Keynote speakers


Valérie Amiraux is a full Professor of Sociology at the University of Montreal (on leave from her Senior Research Fellow position at the CNRS), where she holds the Canada Research Chair for the Study of Religious Pluralism. Her main fields are religious pluralism, the relationships between Muslim minorities and European and Quebecer societies, Islamophobia and discrimination. Her current research interests centre on an ethnographic analysis of the articulation between pluralism and radicalisation, with a special emphasis on the interaction between majority societies and Jews and Muslims as minorities in specific cities of Europe and Canada.

Her most recent publications include:

  • Amiraux, V. “Visibility, transparency and gossip: how did the religion of some (Muslims) become the public concern of others?”, Critical Religious Studies, vol 4(1) (2016), pp 37-56.
  • Amiraux, V. et Desharnais, F. Salomé et les hommes en noir, Bayard Canada, 2015.
  • Amiraux, V. et Koussens, D. Trajectoires de la neutralité, Presses de l’université de Montréal, 2014.

jose-casanovaJosé Casanova is a professor at the Department of Sociology at Georgetown University, and heads the Berkley Center’s Program on Globalization, Religion and the Secular. He has published works on a broad range of subjects, including religion and globalization, migration and religious pluralism, transnational religions, and sociological theory. His best-known work, Public Religions in the Modern World (1994), has become a modern classic in the field and has been translated into five languages, including Arabic and Indonesian. In 2012, Casanova was awarded the Theology Prize from the Salzburger Hochschulwochen in recognition of life-long achievement in the field of theology.His most recent publications include:

    • Banchoff, T., Casanova, J. The Jesuits and Globalization: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Challenges, Georgetown University Press, 2016.
    • Casanova, J. “Secularisation, Religion, and Multicultural Citizenship”, Religions and Dialogue: International Approaches. Ed. Wolfram Weisse et al. Münster: Waxmann, 2014: 21-32.
    • Casanova, J. Secular and Sacred? The Scandinavian Case of Religion in Human Rights, Law, and Public Space, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014.

Mark Chaves is Professor of Sociology, Religious Studies, and Divinity at Duke University. Among other projects, he directs the National Congregations Study (NCS), a wide-ranging survey of a nationally representative sample of religious congregations. The NCS has been conducted three times: 1998, 2006, and 2012. It will be conducted again in 2018. Professor Chaves is the author of American Religion: Contemporary Trends (Princeton University Press, 2011), Congregations in America (Harvard University Press, 2004), Ordaining Women: Culture and Conflict in Religious Organizations (Harvard University Press, 1997), and many articles, mainly on the social organization of religion in the United States. He has chaired the General Social Survey’s Board of Overseers, and he has been President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.

His most recent publications include:

  • Voas, D., Chaves, M., “Is the United States a Counterexample to the Secularization Thesis?” American Journal of Sociology, vol 121 (5) (March 2016), pp 1517-56.
  • Chaves, M., American religion: contemporary trends, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2011.
  • Chaves, M., Congregations in America, Boston: Harvard University Press, 2004.

lily-kongLily Kong is the Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor of Social Sciences at the Singapore Management University, where she is also Provost. Her work has addressed socio-cultural and urban change issues in Asia, and especially Singapore. She has written extensively about religion, cultural policy and creative economy, urban change, and nationhood and identity.

Her latest books include

  • Kong, L., Woods, O. Religion and Space: Competition, Conflict and Violence in the Contemporary World, Bloomsbury Academic, 2016.
  • Kong, L., Ching, C.-H., and Chou, T.-L. Arts, Culture and the Making of Global Cities: Creating New Urban Landscapes in Asia, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2015.