[CFP] SocRel Response Day 2016

SocRel Response Day 2016: Connecting for Change: emerging research and policy on religion and belief in the public sphere

Friday 21st October, 10 a.m. -4 p.m.

BSA Meeting Room, Imperial Wharf, London

Keynote Speaker: Professor Tariq Modood (University of Bristol)

The public sphere has been both prominent and turbulent in recent times, and in common with other interests and disciplines, the study of religion and belief has been exploring the questions which are raised. From the role of faith in public life, to media representations, legal cases and controversies, and the future of school RE, a plethora of research and reports has been underway which connect religion and belief with policy and practice. This event will present key examples, with an emphasis on sociology of religion, including as it connects with other disciplines, and with policy and practice.

The goal is to explore the connections between religion and belief research, policy and the public sphere through presentations, questions and discussions. We invite proposals for papers and/or (small) panels of 40 minutes (including time for questions), which present research which has connected with – or is planned to – any aspect of policy or practice (such as education, health, housing, welfare, law, employment, politics, government and others).

Registration now open: http://portal.britsoc.co.uk/public/event/eventBooking.aspx?id=EVT10587

Key Dates:

  • Abstract submission closes: 9th September 2016
  • Decision notification: 13th September 2016
  • Registration closes: 7th October 2016

To deliver a paper, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words, alongside a biographical note of no more than 50 words. To deliver a panel, please send an abstract of no more than 500 words alongside a biographical note of no more than 50 words for each contributor. Please send abstracts to Professor Adam Dinham at a.dinham@gold.ac.uk by Friday 9th September 2016.

Costs: £36.00 for BSA members; £41 for Socrel members; £46.00 for non-members; £15 for BSA Concessionary members; £20.00 for Socrel Concessionary members; £25.00 for non-members concessionary.

Should you have any queries about the day, please do not hesitate to contact the event organizers, Professor Adam Dinham a.dinham@gold.ac.uk or Rachael Shillitoe r.shillitoe@worc.ac.uk. For further details, visit the SocRel website www.socrel.org.uk.  For further details about the BSA visit www.britsoc.co.uk

Event Report: Why Nonreligion is the New Religion

LoisLaunching the new website, the first NSRN blog of the year is director Lois Lee’s report on Linda Woodhead’s recent British Academy lecture. This event provided an opportunity, she argues, to reflect on the development of the study of nonreligion to this point, including its relationship with the study of religion – and to celebrate its rosy prospects. 


Linda Woodhead’s lecture at the British Academy in London last week – on ‘Why Nonreligion is the New Religion’ – felt momentous. Quite appropriately, as this was Woodhead’s inaugural speech as a Fellow of the Academy. But I was also struck by the foregrounding not of religion but of nonreligion at this most auspicious of occasions.

Woodhead’s interest in nonreligion is not surprising in itself. She has been a long-term advocate of its study and her interest pre-dates the formation of the NSRN and has continued in conversation with it. Rather, I was struck by the context and the setting. To get to my seat, I forged a path from Trafalgar Square, passing Whitehall and the Mall – those seats of British power – and down Pall Mall, then passing the plush, dimly lit rooms of the Institute of Directors, lined with gilt-framed oil paintings, to the buildings of the British Academy. Inside the BA, we passed along marbled lobbies, carpeted corridors, a grand staircase up to the chamber (surely ‘room’ is too plain a word) where the lecture was to given, under the warm glow of chandeliers. If mine and others’ work has agitated for the academy (small ‘a’) to ‘recognise the nonreligious’, it was hard to escape the feeling that this welcome into the Academy (big ‘A’) was a noteworthy point on its journey. And that is something that many in the NSRN should and will celebrate.

Still, I was drawn out of these self-interested reveries by Diarmaid MacCulloch[i]’s  small but significant aside: to paraphrase, ‘some might think that faith was not worth the BA talking about’. To a sociologist of religion, like myself, the reminder that anyone might think this so often comes as a surprise. One does not need to hold MacCulloch’s view that religion is a growing force in society to have a strong sense that it is still a force to be reckoned with.

But this opening statement brings home an important point about the historic neglect of nonreligious populations in the academy, too – that its own marginalisation is also built upon the marginalisation of religion as an object of study. Nonreligious subjectivities may be under-studied because they have been naturalised – as Talal Asad, Timothy Fitzgerald, Colin Campbell and others have pointed to. But, since the secularisation paradigm understood religiosity itself to be a transient, increasingly outmoded phenomenon, sociologists can be primed to notice when religion expires, rather than the emergence of alternatives – the beliefs, identities and practices that it transforms into.

