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Does Religion Matter for Human Prosperity?

Prof. Mona Siddiqui

In a time of increasing debate on the place of religion in society, what function does religion serve for the faithful? Despite the rise of secularist structures replacing institutionalised religion, there are still more believers in the world than non-believers.

Religion matters because it can affect a person's being at an emotional, social and political level. With competing discourses in society, how does faith with its emphasis on the transcendant motivate people to search for the greater good and the higher goal? If religion is as much about conflict as it is about reconciliation, can we talk about good religion and bad religion?

Mona Siddiqui is Professor of Islamic Studies and Public Understanding at the University of Glasgow. Her areas of research are classical Islamic law, contemporary ethics, Qur'an and Muslim-christian relations. Professor Siddiqui also works for a broad range of media and chairs the BBC's Scottish Religious Advisory Committee. In 2005, she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Jantina Tammes and the Jantina Tammes Chair
After admitting Aletta Jacobs as the first female student in 1871, the University of Groningen appointed Dr. Marie Loke in 1907 as the first female lector in the Netherlands. After this, appointing the first female professor was just a matter of time. Indeed, in 1911 Dr. Jantina Tammes (1871-1947) was the first woman in the Netherlands to be nominated for such a position. It took until 1919 before she was appointed as professor. Jantina Tammes was famous for her research in biology, more specifically in genetics and botany.
Prof. Mona Siddiqui is the 8th Jantina Tammes Professor at the University of Groningen (Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies). The Jantina Tammes Chair has been established in order to enable female visiting professors to do research with colleagues here, in the field of gender studies. Every Jantina Tammes Professor teaches classes for one semester, and gives a public lecture at the end.


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