News and events

HIDDEN GALLERIES European Research Council-funded Project led by ISASR President Dr James Kapaló

Dr James Kapaló, President of the ISASR and Senior Lecturer in the Study of Religions Department, University College Cork, is featured on UCC’s Research Leaders section discussing his European Research Council-funded ‘Hidden Galleries‘ Project that investigates the Secret Police Archives.

Watch this video about the project:

2015 IAHR congress, Erfurt (August 23 – 29)

The 21st world congress of the International Association for the History of Religions, the global body for Religious Studies to which ISASR is affiliated, takes place in Erfurt in August next year. The world congresses are major events in the study of religions, taking place every five years. Registration opens on August 1st (this year). The deadline to propose panels is September 14th and to propose papers December 15th. For full details see the IAHR congress website.

2nd Max Arthur Macauliffe Conference (March 22, UCC)
Emerging trends and developments in Sikh & Punjabi Studies




Following on from last year’s successful ‘Representing Sikhism’ conference held to mark the centenary of Max Arthur Macauliffe’s death, this year’s Macauliffe conference at UCC aims to highlight the most recent and emerging trends and developments in Sikh & Punjabi Studies, seeking contributions in particular from early-career academics, postdocs and advanced PhD students, but also from any scholar whose work promises to break new ground in Sikh & Punjabi studies.

Thanks to the continuing generosity of the Sikh community in Ireland, we intend to offer up to EIGHT TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION GRANTS of max. €uro300 / GPB£250 to facilitate attendance at the conference. Grants will be awarded to up to eight scholars whose papers have been accepted by the organising committee. Please indicate on the registration and abstract submission form at: you wish to be considered for a grant. Further details will be provided to the successful applicants.

The annual Macauliffe Conference in Sikh and Punjabi studies is hosted by UCC’s Study of Religions Department, which fosters the critical, analytical and non-confessional academic study of religions ( Academic papers relating to religion in any area of Sikh and Punjabi studies are invited, including reports of work in progress.

Abstracts (max 150 words) should be submitted only via the on-line registration system at: All abstracts received by 23.59hrs GMT on Monday 10th February 2014 will be considered. Those submitting abstracts by this date will be notified by 14 February 2014 whether their abstract has been accepted.

Registration: If you wish to attend the conference and are not offering a paper, please also register at: once you have made your travel arrangements, to help us plan catering.

There is no charge for registration, nor for attending the conference which, as last year, will be open to the public. However, contributions large or small to the Macauliffe Fund to promote the development of Sikh and Punjabi Studies in Macauliffe’s homeland of Ireland are most welcome – please see or contact Prof Brian Bocking   b.bocking[at] .

There are direct flights to Cork from many cities in UK and Europe (see for the full list) and plenty of accommodation right by the university, from youth hostel to 5-star hotels – see  and enquire if there is a UCC rate as you are attending the conference. You are advised to book flights now to secure the best prices.

See the conference website: for further details as they become available. The conference will run from mid-morning until evening on Saturday 22 March at University College Cork.

Abstracts deadline: 23.59hrs GMT Monday 10th February 2014

Note: The decision of the organising committee on both abstract acceptance and award of travel grants is final and no correspondence will be entered into.


ISASR 2014 conference (May 23 – 24, Belfast)

Full details available here.

ESA Research Network conference (September 3 – 5, also Belfast)

The European Sociological Association’s Sociology of Religion Research Network (RN 34) is holding its bi-annual conference in Belfast this September. Call for papers as follows:

