Skip to content

Studying Religion and Politics

Conference, 17 & 18 March 2008 

In recent years religion has again become a key factor in public and political life. This de-privatisation of religion poses a political challenge, since it questions constitutive ideas about European modernity and processes of secularisation.

In Europe such challenges have often been identified with examples of Muslim claims-making in the public sphere, as for example with the case of the publication of the Danish Muhammad caricatures in late 2005.

However, the return of religion to the public sphere also poses important scientific and methodological challenges of how to study these phenomena. The aim of this workshop is therefore to discuss and map different ways of doing research on questions regarding the relation between religion and politics.

One question that the workshop will engage with is whether or not the study of the interaction between religion and politics poses any unique methodological challenges to researchers. Can religious discourse be studied like any other kind of discourse? Is field access particularly difficult when trying to study (radical) religious activism? Do we have ample methodological tools for studying how religion and politics interact?

The workshop will be organised around two keynote speeches by external guests who will reflect on their own experiences of doing empirical research on 'public religion'.

The workshop will also provide a forum for the discussion of methodological aspects of a number of work-in-progress papers by both younger and more senior scholars working in this field. The paper-presentations will be followed by an assigned discussant who will comment on the methodological aspects of the research.

Programme (.pdf)

Reading List (.pdf)


Keynote Speakers

Asef Bayat, ISIM, Leiden

Veit Bader, University of Amsterdam


EUI Organizing Committee

Rainer Bauböck, Professor, Political and Social Sciences Department, EUI

Mariano Barbato, Max Weber Fellow, EUI

Rinku Lamba, Max Weber Fellow, EUI

Lasse Lindekilde, Researcher, Political and Social Sciences Department, EUI

Tim Peace, Researcher, Political and Social Sciences Department, EUI

Page last updated on 18 August 2017

Go back to top of the page