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News and Events: Professor Patterson's Grant From CCCS

Professor Patterson receives a grant from Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship

The Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship (CCCS) grant provided Amy Patterson (Political Science, Calvin College) and Marian Burchardt (Sociology, University of Bayreuth, Germany) funding for a collaborative project that investigated the intersections of religion, social activism, and the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in Africa. Social mobilization has played a major role in addressing the disease in the roughly twenty-five years since the first AIDS cases emerged in Africa. Yet, scholars have not investigated how religious beliefs and institutions influence this mobilization, despite the centrality of religion in the lives of most Africans. The CCCS grant enabled an international and interdisciplinary group of twenty scholars to address this omission, through a five-day summer workshop in Kampala, Uganda July 5-9, 2010.

The CCCS grant fully funded the transport and lodging costs for six individuals from North America and Europe and seven African scholars. (Additional funds for the workshop came from African Studies Centers at the University of Leiden, University of Berlin, and University of Copenhagen). The workshop was hosted by the Working Group on Social and Political Effects of AIDS at Makerere University, Uganda, and the International Research Network on Religion and AIDS in Africa. The workshop included presentations by scholars and religious activists in Uganda.

After the workshop, the grant covered costs of dissemination of workshop papers through an organizational website and a subsequent volume that Drs. Patterson and Burchardt will edit. In addition to the Africa, European, and American scholars attending the workshop, Calvin senior IDS and pre-med student Michelle Fraser, who has worked as a Paul Henry Institute-sponsored researcher with Dr. Patterson, attended the conference.