“Dynamics of religion in Southeast Asia” (DORISEA) is a research network funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and coordinated by the Departement of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Göttingen. Scientists from the Universities of Göttingen, Hamburg, Münster, Heidelberg and Berlin (Humboldt University) are involved in several projects that investigate the relationship between religion and modernity in Southeast Asia.
Over the past three years, the research network has carried out empirical, historical and comparative research into different manifestations of “religion” and its various “others” – including “secularism”, “animism” and “tradition”. Sociologists, anthropologists, linguists and historians have explored how “religion” is materially and discursively constructed in various Southeast Asian contexts, including in Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand.
With the Jan 23-24, 2015 conference on “Kaleidoscopes of Religion: Southeast Asia and Beyond“, at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, the research network wishes to engage with scholars who have worked on “religion” beyond the Southeast Asian region by focusing on three thematic fields: religion and politics, religion and media, and religion and space. Ultimately, the aim is to discuss whether there is a particular quality to the “religious” – and, maybe more importantly, to the study of the “religious” – in the region, and if so, what that would be and how insights from Southeast Asia can contribute to stimulate broader theoretical debates on religion.