Author Archives: Alan

FD Maurice Lectures 2020: “Islamic Thought and Society: Shifting boundaries and Imaginations” – Professor Mona Siddiqui

King’s College London

2nd, 3rd and 4th March, 2020

You are invited to join us at King’s College London for an exciting lecture
series given by *Professor Mona Siddiqui* (University of Edinburgh).  She
will be delivering our annual FD Maurice lectures on 2nd, 3rd and 4th March and you are welcome to join for any evening or all three. The main
information (including Eventbrite sign up) is below.

Professor Mona Siddiqui is a renowned academic, writer and broadcaster.
 She is the first Muslim to hold a Chair in Islamic and Interreligious Studies and also holds the post of Assistant Principal for Religion and Society and Dean international for the Middle-East at the University of Edinburgh.  Amongst her most recent publications are, *50 Ideas in Islam* (Quercus,
2016), *Muslim Christian Encounters* 4 volumes, (Routledge, 2016) *Hospitality in Islam: Welcoming in God’s* *Name* (Yale UP, 2015), *My Way: A Muslim Woman’s Journey *(IB Tauris, 2014), *Christians, Muslims and Jesus *(Yale University Press, 2013) and *The Good Muslim: Reflections on Classical Islamic Law and Theology* (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Professor Siddiqui is also well known internationally as a public intellectual and a speaker on issues around religion, ethics and public life. She is a panellist on BBC Radio 4’s award winning *The Moral Maze* and has also appeared as a guest on Radio 4’s *Desert Island Discs*.  In April 2016, she was invited by the Home Office to lead an independent review of shari`a councils in the UK; the report was published by the Home Office in February 2018. She served as an elected member of the Nuffield Council of Bioethics and as a member of the British Medical Associations’ Medical Ethics Committee until June 2018.

In 2011, she was awarded an OBE for her contribution to interfaith

In April 2019, she received the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Hubert
Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation.

Lecture One.  Religious pluralism: essential or challenge to liberal

18:00 – 19:30, Monday March 2, BUSH HOUSE Lecture Theatre 1 BH(S)1.01


Lecture Two. Human Struggle in Islamic and Western cultures: al-Ghazali and Rainer Maria Rilke

18:00 – 19:30, Tuesday March 3, BUSH HOUSE Lecture Theatre 1 BH(S)1.01


Lecture Three.  Rethinking Hospitality: food, friendship and faith

18:00 – 19:30, Wednesday March 4, KINGS BLDG K6.29 (Anatomy Lecture Theatre)


Free Public Lecture: “No religion and unbelief in a post-Brexit Square” – Dr Lois Lee

13 Feb 2020, 2:00pm – 3:30pm

DTH, Council Chamber, Deptford Town Hall Building. England.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite

Welcome to the Faiths Unit public seminar series on: ‘Religion, Belief and Brexit: challenges and opportunities’

We have invited contributors in a variety of fields to reflect on how they see the role of religion and belief in the context of Brexit. Does Brexit shape the trajectories and impacts of religion and belief in the public sphere in ways that might be different from expected, and if so, how? As and when the UK begins to move away from a sense of crisis, to a new sense of identity and place in the world, where and how do religion and belief fit? What role do religion and belief play in the problems and the solutions expressed by Brexit? We will be offering these questions to academics, journalists, faith leaders and activists over the series.

The final part of the Faiths & Civil Society Unit Public Seminar Series is:

Thursday 13 February, 2:00pm | Deptford Town Hall Council Chamber, Goldsmiths
‘No religion and unbelief in a post-Brexit square’ ­
Dr Lois Lee, University of Kent

Jobs: Centre of Islamic Studies University of Cambridge

The Centre is looking for people to fill these three roles so please pass on to anyone who might be interested:

Current Vacancies:

Teaching and Outreach Associate

We are looking for an experienced professional to plan and deliver the Centre’s teaching programmes – namely, Arabic language courses for university students and modules on Islam for primary and secondary schools and other organisations. The deadline for applications is 24 February 2020.

