SocRel Response Day 2015: The Future of Learning about Religion and Belief

SocRel Response Day 2015: The Future of Learning about Religion and Belief

Thursday 5th November 2015, 10 a.m. -4 p.m.

BSA Meeting Room, Imperial Wharf, London

The 2015 SocRel Response Study Day will explore the future of learning about religion and belief. The symposium is organised by SocRel, the BSA Sociology of Religion Study Group.

 For registration please click HERE.

 Speakers include: Professor Robert Jackson (Warwick University), Dr Matthew Francis (Lancaster University), Martha Shaw (Goldsmiths). More speakers will be announced soon.

 In light of the continued focus on learning about religion, not just in schools but also in wider society, the SocRel response day will explore the future of learning about religion and belief from a variety of perspectives, reflecting not only on what the future might hold, but also considering what knowledge we need for encountering religion in the modern world today.

Despite the long held assumption that we live in an increasingly secular society, the continued presence and visibility of religion in both the public and private sphere means that religion is still as significant and important as ever. As we encounter religion in everyday spaces and places throughout our lives, understanding and awareness about faith traditions is necessary for all sorts of professions, sectors and organisations. However, after decades of silence on the subject, many are lacking this essential knowledge. This coupled with suspicion and anxiety about religion, fuelled by media outlets and political agendas, means that we are increasingly ill-equipped to talk about religion comfortably and confidently in our daily lives.

In an increasingly diverse and multi faith society, it is vital that we have the necessary knowledge to understand the various faiths and religious practices in our world. Religion permeates most if not all areas of life and cannot be simply syphoned out or compartmentalised. As such we need to have insight and awareness about religion for everyday life situations and this learning should not start and finish in schools; we need a continued education. But what expertise do we need and how should we learn about this? Would a social worker need to know the same as a lawyer? Is ‘religious talk’ the same in politics as it is in business? And if we are to have different levels or types of ‘religious literacy’, how do we ensure accuracy and consistency within such learning schemes?

The SocRel response day aims to consider this through a series of presentations and plenary discussions, covering a range of topics related to the future of learning about religion and belief. The day will be highly participative and engaged. The symposium will be organised as a single stream so that the day is as much about discussion as it is about presentation.

Costs: BSA Member £36; SocRel Member £41; Non-member £46; BSA concessionary £15; SocRel concessionary £20; Non-member concessionary £25

Lunch is provided

Should you have any queries about the day, please do not hesitate to contact the event organisers, Professor Adam Dinham or Rachael Shillitoe


SocRel Conference and Events Officer


NSRN Annual Lecture 2015: Outline of a Theory of Religious-Secular Competition

We are delighted to announce our 2015 Annual Lecture, presented in cooperation with the Department of Social Anthropology & Cultural Studies (ISEK) at the University of Zurich, and the Emmy Noether-project “The Diversity of Nonreligion.”

Outline of a Theory of Religious-Secular Competition

Prof. Dr. Jörg Stolz (University of Lausanne)

Thursday, November 12, 2015, 6pm

Venue: University of Zurich (UZH) Oerlikon Campus Andreasstr. 15, 8050 Zurich Room: AND 3.02/06 (3rd floor)

A flyer can be downloaded here (pdf).

NSRN Annual Lecture

New Books in NSRN Book Series

The NSRN and De Gruyter are pleased to announce the first three publications in their book seriesReligion and its Others: Studies in Religion, Nonreligion, and Secularity:

For more on the series, see here:

Download Flyer

NSRN Series 2

289 new additions to our bibliography of relevant publications

After a long hiatus, 289 new items have been added to the NSRN bibliography. These new items can be viewed here:

The bibliography can also be viewed in a list organised by author surname or publication date.

As ever, the bibliography is a collaborative enterprise and we cannot claim that it is comprehensive of all relevant NSRN related publications. If you spot any gaps, at any point, you can let us know via this comment form on the website and we will add the publication at our next update.

Registration Now Open for NSRN 2014 Conference

Registration is now open for the NSRN 3rd International Conference

19-20 November 2014, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA

“Explaining Nonreligion and Secularity in the U.S. and Beyond”

Delegates mingling at the NSRN 2012 Conference in London.

