IAHR-IC Meeting, Liverpool, UK, 14.09.2013

The International Committee (IC) of the International Association for the Study of Religions (IAHR) will meet at Liverpool, UK, on 4 September 2013, during the 12th EASR Annual Conference at Liverpool Hope University, 3-6 September 2013.

IAHR-IC meetings are held at the IAHR quinquennial congresses and mid-term, e.g. at Toronto, Canada, in 2010 during the last IAHR congress; mid-term in 2013 at Liverpool; and in 2015 at Ehrfurt, Germany, during the next AASR congress. Members of the IAHR-IC meetings with speaking and voting rights are two delegates of the odd-forty national and regional associations affiliated to the IAHR, and the members of the IAHR Executive.

The AASR President, Prof. Elias Bongmba, and the IAHR Secretary General, Prof. Afe Adogame, will attend the IAHR-IC as the two AASR delegates.

The agenda of this important meeting, and all the documents relating to it, have been published online as a PDF at www.iahr.dk/bulletins/IAHR_e-Bull_Suppl_August_2013.pdf

A new book by Frans Wijsen, AASR Representative for Europe

Wijsen, Frans, 2013, Religious Discourse, Social Cohesion and Conflict: Studying Muslim-Christian Relations. Oxford, etc. Peter Lang Academic Publishing, 231 pp., ISBN 978-3-0343-0944-8 (pbk.), €52, BP42, US$67.95; ISBN 978-3-0353-0484-8 (eBook), €52, BP42, US$67.95 (= Religions and Discourse, 55)
This book analyses religious identity transformations through inter-religious relations. It aims to highlight the link between religious discourse and social cohesion, or the lack of such a link, and ultimately seeks to contribute to the dominant discourse on Muslim–Christian relations. The book is based on fieldwork in Indonesia and Tanzania, and is timely because of the growing tensions between Muslims and Christians in both countries. Its relevance lies in its fresh look at theories of religion and science.
From its establishment as an academic discipline, the phenomenology of religion has dominated religious studies. Its theory of religion is ‘realist’ (religion is a reality ‘in itself’) and its view of science is objectivist (scientific knowledge is true if its representation of reality corresponds with reality itself). Based on Discourse Theory, the author argues that religion does not exist ‘in itself’. Human practices and artifacts become religious because they are placed in a narrative context by the believers. By using discourse analysis as a research method, the author shows how religious identities in Tanzania and Indonesia are constructed, negotiated and manipulated in order to gain material or symbolic profit.

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