Skip to main content

Global 'Religion': Invention, Translation, Critique

On June 3, 2022 the GRP group is hosting a symposium at Northwestern entitled “Global ‘Religion’: Invention, Translation, Critique. Like our spring 2019 workshop, it will take place under the aegis of our WCCIAS research group, Global Religion & Politics.

This symposium will focus on how the category of religion has been received, translated, criticized, and transformed beyond its European “homeland.” This is crucial for understanding how this category, with its contested and multivocal intonations and its porous and fluctuating boundaries, has become global, mobile, and multivocal. This occurred first under colonialism and subsequently through the flows of capital, in the media, via transnational religious authorities, racialized governance practices, and through international law. These flows are however not a series of one-way streets leading outwards from Europe or North America, though they are often treated as such.

With this in mind, this workshop seeks to frame a new conversation about the translations, inventions, resistances to, and appropriations of the category of religion that are taking place outside or on the margins of Euro-America. In particular, we intend to listen closely to and learn from voices and perspectives that are typically drowned out by governmental attempts to find and support “peaceful” religion and suppress “intolerant” religion. The symposium brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars whose work engages either with legal, political, and intellectual contexts beyond Europe and North America or with minoritized populations and practices in those regions. 

This event will take place under the aegis of the Global Religion & Politics Research Group, housed in the Weinberg College Center for International and Area Studies at Northwestern. We hope to introduce a new “post-pandemic” cohort of faculty, graduate students, and colleagues from Northwestern and from other institutions to our Group’s attempt to build community around shared research interests while advancing the conversation on non-Western perspectives in the study of religion.

For more information please refer to the event's website and contact the organizers Brannon Ingram (, Elizabeth Shakman Hurd (, and/or graduate assistant Nathalia Justo (