Religion and the State: International experts explore the political dimensions of religion

Date: 17/07/2009

The University of Western Sydney is set to host a conference of international experts that will explore the global links and relationships between politics and religion.

The 'Religion and the State: Regional and Global Perspectives' conference, sponsored by the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, will be held at the UWS Parramatta campus from 17-18 July, 2009.

Associate Professor Adam Possamai, from the UWS School of Social Sciences, says the conference will delve into a wide range of interesting and topical issues.

"From the right to religious liberty in communist countries to the boundaries between Church and State in Australia, all over the world there is evidence of relationships between religion and the political state," says Associate Professor Possamai.

"By understanding the roles that religion plays in social, intellectual and political life, we are in a better position to anticipate the influence that established religions may have upon our collective futures."

The two-day 'Religion and the State' conference will feature presentations from an esteemed group of Australian and international experts in the fields of Social Sciences and Theology.

Featured presentations will include:

* Professor Jack Barbalet, from the School of Social Sciences at UWS, will explore the relationships between religion, family structure, and the political state in China.

* Dr Doug Porpora, University of Drexel, USA, will examine President George W. Bush's use of religious language to frame America's war on terror, as well as the mainstream secular reaction to the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

* Professor James Beckford, University of Warwick, UK, will discuss the provision of religious and spiritual care to prisoners in the USA and Western Europe.

* Professor Michael Hill, National University of Singapore, will present on the topic of the changing policies towards religion in Singapore.

* Emeritus Professor Riaz Hassan, Flinders University, will discuss the nature of Islam as a blueprint for social order which encompasses all areas of life including law and the state.



Media Officer

Danielle Roddick
02 9678 7086, 0414 308 701