Welcome to the website of the  UCSIA Summer School

Religion, Culture and Society: Entanglement and Confrontation

The 2015 edition is dedicated to the question : Is Faith-based Violence Religious ? Despite the predicted secularization process that would make religion less salient in the global world, the topic of faith biased violence remains hugely relevant, both from a societal and an academic perspective. Whether the movements are pro-democracy or pro-theocracy, religious movements are often instrumental in political change. Political tensions mapped onto religious discourse may also de-contextualize historical events, mythologize agendas and transform neighbors into ‘others’ while the struggle for ‘Truth’ renders defence into an act of aggression.

Given UCSIA’s mission to delve into academically timely and challenging topics we will approach this phenomenon from an interdisciplinary perspective. More specifically, the UCSIA summer school  will investigate both sides of the subject matter: Is religion inductive of or instrumental for violence? 

This invokes research questions such as: 

How are cultures of violence constituted, reproduced, perpetuated and normalised through religious institutions and discursive practices? 
What are the factors that induce religiously inspired (or labelled) violence? 
What are the mechanisms that can alter or prevent faith based violence? 
What can we learn from a historical perspective on faith based violence?