Upcoming Events

Call For Papers: Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity and Migration Symposium

Date of Symposium: Friday 2 August 2019

Where: Level 9, Parramatta City campus, WSU, 169 Macquarie St, Parramatta

Abstracts Due: 10 May 2019 (title, 250-word abstract, short bio)

Queries and Submissions: Dr Kathleen Openshaw - K.openshaw@westernsydney.edu.au

Keynote Speaker: Associate Professor Richard Vokes(Department of Anthropology, U

niversity of Western Australia)

Convenors: Prof Cristina Rocha (RSRC), Prof Mark Hutchinson (AlphacrucisCollege), Dr Kathleen Openshaw(RSRC), Mrs Ingrid Ryan (AlphacrucisCollege)

Sponsored Annually by: Western Sydney University and Alphacrucis College

Over the past few decades, Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity (PCC) has exploded in the Global South and grown considerably in the Global North. Much of this growth is fuelled by networks of megachurches, the mobility of community leaders across diasporic networks, migration, and (mass and digital) media. While (traditionally) missionaries would travel in a North-to-South direction, more recently megachurches from the Global South have moved horizontally, across to other developing countries, and also made inroads into the Global North in efforts of reverse missionisation. Such efforts to missionise to locals in the Global North have been largely (though not wholly) unsuccessful and churches have turned their focus to migrants from the Global South. Many studies have shown that migrants, who were not attached to PCCs before migration, join churches in the diaspora as they offer them a home away from home. However, diasporic churches also face difficulties keeping these (as well as second generation) migrants, since they may prefer local churches in an effort to integrate. In this symposium we probe these themes and are seeking papers on the following topics:

  • Historical developments
  • Missionary activities and migration
  • Translocal and Transnational PCC Networks
  • Translocal and Transnational families and PCC
  • Young migrants and PCC
  • Second generation migrants and PCC
  • Gender, PCC and migration
  • City infrastructures and diasporic churches
  • Theological themes and migration
  • Cultural translation, negotiation, adaptation of migrant churches
  • PCC, Media, music, Information Communication Technologies and migration
  • Material culture and migrants’ lived experiences in PCC churches
  • Aesthetics and embodied practices
  • Immobility, borders and PCC

Please find the CFP flyer hereOpens in a new window

Symposium - 'Religion and Race/ialisation in Australia'

Date and Time: Friday, 26 April 2019: 10.30am – 4.00 pm

Speakers: Professor FethiMansouri (Deakin University), Professor Kevin Dunn (Western Sydney University), Associate Professor Farida Fozdar (University of Western Australia), Dr Jennifer Cheng (Western Sydney University)

Sponsored by: The Australian Sociological Association (TASA), The Religion and Society Research Cluster (RSRC) and the School of Social Sciences and Psychology (SSAP) at Western Sydney University

Conveners: Alan Nixon and Rosemary Hancock

Venue:  Room 03.9.01, Liverpool Campus, Western Sydney University

Registration: Limited free registration, please RSVP to rosemary.hancock@nd.edu.au

Australia has recently seen the return of ‘race politics’ which is often connected to the religious faith of those being racialized. It is evident in discussions of Middle Eastern migrant communities, which are inevitably associated with Islam despite Islam being a global religion and the Middle East being religiously diverse. This discourse treats Islam as a monolithic whole and racializes Muslims and those who appear to be Muslim, ascribing particular characteristics such as violence and criminality, and oppressive attitudes towards women and sexual minorities. Such discourse fails to recognise the diversity within Islam, both in terms of its different legal schools and the cultural and geographical particularities that exist. Although much of the current work on religion and race both in Australia and internationally focuses on Islam, race and religious identity intersect across a range of other religions in Australia to produce various discourses of ‘othering’ both inside and outside religious communities. The relationship of Christianity to whiteness and Australian identity is also pertinent to this discourse: particularly in light of current political discourse on migration policy.

