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Terrorism, climate change and the politics of ‘radicalization’

Date:11 December 2015
Author:Religion Factor
Radicalization’ is becoming an increasingly common word in contemporary politics and public discourse. Yet it crops up in seemingly unrelated contexts, most recently in Paris, in relation to both terrorism and climate change. This raises a number of questions about what or who radicalization actually refers to. Erin Wilson reflects on these ambivalent dimensions of ‘radicalization’ in today’s post.
Community members in Lupane ADP, Zimbabwe. Image: Brenda Bartelink

Towards a broader research agenda in religion and development

Date:10 December 2015
Author:Religion Factor
In our previous post, Erin Wilson and Brenda Bartelink shared a summary and preliminary insights from a pilot study on spirituality and development transformation. In addition to the project specific findings, their research has also highlighted additional areas of focus for research on religion and development more broadly. In today’s post, they discuss these additional insights, developing suggestions for a broader research agenda on religion and development.
A mother and her baby at one of the health clinics in Lupane ADP, Zimbabwe. Photo: Brenda Bartelink

The spiritual is political: Blurring boundaries and challenging assumptions in religion and development

Date:09 December 2015
Author:Religion Factor
Researchers at the CRCPD recently concluded a one-year NWO-funded pilot project exploring the entanglement of personal religious and spiritual transformation with broader processes of social transformation in developing contexts. The project was a collaboration with the Knowledge Centre Religion and Development and World Vision International and included field research amongst communities and World Vision staff in Zimbabwe, and a workshop with academics and practitioners in The Hague in June of this year. In this post, Erin Wilson and Brenda Bartelink provide a summary overview of the project and its preliminary findings.
“Born-again atheist badge, c.1987” by Unknown – Personal collection. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Conflationary Consequences in Contemporary Atheisms

Date:26 November 2015
In today’s post, Terrell Carver reflects on our atheisms series, noting the ways in which conflation occurs across different concepts in public atheist discourses and the risks, challenges and strategies this raises for analysing as well as engaging with atheisms in contemporary global politics and public life.
This image was being shared by IS supporters on the day after the Paris attacks. One of them commented: “How the French Kuffar are feeling this morning. Streets deserted, everyone in fear and terror struck in their hearts”

Paris through the eyes of IS supporters

Date:24 November 2015
The attacks in Paris have led to huge debates about the perpetrators and their backgrounds, the strategies of the Islamic State, security policies in Europe, the role of Islam in the West, the possible risks of refugees and the most effective measures to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Less attention has been paid to how the supporters of the Islamic State have perceived the attacks

How global are atheisms?

Date:23 November 2015
In the past two weeks, The Religion Factor has published a series of posts on the topic of diversity within contemporary atheist movements, leading up to a seminar on ‘Atheisms around the globe’ organized by the CRCPD. In today’s post, Jeroen Weggen reflects back on the seminar and the series, offering some thoughts on which directions future research on atheisms might take.
Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) confronted by Bob Ewell (James Anderson), the father of the white girl allegedly raped by a black man, in a scene from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ (1962)

Accepting Ambiguity: Being Content with Uncertainties amidst the Urge for Security

Date:17 November 2015
Since the events in Iraq, Beirut and Paris last week, we have all been trying to make sense of what has happened and how to respond. Over the coming weeks, The Religion Factor will be publishing reflections from staff and fellows of the Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain on these events from a number of different perspectives. Today’s post, from CRCPD Director Erin Wilson, suggests that becoming more comfortable with ambiguity may be the most difficult response, but is perhaps one of the few ways to deal with the inconsistencies and uncertainties that such events inevitably raise.

Atheism and Nonreligion: Theory and Comparison beyond the North-Atlantic World

Date:16 November 2015
Last Friday, Teemu Taira compared and contrasted the rates of atheism of Finland and Sweden and tried to explain this in terms of differing national histories. In today’s contribution, Johannes Quack will draw on his fieldwork with rationalist organizations in India to consider which directions the study of atheism, and more broadly nonreligion, should take.

Do National Histories Matter? Explaining the Diversity of Atheism

Date:13 November 2015
In Wednesday’s post by Stephen LeDrew, the focus was on diversity within American atheism. Today we make the jump from American atheism to European atheism. Teemu Taira will explore the differences between atheism in Finland and atheism in Sweden and relate them to the national histories of these Scandinavian countries and the role that the media has played in making people aware of atheism.

Diversity in American Atheism

Date:11 November 2015
Yesterday’s post introduced the phenomenon of the new publicity of atheism and atheist organizations, as well as the issue of diversity. In today’s post, Stephen LeDrew discusses the particular case of atheism in America and the diversity that can be found in the American atheist movement, arguing that this diversity is directly related to the history of atheist and secularist organizations and the role that the internet has played in the development of contemporary atheist movement(s).