Deadline reminder 27 April 2012 and Updated CFP for the NSRN Annual Conference



Call for Papers| 4-6 July 2012, Goldsmiths, University of London

 Nonreligion and the Secular: New Horizons for Multidisciplinary Research

Registration now open!

Conveners: Lois Lee (, Stacey Gutkowski (, and Stephen Bullivant (

Conference Coordinator: Katie Aston (

There is an urgent need to bring discussions of micro-level nonreligion, atheism and secularity into contact with treatments of political and institutional secularism – a pressing and vibrant area of academic discussion which has so far focused on the protection and constraining of religion, and not sufficiently considered nonreligious and atheist actors.

This conference welcomes which engage with this core problem, or with nonreligion, atheism and/or secularism in isolation. Topics include:

  • The relationship between nonreligion, atheism, and/or humanism and secular polities and secularist ideologies.
  • The nature of secularity, secularism and postsecularism
  • The nature of nonreligion, atheism and/or humanism in contemporary society and in global context
  • The representation of secularism, nonreligion etc in law and policy / treatment of nonreligion and atheism in theories of multiculturalism, religious pluralism and postsecularism
  • The role of New Atheism is society, culture and politics – and its relationship to ‘lay atheisms’ or other nonreligious and secularist discourses
  • The psychology of secularism or nonreligion, atheism, etc.
  • Secularism, nonreligion and atheism in material culture
  • Conceptual and empirical relationships between religionand nonreligion and/or secularism
  • Research development, methodological issues and teaching in these subject areas

Following decades of neglect, the academic study of nonreligion has grown rapidly in the past five years. The primary aim of this conference is to bring together scholars across a range of academic disciplines (sociology, anthropology, theology, political science, psychology, history, international relations, area studies) to begin to untangle the confused and individually contested concepts of nonreligion and the secular. Is nonreligion a subcategory of the secular or vice versa? How do the two terms structure one another? What are the practical and theoretical implications of the concepts, such as they are and/or in alternative formulations? The aim of this international conference is to contribute to addressing this lacuna. While discussions of nonreligion and the secular have been running largely in parallel, they are potentially mutually enriching topics with significant bearing outside of the academy. This conference will consolidate the achievements already made over the past five years by nonreligion scholars and forge new, multidisciplinary dialogue between these researchers and those primarily working with the concept of the secular. This conference will bring together a range of internationally renowned scholars, including keynote speakers Gracie Davie (Exeter), Callum Brown (Dundee), Monika Wohlrab-Sahr (Leipzig), and Humeira Iqtidar (King’s College London).

This conference will interrogate three dimensions and welcomes both empirically- and theoretically-based paper contributions which address the following:

1) Nonreligion as a concept in its own right

2) The nonreligious in relation to notions of the secular

3) The implications of nonreligion research for pressing social and political issues associated with discussions of the secular

Publication Outcome: We are planning to publish a selection of the papers presented at the conference in an edited volume.

 The deadline for abstract submission (250 words max) is 27 April 2012. Please send your abstract together with a short biographical note to Katie Aston at

In collaboration with:


Registration is now open!

Full conference (exc. accommodation and evening meals): £145 (£110 unwaged); day rate: £65 (£45 unwaged).


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