Conference Theme – Religion in the Public Domain

In long-standing theories about secularization it is generally held that the social and public significance of religion has declined in most Western countries. Religion is conceived as privatized, individualized and de-institutionalized. But has religion truly become a privatized phenomenon? Increasingly, it is argued in academia that the separation between state and church in Western countries is less stable than assumed: state policy is often biased towards particular religious traditions while even the French installment of laicité may be understood as a civic religion (e.g., Casanova). In general, we are witnessing a re-emergence of religion in the public domain. Religion has a new position in the public sphere, struggling for recognition alongside other groups. Empirical studies demonstrate the sustaining influence of religion on voting in ‘secular’ countries, an open attitude towards religious-spiritual beliefs and practices in business organizations and the production and consumption of religious symbols and images in popular culture. The role of media is pivotal here: it has made new forms of power emerge, but also simultaneously opened the way for activist practices aimed at visibility. So on the one hand, television, radio and newspapers socially construct the public-political discourse on Muslims, the alleged dangers of Islam and religious-ethical issues concerning circumcision, vaccinations, abortion and ritual slaughter. On the other hand, in the struggle for recognition and visibility, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hinduists, new religious movements, and spiritual groups, appropriate the internet and (social) media as public platforms to debate the role of religion, to strengthen social cohesion and to reach out to the general public.

This return of religion in the public domain is also a socially, politically, legally and morally contested issue. In a ‘post-secular’ society, Jurgen Habermas argued, religious groups, organizations and individuals should be included within the public sphere in the civic debate about the problems of modernity, i.e., individualism, excessive consumption and the loss of moral values. Claims like these – made in academia, politics or culture – activate secular groups like the ‘new atheists’ to revitalize ‘rationalist’ values of the Enlightenment and take on a fundamentalist position on the subject. Social conflicts are increasingly religious conflicts (e.g., Calhoun). Theoretically, developments such as these invoke substantial doubt about modern distinctions between the public and the private, the secular and religious and the profane and the sacred. They invite research on the (historical) formation of such categories – in the social sciences and modern cultures alike – and its relation to social conflict and cultural power (e.g., Assad).

Against this background, the ESA Research Network Sociology of Religion calls for papers on ‘Religion in the Public Domain’ for the mid-term conference in Belfast. Particularly papers are welcomed that discuss the following topics:

  • Studies focusing on the modern separation of state and church, the formation of the religious and the secular and the public and the private domain in European countries  and beyond.
  • Studies discussing the social significance of religion and its re-emergence in the institutional and public domain, i.e., the role of Islamic, Christian or spiritual beliefs, practices and experiences in politics, voting, banking, business life etc.
  • Studies focusing on the role of religious-spiritual narratives in popular culture, i.e., their meanings, commercial and commodified manifestations in books, music, film, computer games, advertising, marketing and branding.
  • Studies discussing the role of the media, i.e., the way religion is framed at television, radio and in newspapers, and the appropriation and use of (social) media by religious individuals, groups and organization.
  • Studies focusing on social conflicts between secular and religious groups and public debates about Islam, i.e., about integration, religious fundamentalism, terrorism, women’s rights, headscarves, abortion etc.
  • Studies focusing on the public value of the sociology of religion, including studies on religion and politics, religion and the welfare state, religion and human security in ‘failed’ states, and the significance of the study of religion to policy makers and grassroots activists.

These topics are rough guidelines; papers dealing with Religion inthe Public Domain beyond other than these outlined above are also very welcome. Furthermore we invite PhD and post-doc candidates to contribute to a poster session, including work in progress; the best poster will get a  small, but nice prize.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Prof Linda Woodhead, Lancaster University, on ‘How Public Religion has changed now that ‘Church and State’ isn’t the Only Game in Town’
Prof John Brewer, Queen’s University Belfast, on ‘The Public Value of the Sociology of Religion.’
Dr Erin Wilson, University of Groningen, on ‘Global Justice in a Postsecular Public Domain: Challenges and Possibilities’

Dates & Deadlines in 2014

  • March 14 Submission of abstracts and online registration starts (Please email your abstracts, both in the text of the email and as a Word attachment, to Abstracts can be submitted both for papers and the postgraduate posters and should not exceed 250 words.)
  • April 18 Submission of abstracts ends
  • May 9 Acceptance of abstracts
  • June 30 Early-bird registration ends
  • September 3 – 5 Conference


