viser politikk og religion i ulike former

MF CASR Religion and Politics Festival 2019

Is Brexit informed by Christian values? Why was Modi re-elected in India? How did religion sanction political authority in pre-modern Scandinavia? Why did Trump pass the ‘Muslim ban’? Will the radical right be the new caretakers of Christian identity? What is political theology?


06.09.2019 - 09:00 to 20:00

Our events are open to all; admission is free, but seating may be limited.

On 6 September MF CASR welcomes you to a one-day Religion & Politics Festival in Oslo. Throughout the day, distinguished scholars and PhD students from the UK, the US and Norway will share their insights and reflect on various aspects of the religion-politics nexus. These sessions will be held at MF vitenskapelig høyskole at Majorstuen (next to Chateau Neuf).

Panels are topical, ranging from pre-modern Scandinavia to contemporary India. Each panel consists of short presentations by individual scholars, followed by panel discussions and Q&A from the audience.

The festival culminates in the first MF CASR Annual Lecture, held by Prof. Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, at Litteraturhuset, 18:00 -20:00.

Our events are open to all; admission is free, but seating may be limited.

MF is a culturally diverse academic institution, with students and staff from across the globe. The Festival program will be in both English and Norwegian; panels are announced in their respective languages.


Festival program

(the program may be subject to changes)

Welcome by Iselin Frydenlund (Director MF CASR)

Guest lecture by James Crossley (St. Mary’s University, London)
“Use of Bible and Christian theology in contemporary politics”.

Chair: Jan-Olav Henriksen (Chair, MF CASR)
Respondent: Hilde Brekke Møller (MF)


Panel 1: Global perspectives on religion & politics
Elections in the US, India and Myanmar show that religious nationalism easily can be drawn upon in electoral politics. In what ways do specific notions of the ‘religious’ and the ‘secular’ inform electoral politics in diverse contexts? How can we explain the successes of religious nationalism in the US, India and Myanmar? To what extent do anti-Muslim activism inform electoral campaigns across the globe? In this panel, we make bold attempts at comparisons across regions and religious traditions.

Participants: Elizabeth Shakman Hurd (NU), Kathinka Frøystad (UiO), Iselin Frydenlund (MF).
Chair: Lars Laird Iversen (MF)

Lunch with music!

Lunch is provided for all presenters. Refreshments will be served to audience/participants.

Panel 2: Politisk teologi
I de siste årene har mange, også langt utenfor teologenes rekker, fattet interessen for politisk teologi.  I dag skriver militante marxister bibelkommentarer om Paulus’ brev, kristne teologer skriver om marxistiske Jesus, og italienske filosofer hevder at de finner spor av treenigheten i kapitalismen. Alle disse ønsker å utfordre et enkelt skille mellom det teologiske og det politiske. Hvorfor er det slik? I dette panelet skal vi utforske dette voksende feltet innenfor politisk teologi og snakke om hvilke konsekvenser det kan ha for teologiens rolle i dagens samfunn.

Deltakere: Ragnar Misje Begem (MF), Marion Grau (MF), Ole-Jacob Løland (TF).
Chair: Sturla Stålsett (MF).


13:45 -14:45
Panel 3: Religious legitimation of political authority: Historical perspectives
A sharp distinction between religion and politics is alien to pre-modern and early modern societies. In the Christian tradition, political authority and political action often drew on religious legitimation, and religious authorities have had the political power to a degree that seems strange and perhaps illegitimate with modern eyes. This panel offers examples of religious legitimation of political authority and action from three areas of Scandinavian history: Denmark in the high middle ages, Sweden in the century of Protestant Reformation, and Norway around 1814 when the country got its constitution inspired by liberal enlightenment ideas.

Participants: Kristin B. Aavitsland (MF), Laura-Marie Mork (MF), Jostein Garcia de Presno (Volda).
Chair: John W. Kaufman (MF)

Short break

Panel 4: Nation-builders and religion - a love/hate relationship?
Right-wing populists have used religion in an attempt to define their various nations, often in contrast to migrated Muslims. However, the idea that national societies are based on religious values and religious cultural heritage is shared by many in the political mainstream as well, and Christian Democrats have explicitly connected labelled their political values as «Christian». In this panel, we will investigate the role of religion in nation-building rhetoric. Is religion a red herring, the real deal of building Europe’s democratic societies were done by secular social democrats if anything against the efforts of religious institutions and authorities? Or is religious institutions importance.

Participants: Mona Abdel-Fadil (UiO), James Crossley (St. Mary’s University), Lars L Iversen (MF), Henrik Syse (PRIO).
Chair: Torkel Brekke (OsloMet)


MF CASR Annual Lecture 2019

at Litteraturhuset, 18:00-20:00

“Religion on the border: The politics of the ‘Muslim ban’ and the limits of law"

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Professor of Politics and Religious Studies at Northwestern University, USA

Hilde Restad (Bjørknes høyskole), Iver B Neumann (NOVA, OsloMet), Andreas Hvidsten (MF) and Iselin Frydenlund (MF).