The research project “Regulating Religion: Secularism and Religious Freedom in the Global Era” is recruiting two Master’s students.

The aim of this multidisciplinary project is to provide new and critical understandings of the dilemmas involved in protecting and enforcing ‘religious freedom’. A commitment to legislate ‘religious freedom’ is today an element of political identity across the world. What is often ignored in current invocations of this celebrated idea, is that in order to enforce laws guaranteeing religious freedom you must first have ‘religion’. Yet defining ‘religion’ is notoriously difficult. The project consists of several case studies that examine how ‘religious freedom’ – as idea and practice – operates within a given nation-state (France, Indonesia, Sri Lanka). Our research examines how the globalized idea of ‘religious freedom’ is understood and mobilized by particular groups. We also explore how the law, as an instrument of governance, serves to police and redraw the lines between the ‘secular’ and the ‘religious’. This involves a focus on legal measures to limit or protect religious expressions and how these measures both reflect and generate particular understandings of religion, secularism, citizenship and national identity.

We welcome MA students from anthropology, religious studies, sociology, political science or related fields who would like to write a thesis dealing with questions that are relevant to this project. Students are expected to carry out a field-based study. We are particularly interested MA projects that will broaden the comparative scope of the ‘Regulating Religion’ project and welcome students working in any part of the world.

Accepted applicants (2) will each receive a stipend for research/ fieldwork of 30 000 NOK. Successful applicants will join the CMI research cluster on Cultures and Politics of Faith and receive a workspace at the Institute.  

Application deadline: 25.06.12

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Please send an application with project proposal (1-2pages), CV and university transcripts to:

Kari Telle