Exploring how identities and modernities function in Europe

A one day conference is taking place on Wednesday 28 March 2012 in Kingston, west London, from 9am to 5.30pm. Some 80 people, including academics and researchers, are participating.

Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow was interviewed for the research and is a respondent at the event to a comparative thematic paper on ‘The place of religion in education in Bulgaria, Croatia, France and the UK.’

The topics covered include issues about faith schools, religious dress and public manifestation, and education about religions and beliefs.

The research for the Identities and Modernities in Europe (IME) was based on interviews with a wide variety of actors, as well as a literature review and interdisciplinary reflection. It has been shaped into case studies. Simon's paper will be published on Ekklesia at a later date.

The IME research project has been funded by the European Commission under the 7th framework programme. It has been headed up by Dr Atsuko Ichijo from Kingston University, in association with partners in Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Finland, Greece, Turkey, Spain, etc.

On 22 February 2012 there was a conference on social cohesion and the plural nature of the European reality, following the publication of the base report.

One of the features of the project in the education area has been attention, inter alia, to the Bologna Process for creating a European Higher Education Area (EHEA) based on international cooperation and academic exchange. (http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/hogeronderwijs/bologna/about/)

The latest conference, which will bring the project to a conclusion by reporting on and discussing major themes from the whole comparative study, has been organised under the auspices of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Kingston University.

Other subjects that will be tackled include 'Europeaness', opposition to Europe and the EU, identity/religion and law, the crisis of representation - and a paper on metholodology in relation to qualitative research of this kind.

* Further information and material will appear on Ekklesia in due course. The event today is being tweeted: search on Twiiter for "identities modernities".

* More on the IME research project: http://fass.kingston.ac.uk/research/helen-bamber/ime/

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