Praying on the Pitch: Football, Religion and Social Identities

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Type: 
Event
Date: 
September 14, 2022 to September 15, 2022
Location: 
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Islamic History / Studies, Political History / Studies, Religious Studies and Theology, Social History / Studies, Sport History / Studies

This online short-course analyses football’s relation to the religious world. Too often in the past, football has been defined narrowly as a sort of secular religiosity, with no appreciation of the complex social identities within the sport. This course will explore how religious practice intersects and overlaps with the beautiful game. We will use both a historical framework to highlight the longevity and intricacies of this relationship, and an approach that posits football as an analytical window for examining broader geopolitical and social forces. In particular, we will examine whether football can be viewed as a vehicle for the socio-political integration of marginalised groups into wider society, and the extent to which religious belonging is a facilitator or obstacle for any tensions that arise.

Course Aims

The course will examine the following questions:

• What is the view among religious organisations on the role of football in society?

• Is the global and growing interest in football a challenge to religion, or a positive force for religious organisations?

• How does football contribute to nationalist discourses that exclude certain religious practices from its purview?

• Can the sport be used for the socio-political integration of marginalised groups into wider society, and to what extent is religious belonging used as a vehicle to ameliorate tensions that arise? 

Course Convenor

Professor Leif Stenberg is the Dean of the Aga Khan University's Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC). His latest research has been on the various intersections between football, religion and social identities. He recently organised an AKU-ISMC conference on the topic in May 2022, with an edited volume forthcoming in 2023. Professor Stenberg has recently published a co-edited a volume with Professor Philip Wood on the politics of studying Islam entitled What is Islamic Studies? He is also the author of AKU-ISMC’s new book, Poet and Businessman: Abd al-Aziz al-Babtain and the Formation of Modern Kuwait 

Date and Time

14-15 September 2022, 13:00 - 16:00 (London Time).

Organiser

Aga Khan University's Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC), London.

Registration

Register soon and join us online.

*The course will be delivered via Zoom. Readings and further details will be provided later upon registration.

Contact Info: 


Layal Mohammad
Senior Coordinator, Marketing & Communications
Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations
The Aga Khan University (International)
Aga Khan Centre, 10 Handyside Street, London N1C 4DN
Tel: +44 [0] 20 7380 3839
Incorporated in England as a company limited by guarantee no. 4448389 | Registered Charity Number 1179136

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