Contributors to the project are scholars who are not formal members of the NCF Project but
frequently consult with our team members and work on some of our emerging projects.
This page is designed to highlight these scholars and provide some information about their research interests.

Alyshea Cummins

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Alyshea Cummins is an instructor of Religion in the College of Humanities at Carleton University and teaches Islam (RELI 2310), Religion and Society (RELI 2736/ANTH 2550), and Global Religions: Identity and Community (RELI 1741). She recently completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship for the Transmission of Religion Across Generations project (University of Ottawa) examining how (non)religion and fundamental values are or are not passed on from one generation to another in Canadian families and is currently working to publish some findings.

Cummins currently works with Peter Beyer on two NCF projects: “Migration: Framing of Migrants’ Nonreligious Identities” and the “Cultural and Social Values in Canada” survey. Her teaching and research interests include contemporary Islam, religion and migration, religion and identity, religion and society, religion and politics, religious literacy, and religion and social change. Cummins recently published a chapter in The Bloomsbury Handbook of Religion in Migration (eds. Rubina Ramji and Alison Marshall, 2022) entitled, “Making Space Through Public Engagements: Canadian Ismaili Muslims,” which stems from her doctoral dissertation.

Anna Sofia Salonen

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Anna Sofia Salonen is a theologian and sociologist of religion with highly interdisciplinary research profile. She holds a PhD in Theology (2016) and the title of Docent in Church and Social Studies (2021) at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her research focuses on intersecting issues concerning religion, food, social inequality, consumer culture, and environmental ethics. In her doctoral dissertation and related publications, she has studied charitable food assistance at the interface between religious organizations and people living in poor economic and social positions. After finalizing her PhD, she studied therapeutic culture and its products and audiences, before conducting a three-year postdoctoral research project on ethics of food consumption in affluent societies (Tampere University 2018-2021). Alongside this postdoc project, Salonen has explored points of convergence between food, ethics, and (non)religion. She leads an emerging research team that studies female university students’ visions of better future. Alongside doing research, she has actively taken part in societal outreach, especially in improving early-career researchers’ working conditions.

Camila Nicácio

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Camila Silva Nicácio (Ph.D. Université Paris I – Pantheón Sorbonne – Degree in Anthropology of Law) is an Adjunct Professor of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) Law School, Brazil. She is also a Member of the research group ‘Religion in the Contemporary World’ at the Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning (CEBRAP).

Her research in the last few years has been focused on the question of access to justice, with investigations on the impacts observed by the growing use of non-adversarial means of conflict management, notably mediation. It has taken into consideration a context of normative production marked by a pluralism of sources of law, actors of law, and arenas of law production. Her current research interests are focused primarily on four major areas : the interface between law/religion, legal pluralism, human rights, and religious intolerance. She is the author of Des normes et des liens. Médiation et complexité juridique (Saarbrücken, Presses académiques francophones, 2013).

Cory Steele

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Cory Steele received his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Religion from Carleton University (2016), his Master of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of Ottawa (2018), and his Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa (2023). Cory’s doctoral research explored the intersection of nonreligion, religion, and law in contemporary Canadian society through an analysis of questions about: LGBTQ+ rights; end-of-life care; and sex work.

Cory’s research interests sit within the areas of sociology and law (particularly constitutional law) – he is interested in the ways in which nonreligious individuals leverage, and are represented in, the law. Cory’s research engages with the changing socioeconomic demographics and trends of large global societies, with particular emphasis on (non)religion, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Cory also has a keen interest and expertise in sociological research methods, qualitative data analysis and collection, and law. Cory is also managing editor for Nonreligion and Secularity, the blog of the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network.

Dirceu André Gerardi

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Dirceu André Gerardi, PhD in Social Sciences (PUCRS), is part of the Brazilian team for the Nonreligion in a Complex Future Project. In 2013 he was a Visiting Student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently a Post-Doctoral Student in the Department of Sociology of the University of São Paulo (USP) and is also a Member of the Project “Religion, Law and Secularism: the reconfiguration of the civic repertoire in contemporary Brazil” (CEBRAP). In this research, he investigates the emergence of “ideological indoctrination” and “gender ideology” in the school environment as a public problem, that was created by evangelical and Catholic parliamentarians from 2014 and disseminated in the Special Commission without a Party of the Chamber of Deputies. He is interested in sociology and political science of religion, secularism and legislative politics, and has developed research on the political, partisan and electoral activism of the Latin American Christian right and conservadorism.

Helge Årsheim

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Helge Årsheim is a religious studies scholar with degrees from the University of Bergen (MA) and the University of Oslo (PhD). He has working experience from the UN Association of Norway, the Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board and the Scandinavian University Press. Årsheim has published extensively on the theoretical, empirical and historical interrelationship between law and religion, both at the international, regional and national level. He is the author of Making Religion and Human Rights at the United Nations (DeGruyter, 2018) and editor (with Anne-Laure Zwilling) of Nonreligion in Late Modern Societies (Springer, 2022). He is a member of the Oslo Coalition on the Freedom of Religion or Belief, where he is part of the working group exploring the legitimacy of restrictions on the freedom of religion. He is the correspondent for Norway at the EUREL database on sociological and legal information on religion in Norway, and associated with two ongoing international research projects: The Governmateriality of Indigenous Religions (University of Bergen, 2020-2024), where he will be researching the intersections between indigenous and religious rights, and the Observatory on Religious Freedom in the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ORFECT) at the University of Modena. He is currently working on a monograph on religion in Norwegian law, to be published in 2022.

