REGENN Research Week 2024 with dr Kim Knibbe as Keynote Speaker

Join us for the REGENN Research Week 2024, from Sunday, January 7th to Thursday, January 11th, hosted at the historic Emmaus monastery in Helvoirt. We extend a warm invitation to all those interested in the intersection of religion and gender.

This event is designed to accommodate junior and senior researchers in theology and religious studies, university lecturers, and those engaged in pastoral and spiritual care. The REGENN Research Week offers a unique platform for you to delve into your research projects, engage in discussions, and share insights into your current work or future research endeavours. It’s also a golden opportunity to engage in reading, studying, deep reflection, networking, and learning from the rich tapestry of diverse projects presented.

The Research Week registration fee is €335 for the entire week or €30 per day. This fee includes lunch and dinner daily.

Our keynote speaker: dr Kim Knibble

We’re excited to announce that dr Kim Knibbe will be the keynote speaker on Wednesday, 10 January 2024, from 15:30-17:00 CET of Research Week. Her topic will be “Religion, Privacy and Play: Reflections on studying contemporary religion beyond the culture wars. “

Dr Kim Knibbe

Introduction to prof Knibble’s topic

Recent decades have seen a resurgence in the visibility of religion in the public sphere. This has been a very welcome stimulus for renewed attention to religion in the social sciences and the study of religion. As a scholar standing at the intersection of anthropology, sociology and gender studies (from where I do something that might be called ‘ the study of religion’), I approach the question of what happens when we reverse the focus on religion on the public domain and instead take ‘the private domain’ as a starting point. As Mahmood, Scott and many others (some present here) have shown, many of the controversies generated time and again in the public sphere are caused by the fact that religion’s location in the private domain has bound it closely to the most intimate and personal dimensions of life: gender, sexuality, relationships, and the institutions and laws that shape them such as kinship and marriage. Much of the effort of scholars studying the intersections of religion, gender and sexuality has been dedicated to creating the conceptual space to study these intersections from a framework ‘ beyond the culture wars, where religion is often automatically assumed to be conservative and the secular progressive, showing how female religious agency calls into questions secular feminist conceptions of agency. In the background of such efforts is a long history of feminist and other critical scholarship critiquing and deconstructing the public/private division and the corresponding secular/religious division as an instrument of societal arrangements that privilege the concerns of some groups as worthy of public consideration and debate while excluding those of others as merely private concerns. But is this public-private division always ‘ bad’? In current societal debates, privacy is a major concern and is seen as one of the preconditions for what, for want of a better word, one might call ‘freedom’. In this contribution, I will explore what another view of the public-private division may bring us in studying religion ‘ beyond the culture wars’. 

More about the main speaker

Kim Knibbe is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology of Religion at Groningen University. In her research, she is always fascinated by what people consider ‘given’ and what they consider ‘human-made’ and how they negotiate between these two domains. These questions come together in the thematic area of religion, gender and sexuality. Between 2016 and 2022, she directed the project “Sexuality, Religion and Secularism” (funded by NWO, the Dutch Foundation for Scientific Research), which provided a home to two PhD projects and one post-doctoral research, as well as numerous student research projects. Previous research focused on Catholicism and spirituality in the Netherlands and Nigerian Pentecostalism in Europe and the Netherlands. She has also published a series of theoretical and methodological reflections on the anthropological study of religion.

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