Workshop: Religiosity, Youth, Digital Media and Civil Society in Africa and Asia, 22-23 July 2023

We are pleased to inform you about the kick-off workshop of our JSPS Fund for the Promotion of Joint International Research Fostering Joint International Research (B)”Religiosity, Youth, Digital Media and Civil Society in Africa and Asia” (2022-2025). Workshop is opened to public (in English).

Please find the entire program below:

DAY1 (22nd JULY) Hybrid Venue:  Medium meeting room (3rd Floor, Inamori Building 46 Yoshidahonmachi, Sakyo Ward) Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies (ASAFAS), Kyoto University

DAY2 (23rd JULY) Venue: Small Meeting Room I (DAY2)  (3rd Floor, Inamori Building 46 Yoshidahonmachi, Sakyo Ward) Registration is required.

Hybrid Venue: Zoom Registration

To participate onsite, pleaser register from the link below:

For any further question, mail to :  

By the end of the 20th century, it was believed that religiosity would no longer be present in the public sphere. However, it has had a significant impact on civil society in Africa and Asia in the 21st century; challenging both the state and the secular political realm. Since the 1980s, with the rapid liberalization of politics and economics following the defeat of ideologies such as Marxism and communism that had supported post-independence state and rebel movements, religiosity has become visible again by presenting a new model of order formation to the younger generations. This can be seen in the Islamic revival movements of young people in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, and Indonesia; in the political movements for the return of religion, such as Christianity and Hindu nationalism that have been activated by the introduction of secularism in Nepal; or movements with a strong orientation toward spirituality, such as Ugandan evangelicals, or religious practices by minorities in globalized societies such as Muslim communities in Japan or the new Japanese religions that have spread to Africa. These movements embrace a variety of forms and relationships with the social and political sphere. Rather than going against modernity and globalization, they have shaped contemporary African and Asian civil society in the age of globalization. What are the trends in these movements? How do these young believers impact political and civil life? The purpose of this joint research program is to conduct a comparative analysis of the current state of religiosity and ICT use among the youth in contemporary African and Asian countries with different social, religious, and political backgrounds.

Programme DAY 1 (22nd JULY)

9: 30 –
Welcoming Guests
10:00-10:10    Introduction 
10:10-11: 30Session 1 Overview and Brainstorming Session : Changing Media Landscapes and Religiosity in Africa and in Asia. Asian Cases
Nepal    Mitsuru NIWA (Kyoai Gakuen University) & Karki MRIGENDRA (Tribhuvan University)
Japan and Korea    Naoki KASHIO (Keio University) African Cases.
Niger, Nigeria    Abdoulaye SOUNAYE -online (Centre for Modern Oriental Studies (ZMO), Germany)
Uganda    Yuko TOBINAI (Morioka University) Senegal    Kae AMO (ASAFAS), Fréderique LOUVEAU (Gaston Berger University)
Côte d’Ivoire  Fréderique LOUVEAU-online (Gaston Berger University) 
11:30-12:00  Discussions
12:00 – 13:30Break
13:30 – 15 :00 Session 2 : Case Studies: Theme presentations and discussions (1)   Chair :  Naoki KASHIO (Keio University)  
Youths’ Social/Political involvement, religions and ICTs. Cases from Nepal.            
Presenter : Saya ARAKI (Kyoto University, ASAFAS)      Digitalizing Youths’ Everyday Religious Practices in Africa?            
Presenter : Kae AMO (Kyoto University, ASAFAS) Commentators : Yuko TOBINAI (Morioka University), Karki MRIGENDRA (Tribhuvan University)  
15:00 – 15:15Break
15:15  – 16:00    Keynote Talk: Youths’ Political involvement and ICTs in Nepal                   
Karki MRIGENDRA (Tribhuvan University)                     
16:00  – 16:30Open Discussion and Closing Remarks for Day1

DAY2 (23rd JULY)

10:00– 11:30  
Session 3 : Theme presentations and discussions (2)                     
Chair :  Mitsuru NIWA (Kyoai Gakuen University)
Online Islamic Market : Youth, Consumer Culture, Religions and ICTs. Cases from Malaysia.     Presenter :  Mao KAWABATA (Kyoto University, ASAFAS)           
Spiritual Revival and Digital technology    
 Presenter : Naoki KASHIO (Keio University)    Commentators :  Abdoulaye SOUNAYE-online (ZMO),
Yo NONAKA (Keio University)
11:30-12:15   Session 4 :  Methodological Questions and Challenges                   
Chair :  Yuko TOBINAI (Morioka University)  Qualitative Approach on Media Studies. Use of Media in a collaborative perspective.    Working with Muslim Youth in Japan.  
Yo NONAKA (Keio University), Kae AMO (Kyoto University, ASAFAS)
12:15-12:30    Final Discussions and  Closing remarks Participants :  Kashio, Nonaka, Mrigendra, Niwa, Tobinai, Sounaye, Kawabata, Araki, Amo

