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Lecture by Dr Ala Alhourani: Islamic Aesthetics and Ethics of Giving: Sadaqah as a Moral Economy (NEW DATE)
Tue, 05 Oct 2021 - 14:30

Ala Alhourani is a lecturer in the Department for the Study of Religions at the University of Cape Town. He is a researcher in the project Islam, African Publics and Religious Values. His PhD is an anthropology of Islam that focused on performances and aesthetic formations of Muslim-ness in Cape Town and Muslim identity politics of difference and citizenship. His research interests include, Islam in Africa, Islamic Studies, postcolonial critique, aesthetic and ethics of religion, and art and material culture.

Online Seminar: The Single Marriage Bill
Tue, 10 Aug 2021 - 12:45

The Single Marriage Bill Professor Peter Danchin Professor of Law, Director of the International and Comparative Law Program and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. According to the South African Green Paper on Marriages (No 398, 4 may 2021), current marriage legislation “is a combination of legacy legislation (colonial and apartheid era) and new law that was introduced post-1994 to redress historical injustices. Instead of creating a harmonised system of marriage in SA, the State has sought to give recognition to different marriage rituals by passing a range of different marriage laws. [The Marriage Act 25 of 1961, The Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998, and The Civil Union Act 17 of 2006].” 

Online Seminar: Ethics and Islamic Intellectual Traditions (Prof M. Sani Umar)
Mon, 21 Jun 2021 - 10:45

Professor M Sani Umar

He is  a professor in the Department of History of Ahmadu  Bello University, Zaria (Nigeria). Prof Umar is the author, among  other works, of Islam and Colonialism: The Intellectual Responses  of Muslims of Northern Nigeria

Online Conference: Moral Economies of Religious Reform
Wed, 02 Jun 2021 - 12:15

The Islam, African Publics and Religious Values AND Research Institute for Christianity and Society in Africa

Moral economies have been studied as alternative forms of community in the modern world. Against particularly capitalism, they represent a different kind of community cohesion and moral responsibility. There are relatively few studies on the moral economies of religious reform. By the latter is meant concerted attempts by a prominent individual or a group to introduce significant or manifest change in a religious tradition and/or society.

Postgraduate Student FAQs
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 - 09:45

Dear Students,

With ERT Orientation starting this week, it’s likely that you have many questions and queries. All PG sectors at the University have been very active over the last weeks collating issues, queries and concerns that PG students might have or face during this uncertain period of Covid-19. The plan is for these queries – and the corresponding answers! - to find their way into PG Student FAQs that can serve as a reliable source of information for students (and staff).

The first batch of FAQs has just been released and is available here:

The FAQs are being updated as further information is curated and / or decisions have been made; they are thus a ‘living’ document.


Best wishes

Department of Religious Studies 

Lecture by A/Prof Michael J. Walsh
Thu, 12 Mar 2020 - 14:15

Michael J. Walsh is an Associate Professor at Vassar College in the Department of Religion, as well as an active member of the Asian Studies Program. He teaches courses on the cultural history of the study of religion, China’s political and socioreligious culture, methods and theories in the study of religion, Buddhism and monastic life, colonialism and religion, violence and religion, and the production of sacred space and cultural geography. His first book Sacred Economies: Buddhist Monasticism and Territoriality in Medieval China is published by Columbia University Press. His most recent book, published in February 2020, also by Columbia University Press, is Stating the Sacred: Religion, China, and the Formation of the Nation-State. He is currently working on a biography of Buddhist temple space. At the College he has served on numerous committees including the President’s Cabinet. He has also served as chair of the Religion department for four years, and Director of Asian Studies for three years. He is currently the Chair of the Religion Department.

Lecture by Dr Hermen Kroesbergen
Fri, 28 Feb 2020 - 10:45

Hermen Kroesbergen is a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow in Theology at the University of Pretoria. He studied theology at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in the Netherlands. After an MA thesis in philosophy of religion on the work of Wittgensteinian philosopher D.Z. Phillips, he obtained a PhD in systematic theology from the Protestant Theological University in the Netherlands, investigating the relationship between systematic theology and ordinary language of faith from a Wittgensteinian perspective. He served for four years as a pastor in a congregation of the Protestant church in the Netherlands, and lectured in theology, philosophy and ethics at Justo Mwale University, Lusaka, in Zambia for six years. In Zambia, he became interested in African theology and the distinctive character of African language of faith. He published widely in leading international journals in theology and philosophy of religion, and he edited four books on contemporary themes in African theology with contributions from all over Southern Africa.

Lecture by Professor Abdulkader Tayob
Wed, 19 Feb 2020 - 10:30

Abdulkader Tayob has published on Islamic activism, Muslim institutions, modern Islamic discursive traditions, and religion education in South Africa. His research has been recognized with  the prestigious Georg Forster Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. 

Lecture by Associate Professor Adam Mendelsohn
Fri, 13 Sep 2019 - 14:15

Adam Mendelsohn is Director of the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Associate Professor of Historical Studies at UCT. He is the author of the award-winning The Rag Race, and co-editor of Jews and the Civil War and of Transnational Traditions: New Perspectives on American Jewish History. He was Curator and Chief Historian of the recent exhibitions The First Jewish Americans at the New-York Historical Society and By Dawn’s Early Light at the Princeton University Museum of Art. He is co-editor of the journal American Jewish History.

Lecture by Dr Ugo Dessì (Lecture postponed to 25 September 2019)
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 - 09:45

Ugo Dessì (Ph.D. Religious Studies, 2006) is adjunct professor at the Department for the Study of Religion, Leipzig University, Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow at Cardiff University, and honorary research associate at the Department of Religious Studies, University of Cape Town. He has published widely on Shin Buddhism, including The Social Dimension of Shin Buddhism (Brill 2010), and on the interplay of Japanese Religions with global dynamics, including Japanese Religions and Globalization (Routledge 2013) and The Global Repositioning of Japanese Religions: An Integrated Approach (Routledge 2017). His last book Religioni e globalizzazione. Un’introduzione (Carocci 2019) focuses on religions under globalization in comparative perspective. He is currently conducting ethnographic research on East-Asian Buddhism in South Africa.

Lecture by Professor Amina Wadud
Thu, 15 Aug 2019 - 09:45


Emeritus Prof Amina Wadud is a scholar of Islamic Studies and has authored the pioneering texts “Quran and Woman” and “Inside the Gender Jihad”. In addition to her critical scholarly contributions, Prof Wadud  has also been centrally involved in a number of international activist social networks for gender equality and social reform in Muslim societies. She is a founding member of ”Sisters in Islam” an activist organisation started in 1987 in  Malaysia, as well as a central resource person for “Musawah," a global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family. Prof Wadud is also known as the “Lady Imam” in light of her revolutionary role as a contemporary religious  authority. This role as a Muslim religious leader was publicly initiated in Cape Town in her landmark 1994 Friday khutbah (sermon) at Claremont Main Road Mosque.