The study of religion and race/racialisation is a fast-developing field. Scholarship from the United States dominates the existing literature, with a secondary substantial contribution coming from the UK and Europe. We believe that this event will be an excellent opportunity to:

  • bring together sociologists working in this field in Australia to reflect on the relevance of trends in the current international debate to the Australian context,
  • share their work with other sociologists working in cognate areas,
  • build an Australian network of sociologists with a shared interest in religion and race.

Please find the symposium flyer hereOpens in a new window

Religion and Ideas Roundtable - Modern Thinking in Islam Series 2019

Location: Western Sydney University, Parramatta South Campus, The Female Orphan School, PS-EZ.1.57 (Geoffrey Roberson Boardroom)

Day and Time: Fridays, 10.00am – 12.00pm

Sponsored by: The School of Humanities and Communications Arts (HCA)

It is a common assumption that since the so-called closing of ‘the gates of ijtihad,’ there has been no genuine intellectual activity on the part of Islam. Such a view is undoubtedly fiction but the bias nevertheless persists, especially under the guise of the Muslim world’s alleged inferiority to the West. The ongoing intellectual engagement of Islam with modernity is well documented, yet what remains unaddressed is the extent and scope of the originality and creativity of the Muslim thinkers involved therein. Thus, the present roundtable aspires to answer the following question: How has Islam contributed to the prime production of ideas in the modern period?

Certainly, to answer adequately such a question one must consider the specifics of time and place, context and circumstance, as well as individual idiosyncrasies. Moreover, no answer can just assume that originality and creativity are given; what has to be explored and delineated is where, why, and how Muslim thinkers have been original and creative. Islamic modernism in all its forms – liberal, reformist or moderate – is the most promising field of reference with regards to the exploration of the alternatives that Islam may present to standard Western versions of modern theory and critical thinking.

The discussion series will delve into a wide range of areas of thought, such as political theory, philosophy, sociology, art and literature, theology, education and historiography, and at the same time consider a diverse number of Muslim thinkers, including Shariati, Taha, Nurbakhsh, Ahmed, Nasr, an-Naim, Soroush, and Kermani. These figures are not cases of passive and/or benign modernisation or even westernisation, but on the contrary represent instances of a robust and sustained encounter with the challenges of the West; this encounter becomes especially intriguing as it is about ideas that remain controversial for dominant Muslim perspectives throughout the world today.

The 2019 series will run every month on a Friday from March–June and August–November. It will host invited speakers leading discussion on suggested topics.The roundtables aim to foster inter-institutional collaboration on cutting edge scholarship in relevant fields of the study of religion. The objective of the seminars is to provide a platform for discussion of key issues in relation to religion in the modern world. Proceedings will be submitted for publication in a special series/edited volume.

See the flyer for the series here and individual talk flyers below

List of Presenters:

Friday 22 March - Professor Bryan Turner (ACU) - Orientalism: From Edward Said to Wael B. Hallaq (Flyer)
Friday 5 April - Emeritus Professor Garry W. Trompf (USYD) - Questions of Gnostic Islam (Flyer)
Friday 3 May - Dr Aydogan Kars (Monash) Soroush Between Tradition and Innovation (Flyer)
Friday 7 June - Dr Vassilis Adrahtas (Macquarie) - From Tradition to Modernity and Vice Versa: The Progressive Islam of Mahmud Muhammad Taha
Friday 2 August - Dr Maria Bhatti (WSU, Law) - The interaction between Islamic law and secular law
Friday 6 September - Dr Lucia Sorbera (USYD) - Beyond the Modernity–Tradition Binary: For a Women’s Intellectual History of Islam
Friday 4 October - Associate Professor William Shepard, retired (UC, Christchurch) - The Islamist Paradox
Friday 1 November - Dr Milad Milani (WSU) - Shahab Ahmed and the Hermeneutics of Islam

Call for Papers: Islam and Society: Challenges and Prospects. AAIMS Second Conference on the Study of Islam and Muslim Societies.