Closing date – 24 February!

Research and Outreach Associate (Fixed Term)

The University of Cambridge is seeking to appoint a Research and Outreach Associate in the Centre of Islamic Studies, to begin in September 2020. The post is a three-year, fixed-term position.

Research Associate. Islamic Art (Fixed Term)

The University of Cambridge is seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Research and Outreach Associate to design and conduct original research into Islamic art, aesthetics and/or material culture in the Centre of Islamic Studies, to begin in September 2020. The post is a three-year, fixed-term position.

The closing date for these two roles in 19 April 2020.

Conference: Registration Open – Life on the Breadline Faith-Based Activism in Austerity Britain

30th March 2020

There is a conference fee of £15, and places are limited so please register in advance through Eventbrite

Registration is now open for the Life on the Breadline Conference: Faith-Based Activism in Austerity Britain

How has austerity impacted people in the UK? What are the implications of this for theology and faith-based social action? 18 months into the Life on the Breadline research, this conference grapples with these questions with a particular focus on Christian responses to UK poverty and austerity.  In addition to presentations from the Life on the Breadline team, we are pleased to announce two keynote speakers: Human geographer Dr Sarah Marie Hall from the University of Manchester speaking on the unequal impact of austerity from her recently published everyday austerity ethnography, and theologian Professor Rachel Muers from the University of Leeds speaking on Christian social action and class.

The workshop will take place at the Simulation Centre, Coventry University. This is a short walk from Coventry train station and nearby bus stops. There is no public car parking at the venue, but public car parks can be found nearby.

Tea and coffee will be available from 9.30am, and the conference will start at 10am.

Call for Manuscripts: Ritual Festival & Celebration Series

Proposals for new books in the series should be presented to series editor Jack Santino, at

Utah State University Press

Celebrations, festivals, and rituals richly express the cultural values of the people who create and participate in them. Volumes in the Ritual, Festival, and Celebration series explore such traditions, both ancient and contemporary, with an emphasis on the political and contested, as well as as the celebratory. We are interested in interdisciplinary approaches: folklore, anthropology, performance studies, and others.

Conference: Blasphemy and Violence. Interdependencies since 1760

There is no registration fee.

If you wish to attend, please register via mail:

Please indicate in your mail whether you will attend the keynote lecture (in French) on Wednesday evening and/or the conference on Thursday.

Liberas, Conference room
Kramersplein 23
9000 Ghent


  • David Nash
  • Eveline Bouwers


  • Christoph De Spiegeleer

On the 5th of March 2020, Liberas (Ghent, Belgium), in conjunction with the School of History, Religion and Philosophy at Oxford Brookes University (Oxford, United Kingdom) and the Leibniz Institute of European History (Mainz, Germany), organises an international colloquium devoted to the interdependency between blasphemy and violence in modern history. This international colloquium offers a much needed analysis of a subject that historians have largely neglected, yet holds great relevance for contemporary society. Both young and established scholars will focus on specific incidents of blasphemy and sacrilege – a landmark case or a series of little-known micro studies –, examine its relationship with violence and discuss the legal background and context surrounding each incident. Drawing on a variety of chronological and geographical contexts, the colloquium will probe the phenomenon of blasphemy and its link to violence from different angles. All presentations will be given in English. The eve preceding the conference (4 March), internationally renowned expert Alain Cabantous will give a keynote lecture in French on blasphemy and sacrilege during the French Revolution.

Info at:

Call For Papers – 2020: Refocusing the Debate on Terrorism.

Thursday 25th June 2020 at the University of Birmingham, UK

Please submit abstracts to by 6 March 2020

Khal Marina is delighted to announce its inaugural Counter Terrorism Research Conference on Thursday 25th June 2020 at the University of Birmingham.

​The past 10 years have borne witness to profound developments in global terrorism.  The impact of Far Right & Nationalist movements coupled with the rise of Da’esh and akin militant groups have challenged our understanding terrorism.  Local, national and international developments have forced the global community to debate, question and try to better understand the rationales, motivations and vulnerabilities of contemporary terrorist movements. 