 Panelists’ profiles

Kae AMO (Kyoto University, ASAFAS) Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies (ASAFAS) in Kyoto University. In the field of research, she has a keen interest in West African education, Islam, and social development. She has published several articles and research papers on these topics. Her recent publications include : « Les dynamiques religieuses dans les milieux de l’enseignement supérieur au Sénégal » in  Gilles Holder, Jean-Pierre Dozon (dir.), Les politiques de l’Islam en Afrique. Mémoires, réveils et populismes islamiques, Karthala, 2018.

 Saya ARAKI (Kyoto University, ASAFAS) PhD candidate at Kyoto University, ASAFAS. Her research focuses on the relations between the politics and religious movements in contemporary Nepal.  

Naoki KASHIO (Keio University) Naoki Kashio is an associate professor at Keio University, in the Faculty of Letters. Specialized in religious studies, religious anthropology and sociology, his recent works include Spirituality as a Way: The Wisdom of Japan, Trans Pacific Press, 2021.   

Mao KAWABATA (Kyoto University, ASAFAS)  PhD candidate at Kyoto University, ASAFAS. She’s working on the development of online Islamic Market in Malaysia.  

Fréderique LOUVEAU (Gaston Berger University) Frédérique Louveau holds a PhD in social anthropology and ethnology from the EHESS, School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (France). She is lecturer at the Gaston Berger University of Saint-Louis in Senegal. Her research work encompasses globalization issues including religious movements in Africa, environmental issues, well-being or tourism.  

Karki MRIGENDRA (Tribhuvan University)    Karki Mrigendra is an Associate Professor at Tribhuvan University. He is an executive director in the Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies (CNAS). His research is concentrated on Nepal’s Political Process: Political Parties, Elections, and Economic Development.   

Mitsuru NIWA (Kyoai Gakuen University) Mitsuru Niwa is an Assistant Professor at the International Studies Course in Kyoai Gakuen University.  He has been conducting anthropological fieldwork with specific focuses on Christianity, Hindu nationalism, and politics.  His recent publications include “The Problem of Unity and Representation: On a Conflict between Umbrella Organizations and Rational but Irrational Participation” in Studies in Nepali History and Society, 24(2) 251-279, Dec, 2019.  

Yo NONAKA (Keio University) Yo Nonaka is an associate professor at Keio University in the Faculty of Policy Management and the Graduate school of Media and Governance. Her areas of expertise include : Islam, Southeast Asian Studies (esp. Indonesia), Malay-Indonesian language. Her recent publications include “Pursuit of Decent and Natural Beauty in Accordance with Islamic Norms: The Boom of Halal Cosmetics in Indonesia” in Goto, Emi and Chika Obiya, eds. Created and Contested – Norms, Traditions, and Values in Contemporary Asian Fashion, 93-113, 2022 ; “Practising Sunnah for reward of heaven in the afterlife” in Indonesia and the Malay World, 49(145) 429-447, Sep 2, 2021.

 Abdoulaye SOUNAYE (Centre for Modern Oriental Studies (ZMO), Germany) Abdoulaye Sounaye is a Senior researcher in religious studies, currently heading the research unit “Contested Religion: Between Religiosity, Morality, and Intellectual Culture” at Centre for Modern Oriental Studies (Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient, ZMO).  He has published several books about Islam in West Africa and in the Nigerien society including: Muslim Critics of Secularism: Ulama and Democratization in Niger published in 2010, and Islam et Modernité Contribution a l’Analyse de La ré-islamisation Au Niger, published in 2016. He is the general coordinator of the REMOBOKO project, that studies religiosity and how it affects secular education (boko, in Hausa) in West Africa.  

Yuko TOBINAI (Morioka University) Yuko Tobinai is a professor in Morioka University at the Faculty of Humanities Department of Society and Culture. Her recent works include : “An Introduction to the Study of the Christian Awakening in Africa : Interviews in South Sudan”  (in Japanese), in Journal of African studies (102), 13-18, 2022-12.  

Organised by JSPS Fund for the Promotion of Joint International Research Fostering Joint International Research (B) (2022-2025)