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Celebratory Conference: ‘Reimagining Difference: Being, thinking and practicing beyond essentialism’.

The Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain at the University of Groningen is celebrating its five-year anniversary this year.

To mark the occasion, the Centre has organised an interdisciplinary conference 13-15 September 2017 – including journalism, anthropology, sociology, International relations, philosophy, gender studies, religious studies – with scholars, policymakers and practitioners from South Africa, Australia, the US, Zimbabwe, Denmark, Norway, the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands on the theme of ‘Reimagining Difference:  Being, thinking and practicing beyond essentialism’.

Speakers include:

  • Prof Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Northwestern University
  • Prof Ezra Chitando, University of Zimbabwe;
  • Dr Marie Juul Petersen, Danish Institute for Human Rights;
  • Dr Nadia Fadil, KU Leuven
  • Dr Luca Mavelli, University of Kent;
  • Ms Merete Bilde, European External Action Service;
  • Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, University College London;
  • Professor Ebenezer Obadare, Kansas University;
  • Dr Lisa LeRoux, Stellenbosch University;
  • Mr Klaus De-Rijk, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Dr John Rees, University of Notre Dame Sydney;
  • Dr Atalia Omer, University of Notre Dame, South Bend.
  • Dr Maria de Lourdes Peroni, University of Ghent
  • Dr Helge Arsheim, University of Oslo
  • Mr Tim Dixon, Purpose Europe

There are two free public events:

  • Wednesday 13 September 6-8pm ‘Thinking Differently about Religion, Politics and Power’ – Keynote Address from Prof Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Northwestern University, with response from Merete Bilde, Policy Advisor at the European External Action Service
  • Friday 15 September – 11:30am-1:30pm ‘Religion, Secularism and the Politics of Difference’ – Panel Discussion featuring Prof Yolande Jansen (UvA), Elisa di Benedetto, (International Association for Religion Journalists), Gabrielle Bustamante (The Hague University for Applied Sciences) and Joram Tarusarira (University of Groningen)

Registration for the whole conference is 60 euros including lunches, 30 euros for students. Partial registration is also available if you are unable to attend the full three days. You can register via this link:

Event details are also available at the Centre’s Facebook Page.