Religion State and Society Research Network

The Religion, State and Society (RSS) Network is made up of academics and postgraduate students primarily from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS). Inter alia, the RSS Network aims to deepen and expand the existing cross-disciplinary research collaborations between academics and students based at various Departments and Schools within the FASS who are engaged in research on religion, state and society relations in Muslim-majority states and the Muslim diaspora. Academics associated with the RSS Network hail from various disciplines and include area specialists covering the major regions in the Muslim World (Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia) and beyond (Europe and Australia), as well as experts in theology, security , socio-cultural , feminist and governance.

Since the formation of the Religion, State and Society (RSS) Network in 2011, four major symposiums, seminars, workshops, forums, joint publications, book launches, a film festival and many other public events have been successfully organised. Through the years, the RSS Network has received various university (Faculty of Arts Collaborative Research Scheme) and external grants from the Australia and Malaysia Institute and the Council of Australian Arab Relations.

Religion, far from being sidelined from the political sphere in the twenty-first century, has become integral to the very conversation of how democracy, citizenship, gender and social justice can be embedded within an inclusive wasatiyyah (middle path) discourse that is rooted within the socio-cultural and political sensibilities of the Muslim world.

An international symposium entitled, ‘Cultures of Freedom and Contending Visions of Justice and Governance: Voices from the Arab and Muslim World’ will be organized from 9-11 April 2015 at the University of Sydney.