2020Refocusing The Debate on Terrorism is a FREE one-day conference for Counter Terrorism Professionals, Local Authorities and Public Sector organisations to engage in and better understand the academic discourse on contemporary terrorist movements.  It is valuable to all those with who have a safeguarding, investigative or enforcement responsibility in the Counter Terrorism domain. 

See for full conference details

Job Opening: RE Council, UK – Literature review

Short Term Contract work: March-April 2020

Expressions of interest outlining suitability for the project should be sent, along with a writing sample, to by 5pm on 7th February. 

The RE Council is looking for a researcher to undertake a literature review on work engaging with the concept worldview.  The literature review must include work within the disciplines of religious studies, theology, and religious education.  In addition, it should acknowledge work on worldview in other disciplines where it is relevant to religious education.

The successful candidate will be working with guidance from Professors Trevor Cooling, Denise Cush, and Stephen Pattison, although it will be the successful candidate who is expected to produce the text of the literature review.

Applications are welcome from researchers who wish to undertake the whole review as well as those who would wish to share the work with another researcher.

The successful candidate(s) should have or be working towards a PhD or equivalent in a related field.

It is expected that the work will take place in March and April 2020.

The fee for delivery of the contract to the required high standard will be £8,000.

Interviews will take place on 18th February (virtual interviews will be possible). Potential candidates who would like to discuss the work prior to making an application should feel free to contact Rudolf Eliott Lockhart on

Job Opening: Program Officer opening at John Templeton Foundation

Location: Philadelphia metro area, Pennsylvania, USA

Department: Human Sciences (Programs)

Reports to: Director, Human Sciences

Salary: Competitive salary and benefits package based on qualifications and experience

Travel: Domestic and international travel as pertinent

Deadline: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis

Organization and Position

The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the deepest and most perplexing questions facing humankind. We support research within disciplines ranging from astrophysics, evolutionary biology, and genetics, to philosophy, psychology, and economics. We encourage civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians, as well as between such experts and the public at large. In all cases, our goal is to spur curiosity and accelerate discovery. To catalyze such discoveries, we provide grants for independent academic research on a wide range of topics that relate to the Foundation’s mission.

The Human Sciences department maintains a grants portfolio of more than $70 million of projects around the world. The department supports basic and applied scientific research on a wide array of topics within the social, behavioral, cognitive, and health sciences, especially as they relate to human nature, human flourishing, and the scientific study of religion. Current strategic priorities include health, religion, and spiritualityreligious cognition, the science of character virtue, the dynamics of religious change, and intellectual humility. The Human Sciences department is particularly interested in building capacity and enthusiasm for neglected topics within the academy.

To advance the Foundation’s mission and strengthen our team, the Foundation is seeking a Program Officer for Human Sciences. The Program Officer will work with the Senior Program Associate and the Director of Human Sciences to develop and commission new initiatives to advance the strategic priorities, recruit and review grant proposals, communicate with applicants and grantees regarding the application and review process, and collaborate with our evaluation team to determine the impact of our grants.

Areas of Responsibility

  • Review and analyze grant proposals, prepare funding recommendations, monitor grant performance, and manage the Foundation’s relationship with principle investigators.
  • Develop and commission new ideas for grants and projects, including in collaboration with the Director, Human Sciences, and Vice President, Programs.
  • Evaluate the performance of grants and grantees in conjunction with the Foundation’s department of Planning and Evaluation.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of strategic priority plans.
  • Communicate the mission of the Foundation both internally and externally, especially to researchers, academic institutions, and in related networking opportunities.
  • Identify and communicate with other funding agencies whose goals overlap with the Foundation’s interests in the human sciences.
  • Organize and participate in conferences, workshops, and symposia relevant to the goals of the Human Sciences department.
  • Participate in professional development opportunities.

