Deus in Machina: How Bureaucrats Determine Religious Freedom

How does the law shape the category of (free) religion, and by which mechanisms does this shaping occur? Building on conversations started at the Centre for Religion, Conflict and Globalisation's recent conference, 'Reimagining Difference: Being, Thinking and Practicing Beyond Essentialism', this blog series explores law's approach to - and creation of - religion and religious …

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Humanity in Action: Religion, Human Rights and the Question of Neutrality

In today’s blog post, Brenda Bartelink reflects on aid in humanitarian emergency and disaster situations, drawing attention to how religion and human rights are lived out and practiced amidst the multiple moral frameworks that influence humanitarian practice. From secular perspectives faith based humanitarianism is questioned because of the potential threat it poses to realizing the …

The Neoliberalization of Youth Peacebuilding

As part of our series on human rights for Human Rights Week, in today’s post Erik Meinema investigates how the neoliberal context in which NGOs and peacebuilding organizations operate influence their capacity to protect and promote human rights through contributing to peacebuilding processes around the globe. The neoliberalisation of peacebuilding, he argues, leads to an …

Religion and Human Rights: The challenges of universalism and cultural particularism

Tuesday 10 December 2013 is World Human Rights Day, marking the 65th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly vote to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In recognition of this milestone, this week The Religion Factor features a series of reflections from scholars and practitioners on the relationship between religion and human rights, …

Youth Peacebuilding in contexts of religious violence: The case of Badati in Ambon, Indonesia

Religion and the contributions of youth are two topics that tend to be neglected when we think about peacebuilding. In this post, Erik Meinema reflects on his experiences conducting research on these important issues. Maluku, a group of Islands in Eastern Indonesia, was originally renowned for its religious harmony. However, this reputation drastically changed when …

Gay Rights, the Devil and the End Times: A Post-Secular Perspective on Homosexuality-Debates in Africa, Part One

Homosexuality is one of the major political issues in our contemporary world. Especially African countries are getting known for their massive public and political rejection of same-sex relationships and “gay rights”. Frequently in the media we hear, for example, about new, stricter legislation on same-sex practices, about people arrested and jailed because of homosexuality-related offences …