Centre for the Study of Religion and Culture in Asia

at Oude Boteringestraat 38, Groningen, 9712 GK Netherlands

The Centre is the intellectual home for scholars interested to discuss social functions and discursive identities of religion in Asia, past and present.

Centre for the Study of Religion and Culture in Asia
Oude Boteringestraat 38
Groningen 9712 GK
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The newly established Centre for the Study of Religion and Culture in Asia builds on the successful work of the Institute of Indian Studies that the Department of Comparative Study of Religion had hosted since 1953. With the establishment of the new Centre, the focus shifts from the historical and philological study of Hinduism to the interdisciplinary investigation of religions, culture and history of Asia. The Centre contributes to the collaborative research program “Religion on the Ground: Practices and Discourses in Social Transformation” by researching religion as a culturally and socially embedded phenomenon and studying the dynamics between ideas, practices and identities. The Centre will then contribute to the RUG Research Area "Sustainable Society"; it will also enrich the strategic component of Asian studies at the RUG through collaboration with the Centre for East Asian Studies Groningen. This Centre has been envisioned as a research centre, the intellectual home for the members of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies who do research on religion and culture of Asia and the research students of the same Faculty who are writing their dissertations on similar topics; the Centre also welcomes members of other Faculties within RUG as well as from other institutions to be associate fellows. The guiding principle of the Centre is that only constructive dialogue and cooperation among scholars can advance knowledge. In line with this, the Centre is meant to offer a venue and occasions for scholars from various institutions in the world to gather, exchange views, combine different methodologies and approaches, revise and innovate theories and methods in the field, and contribute to produce interdisciplinary academic scholarship. The results of the research work conducted in the Centre are delivered in seminars and conferences, and published in peer-reviewed journals and monographs. Director: Dr. Stefania Travagnin

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The Centre welcomes two new members who will join the Groningen team in September! Ms. Jing Jing 景晶, PhD student at Beijing University, will spend one academic year at the Centre with Dr. Stefania Travagnin as supervisor, thanks to the Erasmus Mundus mobility grant; Ms. Jing focuses on relations/tensions between Buddhism and politics in the 5th-6th century China. And Dr. Andrew Wormald will start a two-year postdoc, thanks to the generous Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for the International Exchange postdoctoral fellowship; Dr. Wormald's research topic is "Chinese Buddhist Meditation: Religion and Modernity in Republican Era China (1912-1949)."