Submissions Due: Monday 6 May, 2019

Submissions: Mehrnosh Lajevardi Fatemi (M.lajevardifatemi@westernsydney.edu.au) - Abstracts (100-200 words) and Brief bio (50-100 words)

Queries: Directed to Professor Linda Briskman (l.briskman@westernsydney.edu.au) or Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh (shahram.akbarzadeh@deakin.edu.au).

Conference Dates: 30 September and 1 October 2019

Where: Western Sydney University Parramatta South Campus (venue details to be advised)

The two leading nodes in Australian scholarship of race and ethnic studies are combining to offer the second Australian Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (AAIMS) Conference. After the successful inaugural conference, the second conference will further represent the depth and breadth of scholarship in Australia and internationally. It will showcase and reflect upon the range of Muslim experiences across many countries from multi-disciplinary perspectives. The conference will bring together scholars from such disciplines as law, politics, sociology, religious studies, geography, philosophy and theology. The conference will feature international and local keynotes who are leading scholars in their fields.

In addition to papers, we are calling for convenors and participants for conference panels on cutting edge topics that fit within the broad theme of the conference.

We strongly encourage Higher Degree by Research students to attend and the conference program will include networking, feedback and mentoring sessions. HDR students are eligible for a discounted fee.

Topics for presentation might include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Geopolitics of Islam
  • Islam in an era of populism
  • Countering Violent Extremism
  • Islam and women
  • Muslim organisations, politics and volunteering
  • Islamophobic ideologies, manifestation, impact and response
  • Refugees and Islamophobia
  • Youth and Islam
  • Islam in the spaces of education
  • Law and religion
  • Muslim popular cultures and new media
  • Islam in Indonesia
  • Converts, reverts and apostates

Participants are expected to organise and financially cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. Advice will be later provided on registration options and suitable accommodation.

Please find the conference flyer here Opens in a new window

Guest Lecture: Spiritual and Class Insecurity among South Africa's Emerging Middle Class Christians

Speaker: Dr Ibrahim Abraham (Hans Mol Research Fellow in Religion and Social Sciences - Australian National University)

Sponsored by: The Religion and Society Research Cluster (RSRC) and the School of Social Sciences and Psychology (SSAP) at Western Sydney University

Date: Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Time: 10:30am-12pm

Location: Room 03.8.01, Liverpool Campus, Western Sydney University

RSVP or Enquiries: Contact Alan Nixon - a.nixon@westernsydney.edu.au

This guest lecture reflects on ethnographic research in Cape Town across several years, by engaging with the interrelated realities of “spiritual insecurity” and “class insecurity” in the lives of South African Christians of the emerging black middle class. The concept of spiritual insecurity, as developed by Adam Ashforth, theorizes responses to “unmanageable dangers, doubts, and fears” emerging from the spiritual realm in everyday life. In South Africa, these responses draw from an array of Christian and non-Christian resources, including local and global Pentecostalism, and increasingly politicized engagements with traditional African religion. However, members of South Africa’s new black middle class must also negotiate “unmanageable dangers, doubts, and fears” emerging from the economic realm in everyday life. High levels of unemployment, dysfunctional educational and welfare systems, financial obligations to family, and unclear pathways out of poverty, make the economic realm as difficult to decipher and negotiate as the spiritual realm. Drawing on additional insights from South African literary fiction and popular culture, this lecture develops ideas from the presenter’s work-in-progress, Religion and Moral Ambition in South Africa: Race, Class, and Christianity.

Ibrahim Abraham is the Hans Mol Research Fellow in Religion and the Social Sciences at the Australian National University. He is the author of Evangelical Youth Culture: Alternative Music and Extreme Sports Subcultures(Bloomsbury, 2017) and the editor of Christian Punk: Identity and Performance (Bloomsbury, forthcoming).

Please find the guest lecture flyer hereOpens in a new window

^ Back To Top