Hook Lecture by Prof Linda Woodhead

The 2017 hook lecture will be given on 14 November by Prof. Linda Woodhead, Professor of Sociology of Religion in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University. She is best known for her work on religious change since the 1980s, and for initiating public debates about faith. She has been described by Matthew Taylor, head of the Royal Society of Arts, as “one of the world’s leading experts on religion”.

The lecture will be themed around ‘Remembering The Dead: Changing Public and Private Practices‘, and will explore how those who say they are ‘no religion’ on surveys make sense of life and death, how we are reinventing rituals, how ‘no religion’ is being institutionalized, and how all this relates to our Christian past.

The Hook Lecture is an annual event, which aims to stimulate debate around an issue of faith in the context of the city, shaping discussion and dialogue throughout the coming year. High profile speakers launch the conversation, drawing different communities together in Leeds Minster. The event is organised jointly by Leeds Church Institute, Leeds Minster and Theology & Religious Studies at the University of Leeds. Click here to register for the event.

hook-lecture-2017-Linda-Woodhead

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Research workshop on studying religion in Africa

Theory from the South: Africa as a Site for Understanding Contemporary Religion

 

Research workshop with

Professor Birgit Meyer, Utrecht University

Dr Marloes Janson, SOAS University of London

Dr Adriaan van Klinken, University of Leeds

hosted by

Leeds University Centre for African Studies (LUCAS)

and the Leeds Centre for Religion and Public Life (CRPL)

25-26 January 2018

 

Western theories and methods have often been uncritically applied in African contexts in order to make sense of African social, cultural and religious ideas and practices. The problematic history of European imperialism in the academic study of religion in Africa has been well-documented and critiqued (Chidester 1996, 2014), and the adequacy of theoretical and methodological tools originating from the West to understand contemporary religion in Africa has been interrogated in a quest for acknowledging ‘African traditions in the study of religion in Africa’ (Adogame, Chitando & Bateye 2012, 2013). Building on these bodies of scholarship, and engaging with more general calls for the decolonisation of knowledge produced about Africa, this research workshop takes up in particular the challenge posed by Jean and John Comaroff (2012) to think about Africa as a site where new knowledge, theories and methods are generated (rather than merely applied). It specifically aims to explore the question how the study of contemporary religion in Africa both requires and enables us to develop innovative theoretical and methodological perspectives that provide critical insight into the nature, manifestations, and effects of “religion” in our contemporary world.

The workshop starts with a public seminar by Professor Birgit Meyer on Thursday 25 January (5-7pm) with the title “Studying Religion in and from Africa”. On Friday 26 January, the programme continues with presentations by other participants. The workshop will be small-scale, informal and interactive, with sufficient time for discussion and feedback. Limited places are available. Participation in the workshop is free, but participants will need to cover their own travelling and accommodation costs.

We invite proposals, especially from PhD students and early-career researchers, who are keen to participate and present their research in relation to the above questions. Please submit a title, a 200 words abstract, and a short bio statement before 22 November by email to Dr Adriaan van KlinkenA.vanKlinken@leeds.ac.uk.

Inaugural Lecture Professor Emma Tomalin

Religion, Poverty Reduction and Global Development Institutions

Inaugural Lecture by Emma Tomalin, Professor of Religion and Public Life at the University of Leeds

Thursday 30 November at 16:15h in the Nathan Bodington Chamber (Parkinson Building level 1)

There will be a drinks reception afterwards in the Ante Chamber, 17:30-18:30h

If you plan to attend the drinks reception, please notify Adriaan van Klinken by Friday 17 November.

Emma Tomalin

Dr Emma Tomalin has been Professor of Religion and Public Life at the University of Leeds since 2015. She first came to the University of Leeds in 2000, after completing her PhD at the University of Lancaster.

Until recently Tomalin was the Director of the Leeds Centre for Religion and Public Life, and she is currently deputy head of the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science. She is co-convenor of the study group in the UK Development Studies Association (DSA) on “Religions and Development”. Her profile as an internationally leading scholar is evidenced by her membership of the American Academy of Religion’s Committee on the Public Understanding of Religion, and of the steering committee of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture.

She was recently awarded an AHRC network grant for the project “Keeping Faith in 2030: Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals”, and is co-investigator on an ESRC-funded project about “Understanding the Role of Faith Based Organisations in Anti-Trafficking”. She has also carried out commissioned research for Leeds City Council, Historic England, and UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID), among other societal partners.

Tomalin has widely published in the fields of her interests, specifically religion and global development, and religion and environmentalism. Among many publications, she is the author of Religions and Development (Routledge 2013) and of Biodivinity and Biodiversity: The Limits to Religious Environmentalism (Ashgate 2009), and the editor of The Routledge Handbook of Religions and Global Development (Routledge 2015).