Speakers

The Asian Conference on Ethics, Religion & Philosophy (ACERP) is a multidisciplinary conference held concurrently with The Asian Conference on Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences (ACP). Keynote, Featured and Spotlight Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives from different academic and professional backgrounds. Registration for either conference will allow participants to attend sessions in both.

This page provides information about presenters. For details of presentations and other programming, please visit the Programme page.


  • Stephen E. Gregg
    Stephen E. Gregg
    University of Wolverhampton, UK
  • Yu Niiya
    Yu Niiya
    Hosei University, Japan
  • Frank S. Ravitch
    Frank S. Ravitch
    Michigan State University College of Law, USA
  • Mie Takaki
    Mie Takaki
    DBT Tokyo, Japan

Previous Speakers

View details of speakers at past ACERP conferences via the links below.

Stephen E. Gregg
University of Wolverhampton, UK

Biography

Dr Stephen E. Gregg is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, and the Hon. Secretary of the British Association for the Study of Religions. His research interests are focused on Religious Identity, Contemporary Religion, Minority Religions, and Religion and Comedy/Performance. His recent books include Swami Vivekananda and Non-Hindu Traditions (Routledge, 2019), The Insider/Outsider Debate: New Approaches in the Study of Religion (Equinox, 2019), The Bloomsbury Handbook to Studying Christians (Bloomsbury, 2019), Engaging with Living Religion (Routledge, 2015) and Jesus Beyond Christianity (Oxford University Press, 2010).

Stephen received his BA and PhD from the University of Wales, where he was subsequently appointed Lecturer in Religious Studies. He was then appointed as Fellow in the Study of Religion at Liverpool Hope University and is now Senior Lecturer at Wolverhampton, the multicultural heart of the UK. He has delivered invited papers at universities in India, Turkey, Australia, the USA, and across the UK and Europe. In 2013 Stephen was the lead coordinator for the European Association for the Study of Religions and the International Association for the History of Religions Conference in Liverpool, UK.

Keynote Presentation (2020) | Embracing Difference: Religious Diversity in the UK
Yu Niiya
Hosei University, Japan

Biography

Dr Yu Niiya is a Professor in the Department of Global and Interdisciplinary Studies (GIS) at Hosei University, Tokyo. She received her MA from the University of Tokyo and her PhD from the University of Michigan in social psychology. Dr Niiya’s research interests lie in the exploration of whether a compassionate mindset can encourage people to overcome their hesitation to take risks. For example, she is currently investigating how having compassionate goals (i.e., the goals to support others) and self-image goals (i.e., the goals to project a desirable image of the self, such as appearing helpful) predict the extent to which people express dissent toward the group they belong to or the extent to which they will offer help to a stranger. Furthermore, she has worked on what enables people to learn from failure, the positive relational consequences of adult’s amae, and many cross-cultural studies on various topics. She has been a PI (principal investigator) and collaborator on many Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI) projects for the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. She is also an associate editor for the Asian Journal of Social Psychology and the Japanese Journal of Social Psychology.

Featured Presentation (2020) | Helping a stranger in Japan: Who helps and why?
Frank S. Ravitch
Michigan State University College of Law, USA

Biography

Frank S. Ravitch is Professor of Law and Walter H. Stowers Chair in Law in Religion at the Michigan State University College of Law. He also directs the MSU College of Law, Kyoto Japan Program. He is the author of Freedom’s Edge: Religious Freedom, Sexual Freedom, and the Future of America (Cambridge University Press, 2016) (Nominated for a Prose Award); Marketing Creation: The Law and Intelligent Design (Cambridge University Press 2012), Masters of Illusion: The Supreme Court and the Religion Clauses (NYU Press 2007); Law and Religion: Cases, Materials, and Readings (West 2004)(2nd Ed. 2008) (3rd Ed. 2015 with Larry Cata Backer), School Prayer and Discrimination: The Civil Rights of Religious Minorities and Dissenters (Northeastern University Press, 1999 & paperback edition 2001). He is co-author, with the late Boris Bittker and with Scott Idleman, of the first comprehensive treatise on Law and Religion in more than one hundred years, Religion and the State in American Law (Cambridge University Press 2015) (this project was supported by a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment). He is also co-author of, Employment Discrimination Law (Prentice Hall, 2005) (with Pamela Sumners and Janis McDonald).

Professor Ravitch's articles, which have appeared in a number of highly regarded journals, have primarily focused on law and religion in the US and Japan, but he has also written about civil rights law and disability discrimination. He has authored a number of amicus briefs to the US Supreme Court and has given numerous academic presentations nationally and internationally. In 2001, he was named a Fulbright scholar and served on the law faculty at Doshisha University (Japan). He has also made dozens of public presentations explaining the law before school groups, community groups, and service clubs and has served as an expert commentator for print and broadcast media.

Professor Ravitch’s current projects include a book on the Japanese Legal System (co-authored with Colin Jones), a chapter on law and religious tradition, and a project focusing on Law, Religion, and Authoritarianism. He speaks English and basic conversational Japanese and Hebrew.

Keynote Presentation (2020) | Religious Complicity and LGBTQ Rights

Previous Presentations

Keynote Presentation (2019) | The Religious and Ethical Void of Trumpism & the Oddity of Trump Support Among Some Evangelical Christians
Keynote Presentation (2018) | Law, Religion and Authoritarianism: From State Shinto to Religio-Trumpism
Featured Presentation (2017) | Freedom’s Edge: Balancing Religious Freedom and Equal Access to Facilities and Services for Transexuals
Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | Free Speech and Hate Speech – History, Story, Narrative
Mie Takaki
DBT Tokyo, Japan

Biography

Mie Takaki is a Certified Clinical Psychologist in Japan. She holds an MSc in Clinical and Counseling Psychology. She works with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families with diverse backgrounds in multicultural Tokyo. Mie offers therapies and counseling in Japanese, English, and French. Once a week, Mie visits a public primary school as a school counselor for the Tokyo metropolitan government. Mie’s clinical orientation is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Mie completed intensive DBT training through Behavioral Tech: A Linehan Institute Training Company. Mie was born and raised in a small town in Niigata, Japan, but has been in and out of Japan for study and work since the age of 15. Her psychological practice is informed by her former career with an international NGO in Asia, West Africa and Latin America. As an expat, she moved from country to country; first as a single woman, and later with her family. She understands the dynamics that international moving adds to the psychological state of individuals and families.

Featured Presentation (2020) | Dialectical Behavior Therapy – Its Relevance for Japan in Social Transition