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May Seminars by Johan Strijdom: 'Material religion' and 'indigenous claims': Examining theorised key concepts and case studies

When:We 25-05-2016 13:00 - 16:00
Where:Room 117, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Oude Boteringestraat 38, Groningen

In May, Johan Strijdom, professor in Religious Studies at the University of South Africa (Unisa), will visit our Faculty on an Erasmus Mundus INSPIRE scholarship. At Unisa, he is primarily responsible for teaching courses on social and postcolonial theories of religion; human rights and religion; religious nationalism and violence; gender and sexuality; and African indigenous religion, African Christianity and African Islam. He will conduct four seminars for Master's degree students in May about 'Material religion' and 'indigenous claims'.

Fourth seminar: Problems with indigenous and autochthonous claims

The purpose of these seminars will be to facilitate a dialogue between research in the comparative study of religion done in the global south and global north on 'material religion' and 'indigenous claims'. We will examine theories of these key concepts and their application to case studies by researchers in the Netherlands (Birgit Meyer, Kocku von Stuckrad, Peter Berger and Peter Geschiere) and South Africa (David Chidester, with whose work I have engaged for some time).

For each seminar I will suggest two articles that will form the basis for our discussions. The idea is that we formulate questions that arise from these articles and debate the theorisation of key concepts and their application to case studies as best as we can.

More information on the seminars can be found on the special Facebook group created for these seminars:

There's only room for 15 people. If you would like to participate, please register by announcing this in the facebook group.

Complete programme

  • Wednesday 4 may 13-16h: objects / fetishes in the study of material religion
  • Wednesday 11 May 13-16h: the senses, focusing on the metaphorical use of sight and hearing in Christian creeds, and visions in medieval Christianity
  • Wednesday 18 May: 13-16h: the senses, focusing on the visions and dreams among shamans and neoshamans
  • Wednesday 25 May: 13-16h: problems with indigenous and autochthonous claims