Religious Studies Programme, Victoria University of Wellington

The Victoria University Religious Studies Programme is the largest religious studies programme in the country and includes experts in a wide range of different traditions (Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism), themes (death, religions in New Zealand, religion and the body, violence and religion), and approaches to the study of religion (psychological, anthropological, theological, historical, textual, phenomenological and sociological). The Programme at Victoria University explores the complexity and diversity of the contemporary and historical forms of religion. For more information, visit the Religious Studies Programme website.

Projects 2012
Religion and the Media

The Programme, in conjunction with the Human Rights Commission and in consultation with faith communities and the media, will develop a statement on religion and the media, following a forum on the subject at the 2010 New Zealand Diversity Forum.

Young People of Faith Workshop

The Programme will work with the NZ National Commission for UNESCO and the Human Rights Commission to bring together a group of young people with affiliations to religious communities to start a conversation and foster discussion and debate about their experiences of media, local national, and community. Entitled “My Voice: My Reflection”, the workshop will take place in Auckland on 12 February. 

UNESCO Chair in Interreligious Understanding and Relations

Professor Paul Morris holds a personal position as UNESCO Chair in Interreligious Understanding and Relations. The position is focused on religious diversity in New Zealand and the Pacific, and forms part of a, which is part of a global network of UNESCO chairs. Work in 2012 will include the publication of a monograph on Democracy, Diversity and Dialogue, and work on post colonial religions with respect to the Pacific.

Centre for the Study of Islam and Muslim Cultures

The Programme, in conjunction with Otago University, operates the New Zealand Centre for the Study of Islam and Muslim Cultures. The Centre’s programme for 2011 includes a publication on The Place of Islam in the Modern University, and a series of public lectures on contemporary Islam available at both Victoria and Otago Universities. The Centre will also offer a number of courses on Islamic topics. New appointments in 2012 include a research fellow at Victoria specialising in Islam in South East Asia, and a Senior Lecturer in Islam at Otago University.

Visit the Centre for the Study of Islam and Muslim Cultures.

Religious Diversity Forum

The Programme will co-host the annual religious diversity forum at the New Zealand Diversity Forum in Auckland on 20 August 2012. Previous forums have focused on the development of the Statement on Religious Diversity (2006), religion and schools (2007), the safety of religious minorities and freedom from discrimination (2008), religion and the workplace (2009), religion and the media (2010) and the state and religion (2011).. Each forum from 2007 has focused on a particular statement from the Statement on Religious Diversity, followed by further dialogue and (in most cases) the production of guidelines.

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