CFP: Old religion and new spirituality: continuity and changes in the background of secularization

Research group of religious studies of the Centre of Excellence in Cultural Theory (Estonia) announces a call for papers for its conference:

Old religion and new spirituality: continuity and changes in the background of secularization

University of Tartu, Estonia

26-29 May 2015

Estonia is an extremely secularized European country, characterized by the diminishing institutionalization of religion (de-institutionalization) and the decline of the Christian practices and beliefs (de-Christianization). In order to investigate the historical roots of the situation and clarify the characteristics of the current picture, the research project about religiosity in Estonia was started in 2011. The staff of the project welcomes the researchers dealing with the religious situation in various regions and countries of Europe in order to make comparisons of certain features of the changing religious landscape. Papers that address contemporary developments or provide a historical perspective will be accepted.

Particularly interesting aspects may include:

– historical process of secularization, its specific features in different countries;

– combinations of religion and nationalism, effects of nationalism on public religion;

– changes in the traditional religious groups and churches in 21st century;

– atheism and nonreligion, their organized and individual manifestations;

– new spirituality, “New Age” and individual religiousness, mixed forms of organized and individual religion.

Invited speakers include: Stephen Bullivant (St Mary’s University, Twickenham), Abby Day (University of Kent), Paul Heelas (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Detlef Pollack (University of Münster).

The language of the conference is English. The length of papers: 20 minutes. A conference fee €80 will be applied for meals and materials, the participants are expected to pay for their travel and accommodation. The organizers plan to publish a selection of papers.

Please send abstracts of papers of 250-300 words to the conference e-mail: before 01.01.2015.

Pre-arranged panels are to be considered as well.

Notification of acceptance and opening of the registration: 01.02.2015.

For further inquiries you may also contact Riho Altnurme:

Constantly updated information about the conference can be found at:

CFP: Religion Indifference, Due 2/28

CFP: Religious Indifference

The Emmy-Noether-Project, “The Diversity of Nonreligion,” ( is happy to be hosting a workshop on “religious indifference” in Frankfurt am Main, from November 13th to 15th.

The concept of religious indifference has been used to describe a specific mode of nonreligiosity that is an expression of extremely low concern for religion. As such “indifference” is to be distinguished from religiosity on one hand and avowed atheism on the other. Furthermore, religious indifference can take various modes, for example that of “existential” or “cognitive” indifference (Pollack, Wohlrab-Sahr, and Gärtner 2003).

As with other modes of nonreligiosity, the social status of religious indifference varies according to the constitution of the religious field and the general socio-cultural context (Quack 2013, 2014). Referring to the British case, Bagg and Voas (2010) argue that current indifference is primarily the result of changes in the religious landscape of Britain and the increasing religious and social acceptance of people who do not practice any religion. Conversely, if religion is deeply embedded in civil culture, religious indifference might be negatively perceived as a form of social dissent (Wohlrab-Sahr and Kaden 2013). Bullivant (2012) by contrast, has introduced an alternative meaning of religious indifference by hinting at the seemingly paradoxical situation of rising interest and concern with religion in European secularized societies; what is at stake here is not a positioning towards personal religious belief, behavior, or belonging, but the (dis)interest in public-political manifestations of religion.

While anti-clericalism or other anti-religious expressions have visibly accompanied processes of secularization, indifference seems to be an important yet unaccounted feature of contemporary societies. In the upcoming workshop, we seek to bring together different scholars who wish to (further) engage with the concept of religious indifference.

The workshop will take place in Frankfurt am Main, from November 13th-15th.

Please note that the workshop’s primary goal is to develop a joint publication. In order to do so, we suggest that all participants write a draft article and distribute it to the other participants prior to the workshop. These articles will be discussed during the workshop itself. We welcome theoretical contributions and methodological and methodic reflections as well as case studies from different national or regional contexts.

Please send a short abstract for consideration to Deadline for application is February 28th.

