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The Grand Course 2021 (Amsterdam, 3-5 November 2021, 2 EC) will address the theme of religious heritage. The Course consists of a masterclass with Professor dr. Marian Burchardt and the NGG Conference “Religion and Heritage: Futures for Religious Pasts”. Please note that it is possible to earn 3 extra credits for this event by writing a paper related to this theme. It is possible (not mandatory) to submit an abstract directly to NGG, deadline 15 July 2021. See the call for papers for more information. If your abstract is accepted, you will have the opportunity to present your paper to an international audience. If it is not accepted, however, you can still finish your paper and submit it for extra credits for the Grand Course.

Please be reminded that participation in both the masterclass and the conference is mandatory to earn credits. If you wish to participate in the conference only, please register directly at NGG – this is not an option offered by NOSTER. Registration for the Grand Course will open in due course. This announcement serves to allow you to submit your abstract in time, present your paper at the conference, and earn extra credits along the way. For this event, a maximum number of 20 participants applies, with a preference for those who have successfully submitted a paper proposal for the conference.

About the masterclass:
Marian Burchardt is a professor of sociology at the University of Leipzig and will deliver a keynote lecture at the conference. During the masterclass, we will discuss (parts of) his recent book Regulating Differences: Religious Diversity and Nationhood in the Secular West (2020), which is available in many university libraries as an e-book. The book explores how the state regulates religious diversity and examines the processes whereby religious diversity and expression becomes part of the administrative landscapes of nation-states and people’s everyday lives. Arguing that concepts of nationhood are key to understanding the governance of religious diversity, demonstrates how processes of nation-building, religious heritage-making and the mobilization of divergent interpretations of secularism are co-implicated in shaping religious diversity.

About the conference:
This NGG conference invites reflection on the intertwinements of religion and heritage. The conference explores a number of pressing issues, inquiring what futures may lie ahead for the religious pasts that emerge, for instance, in the contexts of ongoing de-churching in Europe, or past and present Christian mission activities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific. What happens when religion is reframed as heritage? The conference aims to engage a variety of actors, including scholars, religious communities, heritage professionals, institutions and policy-makers as to allow for discussions along with a variety of registers, e.g. political, religious, cultural, historical.


  • 03 Nov 2021
  • 04 Nov 2021
  • 05 Nov 2021