Religion & Politics

Questioning Theological Narratives of Nationalism, Populism & Conservatism

UCSIA Summer School lecture

The UCSIA Summer School 2024 is titled God on Our Side? Questioning Theological Narratives of Nationalism, Populism and Conservatism and explores the entanglements of religion and politics, and religiously motivated forms of nationalism, populism and conservatism in particular. Concepts of theological and political nature have always been reciprocally negotiated; their entangled histories have shaped and continue to shape communities and societies in practice, with diverging concrete effects. By bringing the different disciplines of the human sciences into dialogue with theology, this summer school seeks to explore the dynamic exchange of concepts, ideas and assumptions between the theological and the political realm, that contribute to constructing nationalist, populist and/or conservative politics in the global arena.

During the public panel debate, this year’s guest lecturers provide insights in current scientific debates on the use of theological narratives in relation to nationalism, populism and conservatism. The faculty of the UCSIA Summer School 2024 consists of sociologist Jayeel Serrano Cornelio (Ateneo de Manila University), political scientist Jennifer Philippa Eggert (Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities) and anthropologist Vlad Naumescu (Central European University).

The annual UCSIA Summer School is a one-week mentoring programme that encourages doctoral and postdoctoral students to explore interdisciplinary ways of analysing the relationship between religion, culture and society. Key elements of the programme are expert lectures, paper presentations by the students and individual tutoring by the faculty. Read more about the summer school via

Date & Time

29 August 2024
7.30 – 8.30 pm UTC+2


University of Antwerp
Hof van Liere – F. de Tassiszaal
Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp


Free entrance.
Please register online before 22 August 2024.


7.30 p.m.

Welcome by UCSIA

7.35 p.m.

Panel debate on theological narratives of nationalism, populism and conservatism with

  • Jayeel Cornelio (Ateneo de Manila University)
  • Jennifer Philippa Eggert (Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities)
  • Vlad Naumescu (Central European University)

8.15 p.m.


8.30 p.m.



Jayeel Cornelio

Jayeel Cornelio

Jayeel Serrano Cornelio is Professor of Development Studies at the Ateneo de Manila University. He is currently based as Visiting Professor at the Center for Asian Democracy at the University of Louisville. He is also an associate editor of the journal Social Sciences and Missions (published by Brill) and a regular contributor to Rappler’s Thought Leaders section. Furthermore, Professor Cornelio has been a valued tutor and guest speaker at the UCSIA Summer School since 2018.

His scholarly work revolves around the areas of religious change, religion and public life and the sociology of generations.

He is the author of Being Catholic in the Contemporary Philippines: Young People Reinterpreting Religion (2016) and lead editor of the Routledge International Handbook of Religion in Global Society (2021). His edited volume, Rethinking Filipino Millennials: Alternative Perspectives on a Misunderstood Generation (2020), won Best Book in the Social Sciences in the 2022 National Book Awards. Co-written with Jose Mario Francisco, his latest monograph is People’s Christianity: Theological Sense and Sociological Significance (2022).

He is currently co-running two projects funded by the British Academy: a major study on the role of local faith actors in peacebuilding and a two-year mentoring programme for aspiring scholars of religion and public life.

Jennifer Philippa Eggert

Jennifer Philippa Eggert

Jennifer Philippa Eggert is a social, political and cultural scientist with a background in research and practice. Her work explores questions related to conflict transformation, sustainable development and humanitarian action, with a focus on faith, gender and local actors.

Jennifer has 20 years of experience working with universities, NGOs and international organizations in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. She is policy and practice editor of the journal Religion and Development.

Jennifer’s research focuses on the roles of faith, gender and local actors in violent conflict, sustainable development and humanitarian action, with a focus on Europe, the Middle East and South Asia. She is particularly interested in collaborative and practice-focused research aimed at overcoming epistemic injustice and (neo)colonial practices in knowledge production.

Jennifer’s book Women and the Lebanese Civil War: Female Fighters in Lebanese and Palestinian Militias (2021) focuses on the roles of female militants and fighters in Christian, Muslim, Druze, leftist Lebanese and Palestinian non-state armed groups involved in the civil war in Lebanon (1975-1990). Her most recent publications include journal articles on gender and conflict in Pakistan; the role of religion during fieldwork; privilege, entitlement and refusal in conflict research; and religious-secular dynamics in humanitarianism.

She currently writes her second book, which focuses on Muslim women, terrorism and counterterrorism, and works on two special issues – one on decolonization, development and faith and one on LGBT actors and faith communities in development.

Vlad Naumescu

Vlad Naumescu

Vlad Naumescu is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology of the Central European University. He is an anthropologist of religion with broad interdisciplinary expertise and visual practice.

He has led international summer schools and courses as well as documentary film workshops for over ten years and is co-founder of the Visual Studies Platform at CEU.

Professor Naumescu previously joined the UCSIA summer school workshop of 2023 as a guest lecturer.

His research is centred on Eastern Christianity in historical-comparative perspective, as well as multimodal anthropology and cultural transmission. He has conducted long-term fieldwork in Eastern Europe and South India on different Orthodox communities, looking at the practices, institutions and politics that shape local traditions.

Naumescu’s publications cover a broad range of topics, from his first book on religious transformations in postsocialist Ukraine (2007) to ritual, temporality and ethics among Russian Old Believers in Romania, pedagogies of prayer in South India, Orthodox theopolitics and religious orthodoxies, and a forthcoming monograph on ritual, history and ethics in the Old Belief. He combines ethnography with filmmaking, producing several documentary films that speak to his writings: Birds’ Way (2009), Bread of Life: The Word/The Silence (2014).

He is currently working on a project on the remaking of global Orthodoxy, bringing together the differentiated, localized histories of Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxies to study the entanglement of law, politics and religion.


Register now!

Free entrance. Online registration only!

The lecture will be streamed via Zoom for international students and researchers. Please check your option on the registration form.

Registrations will close on 22 August 2024.

Registrations will close in









Koningstraat 2
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Tel. +32 (0)3 265 49 60

Voorlopige locatie tijdens de renovatiewerken:
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