MacCulloch’s remark reminded me once more that sociologists of religion were not so much hogging the field, refusing to make room for the study of the nonreligious, as they were absorbed in their own battles to have religion recognised as an object of study – and that the study of religion remains precarious still.

Ultimately, both the study of religion and of nonreligion are vulnerable, though each for their own and culturally contingent reasons. If there is cause for optimism – and I think that there is – that is because recognising the nonreligious in scholarship is one important way of supporting, even guaranteeing the study of religion for the longer term. And vice versa. To recognise the nonreligious is to adopt an inclusive understanding of the field ‘religious’ studies. This should broaden its relevance and appeal – especially in contexts in which the nonreligious make up a sizable portion of the population, even a majority as it now does in the UK (a point that Woodhead discussed). An inclusive approach to thinking about religion – or beyond it – should not be the preoccupation of a few , but something which we recognise that we all have a stake in, whether traditionally religious, alternatively spiritual, nonreligious or areligious.

Woodhead’s talk demonstrated that knowledge about the religious and the nonreligious have the capacity to enrich one another. She pointed to several intriguing findings of her current, UK-focused research. She pointed, for example, to the remarkable stickiness of nonreligious identities compared to religious ones: nonreligious parents will almost always pass on this identity to their children, whilst religious parents will only be half as successful. She also made a powerful argument in support of the view that nonreligious affiliates – i.e. those who identify themselves as having ‘no religion’ on surveys – should be recognised as a significant and heterogeneous constituency in its own right and one demanding further study – something that NSRN researchers will no doubt salute.

Woodhead also made interesting observations about the way in which ‘no religion’ has replaced the Church of England as a national ‘religion’. It is not only that nonreligion is the new norm, but that it overlaps with other, authorised notions of Britishness: whiteness, being British-born and politically liberal. At the same time, she described a disjunction between the conservative messages of Anglican leaders in the UK and the liberalism of the majority of church-members. Thus, liberals are being drawn to nonreligion and pushed away from religion at the same time – a notion that nicely illustrates how the study of nonreligion and religion often need to be done together.

Woodhead raised points for debate, too. I would challenge, for example, her reliance on ‘positive atheist’ beliefs (i.e. ‘I believe that God does not exist’) to measure non-theistic believers. In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins claims to be an agnostic with a leaning towards positive atheism – 6 out of 7 on a scale from certain theist to certain non-theist; hence the ‘probably’ in the Atheist Bus Campaign slogan, ‘There Probably Is No God. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life’. It’s not clear, therefore, that even Dawkins would select the positive atheist category rather than the strong agnostic one also provided. In general, in fact, analysts do not give the strong agnostic category enough attention compared to the positive atheist one.

I wasn’t wholly convinced either by the suggestion that Denmark and the UK differ very greatly in terms of religion. Other data show a remarkably similar profile between the two countries overall, even when the high rate of Church membership that Woodhead pointed to is taken into consideration. [ii]

But such points of contention only prove the point of how fruitful the study of nonreligion is and could be, not only in its own right but also as an aspect of an integrated study of religion, spirituality, nonreligion and areligion – how many debates there are to have, how many questions to pursue, how much light to be shed on the one from accounting for the other. The event was a celebration – most importantly for Woodhead and her great achievements in the study of religion – but also, I think, for a dynamic, creative, outward-looking field of nonreligious studies that is really coming into its own.

Siegers, Pascale. 2010. A Multiple Group Latent Class Analysis of Religious Orientations in Europe. In Cross-Cultural Analysis: Methods and Applications, edited by E. Davidov, P. Schmidt and J. Billet. New York, NY: Routledge: 387-413.

Zuckerman, Phil. 2008. Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment. New York: New York University Press.

[i] Historian of Christianity and our chair for the evening

[ii] Phil Zuckerman, for example, uses Denmark in his 2008 study of ‘godless societies’, whilst Pascal Siegers (2010) comparative work shows the UK and Denmark having extraordinarily similar profiles when it comes to the balance of traditional religion, alternative spirituality, active nonreligiosity and general indifference.


Lois Lee is research associate at the Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL, PI on the Scientific Study of Nonreligious Belief project (John Templeton Foundation) and Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network co-director. Recent publications include Recognizing the Non-Religious: Reimagining the Secular (OUP, 2015) and Negotiating Religion: Cross-Disciplinary Approaches (Ashgate, in press).