Further dates of importance:

  • All participants will be provided an extended conceptual sketch: Spring 2014
  • Participants submit a draft article: October 2014
  • Revision of articles by participants: Spring 2015
  • Final Submission: Summer 2015

CFP: Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe (RASCEE)


Religion & Society in Central and Eastern Europe – Journal of the International Study of Religion in Eastern and Central Europe Association (ISORECEA) | ISSN: 1553-9962

Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe (RASCEE) is an open-access peer-reviewed annual (published in December) academic journal reflecting critical scholarship in the study religion in the region. Journal Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe is included in Index to the Study of Religions Online (A cross-searchable database and bibliography of journal articles) and in EBSCO Publishing – Academic Search Complete, SocIndex with Full Text and in Central and Eastern European Academic Source., while it is in the review process with Religious and Theological Abstracts, ATLA Religion Databases and ProQuest.

Call for papers

RELIGION IN THE SOCIETIES OF FORMER SOVIET UNION TERRITORIES:ROLES, MANIFESTATIONS AND TRANSFORMATIONS In the early 1990s the territories of the former Soviet Union opened up to social and religious innovations. After generations of nurturing the idea of a homogenous society, different states emerged,some of them with homogenous, and some of them with heterogeneous, religious fields, with different ways of living and coping with the new conditions of religious freedom, and with different conceptions of the role of religion in society. Looking back after two decades, we can state that religion in the territories of the former Soviet Union has undergone transformations: from forced secularization, to offering new roles, and having a variety of manifestations within contemporary societies that are marked by modernization, individualization and globalization. Is it possible to talk about a religious revival or not? What are the roles of religion in post-Soviet societies? What are the manifestations of new forms of religiosity? How has religion been transformed and mutated in the last two decades? Which religions have been successful and which have failed?Throughout this period a new generation of social scientists and humanities scholars have grown up,and we are particularly interested in their interpretations of the social situation in the region. How does the new generation of scholars understand and interpret the roles, manifestations and transformations of religion in the former Soviet Union?

Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe invites submissions for a special issue dedicated to religion in the former Soviet Union. We welcome both empirical and theoretical contributions from diverse areas of the social sciences, such as: sociology, anthropology, political science, religious studies, history and law, and that focus on the post-Soviet religious landscape and its post-Communist transformations.

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

Language: English

Website for the submission of articles:

Deadline: June 1, 2013

Contact: Milda Alisauskiene at, or Annika Hvithamar

CFP: Global Secularisms at NYU, Due 3/31

Call For Papers

Global Secularisms

The Global Liberal Studies Program at New York University is currently seeking paper submissions for its inaugural conference on the topic of Global Secularisms — to be held on November 15 and 16, 2013 in New York, NY.

From a global perspective, Western secularism, and for example the American debate regarding the separation of church and state, appear as very parochial issues. Secularism is a vexed topic with global implications and consequences, affecting virtually every part of the world, every nation state and every culture, traditional or modern. Questions related to secularism have become increasingly urgent and involve enormous real-world implications. From the emergence of the “new atheism,” to battles over shariah law in Europe and the Middle East, to the reemergence of religion in the politics of India, to battles over the authority of science in the United States, to struggles both intellectual and political over the shape of the public sphere, the question of secularism proves critical.

Some scholars question the assumption that the modern social order is undergoing, or indeed has ever undergone, the process of secularization; others hold that we have entered a post-secular era. Still others associate secularism with western cultural, social, economic or political hegemony. And on the other hand, some of the most compelling thinkers insist that secularism is the only possible means of negotiating sectarian strife and establishing and maintaining a democratic state. Equating secularism with the rejection of the transcendent, secular humanists insist that secularism is the best way to achieve real human flourishing. Yet the very meanings of the words “secularism” and “religion” have been questioned. The history of secularism — and the word should be made plural — helps define the crises of our moment. This conference returns to these issues, in the light of these recent discussions and of recent events that are having serious effects on the way we live now, on the shape of global politics and culture for the immediate future.

