The 3rd SRP Executive Programme provides critical knowledge on the crucial role of religion in society, in various facets of life in plural settings and in relation to extremism and peace. It is aimed at professionals in the areas of community development, defence, education, humanitarian relief work, international relations, religious leadership and security. The programme’s aims are practical and it uses case studies drawn from real situations for discussion. Building on what have been achieved in the Executive Programmes in 2015 and 2016, this third run will follow the pattern of the last two by covering the broad theme of Religion, Violence and Peacebuilding, with a specific focus on ethno-religious nationalism and populism.
By the end of the programme, participants will have:
• A sound introduction to the nature of contemporary populism as it relates to religion in a global context and its potential affect on Singapore.
• A solid awareness of some of the variety of ethno-religious nationalism in Southeast Asia and around the globe.
• An appreciation of different forms of secularism and how that relates to the management of religion in global and local contexts.
• Knowledge of models of good practice and practical examples of how religious harmony and co-existence can be developed in situations of inter-religious and ethno-religious conflict and tension.
• Links to networks and resources that participants can harness after completion of the programme.
• Seminar-based programme where participants engage international experts and members of the SRP Programme and S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) faculty with backgrounds in the study of religion, politics, security, conflict resolution, international relations, peacebuilding and dialogue.
• Direct engagement with how global and regional issues affect Singapore and its context.
• Engagement with a number of Southeast Asian religions and models of secularism.
• Dialogue and networking opportunities with local apex religious and community leaders as well as opportunities for participants to share experiences.
• Exploration of policy and reconciliation issues in managing diversity.
Participants will explore the following themes:
Global Impact and Spread of Ethno-Religious Nationalism: An exploration of ethno-religious nationalisms across a range of religions, with particular focus on the impact on Southeast Asia –
• Effects of European and American religio-political trends on Southeast Asia.
• Understanding types of ethno-religious nationalism and global trends.
• The way religion interacts with ethnicity and nationalism.
Religion, Secularism and Populism: An understanding of how religion relates to secular societies, with a particular focus on Southeast Asia and also in relation to ethno-religious nationalism –
• Clarifying concepts and meanings of secularism and the relation of this to religion.
• Exploring examples of how specific religions relate to secularism in chosen case studies.
• The dynamic relationship between populism and secular and religious concepts.
Reconciliation and Dialogue in Situations of Ethno-Religious Nationalism: A survey of how the impact of ethno-religious nationalism be mitigated in social contexts –
• Case studies of good practice.
• Southeast Asian examples and contexts.
• The role of inter-religious dialogue and work for reconciliation.