CFP: Unchurched Religion in Central and Eastern Europe

The Journal for Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe (RASCEE) invites the submission of original research articles dealing with the topic of Unchurched Religion in Central and Eastern Europe.

There is an ongoing debate in sociology of religion whether new forms of religious beliefs supplement or substitute conventional forms of religiosity or not. Most of the evidence for the proliferation of alternative beliefs stems from Western countries. Although some important contributions about unchurched religion in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) exist, more research is needed about the emergence and proliferation of alternative beliefs.

The topic is all the more important as the specific conditions for religious change and pluralization differ between Western and Eastern Europe. First, in many CEE countries there is a dominance of Christian Orthodox Churches that do not share the same theological traditions as the Protestant and Catholic Churches. Second, many CEE countries are religiously more diverse than most Western European countries as the former have Muslim populations that do not stem from immigration into these countries. Third, CEE countries experienced anti-religious repression during the communist rule.

The goal of the volume is to draw a comprehensive picture of the state of unchurched religion in CEE and to develop an explanatory framework for religious change that considers the special religious and social conditions in CEE. This requires a broad approach to religious diversity covering the most varied expressions of belief like “believing without belonging” (Davie 1994), “religious bricolage” (Champion 1990), New-Age and Alternative Spiritualties (Heelas/Woodhead 2005), “lived religion” (Ammerman 2007; McGuire 2008) or changes within the broader frame of Christian religiosity but which contests the religious authority of the churches. Examples of research questions that contributions might address are:

  1. What kinds of non-conventional belief, if any, are relevant for societies in CEE? And why?
  2. How do the specific religious and social conditions in CEE affect the proliferation of unchurched religion?
  3. Does it make sense to distinguish the spheres of conventional and alternative religion in CEE given the specific cultural conditions in CEE?
  4. How does the legacy of anti-religious repression during the communist rule shape non-conventional forms of beliefs?

All original contributions have to be submitted for review in English. Manuscripts should be between 5,000 and 7,000 words long (inclusive of footnotes, tables, abstract, references, short biographical note etc.). Submissions must include an abstract (up to 200 words) and up to 5 key words. Please follow the journal guidelines for authors when writing your manuscript. Deadline for submission is 31 March 2015. Papers will be published subject to peer review. Publication is planned for December 2015. For any queries, please contact: Pascal Siegers (

Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe (RASCEE) is an annual, open-access, peer-reviewed academic journal that reflects critical scholarship in the study of religion in the region.