HERA research project ‘The Heritagization of Religion and the Sacralization of Heritage in Contemporary Europe’
Edited by Anna Fedele and Kim Knibbe
This book contains captivating descriptions of the entanglements of gender and power in spiritual practices and detailed analyses of the strategies spiritual practitioners use to attain what to social scientists might seem an impossible goal: creating spiritual communities without creating gendered hierarchies.
Contemporary spiritual practitioners tend to present their own spirituality as non-hierarchical and gender equal, in contrast to ‘established’ religions. Current studies of these movements often reproduce their selfdescription as empowering, while other literature reacts polemically against these movements, describing them as narcissist and irrelevant and/or in league with capitalism. This book moves between these two poles, recognizing that gender and power are always at work in any socio-cultural situation.
What strategies do people within these networks use to attain gender equality and gendered empowerment?
How do they try to protect and develop individual freedom? How do gender and power nevertheless play a role?
The contributions collected in this book demonstrate that in order to understand contemporary spirituality the analytical lenses of gender and power are essential. Furthermore, they show that it is not possible to make a clear distinction between established religions and contemporary spirituality:
the two sometimes overlap, at other times spirituality uses religion to play off against while reproducing some of the underlying interpretative frameworks. While recognizing the reflexivity of spiritual practitioners and the reciprocal relationship between spirituality and disciplines such as anthropology, the authors do not take the discourses of spiritual practitioners for granted. Their ethnographic descriptions of lived spirituality span a wide range of countries, from Portugal, Italy and the Netherlands to Mexico and Israel.
“An important and original contribution to the understanding of the dynamics of gender and power in alternative forms of spirituality.” – Sabina Magliocco, California StateUniversity, Northridge, USA
“Central to spirituality is a desire for personal liberation, we hear again and again. Yet this rich collection of ethnographies demonstrates that it is deeply shaped by performances ofgender and power.” – Dick Houtman, Erasmus University, Netherlands
Course conveners: Anna Fedele, Kim Knibbe, Erin Wilson
Dates: July 11th – 17th 2013
Venue: ISCTE-IUL | Avenida das Forcas Armada 1649-026| Ala Áutonoma | Clube ISCTE (TBC)
This Summer school, organized jointly by CRIA-IUL, ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon and the University of Groningen, is directed to undergraduate and post-graduate students interested in the public role of religion in contemporary societies. Through workshops and lectures students will become acquainted with current research on the topic carried out in contemporary society. A field trip to Fátima will introduce students to research skills such as participant observation and informal interviewing. Through discussion assignments students will develop their insight into the role of religion in present-day societies and the diverse ways this can be researched.
Contact person in the Netherlands: Kim Knibbe (k.e.Knibbe@rug.nl)
Costs: €150 – this includes the catering but does not include the trip to Fátima (about €40/person)
|Thursday 11th of July|
Welcome and opening remarks by course conveners
16.30-17.00Coffee and tea
Keynote lecture 1: Ramon Sarró, title to be confirmed
Dinner in townFriday 12th of July 9.00 – 10.30
Workshop 1 New Pentecostal subjectivities and individualism amongst young women in Nigeria, Juliet Gilbert
Coffee and tea
Workshop 2: on fieldwork, Anna Fedele
Preparing for fieldwork in townSaturday 13th of July All day
Fieldtrip to Fátima with Anna Fedele Sunday you’re free!Monday 15th of July 09.00- 10.30
16.00- 17.00Keynote and discussion, Mariano Barbato, Pilgrimage Stories. Apparitions, Shrines and Politics
Coffee and Tea
Comparing notes on fieldwork
Workshop 3: Islam in public space, Nina Clara Tiesler
With the support of texts previously circulated among students, discuss discourses about Islam and public domains.
