23-24 May 2016
The Catholic University of America
Washington D.C., USA
Current Submission Deadline*: 18 March 2015
PLEASE NOTE: The Fifth International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society is taking place at the University of California at Berkley, 16-17 April 2015. Proposals are still being accepted for a short time. Click here for more details.
2016 SPECIAL THEME: Religion in the Age of the Anthropocene: Towards a Common Cause?
A new framework has been presented in recent years to periodize and interpret the effects of human life on the natural environment: the age of the ‘anthropocene’. By this definition, we are now in an era when human activities have become a key macro-determinant of the destiny of the ecosystems of Earth. Critical analyses of this age generally have one of two orientations. One perspective looks back, re-examining the relationship of human social, economic, and technical developments on the natural environment. Another looks forward, attempting to build alternative models of human development that put ecological sustainability as a foundational principle.
The natural environment presents itself as a ground for life and a gift of life in all communities of faith and spiritual meaning. In the ‘age of the anthropocene’, how might faith (and explicitly non-faith) communities productively engage in these critical discussions? Looking backward: could this be an opportunity for productive dialogues between principles of science, economics, and religion? Looking forward: in what ways might faith communities and other communities of spiritual meaning set agendas for personal and community action? What principles of stewardship, compassion, or mutual obligation might they offer? How might they provide leadership on issues of the environment, ecological sustainably, and climate change? Could addressing these concerns also offer a basis for productive inter-faith dialogue, a locus for the development of unified moral voice across differing belief systems? Could the age of the anthropocene, as a focal interpretive mechanism for understanding the intersection of human action, science, and faith, become a site for joining into a ‘common cause’ and a place to share imaginations for the future of human development? Not only might such an agenda have implications for our relations in the natural environment, but also such considerations of the future might prompt us to address related questions of inequality, poverty, and human suffering.
The Conference will address a range of critically important issues and themes relating to the Religion in Society community. Plenary speakers include some of the leading thinkers in these areas, as well as numerous paper, colloquium and workshop presentations.
We are inviting proposals for paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters/exhibits, or colloquia (See Proposal Types) addressing religion and spirituality in society through one of the following themes:
- Religious Foundations
- Religious Community and Socialization
- Religious Commonalities and Differences
- The Politics of Religion
Proposal ideas that extend beyond these thematic areas will also be considered. For more information about the ideas and themes underlying this community, see Our Focus.
We also offer participation options for those individuals who cannot attend the conference. Authors who wish to submit an article for potential publication in the Religion in Society Journal may submit a Proposal for Article Submission, while all members of the knowledge community with an accepted proposal may submit an online presentation to the knowledge community YouTube channel.
*Abstracts are accepted in monthly rounds. Return here for subsequent review deadlines. Proposals received at each deadline will be reviewed between two to four weeks of the corresponding deadline.