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Atheism(s) in the public sphere

Date:10 November 2015
In more and more parts of the world, atheism is becoming publicly visible, yet the ways in which this occurs are many and varied, related to differences in politics, culture, histories of secularism and secularization and a host of other factors

Integration following the Big Five of Citizenship

Date:05 November 2015
Author:Tim Swanger
Newcomers are increasingly expected to adapt to Dutch culture. This narrow interpretation of citizenship is exclusive by nature. By focusing on tolerance and social engagement instead, a shared national identity will evolve by itself.

Is Reconciliation Possible after Violent Conflict? Analysing Christian Peacebuilders and their Promotion of Reconciliation

Date:23 October 2015
Author:Religion Factor
Last week, Dr Gladys Ganiel delivered a lecture at the Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain, University of Groningen as part of the seminar series. The lecture explored possibilities for reconciliation, the weaknesses of approaches to reconciliation as well as its strengths.
A rally in support of the “No” Vote in the Greek referendum against the austerity reforms being demanded by the EU, Syntagma Square, Athens, 3 July 2015. Source: Ggia, Wikimedia Commons, Shared Under Creative Commons License 4.0

No Time for Despair: Neoliberalism, Democracy and (the absence of) Religion in Wendy Brown’s “Undoing the Demos”

Date:16 July 2015
Author:Religion Factor
The present crisis unfolding around Greece is, among many other things, a clash between political imaginaries. On the one hand, there is the vision of a democratic politics, represented (in a historical irony of sorts) by its presumed birthplace in Greece and the anti-austerity protesters taking to the streets of Athens. On the other, there is the depoliticized matrix of economic pragmatics, as represented by the Eurozone.
A soldier from the RAF Regiment on patrol near Basrah Air Base, Iraq. Photo: Harland Quarrington, MOD. Licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0

It’s not all about Islam: misreading secular politics in the Middle East

Date:07 May 2015
Author:Religion Factor
Western policymakers once understood the dynamics of secular politics in the Middle East, but this knowledge has been subsumed under a fixation on Islam’s supposed threat to western security interests, writes today´s guest contributor Dr Stacey Gutkowski.

Religion and Conflict: Beyond Clichés and Stereotypes

Date:02 April 2015
Author:Religion Factor
Religion and conflict seem to be more prevalent than ever in contemporary global politics and society. So often in public debate we hear that religion is either violent or it is peaceful, that it is oppressive or it promotes justice. But are these the only two ways of thinking about religion and conflict? In today’s post, Marjo Buitelaar, Kim Knibbe and Erin Wilson consider some possible alternatives and invite you to join them to explore these issues further in a free online course.
Je suis Ahmed

What was worse, Charlie Hebdo or Boko Haram? Religion, violence and clicktivism.

Date:16 February 2015
Author:Religion Factor
The fallout from the Charlie Hebdo attacks around the tensions between “religion” and “freedom of speech” continue to feature prominently in public debate across Europe, particularly in the aftermath of the Copenhagen cafe shooting over the weekend.
All religions are equal

‘All religions are equal, but some religions are more equal than others’ Part Two

Date:11 February 2015
Author:Religion Factor
In the first part of this blog, Ton Groeneweg sketched out three existing problems with the notion of Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), and how it is being used and promoted in the context of international platforms arising in its defence.
Freedom of Religion or Belief

‘All religions are equal, but some religions are more equal than others’ Part One

Date:09 February 2015
Author:Religion Factor
This phrase catches a key problem with the concept of ‘Freedom of Religion or Belief’, and how it is practiced and promoted in the world today. Just as in Animal Farm, George Orwell’s famous animal utopia, it suggests that power may cloak itself in the language of equality, and create, in fact, entirely the opposite.

Living together well: secularism, liberal democracy and uncertainty in the wake of Charlie Hebdo

Date:20 January 2015
Author:Religion Factor
The Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris have raised many questions about free speech, liberal democracy, freedom of religion and how to live together in multicultural, multi faith, multi political societies. In today’s post, Erin Wilson explores some of these questions and encourages us, rather than seeking for definitive answers, to see the conversation and debate these questions inspire as an answer in themselves.