Religion, mobility and place: training and developing innovative theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of religion in Europe

Project leader: Professor Andre Droogers, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Netherlands)

This capacity building project was coordinated from the Free University of Amsterdam (Netherland), and brought together four of the NORFACE projects:

  • Transnational Southern Pentecostal Churches, Networks and Believers in Three Northern Countries: a Potential and Potent Social Force
    Project leader: Professor Andreas Droogers, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • Gender, National and Religious Diversity in Force at European Pilgrimage Sites
    Project leader: Professor Wilhelmina Jansen, Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands)
  • “Recognizing Christianity”: How African Immigrants Redefine the European Religious Heritage
    Project leader: Dr Ramon Sarró, University of Lisbon (Portugal)
  • Islam as a Social Force in Europe: Islamic fashion and the Politics of Presence
    Project leader: Professor Annelies Moors, Universiteit van Amsterdam (Netherlands)

The programme headed by Professor Droogers encompassed early career researchers and project leaders from four Relemerge Projects and seven countries – UK, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland and Portugal. The focus of the activities within this group was the development of methodological skills and theoretical insights in dialogue with other fieldworkers as well as the establishment of strong networks.

This project gave rise to four activities, including three summer/winter schools:

  • Amsterdam, three days, December 2008
  • Nijmegen, three days, June 2009
  • Utrecht, three days, February 2010

A special follow-up meeting was held to organize a special issue of a journal in which both senior and early-stage researchers were to be involved. In addition, some surplus funds were redirected toward funding of two Nijmegen-based postgraduate students.

The programmes of these conferences can be found here . The summer/ winter schools covered methodological issues and interdisciplinary practices as well as various substantive topics. The Utrecht meeting had a special focus on career development for early career researchers, with two invited experts who advised on presentation skills and grant writing. This network functioned as a direct outgrowth of the of the NORFACE Religion Programme. A clear priority was given to integrating early-stage researchers into activities, and providing them with both substantive and transferable skills.