Paper presentation during XXI World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions

iahr2015-2

Paper presentation during XXI World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions, panel on ‘Religion Renegotiated: Faith-Based Organizations and the State since the 1960s’, Erfurt, Germany, August 23-29, 2015: http://www.iahr2015.org/iahr/3158.html.

Panel description:

‘Christian faith-based organizations have long been regarded as constitutive to the functioning of civil society and hence granted a special position in both the communis opinio and legislation of European societies. However, rampant deconfessionalization and growing disbelief have undermined Christianity’s societal position, and with Islam increasingly becoming the religion of European-born citizens and whilst visibility of Muslim communities has become more apparent, issues on the ‘proper’ interlocution between state-religion-society are more than ever at the heart of public debate. Nonetheless, few issues are at once so central and so understudied as the relationship between faith-based organizations and the state. This panel will theoretically assess to what extent and how the boundaries between the state and faith-based organizations have been reshaped since the 1960s. The papers tackle these issues by an empirical focus on developments in social policy, the law and public debates in the Netherlands.’

Vacancy for a post-doctoral researcher as part of the NWO project Religion Renegotiated: Faith-Based Organizations and the State in the Netherlands since the 1960s – Public Debate

‘The Institute for Culture and History (ICH) & the Department of History, Archaeology and Area Studies of the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) currently have a vacancy for a post-doctoral researcher (0,8 fte, three years) as part of the NWO project Religion Renegotiated: Faith-Based Organizations and the State in the Netherlands since the 1960s – Public Debate, supervised by Prof. dr. James Kennedy, conducted in close collaboration with Mr. dr. Hans-Martien ten Napel at Leiden University. Applications are now invited from excellent candidates with max. two years experience after obtaining their PhD who wish to conduct research on the changing relationship of church-state relations in the Netherlands since the 1960s and situate it in a broader transnational context.

Project description

The postdoctoral scholar responsible for this project will investigate public discourses in the Netherlands in respect to the place of faith-based organizations, and the task of government in regulating or supporting them. For example, to what extent did the call for individual freedom, non-discrimination and self-emancipation alter existing rights (or privileges) of existing faith-based organizations?  Data-mining from digital sources will be a crucial component of this research.

Tasks will include:

  • completion of a monograph within three years;
  • regular presentation of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences, and publications in proceedings and  journals;
  • close collaboration with the other researchers of the group (including on issues not directly connected to one’s own project, incl. the organization of conferences and joint publications);
  • assisting the appointed PhD candidate in the research is also expected.

Functie-eisen

  • A doctoral degree in a relevant field, such as history, religious studies, law or the social sciences;
  • good academic writing and presentation skills;
  • good social and organizational skills;
  • proficiency in Dutch and English.  Working knowledge of other languages is of additional value.

Arbeidsvoorwaarden

The postdoctoral candidate (with max two years of experience after obtaining PhD) will be appointed for 0,8 fte for a period of three years at the Faculty of Humanities beginning  1 December 2013.’

For additional information, see www.academictransfer.com/19640.

Vacant PhD position as part of the NWO project Religion Renegotiated: Faith-Based Organizations and the State in the Netherlands since the 1960s – Public Policy

‘The Institute for Culture and History of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) currently has a vacant PhD position (full-time, four years) as part of the NWO project Religion Renegotiated: Faith-Based Organizations and the State in the Netherlands since the 1960s – Public Policy, supervised by Prof. dr. James Kennedy, conducted in close collaboration with Mr. dr. Hans-Martien ten Napel at Leiden University. Applications are now invited from excellent candidates who wish to conduct research on the changing relationship of church-state relations in the Netherlands since the 1960s and situate it in a broader transnational context.

Project description

This researcher will investigate Dutch policy regarding religious pluralism, focusing on the field of legislative change since the 1960s.  The relationship between government and faith-based organizations is the central point of interest.  The researcher will focus on debates within the legislative branch and the development of policy in government agencies, including a limited selection of case studies at the local level.

Tasks will include:

  • completion and defence of a PhD thesis within four years;
  • regular presentation of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences, and publications in proceedings and  journals;
  • close collaboration with the other researchers of the group (including on issues not directly connected to one’s own PhD project, incl. the organization of conferences and joint publications);
  • assisting in teaching activities;
  • participation in the training program of the Graduate School for Humanities;
  • a Master’s degree (or equivalent) with excellent grades in a relevant field, such as history, religious studies, law or the social sciences;
  • good academic writing and presentation skills;
  • good social and organizational skills;
  • proficiency in Dutch and English.

Requirements 

  • A Master’s degree (or equivalent) with excellent grades in a relevant field, such as history, religious studies, law or the social sciences;
  • good academic writing and presentation skills;
  • good social and organizational skills;
  • proficiency in Dutch and English.

Arbeidsvoorwaarden

The PhD candidate will be appointed full-time for a period of four years at the Faculty of Humanities. A first contract will be given for 12 months, with an extension for the remaining period on the basis of a positive evaluation. 
The preferred starting date of the contract is 1 December 2013.’

For additional information, see www.academictransfer.com/19639.

NWO to finance research project ‘Religion Renegotiated: Faith-Based Organizations and the State in the Netherlands since the 1960s’

Pleased to have received a major grant recently from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for the above research proposal, submitted by Prof.dr. J.C. (James) Kennedy as principal applicant, and myself as co-applicant. James Kennedy is an American historian who since 2007 has worked as professor of Dutch history since the Middle Ages at the Universiteit van Amsterdam (http://www.uva.nl/over-de-uva/organisatie/medewerkers/content/k/e/j.c.kennedy1/j.c.kennedy.html).

Recent controversies in the Netherlands strongly suggest that the relationship between ‘faith-based organizations’ and the state is being redefined and renegotiated. The important relationship between ‘church’ (defined here as all faith-based organizations, including houses of worship) and ‘state’ (including not only national developments but also those at the municipal level, as well as the influence of Dutch and European courts) invites systematic investigation. In so doing the project hopes to shed light on developments not only of the Dutch case, which has generated much comment, but also transnational ones.

The proposed research offers an empirical, legal and historical examination of the grounding for Dutch government policy toward faith-based organizations. Although the focus of the project is clearly historical, and institutionally embedded in the humanities, it is at the same time more widely interdisciplinary. Thus, it intends to profit from the legal expertise of the co-applicant and several of the societal partners, including two researchers who, on behalf of two of these partners, will assist the co-applicant in his analysis of longer term developments in Dutch and European case law on the topic of the relationship between faith-based organizations and the state.

The users’ group includes both users in the proper sense of the word, and legal advisors of such organizations, as representatives of government and actors involved in the legislative and policymaking process. Apart from a continued involvement in the contents and planning of the proposed research, the partners will either be facilitating the proposed research by providing the research team (including two new positions of doctoral student and postdoctoral fellow) with expertise in terms of access to their (international) networks or archives during the first two years of the project, or assist in the dissemination of the main results of project during its final two years through the organizing of closed and public conferences and meetings and the partners’ own media.

For more information on the NWO research programme ‘Religion in Modern Society’, see http://www.nwo.nl/en/research-and-results/programmes/gw/religion-in-modern-society/index.html.