Delegates mingling at the NSRN 2012 Conference in London.

See the conference page for further details and registration form.

We hope to see many of you there!

Recruiting New Members to join the NSRN blog Editorial Team

Do you enjoy reading posts on the NSRN blog Nonreligion and Secularity?
Do you have a keen interest in nonreligion and secularity research?
Would you like to join the blog’s editorial team?

We are currently looking to expand and are seeking enthusiastic people to join Nonreligion and Secularity’s editorial team.

As well as helping to build upon the initial success of the blog, new team members will have the opportunity to play a dynamic role in the blog’s ongoing development and its vision for the future.

Visit the blog for more details and application information

Postdoc: Studying New Atheism at Uppsala University

The Faculty of Theology at Uppsala University wishes to appoint a Postdoctoral fellow studying New Atheism for a period of two years, beginning as soon as possible and April 1, 2014 at the latest. Application is due on January 15, 2014.The Faculty is looking for a project with a critical scientific focus on New Atheism/contemporary atheistic positions or groups. What characterizes the phenomenon in question? What historical roots does it have? How does it relate to earlier forms of atheism and critique of religion? What understanding of religion and which ideological assumptions does it presuppose? Towards which forms of religions and ideologies is the atheistic criticism directed? What are the arguments for atheism and against religion, and what weight should be awarded to these arguments? How does the phenomenon relate to the contemporary criticism of secularization theses and secularism? What normative grounds and political ambitions does it have? What role does the phenomenon play in today’s society and politics?



Event: Church Growth and Decline in a Global City: London, 1980 to the Present

Church Growth and Decline in a Global City: London, 1980 to the Present
A Colloquium organised by the Centre for Church Growth Research
Cranmer Hall, St Johns College, Durham University and
by the Institute of Historical Research, University of London
Date: 2 May 2014, 10 am to 4 pm
Venue: Room 349 Senate House, University of London
Cost: £50 (£35 for post- and under-graduate students)
Speakers include:
Professor David Martin (LSE)
Professor John Wolffe (Open University)
Dr Peter Brierley (Brierley Consulting)
Dr Lois Lee (University College, London)
Dr Alana Harris (Lincoln College, Oxford)
Dr Andrew Rogers (University of Roehampton)
Rev Dr Babatunde Adedibu (RCCG)
For detailed information and to book a place, visit:

CFP: BSA Annual Conference 2014: Changing Society

BSA Annual Conference 2014: 
Changing Society
Sociology of Religion Stream
Keynote Plenary: Professor Adam Dinham
Adam Dinham is director of the Faiths and Civil Society Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he is Professor of Faith & Public Policy. He is policy advisor to a number of faith-based agencies and policy bodies, including the Faith Based Regeneration Network and the CoExistence Trust in the House of Lords, and has advised central government on issues of public faith. Professor Dinham’s recent publication Faith and Social Capital After the Debt Crisis (2012) examines the impact of viewing faiths as social capital, exploring whether faith can help rebalance society by drawing communities together.
Call for Papers
The role of religion in social change has been one of the key questions in sociology ever since Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. What role is religion currently playing in producing change in contemporary society? And how are religious individuals, communities and institutions responding to recent changes in society? What might such responses suggest about the future of religion in the public sphere? How might this reconfigure the religious/secular divide? This event will encourage discussion of the particular religious contributions, and responses, to a changing society.
We invite papers on topics that may include (but are not limited to) the following:
·       Relationship between religious and secular institutions
·       Religion in the public square
·       Evolving role and status of religious organisations
·       Faith communities and social action
·       Religion and welfare
·       Religion and politics
·       Religion and education
·       Religion and technology
·       Theoretical perspectives on religion and social change
How to submit
All paper abstracts and proposals for other events can be submitted online at:
The deadline for submission of abstracts is 18 October 2013.
For further information contact the Sociology of Religion stream coordinators
Jo McKenzie   E:
Titus Hjelm   E:
Alternatively, contact the BSA Events Team   E: