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Authority, Community & Identity

Religious as well as secular communities and individuals negotiate and maintain their identities in an increasingly plural public sphere. Large-scale modern processes of industrialization, urbanization, bureaucratization, and mass mobility have affected the internal dynamics of these communities as well as the ethics, interior spiritual life and worldview of individuals. In this context of shifting forms, expressions, and traditions of believing, behaving, and belonging, this working group will explore how Catholic, Muslim, and secular individuals are seeking, constructing, communicating and finding meaning, and the emerging forms and structures of religious authority.

FARSIJANA ADENEY-RISAKOTTA AND NELLY VAN DOORN-HARDER

The battles these women had waged for legal, religious, economic, social, and other forms of equality since the 1980s had started to bear fruit; new opportunities had opened to women, and debates about their legal rights had reached the public press and political platforms. Read the full article »

MOHAMAD ABDUN NASIR

Located in northwestern Lombok, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara province, Mataram, is perhaps the island's most dynamic location for the unfolding of inter-religious engagement, competition, and potential conflict. Mataram offers some examples of inter-religious convergence and harmony. Nevertheless, conflicts and violence have occurred. Read the full article »

KYLE LAMBELET

Lynch's proposal strikes me as potentially quite fruitful as a mode of ethical and political analysis. She not only retrieves the notion of casuistry, but develops it as a lens to understand the everyday ethics of humanitarian actors. To harvest these fruits, however, I want to encourage Lynch to further clarity about the conceptual work that casuistry does in her research. Read the full article »

ATALIA OMER

Lynch’s research is to be celebrated for the ways it foregrounds and explicates the importance of interrogating the discursive formations that inform religious ethics and popular casuistry. Her neo-Weberian framing allows for an elastic lens through which to examine the intersections of neoliberal and (African) orientalist discourses in the diffusion and praxis of the technocratic donor-driven apparatus of humanitarianism and development work. Read the full article »

CECELIA LYNCH

Attention to “religion” in the work of humanitarians broadly-conceived (including both development and emergency relief actors) is on the rise, as is interrogating the reasons why humanitarians do what they do, and the role of religious actors in the broader “humanitarian international." Read the full article »

JAMES B. HOESTEREY

During the years following 9/11, Indonesia’s foreign ministry promoted Indonesia as the model for “moderate Islam.” More recently, in the wake of the Arab Uprisings, Indonesia sponsored several workshops with Egyptian and Tunisian politicians and civil society leaders in order to “share lessons” from Indonesia’s democratic transition from authoritarian rule. Further still, Indonesia has tried to reposition itself as a global peace broker within the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), most recently hosting OIC’s Extraordinary Summit for a just solution in Palestine. Read the full article »

LUDOVIC LADO

Sub-Saharan African societies, described as community-oriented, are often compared with Western societies pictured as individualistic. But this simplistic divide can be misleading. The postcolonial predicament in Sub-Saharan Africa is a complex conundrum that encapsulates various dialectical processes involving the constant renegotiation of the relations between community and the individual, belonging and autonomy, submission and rebellion, authority and autonomy. Read the full article »