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Online seminar: “Becoming religious: How and why beliefs and practices are transmitted.”

This is a reminder that INFORM’s next online seminar will take place from 5.30-7.30pm on 14th January, on the topic “Becoming religious: How and why beliefs and practices are transmitted.” The seminar will explore the motivations of minority religions and spiritual seekers to transmit and learn, and the processes they employ.

You can register to attend by making a donation through our website, at https://inform.ac/seminars . If you would prefer not to make a donation, please email us at inform@kcl.ac.uk to book your place.

Speakers will give short presentations, followed by an extended conversation and Q&A. More details about the seminar are below. 

Confirmed speakers include:

  • “The Stickiness of Non-Religion? Intergenerational Transmission and the Formation of Non-Religious Identities in Childhood” – Dr Anna Strhan, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of York and Dr Rachael Shillitoe, Research Associate, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham
  • “Religious transmission among British Sikhs” – Dr Jasjit Singh, Associate Professor, School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science, University of Leeds 
  • “Making Witches: Transmission of Wicca Before, During and After the Era of the Self-help Paperback” – Dr Christina Oakley Harrington, Pagan Federation
  • “Inventing Memory: the challenges of mass conversion in a liberal setting” – Professor Ben Pink Dandelion, University of Birmingham
  • Professor Emerita Kim Knott, Lancaster University will respond. 

Seminar abstract

All people, young and old, are involved in the process of learning and passing on ideas, beliefs and practices that are important to them. This is how they express their identities and commitments, and how they sustain their worldviews, ideologies and ritual systems. Without effective processes for intergenerational and adult transmission, religious institutions, new or well-established, cannot survive and thrive. That ‘chain of memory’, as Danièle Hervieu-Léger noted, is the major feature distinguishing religion from other systems of meaning. And, although many in Western societies find themselves unschooled and adrift when it comes to religious affiliation and participation, they have increasing access, especially online, to an immense array of spiritual opportunities and resources. What paths they choose to follow, formal or informal, and how they go about acquiring the necessary beliefs, practices and training, are varied.

Best wishes,
Warwick J S Hawkins
Office Manager
INFORM (Information Network on Religious Movements)