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Teaching and Studying Religion: choices and challenges

15 December 11

15 December 2011, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m, BSA Meeting Room, Imperial Wharf, London

Religion is not a neutral subject. As with other significant constituents of identity, such as sexuality, gender, ethnicity, or class, the subject of ‘religion’ as a topic for study is not straightforward. And yet, we study it, deconstruct it, analyse, and measure it, recognising as we do that definitions are bound to be contested, fluid, and sometimes slippery. What are the particular challenges and choices this presents in different disciplines, in different places and times? And what are the ethical, political and methodological implications of this?

To find out more about how participants from a variety of disciplines and contexts have engaged with the choices and challenges of teaching and studying religion, join us on December 15 at the BSA Meeting Room in London, for a BSA Socrel symposium, chaired by Abby Day (Department of Religious Studies, University of Kent and Department of Anthropology, University of Sussex) and Anna Strhan (Department of Religious Studies, University of Kent). We are grateful to the Higher Education Academy, for funding. It won’t be your usual ‘stand-and-deliver’ event. Our presenters are working hard to condense their work into short summaries that will be distributed to all participants in advance of the day via e-mail. All participants will be expected to read the summaries and come prepared for a full day of engaging in vibrant exchanges across disciplines, countries, methods and other conventional boundaries.

Total delegate numbers are restricted to 30.  Registration for the symposium is now available on the BSA website, at http://bsas.esithosting.co.uk/public/event/eventBooking.aspx?id=EVT10172

Information on the venue location and transport links, is available at http://www.britsoc.co.uk/NR/rdonlyres/62CE3722-EE65-4B30-8058-90E8ACEFB636/0/BSA_Imperial_Wharf_directions041209.pdf

For any further information, please contact Abby Day (a.day@sussex.ac.uk) and Anna Strhan (as702@kent.ac.uk). The full programme for the day will be published on the BSA Socrel website: http://www.socrel.org.uk/


Keynote lecture by Adam Dinham, Director of Goldsmiths Faith and Civil Society Unit and Programme Director for the ‘Religious Literacy Leadership in Higher Education’ programme

Confirmed Speakers

Discussants: Paul-Francois Tremlett (Department of Religious Studies, Open University), Chris Cotter (Department of Religious Studies, University of Edinburgh) and Anna Strhan (Department of Religious Studies, University of Kent)


Alison Scott-Baumann (Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, University of Lancaster), Sariya Contractor (Faculty of Education, Health, and Sciences, University of Derby)

Women-led Curriculum Development for Modern British Islam

Saeed A. Khan (Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literature and Cultures, Wayne State University)

Current Challenges Facing Instructors of Islamic Studies: a Minefield or Marketplace of Ideas?

Stephen E. Gregg (School of Theology, Religious Studies and Islamic Studies, University of Wales, Trinity St David), Lynne Scholefield (School of Theology, Philosophy and History, St Mary's University College, Twickenham)

"But is it Hinduism?" Changing the Subject in Religious Studies

Saeko Yazaki (Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge)

Teaching Religion: Far From Spurious Objectivity and Unrestrained Subjectivity

Anna Van der Kerchove (Institut Européen en Sciences des Religions, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Sorbonne)

Teaching about religious issues in France: from University to classroom. Some remarks about curricula and their implementation in classrooms

Slawomir Sztajer (Department of the Study of Religion, Adam Mickiewicz University)

Teaching Religion and Teaching about Religion in Today's Poland

Christina Davis (Forum of Religious and Spiritual Education, King's College London)

Discriminating Tolerance and Religious Education: Dealing with incompatible truth-claims in the classroom

Janet Eccles and Rebecca Catto (Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, University of Lancaster)

Pre-University Experiences of Lived Irreligion

Jeroen Bouterse (Institute for Philosophy, University of Leiden)

Religion in the Scientific Revolution: Concepts and Theories in Historiography

Sahaya G. Selvam (Psychology of Religion, Heythrop College, University of London)

Positive Psychology: a viable theoretical and methodological framework for the psychological study of religion?

Emma Bell and Scott Taylor (University of Exeter Business School)

Spiritual Management Education: Tensions and Contradictions

Cosimo Zene (Department of the Study of Religions, SOAS)

Studying and Teaching the Religion of the Subalterns: a Critical Gramscian Perspective

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