Public Lecture: “I don´t want to speak in tongues – I speak human rights”

BA Religion and Society International Annual Lecture
by Prof. Peter Nynäs, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland.

“I don´t want to speak in tongues – I speak human rights”- Some observations from a global study on heteronormativity and religion among young adults”

March 12th 2019 at 6-8pm
Richard Hoggart Building (Main Building), RHB 256
Goldsmiths, University of London
Followed by Q&A & wine reception

Religion, sexuality and gender intertwine in a range of different ways. During the last decades, global movements have increasingly affected our perceptions of and attentiveness to this, and the contradictory signals emerging in a post-secular situation. Many young people today express well-articulated openness to variations in terms of gender and sexualities and also actively take part in making change, whereas neoconservative voices also seem to gain more and more public space and influence – and revitalize heteronormativity as an ideal.

In this talk I will initially look at some basic findings from a study on young adults and religion that I implemented in 13 countries worldwide. This project was primarily not about gender and sexuality, but the extensive data we have collected has allowed me to explore issues around forms of heteronormativity, and in particular in relation to religion and values. In addition, both the mixed method approach in this study and the global scope allow me to raise some methodological and conceptual questions. To what extent and how do young adults today express heteronormativity?

Dr Peter Nynäs is Professor of Comparative Religion at Åbo Akademi University and director of the Åbo Akademi University Centre of Excellence in Research Young adults and religion in a global perspective (2015–2018), a cross-cultural, comparative, and mixed-method study of religious subjectivities and values in ten countries around the world. He previously led the Centre of Excellence in Research Post-Secular Culture and a Changing Religious Landscape in Finland (2010–2014). He has edited volumes such as On the Outskirts of “the Church”: Diversities, Fluidities and New Spaces of Religion in Finland (with R. Illman & T. Martikainen, LIT-Verlag, 2015), Religion, Gender and Sexuality in Everyday Life (with A. Yip, Ashgate 2012), and Transforming Otherness (with J. Finch, Transaction 2011). The volume Sensitizing ‘religious’ variety in a global perspective: between universalism and particularism, is scheduled for 2019 (with R. Illman, N. Novis & R. Fernandez, Equinox)

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