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A Personal and Scholarly Reflection on Sociology of Religion, Peacebuilding and Spaciousness

Issue: Vol 32 No. 2-3 (2019) Special Issue: Religion Studies Autobiographies

Journal: Journal for the Academic Study of Religion

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Buddhist Studies Islamic Studies Biblical Studies

DOI: 10.1558/jasr.40154


This invited paper is a personal and scholarly reflection on how I, AnnaHalafoff, became a sociologist of religion in Australia and also presents anoverview of my and my colleagues' contributions to this field. I begin withproviding some background about my upbringing in a Russian household,and my education at Methodist Ladies College and Wesley College, in Melbourne,Australia. I then recount my formative early adult years of exploringspirituality, nature and activism in Northern New South Wales andQueensland and how it led me to enrol in a Master of Letters at the Universityof New England, focusing on religion and peacebuilding. The nextsection discusses our work at Monash and Deakin Universities researchingreligious diversity, countering violent extremism and worldviews education,including our international collaborations. Finally, I describe my currentinterests in Buddhism in Australia and my continued commitment toapplied research that makes a positive difference to society.


Author: Anna Halafoff

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