Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften

DORISEA Conference "Kaleidoscopes of Religion: Southeast Asia and Beyond"

  • Wann 23.01.2015 00:00 bis 25.01.2015 23:55
  • iCal

Kaleidoscopes of Religion: Southeast Asia and Beyond

International Conference










In global comparison, Southeast Asia stands out as a region marked by a particularly diverse religious landscape: various “ethnic religions” interact with so-called “world religions”, all which find representation in the region. From the popularity of Thai ghost movies in Malaysian cinemas to the growth of the so-called halal industry, it is clear that sweeping modernization in the region has not been accompanied by processes of secularization as predicted by classic modernization theory. Yet the diversity of cosmological ideas and practices present in the region raises the question as to how these phenomena have been interpreted, classified and regulated in the wake of colonialism, nation-state building and globalization: from the purification of “animist” elements to the categorization of ancestor worship as “tradition”, research into Southeast Asian conceptualizations of “religion” reveal that these have both absorbed and contested concepts of “religion” emerging from the context of European modernity.

Over the past three years, the research network “Dynamics of Religion in Southeast Asia” has carried out empirical, historical and comparative research into different manifestations of “religion” and its various “others” - including “secularism”, “animism” and “tradition”. Sociologists, anthropologists, linguists and historians have explored how “religion” is materially and discursively constructed in various Southeast Asian contexts, including in Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand.

With the conference "Kaleidoscopes of Religion: Southeast Asia and Beyond", the research network wishes to engage with scholars who have worked on “religion” beyond the Southeast Asian region by focusing on three thematic fields: religion and politics, religion and media, and religion and space. Ultimately, the aim is to discuss whether there is a particular quality to the “religious” – and, maybe more importantly, to the study of the “religious” – in the region, and if so, what that would be and how insights from Southeast Asia can contribute to stimulate broader theoretical debates on religion.



Dates: 23 January - 24 January 2015


Location: Festsaal an der Luisenstr. 56, Humboldt-Universtät zu Berlin

Luisenstr. 56, 10117 Berlin

For information about the building itself, click here (German) or here (English).


Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

BMBF-funded Network of Competence "Dynamics of Religion in Southeast Asia" (DORISEA)




Registration (Deadline: 12 December 2015)


If you have any queries or requests, please contact us via:


For further information about DORISEA, please visit: and