The project ‘Interdisciplinary Innovations in the Study of Religion and Gender: Postcolonial, Post-secular and Queer Perspectives’ is an international research and networking project. It is initiated and coordinated by the Chair of Religion, Gender and Modernity at the Faculty of Humanities, Utrecht University (the Netherlands). The project is funded by the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (NWO) in the programme Internationalisation in the Humanities.

The aim of the project is to make an innovative contribution to the further development of the interdisciplinary study of religion and gender from a range of contemporary critical perspectives in the humanities: postcolonial criticism, post-secularism and queer theory. This is urgent because in contemporary multicultural and postcolonial societies, religious profiling, confrontation and (identity) politics at local, national and international levels often focus on themes of sexual difference, sexuality and reproduction (e.g. the recurrent heated debates over women’s veiling, abortion, homosexuality and similar issues). Gender and sexuality seem to have become the arenas or battle fields of religion/s in our modern world, not at least in Western Europe. In order to break new grounds in the understanding of these complex dynamics of religion and gender in our contemporary world, this research cooperation project aims to explore the current major challenges to the study of religion and gender, to identify the fundamental critical issues, and to address these in innovative ways and from an interdisciplinary perspective. To this end the project brings together a selection of leading scholars from internationally renowned research institutions with excellent programs in the field with the objective of developing research project proposals and grant applications and establishing a structural research network for the study of religion and gender. As part of the project, three workshop-conferences will be organized, each resulting in a special issue of the journal Religion and Gender and.

A number of outstanding academic research centres in Europe and in the United States of America are participating in this project.

Project objectives

  • Developing proposals and grant applications for international research projects, to be submitted to various international research grant organizations.
  • Establishing a structurally embedded research network in the form of an International Association for the study of Religion and Gender.
  • Strengthening the academic community of the recently established e-journal Religion and Gender which is part of the infrastructure for the type of study of religion and gender the project envisions.