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Religion and Politics – Conflicts, Contestations, Concepts

Block Seminar for Master Students and PhD Candidates

The Haifa Center for German and European Studies (HCGES) invites applications from Master
students and PhD candidates to participate in a two-week academic seminar on the topic of “Religion
and Politics - Conflicts, Contestations, Concepts”. We especially encourage applications by students
from religious studies, anthropology, International Relations and Law, as well as German and
European studies.

In light of the global renewed attention to the place and role of religion in the public sphere,
contemporary societies all over the globe are forced to re-negotiate the crucial interplay of religion
and politics. The seminar will scrutinize the most salient issues presented by the current revival of
religion and it’s outplay in the political realm, including religiously inspired violence as well as
religious appeals against such violence. The workshop will scrutinize the most salient issues
presented by the current revival of religion and its intrusion into the political realm, providing an
overview of

a) the theoretical framework, particularly related to the current critique of the twin concepts of
secularization-modernization theory and the new paradigms of religious pluralism and postsecularity
b) the impact on the changing landscapes on national and local politics, political mobilization, and
identity-formation choosing Israel, Palestine, Turkey and Germany as exemplary cases
c) potential ways and strategies to overcome conflicts and divides based on religious-political

A special focus of the workshop will be on how the interplay between religious and political actors,
ideas and claims plays out in the urban sphere. In order to apply the concepts and debates that will
be learned and discussed during the workshop, two field trips to Jerusalem and Nazareth will provide
the participants with a first-hand insight into the urban situation of two urban centers in Israel.
Academic staff from the University of Haifa, The University of Vienna and the Technical University of Darmstadt and other invited experts will provide an interesting,
interdisciplinary overview over the current debates. In addition, the accepted participants are invited
to contribute actively to the program in order to exchange ideas and learn from each others’

The planned outline of the workshop is divided into six academic sessions:
1. Overview
2. From secularity to a post-secular constellation
3. Religion and Politics in Israel as a Multiethnic and Multi-religious society
4. Religion and Politics in Turkey and Germany– Case Study
5. Religious Pluralism and the City: Jerusalem – Nazareth
6. Religious Pluralism and the City: Istanbul - Berlin

The above-mentioned themes will be covered in a block seminar of six meetings of four academic
hours each (45 min x 6 = 3 hours) over a period of two weeks (3 credits / 5 ECTS course). The
results will be presented on an international conference on October 17 and 18 in Haifa. Participants
will be requested to carefully prepare the readings and requirements for each session.
Successful applicants will receive a travel grant and accommodation during the conference.
Applications should include a short motivation letter, a short CV, a project title and a short abstract
(that makes clear how your paper and research relates to the overall theme).

University of Haifa, Israel
October 7 until October 18, 2018

The application deadline is 25 July 2018.
Applications should be send to the HCGES: hcges@univ.haifa.ac.il.
Successful applicants will receive detailed information on travel and logistics as well as a detailed
course syllabus.

Please contact Katharina Konarek, the academic coordinator of the HCGES via:




07/10/2018 - 18/10/2018



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