Training Workshop 2011

The second research training workshop of CSSP was held from July 17- August 16, 2011 at Purdue University. Seventeen principal investigators of the funded projects, two of the team members, and our Center’s advisor, Professor WEI Dedong of Renmin University, participated. The workshop began with a Welcome Dinner held on July 19. Vice President Kimon Sargeant of the John Templeton Foundation, Provost Timothy Sands of Purdue University, Dean Mike Brzezinski of International Programs, and Dean Irwin Weiser of the Liberal Arts College at Purdue were invited to give welcome speeches at the event.

The workshop consisted of four components: lectures given by leading scholars in the field of the social scientific study of religion, project reports and discussions, visits to faithbased social service organizations in the Greater Lafayette Area, and a two-day International Symposium of the Survey Research on Religion and Society.

The invited lecturers included Jose Casanova and Thomas Banchoff of Georgetown University, Corwin Smidt of Calvin College, Carsten Vala of Loyola University in Maryland, Fenggang Yang of Purdue University, Philip Goff of Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, Yuting Wang of the American University of Sharjah, UAE, Shuming Bao of the University of Michigan, and George Hong, Co-Director of our Center.

During the project report sessions, each of the 17 PIs made a presentation on their project progress reports and others provided comments and suggestions for improving the projects. The participants made straightforward comments and offered constructive suggestions.(Photos)

The third component of the Research Workshop was visiting faith-based social service organizations in the Greater Lafayette Area. These visits provided opportunities for the Chinese scholars to learn about how American religious organizations operate, giving them an opportunity to have a better understanding of American religion and society. (detail)

The fourth component was a two-day International Symposium of the Survey Research on Religion and Society. More than thirty scholars from Hong Kong, Macau, mainland China, and the United States participated in the symposium. Professors Roger Finke and Christopher Bader from the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) gave two presentations on the construction, function, application, and future perspectives of the ARDA database. Four senior scholars in religious studies from Taiwan, Professors Yen-ren Tsai, Ping-Yin Kuan, Hsing-kuang Chao, and Cheng-tian Kuo, each shared the results of the Religious Experience Survey in Taiwan.