Coffee and Tea
Workshop 4: the invisibility of death in public space, Clara Saraiva
Dinner in townTuesday 16th of July 09.00-10.30
15.30- 17.00Workshop 5: ‘Aren’t you looking for citizenship in the wrong place’: secular normativity and the making of the religious subject among Muslims in Portugal, José Mapril
With the help of texts previously circulated among students, we will discuss theoretical issues of charisma and religious leadership, with examples from African churches in Europe
Coffee and tea
Workshop 6: Leadership and Charisma, Ruy Blanes
Workshop 7: New Age, Orthodox Christianity and secularism in public and private spaces, Eugenia Roussou
Coffee and Tea
Workshop 7: Afro-Brazilian Religion and Public Space, Diana Espirito SantoWednesday 17th of July 9.00-10.30
12.30-13.30Presentations and discussion
Coffee and Tea
Lunch and goodbyeLecturersRuy Blanes (ICS-UL and LSE)
Anna Fedele (CRIA-IUL)
José Mapril (CRIA-FCSH/UNL)
Ramon Sarró (Oxford University)
Nina Clara Tiesler (ICS, University of Lisbon)
Eugenia Roussou (CRIA-FCSH/UNL)
Kim Knibbe (University of Groningen)
Erin Wilson (University of Groningen)
Diana Espirito Santo (CRIA-FCSH/UNL)
Clara Saraiva (CRIA-FCSH/UNL)
Juliet Gilbert, University of Oxford
Mariano Barbato, University of Passau and Babes-Bolyai-University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Place: ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon
Avenida das Forças Armadas, Ala Autónoma, Clube ISCTE
Closest Underground Station: Entrecampos
This Summer School focuses on the role of religion in the public domain in contemporary societies through the discussion of current ethnographic research and through a field trip to Fatima during the annual celebrations. It is open to undergraduate and post-graduate students who are interested in these topics. For students who have not followed any course on religion in the public domain, it is obligatory to prepare for the course through the readings specified.
Combining theory and empirical research this Summer School offers theoretical as well as practical tools that will provide the students with a wide spectrum of strategies to address the intersections of religion and the public domain in ethnographic contexts.
Around 10 participants will be accepted in this Summer Course. We welcome also MA and PhD students and consider that variety of educational levels will enrich discussion.
All participants will receive a presence certificate. If participants successfully complete the assessments they will also receive a diploma of the Summer Course, corresponding to 6 ECTS.
The assessment process will include:
– Participation in seminars (20%)
– Field trip (20 %)
– Final paper (60%)
The final essay can be written in Portuguese or English.
The Summer Course is taught mainly through seminars and will include a fieldtrip. The seminars will be given by academics with a strong international profile that have both empirical and theoretical expertise on the subjects treated.
The seminars provide a space for in depth, participatory debate on the ethnographic research that the students have gotten to know through their readings and through the presentations of the seminar teachers. The readings will be distributed beforehand to prepare in advance for the seminars, enabling students to comply with the assessment requirements.
The course will be taught in English
Anna Fedele is a research fellow of the CRIA- University Institute Lisbon. Her research focuses on the intersections of gender and religion and particularly on issues of corporeality, sexuality and ritual creativity. She has recently been a visiting scholar at Stanford University and is the author of Looking for Mary Magdalene. Alternative Pilgrimage and Ritual Creativity at Catholic Shrines in France (Oxford University Press, 2013). She is the co-editor of Encounters of Body and Soul in Contemporary Religious Practices (Berghahn, EASA Series. 2011) and Gender and Power in Contemporary Spiritualities: Ethnographic Approaches (Routledge, Studies in Religion, 2013).
Kim Knibbe received her PhD (Cum Laude) in the anthropology of religion at the VU University Amsterdam in 2007. She is now Assistant Professor in the Department for the Comparative and Historical Study of Religion at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Groningen. She has worked on Nigerian Pentecostal churches in Europe, on Catholicism and on contemporary spirituality. Her first book, Faith in the Familiar, is forthcoming with Brill in 2013. With Anna Fedele she edited the book Gender and Power in Contemporary Spirituality. Ethnographic Approaches which has just come out with Routledge. Dr Knibbe is also the coordinator of the Religion, Conflict and Globalization Masters trajectory in the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies.
Erin K. Wilson received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Queensland, Australia in 2008. She is now the Director of the Centre for Religion and Conflict in the Public Domain based at the University of Groningen. Her research focuses on the intersection of religion with various dimensions of politics and public life, at the local, national and global levels. She has published on religion and global justice, globalization, active citizenship and the politics of asylum in International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Refugee Studies and Global Society. Dr Wilson spent four years as a research fellow at RMIT University, Melbourne. Her current research interests include the relationship between religion and political apologies, climate change and political activism in an increasingly post-secular age. Her books include After Secularism: Rethinking Religion in Global Politics, and Justice Globalism: Ideology, Crises, Policy, co-authored with Manfred B. Steger and James Goodman