Religious Imaginations of Political Belonging: Counterculturalism in Islam and Christianity

22nd - 23rd June, 2023


In June 2023 the Woolf Institute is hosting and co-sponsoring this gathering also funded by the DAAD Cambridge Hub. In a workshop format, scholars from philosophy, theology, politics, law, sociology and anthropology will explore the place of religious (and ethnic) imaginaries of counterculture within contemporary democracies.

Convened by Marietta van der Tol and Hossein Dabbagh of Oxford University and Elizabeth Phillips of the Woolf Institute, the workshop will consider questions such as: What is the significance of countercultural imaginations among Muslim and Christian groups? Do such discourses arise from feelings and experiences of political exclusion? Do they arise from critiques of liberal values and norms, or as resistance to post-/colonialism and oppression/marginalisation? What is the relationship between counterculturalism and radical ideas, openness to the far-right and potentially the willingness to engage in violence? Can counterculturalisms be understood as confident affirmations of otherness within political communities, thus adding constructively to the formation of self-understanding in plural societies? How can liberal democracies accommodate countercultures and recognise religious minorities’ rights to include them in society? And what is the significance of countercultural theologies and rhetoric in groups which are part of the religious majority?

How to book

Further information on the workshop including how to apply by the 30 November deadline.

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