HPI and the Queensland Atlas of Religion welcomes new HDR students

4 Jun 2021

As would be expected in these turbulent times, these haven’t gone entirely smoothly. But there is some good news to report. Last year the  international travel situation with COVID-19 significantly disrupted the planned schedule for the two international students (Zerrin Afza and Jerrold Cuperus) who were successful in their PhD scholarship applications in early 2020. The UQ Graduate School established requirements for remote commencement in April 2021 for these and other approved students. Jerrold and Zerrin began working with the assistance of a local supervisor in their own country (the Netherlands and Bangladesh, respectively). Jerrold’s project will explore the topic ‘Charismatic  Christianity: explanations and implications’, supervised by Tom Aechtner and Philip Almond. Given that the numbers and influence of charismatic Christian churches in Queensland and Australia appears to be increasing, Jerrold’s research will seek to explain key factors that account for this contemporary religious phenomenon. 

Zerrin’s research will consider generational aspects of Islam in Queensland, shaped by the dynamics of recent diasporic arrivals from various parts of the globe (Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia). In keeping with other analyses of diasporic religious communities, this study will explore factors of community cohesion, civic participation and identity amid the dislocations and challenges of the migrant experience. 

The final QAR scholarship project examining aspects of Aboriginal Christianity in Queensland is also now close to being filled. The project team is delighted to welcome Elverina Johnson to work on a Masters project supervised by Dr Richard Martin, with a particular focus on the Yarrabah community. Elverina is a writer, performer, and community worker and brings a wealth of experience and insight to this research, which will be based in the School of Social Science.

Prabuddha Mukherjee, meanwhile, is also underway in her study of South Asian diaspora communities in Queensland, supervised by Adam Bowles and Ryan Williams. She is busy with her initial field work, literature review and ethics application.

With this exceptionally capable group of postgraduate researchers in place, the fieldwork, research and interviews to generate the essential data for many Queensland Atlas of Religion entries will be well underway in the course of 2021.



Global Zoom meeting, 16 April 2021: remote commencement underway! Clockwise from top left: Ryan, Prabuddha, Tom, Geoff, Jerrold, Zerrin.