2017 Events

Chasms and Bridges: Religion and Secularity in a Polarised World

Date: 29th September, 2017
Place: Western Sydney University, Sydney City Campus

The contemporary world is marked by growing polarisation across a number of spheres: economics, sexuality, medicine, science, feminism and the family are places of ideological contest and large, seemingly insurmountable chasms are opening up between opposing positions. Populist, far-right, and ethno-nationalist parties and politicians enjoy increased popularity and electoral success; these conservative political impulses are matched by a reinvigoration of anti-fascist, feminist, anti-racists, and democratic movements. This polarisation is not specific to one region or culture, but is rather a global phenomenon. Increased migration and knowledge mobility, coupled with significant changes in social attitudes and practices, increasingly bring citizens into contact with radically different people and divergent ideas, requiring the (often fraught) process of negotiating living in the same spaces (both physical and online) with deeply different others. As pluralism in religion and politics increases, how will societies manage relationships across lines of difference? What ‘bridges’ can we discover to encourage citizens to communicate and form connections across these chasms, and see moral value in people across difference? In this vein, multi-faith, ecumenical, and centrist efforts to bridge the gaps in these polarising issues are also part of the picture. This symposium seeks to open discussion amongst emerging and established sociologists on the place of religion (including secular and non-religious views) in these various debates and movements. We welcome contributions analysing the role of religions and religious actors in any of these spheres (globally or within Australia), and encourage reflections on the limitations of religion or religious framing in such environments. The Symposium runs over a full-day at the University of Western Sydney’s Sydney City Campus, with two key note lectures and a series of work-in-progress roundtables.

For more information about this event, please download the Chasms and Bridges: Religion and Secularity in a Polarised World flyer PDF, 34.77 KB.

Pentecostal Charismatic Christianities in Australia

A symposium convened by the Religion and Society Research Cluster, School of Social Sciences and Psychology, Western Sydney University 11-12 August

Western Sydney University’s Religion and Society Research Cluster and School of Social Sciences and Psychology hosted this symposium on the 11-12 August 2017. It brought together fifteen speakers who discussed the remarkable growth of Pentecostal Charismatic Christianities in Australia, a country considered largely secular.

The symposium was open to participants from interested public bodies such as government and public agencies, religious communities and individuals interested in the themes of the symposium.

Conference conveners:
Associate Professor Cristina Rocha (RSRC Director)
Professor Mark Hutchinson
Ms Kathleen Openshaw

For more information about this event, please download the CFP: Pentecostal Charismatic Christianities in Australia Conference Flyer (PDF, 164.36 KB) (opens in a new window)

Affinity WSU Talk

Reforming Reform: Hizmet and the survival of 'Civic Islam' in Contemporary Turkey

Date: 7 August, 2017

Speakers: Professor Scott Alexander & Professor Kevin Dunn

For more information about this event, please download the Reforming Reform Flyer JPG, 1380.83 KB

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