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Two seminars in Week 1 - on Tuesday 3 October and Thursday 5 October!

CRPL research
Event Announcements

In Week 1 of the first teaching semester for academic year 2023/24 we will have not one but TWO seminars!


Dr. Jonathan Smith will present on Thursday 5 October at the usual time – (11.30-13.00) and place (Botany House seminar room 1.03). For details, see below!

But just before that on Tuesday 3 October from 10am-12pm in Botany House seminar room 1.03 we have an additional seminar. We are delighted to announce that Rabbi Dr. Deborah Kahn-Harris, Principal of Leo Baeck College in London, will be presenting her ground-breaking work on polyamory and the Book of Ruth. Her book on the topic is due to be released later this year.

“Polyamory and Reading the Book of Ruth”

Rabbi Dr. Deborah Kahn-Harris


This talk is based on a simple premise: what if the Book of Ruth isn’t a love story in the vein of modern rom coms, but a different sort of love story? Many people are conditioned to read romance stories as resolving into happily married, dyadic couplings, most often heterosexual. But what if that’s not how to read the Book of Ruth? This book identifies a polyamorous hermeneutic and explores how it might be helpful in interpreting the Book of Ruth.


For the second seminar, we welcome Dr. Jonathan Davis Smith. Jonathan is Visiting Researcher at the Center for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies at Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, as well as Visiting Research Fellow at the CRPL. He completed his PhD at the University of Leeds in 2019.

“‘You can pray your own way’: environmental social movements as sites of (inter)religious cooperation and transformation in Indonesia”

Dr. Jonathan Smith


This talk describes how grassroots environmental social movements in Indonesia connect multiple religious and non-religious actors and practices in shared campaigns to address environmental crises. It draws on a dataset of 208 movements operating in Indonesian local communities between 1990 and 2022, enriched by an ethnography of a grassroots movement operating in southern Java. This data helps to challenge and contextualise concepts of religious environmentalism, interreligious cooperation and lived religion.


Please note that seminars this year will be in-person only.