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Socrel / HEA Teaching and Studying Religion, 2nd Annual Symposium: Religion and Citizenship: Re-Thinking the Boundaries of Religion and the Secular

BSA Meeting Room, Imperial Wharf, London

13 December 2012, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Religions today are implicated in a wide variety of publics. From contests over the environment and democracy to protests against capitalism, religions remain important factors in political and public life across diverse, and interconnected, global contexts. A variety of diverse responses have been articulated to the so-called ‘return of religion’ in the public sphere, drawing into question relations between the religious, the non-religious and the secular. As scholars have developed new theoretical understandings of the terms of these debates and questioned how these are bound up with cultural conceptualizations of citizenship, education – in schools, universities and less formal educational contexts – has often been a site where contestations of the religious and the secular have been acutely felt. The aim of this symposium is to consider the interrelation between conceptions of the religious, the secular, citizenship and education, and to explore how these issues affect the study of religion in higher education.

To find out more about how participants from a variety of disciplines and contexts have engaged with these issues, join us on December 13 at the BSA Meeting Room in London, for a BSA Socrel symposium, organized by Paul-François Tremlett (Open University), Anna Strhan (University of Kent) and Abby Day (University of Kent and Chair of Socrel). It won’t be your usual ‘stand-and-deliver’ event. Our presenters are working hard to condense their work into short summaries that will be distributed to all participants in advance of the day via e-mail. All participants will be expected to read the summaries and come prepared for a full day of engaging in vibrant exchanges across disciplines, countries, methods and other conventional boundaries.

Total delegate numbers are restricted to 30. Last year’s inaugural symposium was oversubscribed, and early registration is encouraged. Registration for the symposium is now available on the BSA website at

Information on the venue location and transport links, is available at

For any further information, please contact Anna Strhan (, Paul-François Tremlett ( and Abby Day ( The full programme for the day will be published on the BSA Socrel website:

Keynote lecture by Nasar Meer, Reader in Sociology, Northumbria University

Confirmed Speakers:

Discussants: Lois Lee (University of Kent), Paul-François Tremlett (Open University), Mujadad Zaman (University of Cambridge)


Carool Kersten (King’s College, London) Indonesian Debates on Secularity and Religiosity: Islamists, Liberal Muslims, and Islamic Post-Traditionalists

Angela Quartermaine (University of Warwick) Investigating Warwickshire pupils’ perceptions of religious forms of terrorism

Trevor Stack (University of Aberdeen) Getting Beyond Religion as an Issue for Citizenship

Steven Kettell (University of Warwick) Barbarians at the Gates? Exploring the Rise of ‘Militant Secularism’

Rodrigo Cespedes Proto (Lancaster University) A Legal Perspective on Teaching and Studying Religion: Lessons from the European Court of Human Rights

Leni Franken (University of Antwerp) Religious and Citizenship Education in Belgium / Flanders

Olav Hovdelien (Oslo University College of Applied Sciences) A Secularist School in a Multicultural Society – The Norwegian Case

Slawomir Sztajer (Adam Mickiewicz University) Confessional Religious Education in State Schools: The Case of Poland

Simeon Wallis (University of Warwick) Faith beyond Belief in Religious Education

Graeme Smith (University of Chichester) Blurring the Boundaries: A critical evaluation of the concept of ‘resonance’ and its importance for understanding the relationship between the religious and the secular through the early work of Reinhold Niebuhr

Christos Tsironis (Aristotle University of Thessalonika) Perceptions of Greek students on the relation between the study of religion and volunteering

Kit Kirkland (University of St Andrews) The Christian Right’s Influence on Higher Education