Religion in Diverse Public Space


Religion in Diverse Public Space

Zoom 15-16.4.2021

The Seminar Recordings: Keynote: Ragna Lillevik: Addressing “bad religion”. Panel Discussion in Finnish: Uskontolukutaito viranomaistyössä

Doctoral Candidate Helmi Halonen wrote a blogtext of the event (in Finnish).


13.15-14.45  Keynote
Dr. Sabrina Pastorelli, Centre Maurice Halbwachs:
Religion in the Public Space: French Debates
Response by Research Coordinator Johanna Konttori

14.45-16.15  Break

16.15-17.30  Panel discussion (in Finnish) Uskontolukutaito viranomaistyössä 
Keskustelemassa Sini Paukkunen ulkoministeriöstä, kotoutumisen ja yhdenvertaisuuden asiantuntija Nexhat Beqiri ja tutkijatohtori Maija Butters
Puheenjohtajana yliopistotutkija Tuomas Martikainen


10.15-11.45  Keynote
Dr. Ragna Lillevik, Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research:
Addressing “bad religion”: policy aims and practices for reshaping conservative attitudes through civil society engagement
Response by University Researcher Tuomas Martikainen

11.45-13.15  Lunch break

13.15-15.00  Research seminar (in Finnish)
Alustamassa Helsingin yliopiston väitöskirjatutkijat
Katri Karhunen: Hijab ja työasu sosiaali- ja terveysalan työpaikoilla Suomessa
Helmi Halonen: Uskontolukutaidon merkitys Maahanmuuttoviraston turvapaikkatyössä
Karin Creutz: Uskontolukutaidon merkitys turvallisuusalalla
Kommentoimassa tutkijatohtori Tuomas Äystö

Keynote abstracts


Religion in the Public Space: French Debates

Starting from data on religiosity in France and especially migrants’ religiosity, we will analyze how a peculiar conception of the laïcité can lead to the religious illiteracy of the French context. A legal and historical overview of the secular state will introduce the French model of management of religion in the public space. An analysis of the recent debates on the new bill of law on “the respect of the Republican principles” – generally indicated as a bill against separatism – will allow to give some insights of the more recent political and societal debates on religion.


Addressing “bad religion”: policy aims and practices for reshaping conservative attitudes through civil society engagement

For many policy-makers and practitioners in the Nordic countries, knowledge and understanding of religious and cultural diversity have become desired assets for meeting social challenges. This is especially so when policy-makers and practitioners are faced with phenomena that are perceived as problematic religious and/or cultural practices, including practices such as forced marriage, negative social control, honor related violence and forced genital mutation (FGM). These practices are underpinned by conservative attitudes to gender roles and sexuality, which in turn correlate with religiosity and affiliation with specific religious communities, particularly (but not only) Islam (Friberg and Bjørnset 2019).

In Norway, part of the government’s strategy to address these practices, as specified in consecutive action plans, has been to re-shape attitudes and practices in communities “at risk”. In implementing this strategy, the authorities rely on civil society organizations for their knowledge and capacity for outreach to religious and ethnic minorities. In this talk, I will apply a religious literacy perspective to this field of policy as it is implemented in Norway, and ask; what types of learning about “problematic” attitudes and practices associated with conservative religion does the official strategy promote, and how do those who implement the strategy engage with religious communities or authorities to do so? (Friberg and Bjørnset (2019) Migrasjon, foreldreskap og sosial kontroll. Fafo-rapport 2019:01. Oslo: Fafo)

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