News on religion and society

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Maria Corder-Fernández

UCSIA Summer School:
Religion & Politics

Are you a doctoral student or postdoctoral researcher with an interest in religion and politics? This year's UCSIA summer school explores the relationship between religion, nationalism, populism, and conservatism. Take classes from international experts, present your own research, work one-on-one with tutors, and build your academic network. Apply by 15 April 2024!


Missions, Maps & Mediators

Let's rewind to a magical exploration of Latin America in the Nottebohm Room. Mirela Altic took a close look at Jesuit maps from the seventeenth century. Francismar Alex Lopes de Carvalho examined the conversion of local people in the Amazon region and found that it was not a one-way street. This was followed by a panel discussion with our two guests led by Christiane Stallaert.
Listen here...
Grote Vragen van Barokke Influencers

20th anniversary UCSIA Summer School

This year UCSIA celebrates the 20th anniversary of its summer school for PhD and postdoctoral students with a research interest in religion. To mark the occasion, UCSIA organized an academic workshop to discuss contemporary issues in the study of religion. The participants included 5 alumni, 5 guest lecturers, and the 6 members of the UCSIA Summer School steering committee. The next summer school will take place in 2024.
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Belief in solidarity

Call for Papers
Belief in Solidarity

What is the role of faith and religious inspiration in organizing solidarities? The workshop 'Belief in Solidarity' will examine this topic both in the context of contemporary superdiverse and post-secular urbanized societies, as well as in secularizing societies from the nineteenth century onwards. Confirmed keynotespeakers are Anne Birgitta Pessi and Joan Stavo-Debauge. Application deadline: 28 June 2023.


Islamic Religious Education in Europe

How do European countries organize the education of Islam? Scholars from different academic backgrounds and from different European contexts shared their insights at the conference ‘Education of Islam – Islam in Education in Europe’ in Antwerp.
Watch the keynotes...

The Art of Catholic Banality in Secular France

France celebrates its laïcité (secularism), yet Catholicism continues to dominate its spatial and temporal rhythms in ways that often fade into the background as nothing more than heritage. Anthropologist Elayne Oliphant (NYU) shares her research on the topic in this theological lecture.
Watch the webinar...

Jewish Environmental Ethics

Ariel Mayse (Stanford University) explores how to draw upon the Jewish theological, legal, and philosophical literatures to construct an environmental ethic, one that counters the values of market individualism and extractivism with alternative narratives and theories of obligation toward the non-human world. Annemarie Mayer (Trier University) responds from a Christian perspective.
Watch the webinar...
Digital expo 'Passion: Histories of the Heart'

Call for Papers
Religion, Mobility & Economy

Explore the relations between religion, culture, politics, and economy in fresh, innovative ways! The UCSIA Summer School offers a free one-week interdisciplinary mentoring programme for doctoral students and junior postdoctoral researchers. We extended the application deadline to 25 May 2022.


New Beginnings without Innocence

How we can develop theories of community-building, and practices of living-together, that do not ignore the irreducible fact of conflict, but instead find ways to productively deal with such conflict and disagreement? That was the key question of Judith Gruber’s theological webinar.
Watch the webinar...
Digital expo 'Passion: Histories of the Heart'

Virtual tour 'Passion: Histories of the Heart'

In the spring, the Religious Bodies team and UCSIA organized the exhibition 'Passion: Histories of the Heart' in St Paul’s Church in Antwerp. It tells the complex stories of the heart in Catholic symbolism, devotion and mysticism in the 19th and 20th centuries. The emotional meanings of the mortal hearts of believers and the divine hearts of Jesus and Mary take centre stage in a multilayered view of religious images, objects and practices.
You can now visit the expo online...

Islamic Religious Education in Europe

Against the backdrop of labour migration and the ongoing refugee crisis, the ways in which Islam is taught in educational settings has become a major topic of debate in Europe. The new publication ‘Islamic Religious Education in Europe’ tackles the challenges and benefits of effective Islamic Religious Education (IRE). We welcomed two of the authors Martin Rothgangel (Universität Wien) and Abdullah Sahin (University of Warwick) at the online book launch.
Watch the webinar...

Behind the Scenes of 'Passion. Histories of the Heart'

The Religious Bodies team takes you behind the scenes of the creation of the Antwerp city walk and exhibition in St Paul’s Church. They share their thoughts on the methods, sources and historiographical fields they used to tell the complex stories of the heart in Catholic symbolism, devotion and mysticism in the 19th and 20th centuries. The emotional meanings of the mortal hearts of believers and the divine hearts of Jesus and Mary take centre stage in a multilayered view of religious images, objects and practices.
Watch the webinar...

