Theology and Philosophy

Conference of the Colloquium on Violence & Religion

The Annual Conference of the Colloquium on Violence & Religion (COV&R)
and 6th Annual Conference of the Australian Girard Seminar.

Wednesday 13 – Sunday 17 July 2016

St Patrick's Campus, Melbourne
Australian Catholic University

Conference Flyer (1,033 KB)

Theme: Violence in the Name of Religion...

One of the most pressing issues of our time is the outbreak of extremist violence and terrorism, done in the name of religion. The conference will critically analyse the link made between religion and violence, and explore contemporary topics of great significance, such as Islamist terrorism and radicalization in its various political, economic, religious, military and technological dimensions.

We aim to analyse religious violence from multiple disciplinary perspectives (as the range of conference speakers attests). We particularly aim to bring together the insights of René  Girard, the premier theorist of violence in the 20th century, with the latest scholarship on religion and violence, particularly exploring the nature of extremist violence.

The conference is open to academics, professionals, religious practitioners, military, police, and anyone interested in engaging this topic in respectful dialogue.

Registration for the conference is now open. Please go to the registration page for more information and to register.

We have an exciting range of internationally acclaimed speakers who will present at the conference, including:

  • Professor Asma Afsaruddin (Indiana University, USA);
  • Professor Anne Aly (Edith Cowan University, Western Australia);
  • Rev Dr Sarah Bachelard (Australian Catholic University, Canberra);
  • Professor Greg Barton (Deakin University, Melbourne);
  • Reverend Professor Frank Brennan SJ (Australian Catholic University and Charles Sturt University);
  • Associate Professor Kathleen Butler (University of Newcastle);
  • Professor William T. Cavanaugh (De Paul University and author of The Myth of Religious Violence), who will give the Raymund Schwager Memorial Lecture;
  • Professor Jean-Pierre Dupuy (École Polytechnique, Paris / Stanford University, California);
  • Dr Chris Fleming (Western Sydney University, NSW);
  • Most Rev Dr Philip Freier (Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne/Primate of The Anglican Church of Australia);
  • Professor Wolfgang Palaver (the University of Innsbruck); and
  • Ms Naomi Wolfe (Australian Catholic University).

Extended biographies are available on the keynote speakers page.

The format of the conference will include evening keynote addresses, followed by morning panel sessions on the same topic as the keynote. The morning sessions will have extended time for discussion and questions to explore the key conference themes, such as the relationship between religion and violence, and an analysis of contemporary religious violence, especially Islamist extremism.

The conference will also feature a panel on violence and religion in Australian-Indigenous history.

The Call for Papers page is currently open. Papers on the conference theme and/or the mimetic theory of René Girard are welcome..

The final evening of the conference will have a special "Tribute Dinner for René Girard (on his death)” on Saturday, 16 July, 6.30pm at the Park Hyatt, East Melbourne.

The conference is hosted by the Australian Catholic University. It is co-organised with the Australian Girard Seminar (AGS) and will incorporate its 6th annual conference.

Sponsors for the conference include: