from Europe and the surrounding regions.


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