Summer School Religion in the Public Domain 2014

Summerschool ‘Religion in the Public Domain’

Course conveners: Anna Fedele, Kim Knibbe, Erin Wilson


Dates: July 10th – 16th , 2014

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.

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.


Contact persons in Lisbon: Anna Fedele ( | Mafalda Melo Sousa (

Contact person in the Netherlands: Kim Knibbe (

Costs: €150 – this includes the catering and the trip to Fátima


Ruy Blanes (ICS-UL and LSE)

Anna Fedele (CRIA-IUL)

José Mapril (CRIA-FCSH/UNL)

Kim Knibbe (University of Groningen)

Erin Wilson (University of Groningen)

William A. Christian Jr. (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona)

Clara Saraiva (CRIA-FCSH/UNL)

Irene Becci (ISSRC – University of Lausanne)



Venue: ISCTE-IUL, Avenida das Forças Armadas, Ala Autónoma, Clube ISCTE

Closest Underground Station: Entrecampos




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



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