The fee structure is as follows:

Fee Structure
ESA Members €35
Students €30
Non-Members €60
Late (after 30 June) €85

Society for the Scientific Study of Religion  2014 annual meeting

“Building bridges”

Oct 31 – Nov 2, JW Marriott, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

SSSR’s current web site notes:

The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion was founded in 1949 by scholars in religion and social science. Its purpose is to stimulate and communicate significant scientific research on religious institutions and religious experience. Scholars from all fields of study who are interested in the scientific exploration of religion are invited to join the Society. Membership in the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion gives scholars the opportunity to share their research and ideas with other scholars.

Our theme for the 2014 conference is “Building Bridges” between all those interested in the study of religion. This includes any disciplines that focus on the study of religion as well as scholars from various geographical and cultural areas. Our intent is to build bridges between disciplines and cultures that have become isolated and communicate mainly among themselves. Suggestions for contributions include:

  • the study of religion in diverse cultures and regions (Eastern, Central Europe, Asia, South America, etc.)
  • the study of religion within diverse faith traditions (Islam, Christianity, Paganism, NRMs, etc.)
  • inter-disciplinary studies of religion (religious studies & the social and behavioral sciences, etc.)
  • new disciplines that study religion (cognitive science, evolutionary psychology, etc.)
  • methodology interaction in the study of religion (quantitative, qualitative, creative, etc.)
  • the study of non-belief and atheism

All session and paper proposals must be submitted via the on-line submission system that will be available on the SSSR’s web site, In addition to the session proposer’s full contact information, a session proposal requires a session title and an abstract of not more than 150 words describing the goal of the session and how the proposer expects the session to contribute to scientific knowledge about religion. Individual paper proposals require the name(s) of the author(s), first author’s full contact information, an abstract of not more than 150 words that succinctly describes the question(s) motivating the research, the data and methods used, and what the paper contributes or expects to contribute to the knowledge or understanding of religion. NOTE NEW POLICY ON MANDATORY PREREGISTRATION OUTLINED BELOW.

Submissions Open: February 03, 2014 (see

Submissions Close: March 31, 2014

Decision Notification: April 30, 2014

In 2014, the SSSR/RRA Annual Meeting will require all program participants to preregister for the meeting, and to pay the non-refundable fees, by May 31, 2014.  For submitted papers, the presenting author must pre-register, although co-authors not attending the meeting are not required to do so.  For submitted sessions, the organizer and all presenters must pre-register and pre-pay.  Online registration will open immediately after decision notifications are emailed.  Those presenters and organizers who do not preregister will be dropped from the program.  

Please direct questions to:
Ralph Hood (UTC), Program Chair (                                                      Co-chair for Asia-Pacific region: Alphia Possamai-Inesedy (
Co-Chair for Western, Central, and Eastern Europe: Elisabeth Arweck (
Special assistant for developing sessions on Islam: Besheer Mohamed (
Graduate Student Representative: Christopher F. Silver (

Buddhism and Ireland now out

Laurence Cox’s book “Buddhism and Ireland: from the Celts to the counter-culture and beyond” is now out. For more details see the Equinox site. Brian Bocking will launch the book in TCD on Thursday 26 September (7 pm) with a talk entitled “Forgotten but not gone: recognising Ireland’s Buddhist heritage in colonial Asia”. Full details here.

On Tuesday 10 September  (2-5 pm), also in TCD, the final seminar of the IRC-funded project “Early western Buddhists in Asia” takes place with the title “From Laurence Carroll to U Dhammaloka: Irish hobo, Buddhist monk, anti-colonial agitator”. More information here.

In October Ireland’s new religious movements (eds Olivia Cosgrove, Laurence Cox, Carmen Kuhling, Peter Mulholland) will come out in a paperback edition this October. More details here.

Past events

“Encountering Buddhist Asia: sources of Irish knowledge from the sixth to the twenty-first centuries” – Maynooth exhibition

The exhibition “Encountering Buddhist Asia”, on view at the Russell Library, Maynooth from April 29th until July 12th, showcases Irish information and encounters with Asian Buddhism across 15 centuries with a remarkable range of books, artefacts and posters. The exhibition is free and open to all by appointment. Full details here.

RE21 – Religious Education in a Global-Local World

FIRST CALL FOR PAPERS – 9 January 2013


Study of Religions Department
University College Cork,
Cork, Ireland
Date: 29-30 August 2013

(Please note the February 2013 deadlines below for those wishing to apply for funding assistance)

Religious Education (RE) is a term that conveys diverse and often incompatible meanings to different constituencies. For some, ‘RE’ means religious nurturing, either tailored to parental views or meant to inculcate a uniform religiosity. For others, RE means learning about the many religious and non-religious world-views and secular ethics that exist, not promoting one religion or another. Some seek to avoid the ambiguous term ‘religious education’, replacing it with terms such as ‘education about religions and beliefs’ or ‘the religious dimension of intercultural education’.

The RE21 – Religious Education in a Global-Local World conference starts from two assumptions: (a) that RE has and will continue to have multiple and contested meanings and (b) that local interpretations of RE are increasingly in negotiation with each other as a consequence of globalisation. The RE21 conference emphasises a student-centred approach, viewing any kind of ‘RE’ (or indeed its absence) as a formative lived experience for pupils. It stresses a bottom-up, sociological and ethnographic/anthropological research-based approach to the study of RE, rather than the ‘top down’ approaches which often start from prescriptive legal, ideological or religious standpoints.

One aim of this conference is to further international academic research into the diverse past, present (and possible future) forms of RE and we hope to publish selected papers from the conference. A second aim is through discussion and debate at the conference to enhance public and professional understanding, in Ireland and beyond, of the complex issues and debates surrounding RE in the wider world.

We encourage early-career scholars, including advanced postgraduate research students, to share their empirical research findings and insights with others. Subject to availability, priority for funding assistance (see below) will be given to early-career scholars and those from countries geographically distant from Ireland. The RE21 Conference which takes place on Thursday-Friday 29-30 August 2013 is timed to help overseas delegates to attend both the RE21 conference in Cork and the ‘Religion, Migration, Mutation’ EASR/BASR Conference in nearby Liverpool, UK, 3-6 September 2013.

Delegates from all relevant disciplines who are actively engaged in peer-reviewed research and publication in the field of RE worldwide are warmly invited to Cork. Topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:

•       Childhood’s role and children’s agency in RE and wider socio-religious formations,

•       [Auto-] biographical research on experiences and evaluations of RE,

•       Qualitative studies and quantitative surveys of student and teacher attitudes to RE,

•       Historical and comparative studies of RE across cultures.

•       RE teacher education and accreditation,

•       The impact, especially on pupils’ experience and evaluations of RE, of particular configurations of state-religion-education relations.

•       Policy analysis in relation to RE and cognate fields.

RE21: Submission Guidelines and Deadlines:

The following deadlines are for those planning to apply for funding assistance:

Submissions for panels, individual papers or poster presentations should be sent to Dr Yafa Shanneik, email: y.shanneik [at]

Panel proposals deadline: Thursday 7 February 2013.

A panel proposal should come from one proposer and comprise: (1) name and institutional affiliation of proposer, (2) panel title (max 20 words), (3) panel description (max 150 words), (4) names and institutions of participants (if any) expected to offer papers to the panel.

Decisions on panels will be notified by 18 February 2013 and an initial list of panels posted on the conference website

Individual paper proposals deadline: 28 February 2013.

Poster presentations deadline: 28 February 2013

Individual papers do not need to fit into a listed panel. If you are proposing your paper for a panel listed on the website, please state this on the proposal.

Individual paper or poster proposals should comprise: 1. Name and institutional affiliation (2) paper/poster title, (3) abstract (max. 150 words).

Decisions on acceptance of papers/posters will be notified by 20 March 2013 and a list of papers/posters accepted will be published on the conference website

The above deadlines apply especially to those who intend to apply for help with funding (see ‘Funding Assistance’ below). If there is still space, paper proposals may be accepted after these dates, but proposals submitted after these dates will not be eligible for funding assistance.

Conference Fees (payable on full registration at a later stage):
Waged 70 euro, unwaged 30 euro.

(‘Unwaged’ in this context means not in receipt of a regular living wage.)

The conference fee includes teas/coffees, two lunches and a conference dinner.

Information about registration, payment of fees, accommodation, travel etc. will be provided on the RE21 website at

[Note: if the website does not show properly, check the address showing in your browser and delete everything before the last ‘http’.]


The RE21 Conference will take place shortly before the large EASR/BASR Conference on the theme of ‘RELIGION, MIGRATION, MUTATION’ to be held at Liverpool Hope University, UK, 3-6 September 2013.

Limited funding for the ‘RE21’ conference in Cork will be available to assist with flights to Cork and towards accommodation costs for scholars wishing to come to Cork either for RE21 alone or, where possible, en route to Liverpool for the EASR/BASR Conference. Liverpool may be reached easily from Cork by direct Ryanair flight from Cork-Liverpool or by bus from Cork to Dublin and then flights from Dublin – Liverpool.

To be eligible for funding assistance, you must first have your paper or poster proposal accepted by the organisers for RE21. Hence, applications for funding will be accepted only after written approval of papers, i.e. after 20 March 2013.

Application forms for funding assistance will be made available only to those whose papers have been approved, after 20 March 2013. As a guide, applications for funding will be accepted up to 30 April and funding decisions notified by 14 May 2013.

Enquiries: Dr Yafa Shanneik   y.shanneik[at]

The RE21 conference is made possible through the support of the Cork University Foundation.

International Advisory Committee: Prof Wanda Alberts (Norway), Prof Satoko Fujiwara (Japan), Prof Aine Hyland (Ireland), Prof Robert Jackson (UK), Prof. Tim Jensen (Denmark), Prof Eleanor Nesbitt (UK), Prof. Emer Smyth (Ireland).

RE21 Organising Committee: Prof. Brian Bocking, Dr Karl Kitching, Dr Yafa Shanneik.

Representing Sikhism:
a centennial conference in honour of the great Irish scholar
Max Arthur Macauliffe (11 September 1838 – 15 March 1913)

Date: 15 March 2013
Time: 2pm
Place: Western Gateway Building, UCC, Western Road, Cork

Academic programme – invited guest speakers:

  • Prof Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh, Colby College, Maine, USA
  • Prof Anne Murphy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
  • Prof Christopher Shackle, SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London, UK
  • Prof Tadhg Foley (NUI Galway, Ireland)

All welcome – admission free.

Further information here.

The hunt for Dhammaloka: on the trail of early Irish-Buddhist links

28 years unaccounted for…
Use of multiple aliases…
Sedition conviction in Burma…
Police surveillance in Ceylon…
Fake death in Australia…
Final whereabouts unknown…

Public seminar with Laurence Cox, Mihirini Sirisena, Rachelann Pisani

In 1900, in a Burma which had only been conquered by the British Empire 15 years before, an Irish ex-sailor and ex-hobo was ordained as a Burmese Buddhist monk. Crossing the boundaries of race and religion, he now became not only a barefoot beggar but a leading critic of Christian missionaries who used the latest freethinking (atheist) arguments to make his case that Asians should resist “the Bible, the Gatling gun and the whisky bottle” brought by colonialism. Over the next 12 – 14 years he travelled from Japan to Ceylon and from Nepal to Singapore, confronting the colonial police, facing charges of sedition, preaching to huge crowds, setting up Buddhist schools, challenging injustice and corresponding with fellow-atheists and Buddhists around the world.

