RelSec Update: Utrecht University Develops Working Group and Hosts Events

The Centre for the Humanities (CfH) at Utrecht University has maintained a full and exciting schedule in its role as one of the partners in CHCI’s Mellon-funded collaboration Religion, Secularism, and Political Belonging. Project leader Tobijn de Graauw offered the following updates.

Following the inaugural event in Arizona in October 2013 in Tucson, Arizona, the Utrecht team has aimed at deepening understanding of the notion 'political belonging'. To this end, we have continued our work by setting up a local RelSec colloquium and organizing working seminars and public lectures.

The colloquium is developing into a regular get-together of scholars working on the topics of religion and the secular from a variety of angles and disciplines (including Religious Studies, Gender Studies, Anthropology and Philosophy). By sharing ongoing research and discussing existing seminal pieces (such as Bryan S. Turner's article ''Acts of Piety: The Political and the Religious, or a Tale of Two Cities'), a community of scholars and a shared framework is starting to form.

Moreover, the CfH has organized a number of working seminars and public lectures, staging discussions concerning central topics of the field with leading scholars. We have hosted a variety of figures such as prominent atheist Herman Philipse (Utrecht University), as well as 'secular critic' Stathis Gourgouris (Columbia University). Updates concerning these events can be found on our website. The Centre is looking forward to welcoming the other partners of this project to this stimulating academic climate during the upcoming January winter event in Utrecht.  We will post more details on these events shortly.