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Public panel discussion 'Religion, Secularism and the Politics of Difference'.

When:Fr 15-09-2017 11:30 - 13:30
Where:Court Room, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Oude Boteringestraat 38 Groningen

From 13 through 15 September, the Centre for Religion, Conflict, and the Public Domain will host the jubilee conference Reimagining difference. The final activity of the conference is the Public Panel Discussion Religion, Secularism and the Politics of Difference. Everyone is welcome to join the discussion.

The conference theme: ‘Reimagining difference’ presupposes that difference is understood in a way that can lead to conflict. The question is whether we can reimagine it differently? And how do we do that?
The public panel session will take up that question and ask the participants from their various roles in design & arts, academia, journalism and conflict transformation to share:
• How they address questions and challenges of diversity and inclusion in their particular roles and work?
• Give or show (practical) examples of how they (as artists, scholars, journalists, mediators) engage people in reimaging difference differently?
• The panel will further explore what this offers for some of the reflections and challenges shared in the panel sessions regarding: conflict &peacebuilding, gender, migration, global institutions, human rights and international development.
• Finally, the panel will be invited to give advice on how to reimagine religion (and secularity) in a (western European) context in which it often serves to make difference explicit

Moderator: Brenda Bartelink, University of Groningen


Yolande Jansen is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and Special Professor of Humanism in Relation to Religion and Secularity for the Socrates Foundation at the VU University Amsterdam. She is the author of Secularism, Assimilation and the Crisis of Multiculturalism; French modernist legacies (2014) and edited The Irregularization of Migration in Europe; Detention, Deportation, Drowning(2015), together with Joost de Bloois and Robin Celikates. Together with Thijl Sunier, she is the project-leader of an NWO-project about 'Critique of Religion; Framing Jews and Muslims in public debate and political theory'. She recently contributed to the Oxford Handbook of Secularism with an article analysing the rise of the secularism/religion dyad in international public affairs and philosophy.

Elisa Di Benedetto is a freelance journalist covering religion and migration based in Italy and co-managing director of the International Association of Religion Journalists.

Gabriela Bustamante is an independent designer and a design teacher at the The Hague University of Applied Sciences. Her designs are inspired by ‘craftmanship’ and she prefers to create design opportunities that contribute to society.

Joram Tarusarira is deputy director of the Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain and a specialist in religion, conflict, peacebuilding and reconciliation.

Jeyanthi Siva is a facilitator in Non Violent Communication with long experience in working with communities, including religious leaders, in Sri Lanka and broader South Asia.

Public lecture Elizabeth Shakman Hurd on 13 September

Another activity of the conference that is open to a broader audience is the keynote address Thinking differently about religion, politics and power of professor Elizabeth Shakman Hurd on 13 September.