Maria Frahm-Arp

President

Prof Maria Frahm-Arp is the chairperson of ASRSA from 2017-2019. She works in the Department of Religion Studies at the University of Johannesburg. Her area of research interest is Pentecostal Charismatic Churches in South Africa and she has written on women (Professional Women in South African Pentecostal Churches. Brill 2010), development (Bompani, B & Frahm-Arp, M. (eds). Development and Religion from Below: Exploring Religious Spaces in the African State. Palgrave Macmillan 2010) and politics in these churches She is also interested in Anglican Studies, particularly in South Africa and has supervised numerous postgraduate students studying in this field.

Sibusiso Masondo

Vice-President

Sibusiso Masondo is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics at the University of KwaZulu Natal. He holds a PhD in comparative religion from the University of Cape Town. He taught Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town. His research and teaching is focused on African Religion, African Christianity and indigenous meaning systems, African Indigenous Churches, African intellectual history, and comparative religion. His current research focus is on the Challenges of African Religion in Contemporary South Africa.

Elisabetta Porcu

Secretary

Elisabetta Porcu is an Senior Lecturer in Asian religions at the University of Cape Town. Before moving to South Africa, she worked at various universities in Japan (2004-2010) and taught Japanese religions at the University of Leipzig (2010-2014). She has been Visiting Research Scholar at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) in Kyoto (2013-2014), Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Hawaii (2013), and Visiting Professor at Kyushu University (2016-2017). Among her publications are the monograph Pure Land Buddhism in Modern Japanese Culture (Brill, 2008), and various articles and book chapters, including “Religion, Second Modernity and Individualization in Japan” (2018); “Contemporary Japanese Buddhist Traditions” (2017); “Pop Religion in Japan: Buddhist Temples, Icons and Branding” (2014); and “Observations on the Blurring of the Religious and the Secular in a Japanese Urban Setting” (2012). Dr. Porcu is the director of the Center for the Study of Asian Religions (CSAR) at the University of Cape Town and the founding editor of the Journal of Religion in Japan (Brill). She is currently working on two book projects on Japanese religions and popular culture and the Gion Festival in Kyoto.​

Beverly Vencatsamy

Treasurer

Beverly Vencatsamy is currently employed as a Lecturer in Comparative Religion in the School of Religion, Philosophy & Classics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her areas of research interest are gender, community engagement and knowledge production. She is currently registered for her PhD focussing on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Ms Vencatsamy has served as the editorial assistant for the journal Alternation: Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of the Arts and Humanities in Southern Africa since 2007. She has subsequently moved on to Financial Manager and Assistant Editor of Alternation. Ms Vencatsamy is also the Financial Manager for the JSR – Journal for the Study of Religion, which is the affiliated journal, for the Association for the Study of Religion in Southern Africa (ASRSA). She is also an executive member of ASRSA, serving her 3rd term as the treasurer for the association.

Johan Strijdom

Editor of the Journal for the Study of Religion

Johan Strijdom is a full professor in the comparative study of religion at the University of South Africa. In his research and publications he focuses on religious nationalism and violence, critiques of indigenous claims and practices, and critical approaches to material aspects of religion. These areas are analysed in a comparative and historically nuanced way, by elaborating a critique of class, gender and ethnic power relations, from a postcolonial location in the global south. He was co-editor of the journal Phronimon, which has as its goal the promotion of a dialogue between Western and African philosophies, and is currently editor of the Journal for the Study of Religion, which is published by the Association for the Study of Religion in Southern Africa."

Tahir Sitoto

Executive Committee Member

Tahir Fuzile Sitoto is a Lecturer in the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal on the Durban campus. Between 2004 and 2006 he was a Fulbright Scholar at the State University of New York in the program Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture at Binghamton. A graduate of the University of Cape Town where he has obtained his PhD, he has also studied at King Saud University, Arabic Language Institute in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His research focus is on black/Africana Existential Philosophy, black African Muslim identity and subjectivities. Also, he has a keen interest on the study of Islam as a spiritual category, Ethics, Religion in poetry, arts and jazz. Besides chapter contributions in book publications like Religion and Spirituality in South Africa: New Perspectives and the recently published, Who is an African: Race, Identity in Post-apartheid South Africa, some of his work appeared in journals such as Islamic Africa, Journal for Islamic Studies, Journal of African Christian Thought, and, Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts & Contemporary Worlds.