Hugo H. Rabbia

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Hugo H. Rabbia is a researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Psicológicas (IIPsi, CONICET, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba) in Córdoba, Argentina. From 2015 to 2018, he was part of the international Templeton-funded project entitled: “The transformation of lived religion in urban Latin America.” He has authored several papers and books. The most recent one is: “La religión como experiencia cotidiana: creencias, prácticas y narrativas espirituales en Sudamérica” (2019, Córdoba – Lima – Montevideo: EDUCC, PUCP, UCU). His research in the last few years has been focused on lived religion and (non)religion, religion and sexual politics, and religious/non-religious and socio-political attitudes. Currently, he is working on the activism toward laicism and the separation between Church and State in Argentina. He is also Professor of Political Psychology at the Cordoba’s Catholic University (UCC).

Jacqueline Moraes Teixeira

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Jacqueline Moraes Teixeira (Ph.D. University of São Paulo) is a collaborating professor in the Department of Philosophy of Education and Sciences (EDF) at the Faculty of Education of the University of São Paulo (USP), an accredited professor in the Graduate Program in Education (PPGE) at USP and holds a post-doctorate at the Department of Social Anthropology at USP. She is also a member of the research group Religion in the Contemporary World at the Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning (CEBRAP). Her research in recent years has focused on issues related to the crossings between religion, gender relations, sexuality and racial conflicts thinking about how religious projects focused on gender themes developed by Pentecostal churches are related to contemporary controversies in the national political scene. Her current research interests are mainly focused on four main areas: the interface between religion / gender and sexuality, human rights and education racial conflicts and policies of historical reparation. She is the author of The Universal Woman: Body, Gender and Prosperity Pedagogy.

Karoline Marie Donskov Dige

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Karoline Marie Donskov Dige is part of the Danish team for the Nonreligion in a Complex Future Project. She holds a MA in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Aarhus University and has studied different types of online communities between Danish Muslims. As part of the department for Contemporary Religion at Aarhus University she has aided the mapping of religion in Aarhus, in the Religion i Aarhus 2022-project. She has also contributed to the EUREL database on sociological and legal information on religion in Denmark.

Marie-Ève Melanson

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Marie-Ève Melanson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Her research focuses on religion, law and politics in Canada. During her M.A. (UQAM) and Ph.D. (McGill University), she studied Supreme Court of Canada rulings on religious freedom and conducted ethnographic research on various minority religions, including New Religious Movements, in Canada, Europe, and Asia. Her current research project looks into the rationales of Christian groups and organizations not affiliated with religion for opposing or supporting court rulings and policies that aim to recognize the equality rights of LGBTQ+ people in Canada.

Netta Marie Rønningen

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Netta Marie Rønningen is a researcher from Norway. She received her B.A. in Sociology and Political Science from Luwdig-Maximilians-Universität München in Germany, and her M.A. in Sociology from the University of Oslo. Her master theses was in the sociology of religion and was about conversion from Protestantism to the Catholic Church in Norway. She is interested in nonreligion in different nonreligious and religious institutions. Netta organized the conference NCSR 2018: The 24th Nordic Conference in the Sociology of Religion in Oslo. She is working as a researcher at KIFO, Institute for Church, Religion, and Worldview Research, which involves different research projects relating to the Church of Norway, other worldviews, and religions.

Paula Bortolin

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Paula Bortolin is a PhD candidate in Social Sciences at the University of Campinas. Paula has a B.A. and a M.A. in Social Sciences from the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP). She is also a researcher at the Brazilian Center of Analysis and Planning (CEBRAP), working on the project Religion, Law, and Secularism: a new civic repertoire in formation in contemporary Brazil. She has experience in Sociology and Anthropology of Religion, with emphasis on studies on public controversies, working mainly on the following themes: religiosity, evangelical leaderships and politics, homosexuality, and disputes over public morality in Brazilian congress.

Renata Nagamine

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Renata Nagamine has earned her PhD in International Law at the University of São Paulo (Brazil). She also holds a Master’s degree in International Law and B.A. in law (2010) from the same institution.

From 2016 to 2022, she was a collaborator researcher in the project “Religion, rights, and secularism”, developed at Cebrap. She is currently working on research entitled “Imaginations of the social and the dispute for democracy in contemporary Brazil” in which she analyzes audiovisual productions of the so-called Brazilian New Right. In this research, she is ultimately interested in demonstrating how an anti-pluralist imagination operates in the Brazilian public space. To do so, she draws on Hannah Arendt, Marie-José Mondzain, among others, and elaborates the idea of an antipluralist imagination. Her studies focus mainly on the relationship between human rights, religion, and the public space. Gender, sexuality, and the environment are topics of interest as well.

Sivert Skålvoll Urstad

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Sivert Skålvoll Urstad is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Agder, Norway. He holds his degrees from the University of Oslo (M.phil.) and the University of Agder (Ph.D.)

In his dissertation he did an exploration of the nonreligious (ikke-religiøse) in Norway (2018). Urstad has worked on different aspects of religion, religious change, secularization and nonreligion; utilizing both qualitative and quantitative methods in his research. In recent years, Urstad has been involved in different projects, testing quantitative analysis methods within the social sciences.