This conference hopes to appeal to scholars and creative authors from the major divisions of the academy, including the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as to independent scholars and writers from outside of the academy. We welcome engagement with questions involving secularism and the arts, culture, economics, history, international relations, religion, philosophy, politics, and science. Among the possible broad areas that papers might address, we offer the following possibilities:

  • Secularist movements/figures, past and present
  • Secularism and/as religion
  • Secularism and the arts, literature
  • Secularism and human flourishing
  • Secularism and the state
  • Anti-secularism, anti-atheism
  • Secularism and imperialism
  • Secularism and rights
  • Secularism in colonial/postcolonial contexts
  • The secularization of knowledge, science
  • The secularization of culture
  • The secularization of the university
  • Secularism and feminism
  • Post-secularism

Please email abstracts of 150-300 words by March 31, 2013 to:
Dr. Michael Rectenwald (

The conference steering committee will respond to submissions by June 1, 2013.

CFP: Rethinking Religion in India conference: Secularism, Religion and Law

Deadline for abstracts 15 August 2012

Rethinking Religion in India conference to be held on 24-27 November 2012 held by the  the research programme Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap (Comparative Science of Cultures)

In 2003, the Research Centre Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap (“Comparative Science of Cultures”) was established at Ghent University, Belgium, under the directorship of Prof. S.N. Balagangadhara. The Research Centre promotes research on cultural differences between Asia and the West and has a special focus on European and Indian culture.

Parallel Paper Sessions

We invite submission of max. 300 word abstracts on the following themes:

  • The colonial construction of Hinduism
  • The caste system and Indian religion
  • Secularism in Europe and India
  • Religious conversion in India
  • Religious and communal violence
  • Religion and Law

In case there is a second author, please indicate this clearly in your abstract.

“How to…?” Workshops

We invite proposals for workshop sessions that address a concrete question such as ‘How to teach about the Indian religions and traditions?’ or ‘How to develop de-colonised descriptions of the Indian traditions?’ will be addressed. Even though the aim of these sessions is to involve the audience in a more active way, the structure of these sessions is left open: the sessions could consist of presentations, a discussion among a panel of experts on a particular theme, a discussion with the audience introduced and moderated by a chair. It is left to the organiser of a ‘how to…?’ workshop to decide upon this.

Workshop proposals should explain why this workshop is important vis-à-vis the general objectives of Rethinking Religion in India. They should also contain an outline of the planned structure of the session with the number and names of speakers, moderator and/or other participants.

CFP: “Irreligion, Secularism and Social Change” Deadline for abstracts 13th February 2012

This CFP is the result of a discussion a few of us have been having about putting together an exploratory session at this year’s AAR, in the hope that we can create a group within the AAR yearly program to deal with irreligion/nonreligion and secularism topics going forward.

“Irreligion, Secularism and Social Change”

Exploratory session, American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Chicago, IL on Nov 17-20.

Society is always in flux, a fact that could hardly be missed in 2011, the year of the protester. As such, social change has become a hot topic in a variety of academic disciplines. Those dealing with religion are asking questions about how religious belief systems envision utopia, how religious institutions promote or stifle transformations of society, and how social change in turn transforms religion; but what about irreligious institutions, nontheistic belief systems and secularism? How do they relate to and interact with social change? This panel was born out of the belief that it is also important to investigate the relationship between social change and “the secular.” Paper topics may include but are not limited to nontheistic moral philosophies and worldviews, irreligious communities, institutions and individuals, or secularism as ideology and practice. We hope to get proposals from a wide array of disciplinary perspectives and papers will be selected based on thematic relevance and methodological diversity. If you are interested in participating please send an abstract of no more than 500 words to by the end of the day, Feburary 13, 2012.

Please note that this panel is also part of an effort to create an “Irreligion and Secularism” unit within the American Academy of Religion annual meeting program and is therefore being pitched to the AAR as an exploratory session. This means that once your paper is selected the panel still requires approval from the AAR program committee before it gets accepted for this year’s annual meeting.

For further details please contact, Per Smith: