COPENHAGEN COLLOQUIUM ON CHILDREN AND RELIGION
18-19 May 2011
Department of Education and MindLab Aarhus University
Aarhus University (Copenhagen Campus - Danish School of Education), Denmark
The study of children and religion is currently on the rise. This is in part due to renewed interest in cognitive and relational approaches to religious learning and transmission, which enlist the help of children as experimental informants, or study children as participants in real-life religious rituals. This is also partly due to renewed controversy among governments, religious communities, educators and other stakeholders over the place of religion, faith-based identities and affiliations in children’s lives. Present scholarship on children and religion is thus not only scattered widely across disciplines and departments, it is also divergently focused on questions of cognition and spirituality and the cultural politics of morality, education, identity, affiliation and rights.The purpose of this colloquium is to bring together international scholars to engage in a common discussion about the ‘relationship’ between children and religion and the ways in which scholars study this relationship. Which understandings of ‘children’ are informing contemporary studies of religion, spirituality and cognition – and which understandings of ‘religion’ are informing contemporary studies of children and youth in diverse settings?
The colloquium will address the following themes:
1) Religious ideas and practices pertaining to children, and how these serve to shape children’s lives.2) The ways in which children—as social actors, learners, symbols of collective futurity - shape religion.3) Understandings of ‘children’ and ‘religion’ brought into play in research on children and religion and how these feed back into understandings and practices discussed above.
Armin W. Geertz, Professor in the History of Religion, MindLab, Aarhus UniversityChristina Toren, Professor of Anthropology, St. Andrews UniversityCristine Legare, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Texas, AustinMarcia J. Bunge, Professor of Humanities and Theology, Valparaiso UniversityMichael Allen, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, University of Sydney
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