Dhammaloka’s life was an uncomfortable challenge both to colonial assumptions of white and Christian superiority but also to later Asian nationalist accounts of purely national independence struggles. As a result, much of what we know about him comes from his opponents. But he was also keen to obscure his tracks, using many different aliases and on one occasion faking his own death. We cannot be certain as to his date of birth or early life, and the decades before he appears in Burma in his 40s are shrouded in mystery. Was he perhaps a political or trade union radical in the US, and did he have a past to hide from? Or was he a “beachcomber” in India or Ceylon, flying below the colonial radar? When did he die, and why is there no memory of the death of this intensely public figure?

The “Early western Buddhists in Asia” project involves archival research in Ireland, Britain, the USA, India and Sri Lanka in an attempt to track down some of the missing pieces of Dhammaloka’s life. It also uses this research to explore further the experience of “poor whites” in colonial Asia, in particular those who “went native”, subverting the strict racial hierarchies and their implications for class and gender – as well as the official histories of western Buddhism which privilege “gentleman scholars” rather than these early plebeian “beachcomber Buddhists”. It also challenges Irish accounts which present the discovery of Asian Buddhism as a recent phenomenon linked to the 1960s or recent immigration, rather than a centuries-old engagement born out of shared colonial and imperial histories and which already led, in the later 19th century, to a number of Irish conversions to Buddhism – including a mysterious colleague of Dhammaloka’s who officiated at the mass conversion of several thousand “untouchable” mine workers to Buddhism in an attempt to break out of Hindu caste structures in the first decade of the twentieth century.

Wednesday December 5th, 2.30 – 5 pm
Seminar Room, Sociology Dept., Auxilia, North Campus, NUI Maynooth

Admission free but space is limited –
please email to book a place

Supported by the Irish Research Council

Orthodoxy in Migration workshop

Location: CACSSS Seminar Room, O’Rahilly Building, UCC

10 am -12.30 pm, Monday 19th November 2012


10:00                         Workshop Introduction

10:10                         Maria Hammärli (Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland)

“Is Culture Important to Orthodox Identity? The Debate between Western Converts and Cradle Orthodox in Switzerland”

10:40                          Annika Hvithamar (University of Southern Denmark)

“Russian Orthodox Churches in Denmark: The Royalists, the Russians and the         Revolutionaries”

11:10                         Suna Gülfer Ihlamur-Öner (Marmara University, Turkey)

“Transnational Migration and Religious Actors: The Case of Romanian Orthodox    Churches in the Italo-Romanian Transnational Space”

11:40                         James Kapaló (University College Cork)

“Conceptualizing the ‘Orthodox Space’ in Ireland”

This workshop is supported by ISS. 21, CACSSS and the Study of Religions Department

“Adivasi religions in indigenous India: dialogues with the Divine”

Workshop announcement

UCC, 1 – 2 Oct 2012

With Lidia Guzy (UCC), Ülo Valk (U. of Tartu, Estonia), Greg Alles (McDaniel College, USA), Uwe Skoda (U. of Aarhus).

More details here.

South-East Asia as a Crossroads for Buddhist Exchange:
pioneer European Buddhists and Asian Buddhist networks 1860-1960

 Study of Religions Department, University College Cork, Ireland
13-15 September 2012

Full details of this conference are now available on its website here.

A gender ARC seminar: Gender, spirituality, politics and society

Hosted by Gender, discourse, identities cluster of Gender ARC and Global Women’s Studies, School of Political Science and Sociology

Moore Institute Seminar Room, NUIG, Galway

Wed June 27, 12 – 2 pm


Nikky Guninder-Singh (Crawford Family Prof of Religion, Colby College, Maine)
“Constesting subjectivities: a feminist interpretation of Sikh scripture”

Rita O’Donoghue (Irish Studies, NUI Galway)
“The profane vs the sacred: women, priests, and other-worldly forces in the archives of the National Folklore Collection”

Eilis Ward (Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway)
“Ethics, gender and vulnerability: a perspective from Buddhist thought”

Vesna Malesevic (Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway)
“Secularisation, de-secularisation, neo-secularisation: recent debates in the sociology of religion”

Moderator: Niamh Reilly, Global Women’s Studies, NUI Galway

All welcome!

Please rsvp gillian.browne AT

Irish Network for Studies in Buddhism
“Forum for emerging scholarship on Buddhism”

Saturday, 9th June 2012, Dublin (location TBC)

All emerging scholars with a focus on Buddhism are asked to consider submitting a paper to the Forum.  Without being prescriptive or exhaustive, scholars may address issues of inter-religious, philosophical, sociological, theological, theoretical, etc., interest in relation to Buddhism.  The purpose of the Forum is to assist ‘emerging’ scholars of Buddhism as they set out on their academic journeys, even if Buddhism is not their main specialization.


13th April                   deadline for proposed papers, i.e., abstracts, in hardcopy and electronic format (400 words maximum)

25th May (Friday)      acceptance of final paper (in hardcopy and electronically) for distribution to other participants

Send to:


All emerging/new/young scholars of Buddhism are invited to submit proposals. The selection committee does not guarantee to accept all proposals. At the Seminar, participants are asked to ‘speak to’ their paper rather than read it. The time-frame for speaking to one’s paper is 10-15 minutes, with time allowed for questioning and discussion. Participants do not have to be members of the Network, though they are welcome to join it.

Launch of the Zaki Badawi collection on Islam and the Middle East:
lecture by Prof Tariq Ramadan (Oxford)

UCC, Boole Lecture Theatre 2, May 24th

The late Dr Mohammed Zaki Badawi KBE as Chief Imam of the London Central Mosque and founder of the Muslim College in London made important contributions to the development of British and European Islam. In addition, he was a strong advocate and passionate practitioner of interfaith dialogue.

The substantial Arabic library of Dr Badawi has been given to the University College Cork Library on an indefinite loan. The acquisition of the ‘Zaki Badawi Collection’ provides Ireland with a unique research facility. The University College Cork Library now possesses the most comprehensive and extensive collection of Arabic books on Islam and the Middle East in Ireland to be used both by academic researchers and the public. The collection also provides an opportunity for researchers and the public to study the life and works of Dr Badawi and to honour his immense contributions to Islam in Britain and Europe as a whole.

Emerging perspectives: religion and Ireland
ISASR first conference, May 25-26 2012, UCC

The first conference of the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions (ISASR) was held at UCC on May 25 – 26 2012. Further details here.

Ireland’s first research post in Buddhist studies

UCC Study of Religions has announced the appointment of Dr Phibul Choompolpaisal as a postdoctoral research fellow, funded by the Dhammakaya Foundation. Dr Choompolpaisal will be conducting research in Ireland and Thailand and is organising an international conference for September in UCC on the early history (late 19th – early 20th century) of modern Buddhism.

Other events

  • UCC hosted an event on “Islam in Ireland: past, present and future” on February 18 2012. More details, including the full programme, are available here.
  • UCD hosted a symposium on “Religion, toleration and coexistence: an historical dialogue” on September 1 – 2, 2011. More details, including the full programme, are available here.
  • The “Irish Research Network on Alternative Spiritualities and New Religions” (IRNAS) was launched by Olivia Cosgrove on March 30th, 2011. More details about the network here.
  • The newly published Ireland’s New Religious Movements (eds. Olivia Cosgrove, Laurence Cox, Carmen Kuhling, Peter Mulholland) was launched by Marion Bowman (Head of Dept. of Religious Studies, Open University) on March 30th, 2011 in the Gutter Bookshop, Temple Bar, with a talk on “Contemporary Celticity”.
  • The ISASR was launched on February 19th, 2011 at UCC, concurrently with “Dhammaloka Day”, an international research symposium on the life of U Dhammaloka, an Irishman who was one of the first western Buddhist monks. Further details of the event, including a video introduction, are available at this site.