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Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam

Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam


“Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case of Muslims who now live in countries undergoing democratization but also the increasing number of Muslims who live as minorities in democratic countries. In this lecture, rather than answering the compatibility question, Dr. Zainal Abidin Bagir will show the diversity of meanings of both, looking at how in practice Islam and democracy is lived. Further, when religion is said to be “compatible with democracy”, does it refer only to the liberal kind? Can democracy live with a conservative religion?

This year Dr Bagir has been a visiting lecturer of Religious Studies at the Victoria University of Wellington. He comes from the Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies, Graduate School, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

This lecture will be given as a contribution to better interfaith understanding under the auspices of the St Andrew's Trust for the Study of Religion and Society at St Andrew’s on Terrace, Wellington, Tuesday November 25th, 12:15pm All Welcome, Entry Free.

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