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Conference Call for Papers Conference: ‘Religion Matters’

Conference: ‘Religion Matters’: Celebrating the Work of Professor Peter Lineham

Dates: Monday 3 and Tuesday 4 December 2018
Location: Massey University (Albany Campus)

At the end of 2018 Professor Peter Lineham will ‘retire’ after a lifetime of service and employment as an historian at Massey University. Over that time Peter has made exceptional contributions on many fronts, perhaps most notably through enriching scholarly and public understanding of religion and the history of Aotearoa New Zealand. In this respect, his many writings, conference papers, radio and TV interviews, and his influence on countless students and thesis writers all bear testimony to a remarkable impact and legacy. Peter is best known as an historian of religion. Yet his work has always been characterised by an extraordinary range – addressing diverse traditions, historical and contemporary concerns, and issues extending from print culture to politics, sectarianism to sport, and welfare to demographic change. A consistent thread has been to examine, through bold arguments and in more intimate detail, how and why ‘religion matters’; and to tease out the interwoven dimensions of religion, society and culture, whether in Aotearoa New Zealand, our region, or in a wider global perspective. Peter has also consistently sought to provoke curiosity and spark healthy debate, typically with a splash of sparkle and fun.

‘Religion Matters’ seeks to honour Peter and his contributions through a dedicated conference, exploring this theme in the context of New Zealand and further afield. This two-day event will be based at Massey University’s Albany campus. It will combine lively academic examinations of the ‘Religion Matters’ theme, a celebration dinner, and opportunity for colleagues and connections of Peter to interact together and with him.

The keynote speaker is Dr Meredith Lake, author of the recently-published and already acclaimed volume The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History (New South Books, 2018); see further https://www.meredithlake.com/meet-meredith . Professor Michael Belgrave and the Rev. Dr Allan Davidson will directly address Peter’s academic career and public contribution. Peter will also have a right of reply.

Therefore, we invite offers of papers from historians and others that address the conference theme, ‘Religion Matters’, in relation to New Zealand or other contexts. In keeping with Peter’s wide interests, we anticipate that papers will cover a range of relevant approaches and issues, including critique of the conference theme.

Paper proposals should be sent by email to Dr Hugh Morrison (hugh.morrison@otago.ac.nz ) in the form of a 200 word (maximum) abstract, with a paragraph outlining academic or professional background.

All proposals need to be received by Friday 10 August, 2018. Accepted papers will be notified by Friday 7 September.

Sponsored by the Religious History Association of Aotearoa New Zealand and the School of Humanities, Massey University