Required Qualifications, Skills, and Abilities

  • Graduate degree in the social, cognitive, behavioral or health sciences (Ph.D. preferred).
  • At least three years of professional experience in a foundation or academic setting.
  • A track record of excellence in writing and editing program-related content, proposals, papers, and presentations.
  • Highly organized with strong analytical skills.
  • Skilled communicator able to work collaboratively with scholars and members of the academic community as well as across internal departments in an interdisciplinary environment.
  • Strong personal interest in the Foundation’s mission.

Preferred Skills and Abilities

  • A track record of scholarship in scientific study of religion and/or clinical research.
  • Demonstrated interest in at least one of the department’s current strategic priorities.
  • Experience in interdisciplinary academic research.
  • Ability to communicate with scholars and members of the academic community.
  • Ability to build relationships and to maintain professional networks.
  • Ability to understand the Foundation’s mission and core themes.


We are committed to caring for our employees and their families through exceptional benefits. We pay for 100% of employee medical, dental and vision premiums, and generously contribute to family premiums. We provide life insurance, short-term disability coverage and long-term disability coverage at no cost to employees. We offer a 401(k) retirement savings plan with an employer match and additional discretionary contributions. Paid time off includes generous vacation, sick, and personal days. The Foundation offers a unique donation program, enabling employees the ability to direct a $5,000 donation to a mission aligned organization of their choice, with no employee donation required.


The Foundation’s offices are in West Conshohocken, PA, a short drive (~15 miles) from Philadelphia and within walking distance of a commuter train station into downtown Philadelphia. The offices are close to residential and commercial districts with multiple restaurants, as well as Philadelphia’s Main Line suburbs where Villanova University, Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College are located. The surrounding area has many walkable communities with an affordable cost of living and a robust variety of cultural and entertainment opportunities, including a vibrant food scene, five professional sports teams, world-class museums, galleries, gardens, and a broad array of music venues and other performing arts institutions. The offices are in close proximity to major highways, with New York City, the Jersey shore, the Pocono Mountains, and the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country all within a two-hour drive. The offices also provide easy access to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (making New York City or Washington, D.C. an easy day trip) and to Philadelphia International Airport, an American Airlines hub serving destinations throughout the U.S. (more than a hundred routes), Caribbean (a dozen routes), and Europe/MENA (more than twenty routes).

To Apply

To learn more about the role, or to apply, please visit

Call for Papers: 2020 RN34-Sociology of Religion biennial conference

26th to 28th August 2020, Groningen, Netherlands

Abstracts and Panel Proposals (200-250 words) due by 31st January 2020

Submit to

The biennial conference of the ESA RN34 Sociology of Religion wants to adopt a broad approach to the study of the relation between religion and different “environments”: the urban environment, the natural environment and the virtual environment. This threefold approach allows us to capture three areas of religious transformation and innovation, which are of high academic and societal relevance in contemporary European societies and beyond. By approaching these three topics, we aim to contribute both to the academic advancement of the sociology of religion in relation to its conceptual and methodological tools and to a broader societal reflection on the dynamic between religion and the urban, natural and virtual environments. Some of the questions we seek to address are the following:

  • How do religions and cities interact with one another and transform each other? How does the urban environment affect religious practices and, conversely, how do religious practices and groups transform the urban environment? How are religious and secular meanings negotiated in urban spaces? How do tourism, heritage industries and gentrification processes produce and transform urban religious heritage?
  • How do religious groups relate to the natural environment? How do religions see and interpret the ecological crisis and which alternatives do they suggest? How do religious groups conceptualise their role in relation to environmental concerns and claims? Which forms does faith-based environmentalism take? How do religions position themselves in relation to other social actors in environmental concerns?
  • How do the virtual environment and religion interact with and affect one another? How does the virtual environment influence how we understand the idea of “religious community” and community in general? How are religion and the concept of religion affected and challenged by the increasingly digitalized world? What challenges and inspirations for religion can the developments in artificial intelligence and virtual reality bring about? What conceptual, epistemological, methodological and ethical challenges are faced by scholars exploring “virtual religion”?

See website for full details: