The 6th SRP Distinguished Lecture and Symposium will focus on current and emerging trends in the way that religious actors operate in an era where there appears to be a greater trend of the conflation of religion and nationalism, as well as serious challenges posed by religion to secularism. Focusing on Southeast, East, and South Asia, but with an eye to wider global flows and influences, the way that religious traditions may seek domination or control, either through political means or violence, will frame the discussions.
Professor Mark Juergensmeyer is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Global Studies, Affiliate Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, and Founding Director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a prolific writer and speaker who deals with religion and politics and has written or edited over 30 books, including Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence, Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State, and the Oxford Handbook of Global Religion. His most recent books are God at War: A Meditation on Religion and Warfare and When God Stops Fighting: How Religious Violence Ends. He has been president of the American Academy of Religion, received the Grawemeyer Award for his study of religious violence, and has received three honorary doctorate degrees. He serves as the general editor of the Oxford University Press handbooks of religion online. He regularly appears in the media to share his views in The Huffington Post, The Globalist, Religion Dispatches, The Immanent Frame, YaleGlobal Online, BBC, CNN, and NPR news media, among others.
Professor Rajeev Bhargava is a Professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi. He has been a Professor at the Centre for Political Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and between 2001 and 2005 was Head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Delhi. He is a Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Social Justice, ACU, Sydney and an Honorary Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford. He has been a Fellow at Harvard University, University of Bristol, the Institute of Advanced Studies in Jerusalem, the Institute of Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, and the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. He has also been a Distinguished Resident Scholar at the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life, at Columbia University, and Asia Chair at Sciences Po, Paris. Bhargava has held visiting professorships at several universities, and his publications include Individualism in Social Science (1992), What is Political Theory and Why Do We Need It? (2010), and The Promise of India’s Secular Democracy (2010). His edited works are Secularism and Its Critics (1998) and Politics and Ethics of the Indian Constitution (2008). His work on secularism and methodological individualism is internationally acclaimed. He has contributed to the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Oxford Handbook of Political Theory. Bhargava is on the advisory board of several national and international institutions, and was a consultant for the UNDP report on cultural liberty. He received his BA in economics from the University of Delhi, and MPhil and DPhil from Oxford University.
Dr Ahmad Suaedy is Dean of the Faculty of Islamic Archipelago (Islam Nusantara Faculty) at Nahdlatul Ulama University of Indonesia (UNUSIA), Jakarta. He is concurrently a member of the Religious Moderation Team in Indonesia’s Ministry of Religion. Apart from these, Suaedy is also Founder and former Executive Director of the Wahid Institute; Founder and former Director of the Abdurrahman Wahid Center at the University of Indonesia; Founder and Director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Islam, UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta; and a Visiting Researcher at the Research and Innovation National Agency of Indonesia. He was previously a member of the Ombudsman of the Republic of Indonesia between 2016 and 2021. Suaedy’s research interests include minority rights, Islamic politics, social inclusion, conflict and reconciliation, social movements, and separatism movements.
Professor Lily Kong is the fifth President of Singapore Management University (SMU), and Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor of Social Sciences. Before joining SMU, she was a faculty member at the National University of Singapore’s Department of Geography for nearly 25 years. She also held various senior management roles at the National University of Singapore, including Dean (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences), and Director, Asia Research Institute. An award-winning researcher and teacher, Professor Kong has received five international fellowship awards including the Commonwealth Fellowship Award and the Fulbright Fellowship Award. She has also won the Robert Stoddard Award from the Association of American Geographers for her contributions to the study of religion. In 2006, Professor Kong was conferred the Public Administration Medal (Silver). Professor Kong is widely known for her research on urban transformations, and social and cultural change in Asia. In particular, she has published a large body of work on religion, cultural policy and creative economy, urban heritage and conservation, and national identity. She is on a dozen editorial boards of international journals in her field and is frequently invited as keynote speaker to conferences in her domain.