Sivin Kit disputerer 5. desember 2014 med avhandlingen «Transforming solidarity. Social discourses around the «Allah» controversy in Malaysian new media».
Artikkelen er mer enn ett år gammel, og kan inneholde utdatert informasjon.
Bakgrunnen for kontroversen er at den malaysiske regjeringen i 2007 bestemte at bare muslimer skulle få bruke ordet «Allah». Se Dagens Nyheter 23. juni 2014: Dette ble omgjort i en appelldomstol høsten 2009, da den katolske avisen «The Herald» fikk rettslig kjennelse for å kunne bruke ordet. Avgjørelsen førte til opptøyer og voldsomheter. Se Kirker påtent – Dagbladet 8. januar 2010. I oktober 2013 ble forbudet gjeninnført, men høyesterett omgjorde dette igjen i juni 2014. Se også Aftenposten 14. oktober 2013.
Sivin Kit har fulgt doktorgradsprogrammet ved Fakultet for humaniora og pedagogikk, med spesialisering i "Religion, etikk, historie og samfunn". I stipendiatperioden er Sivin Kit finansiert gjennom et treårig stipend ved Universitetet i Agder.
Sivin Kit’s doctoral dissertation investigates the social discourses around the right of Christians to use the word ‘Allah’ in Malaysian from 2007 to 2014.
Since 2007, both political and religious authorities have been prominent voices in the Malaysian public dispute over the Christian use of ‘Allah’ in the Malay Bible and Christian religious material.
In this study, the social discourses around the ‘Allah’ controversy in Malaysian new media publicize Islam and Christianity in ways that also have implications for the understanding of religious, cultural and national solidarity in a Muslim majority and multicultural society.
The key research questions were:
This study uses critical discourse analysis to analyze debates on the Christian usage of ‘Allah’ collected from three Malaysian alternative news sites from 2007–2014 and additional samples from Muslim and Christian intellectuals from other sites. The theoretical framework used to interpret the material is inspired by a philosophy of liberation and informed by critical social theory.
While many opinions are expressed on these sites, my study pays particular attention to those which show solidarity which transcends the ethnic and religious divisiveness which dominates official public spheres. Indeed, I argue that such contributions not only express interreligious solidarity and a cosmopolitan orientation, but also signal the development of a kind of transmodern imagination. ‘Transmodernity’ is a term that points to efforts to critically appropriate the life enhancing aspects of both tradition and modernity.
To this end, the public discussion around the ‘Allah’ controversy can be understood as more than a debate about a word; this study shows some Muslim and non-Muslim voices interrupt the dominant discourses of government or non-government actors that represent ethno-religious centric perspectives, values and policies. For these participants, this is indeed ‘a Malaysian fight’ more than only an interreligious dispute and the denial of religious freedom. Furthermore, both Muslim and Christian intellectuals offer critical normative resources that counter ethno-religious centric attitudes, beliefs and values.
Consequently, there is an argument for further attention to similar sites where these discussions around social solidarity may emerge. Furthermore, particular attention needs to be paid to voices of victims who are affected by ethno-religious centric perspectives and policies. Finally, the theme of solidarity has practical repercussions for religious and civil society actors who are addressing situations of social tension in religiously and culturally pluralistic societies beyond Malaysia.
Kandidaten: Sivin Kit was born in Malaysia. After spending his early childhood in England, he grew up in Kuala Lumpur, later he majored in theology at the Malaysian Theological Seminary (STM) with the thesis: “Trinitarian Public theology: Malaysian Churches and Civil Society”. Previously, he served as a pastor with the Lutheran Church in Malaysia (LCM). He was also active in civil society, interreligious work, and public discussions in the Malaysian new media scene.
Starting from January 2015, Sivin Kit will be joining the faculty of the Malaysian Theological Seminary (STM) as a lecturer in Contextual Theology and Sociology of Religion. He will also take on the additional responsibility as the director of the Institute of World Religions (IWR) at the seminary in Seremban, Malaysia.
Prøveforelesning og disputas finner sted i Arne Garborgs auditorium, rom B1-006, Campus Kristiansand.
Dekan Ernst Håkon Jahr leder disputasen
Tid for prøveforelesning: Fredag 5. desember 2014 kl 10:15
Oppgitt emne for prøveforelesning: "Researcher and advocate. Combining normative engagement and empirical research in studies of conflict with a religious dimension.”
Tid for disputas: Fredag 5. desember 2014 kl 12:00
Tittel på avhandling: «Transforming solidarity. Social Discourses around the "Allah" Controversy in Malaysian New Media (2007-2014)».
Søk etter avhandlingen i AURA - Agder University Research Archive, som er et digitalt arkiv for vitenskapelige artikler, avhandlinger og masteroppgaver fra ansatte og studenter ved Universitetet i Agder. AURA blir jevnlig oppdatert.
Førsteopponent: Professor Mia Løvheim, Uppsala universitet
Bedømmelseskomitéen er ledet av professor Pål S. Repstad, UiA