Planetary Theology and Climate Change

What is the role of ‘man’, ‘government’ and ‘the political’ in the context of climate change? Prof. Peter Scott draws from popular culture and from planetary and political theology in this webinar.
Watch the webinar...
Javier Melloni sj

Ouverture à la diversité religieuse

On Wednesday 21 April from 7.00 – 9.45 p.m. UTC+2, inTOUCH organizes, together with Chapelle pour l’Europe and UCSIA an online book launch of Ouverture à la diversité religieuse, the first French publication by the Spanish Jesuit Javier Melloni. The book calls on religious traditions to open up to diversity within their own traditions.
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ELP fellowship

In the Name of Separation: Judaism and Christianity on Trial

Philosopher and musicologist Danielle Cohen-Levinas of Sorbonne Université gave a webinar on the topic of 'separation'. Judaism and Christianity are Abrahamic religions that share a common text: the Hebrew Bible. However, from the second century onwards, this common foundation has undergone a separation. The text is now available in French, English and Dutch.


Women, Work & Care: Towards a New Economic Balance

Professor Yana Van der Meulen Rodgers reflects on how to build a feminist economy during the Covid-19 pandemic. Following, Ilse De Vooght shares the coming about and the results of the experiment of the 30-hour working week, conducted over the past year at the women’s organization Femma.
Watch the webinar...

Towards a Financial Market that Serves Society

How do we move towards a financial market that’s serving society? Political economist Ann Pettifor and Thomas Van Craen, Managing Director at Triodos Bank, investigated this question in the first preparatory webinar towards the 'Economy of Francesco' conference. 
Watch the webinar...

The Dialogue between Jews, Christians and Muslims

Experts Felix Körner sj and Etienne Vetö discussed the current issues in the trialogue with representatives of the three different faiths. This online colloquium celebrates the 20th anniversary of Christian magazine Tertio, and was organized in cooperation with The Institute of Jewish Studies (IJS) and UCSIA.
Watch the colloquium...

Christianity, Social Justice and Civic Duty after Assisi 2020

On 3 October 2020, Pope Francis launched his new encyclical Fratelli Tutti in Assisi. Francis Davis explores what we can learn from the document. The main question of this online lecture is: how can we concretize fresh strategies to shape social and economic change and civic duties as we tease out a global future in the age of disruption?
Watch the webinar...

Summer School webinar 'The Prosperity Ethic'

In this exclusive webinar with two of our Summer School tutors, socioligist Jayeel Cornelio presented his research on the prosperity ethic in the Philippines. Angie Heo responded from an anthropological angle. This year's Summer School on 'Religion, Mobility and Politics' had to be postponed due to the pandemic. With this webinar we brought together the researchers.
Watch the webinar...

New vision statement 'Religion, Culture & Society'

What does the UCSIA theme ‘Religion, Culture & Society' embrace? What topics are selected and why? What will we highlight in the coming years?
Read the new vision statement.....

Fifth anniversary Laudato Si

In 2015, Pope Francis made a strong call for a solidary approach of the ecological crisis with the encyclic Laudato Si’. The website Laudato Si' Week collects all the initiatives on the occasion of its fifth anniversary, from online conferences to joint moments of prayer.
Go to Laudato Si' Week...

Webinar Fr. General on the mission of the Society of Jesus post COVID

On 30 April Fr. General Arturo Sosa sj gave a webinar on caring for the mission of the Society of Jesus post COVID following his letter of 25 March.
Watch the video
or read the text...

Pope Francis urges to reflect on “life after the pandemic”

In the wake of Easter, Pope Francis wrote a letter to the popular movements and organizations that keep the society going today, in the struggle against COVID-19. In this letter, he urges us not to fall into former routines at the end of this crisis, but to ask ourselves how we can do things differently.
Read the blog and reply...

Call for Applications: extended deadline

for the UCSIA Summer School
on 'Religion, Mobility & Politics'
on 23-30 August 2020
at the University of Antwerp
new submission deadline:
15 April 2020

Corona virus

Due to the outbreak of the corona virus, we decided to cancel all UCSIA events in March. Our coworkers will be working from home as much as possibe, so our opening hours will be limited.

Visit Resam

On 29 January 2020 we received Resam in Antwerp. This Danish organization consists of prominent religious leaders of the 3 monotheistic religions. Their goal: interreligious dialogue. Our guide, rabbi Aaron Malinsky, showed our guests around in the Jewish district and the synagogue.


Call for Applications

for the UCSIA Summer School
on 'Religion, Mobility & Politics'
on 23-30 August 2020
at the University of Antwerp
submission deadline:
15 March 2020

Supernatural religion in the age of empire

Call for papers for a workshop on the interaction between supernatural beliefs and experiences of colonialism and imperialism on October 18th 2019 at the University of Antwerp.
Read more…

Converso Paulinism

Watch Claude Stuczynski's talk on Converso Paulinism in the framework of the UCSIA-IJS Chair online!

Call for Application

UCSIA Summer School
on Relgion and Mobility
25 August – 1 September 2019
Antwerp, Belgium
deadline: 31 March 2019


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