This December, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights celebrates its 70th anniversary. Despite its achievements, we must not forget that the concept of human rights still has limitations. One aspect that needs further discussion is the protection of the rights of Indigenous peoples within its framework. In today's post Janushcka Schmidt wants to argue that, to …

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Does Prayer Really “Count” for Anything?

What counts as 'prayer,' and is it a category with cross-cultural utility? In this blog post, Anishka Gheewala-Lohiya reflects on her fieldwork with Pushtimarg Hindus in India and the UK to argue for an expanded understanding of the concept among devotees of the baby Krishna. 'The paucity of scientific literature on a subject of such primordial …

The Politics of Apology: Zimbabwe After the 2018 Elections

Dr Joram Tarusarira, Director of the Centre for Religion, Conflict and Globalisation and Assistant Professor of Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding, reflects on politics in  Zimbabwe after the 2018 elections, cautioning against simplistic calls for apologies and forgiveness.  On 30th July, 2018, Zimbabwe held historic – and disputed – elections, ultimately leading to the inauguration of President …

Do Muslims in the Netherlands Fail to Secularise? Reflecting on the SCP Report from an Indian Perspective

Does piety threaten secularism? In this post, Fernande Pool examines the recent Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) report on Islam in the Netherlands, challenging the implicit bias contained within its use of 'religion' and 'secularity'. In June 2018, the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) published a report titled ‘The religious experience of Muslims …

Is the French State Really ‘Secular’? Some Reflections on Municipal Laïcité

How is laïcité – official state secularism - practiced in contemporary France? In this post, the Centre for Religion, Conflict and Globalisation’s Dr. Julia Martínez-Ariño discusses recent research in the cities of Rennes, Bordeaux and Toulouse to suggest that laïcité takes many forms in French municipalities – including the recognition and support of ‘religious’ actors …

Abortion in Northern Ireland – A ‘Religious’ Problem?

Is membership of a 'religious' community a good predictor of one's views on abortion? In light of last week's referendum on abortion in the Republic of Ireland, Januschka Schmidt reflects on the situation north of the border, where official church teaching and local attitudes appear increasingly out of step. On May 25th, two thirds of …

No More “Harmful Traditional Practices”! Gender Activism and Faith Leaders in International Development

Researchers from the University of Groningen and the University of Stellenbosch recently concluded a one-year study on the role of faith leaders in challenging gender-based violence and gender inequality.[i] The study, which was funded by the UK Department for International Development[ii] and and carried out by the Gender-Based Violence Hub of the Joint Learning Initiative …