The European Conference on Ethics, Religion & Philosophy 2016

The Waterfront Hotel, Brighton, United Kingdom

Monday, July 4 – Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Abstract Submission Deadline: March 1, 2016

Registration Deadline for Presenters: June 1, 2016

Conference Theme and Streams

 

Conference Theme: “Justice”

The conference theme for ECERP2016 is “Justice”, and the organisers encourage submissions that approach this theme from a variety of perspectives. However, the submission of other topics for consideration is welcome and we also encourage sessions across a variety of interdisciplinary and theoretical perspectives.

Submissions are organised into the following thematic streams:

  • Philosophy – Philosophy and Religion
  • Philosophy – Philosophy and the Arts
  • Philosophy – Philosophy and Public Policy
  • Philosophy – Philosophy and Technology
  • Philosophy – Philosophy and Culture
  • Philosophy – Philosophy and Education
  • Philosophy – Philosophy and Peace Studies
  • Philosophy – Comparative Philosophy
  • Philosophy – Linguistics, Language and Philosophy
  • Ethics – Medical Ethics
  • Ethics – Business and Management Ethics
  • Ethics – Ethics in Education
  • Ethics – Ethics, Law, and Justice
  • Ethics – Ethics and Globalization
  • Ethics – Ethics and Science
  • Ethics – Comparative Ethics
  • Ethics – Linguistics, Language and Ethics
  • Religion – Theism and Atheism
  • Religion – Feminism and Religious Traditions
  • Religion – Religion and Education
  • Religion – Religion and Peace Studies
  • Religion – Mysticism, Faith, and Scientific Culture
  • Religion – Interfaith Dialogue
  • Religion – Comparative Religion
  • Religion – Linguistics, Language and Religion
  • Interdisciplinary – Conflict Resolution and Mediation Studies

How to Submit

  • Register with our online submission system.
  • Create your account. Your email address will be used as your username and you will be asked to submit a password.
  • Submit your abstract of no more than 250 words, choosing from the presentation formats listed below (Individual, Poster or Virtual).
  • Submit well before the submission deadline in order to benefit from Early Bird rates.
  • Your proposal will normally be reviewed within two to three weeks after undergoing a double blind peer review. Those who submit near the extended deadline will usually receive results by March 15, 2016.
  • If your proposal is accepted you will be invited to register for the conference. Upon payment of the registration fee, you will be sent a confirmation email receipt.

CFP: Sociology of Religion Group

Call for Papers
San Antonio, Texas
November 19-22, 2016
Statement of Purpose:
The Sociology of Religion Group of the American Academy of Religion serves as a bridge between religious studies and the subdiscipline of sociology of religion. It functions as a two-way conduit not only to import sociological research into religious studies but also to export the research of religious studies into both the subdiscipline and the broader field of sociology. Only through a cross-fertilization transgressing departmental boundaries can there be breakthroughs in research in both fields. The group has a wide conception of sociology of religion. It is open to a multiplicity of paradigms and methodologies utilized in the subfield and sociology more broadly: theoretical as well as empirical, quantitative, qualitative, and comparative-historical. By liaising with other Program Units, the Sociology of Religion Group is able to bring the rich diversity of critical and analytical perspectives that are housed in the American Academy of Religion into mainstream sociology of religion. Conversely, it aims to provide scholars of the study of religion with a deeper understanding of the landscape of sociology of religion.
Theory, Method, and their Application:
Sociology of Religion as part of a larger discipline is marked by a canonization of its theory and its division by paradigms and methodologies–whether these be the classics (Weber and Durkheim), the old paradigm (functionalism and social constructionism), or the new paradigm (rational choice) on the one hand or quantitative, qualitative, or historical-comparative sociology on the other. As it intersects with sociology of religion, the study of religion has drawn from theories and methodologies in conversation with sociology, anthropology, critical theory, psychology, history, and other related disciplines. We are interested both in papers that utilize the methods and theories in the study of religion and bring them into the sociological canon as well as those that help religious studies gain a better grasp of the sociological theory of religion. We encourage papers that exploit both the theory and methodology of sociology of religion and religious studies and use them as frames for analysis of concrete cases. In particular, we request papers that touch upon social divisions examining race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, region, age, etc.
Internationalism and Diversity:
Critics of sociology of religion have pointed out that the field is dominated by North Americans scholars primarily interested in Protestantism. The discipline of religious studies provides a clear antidote to these perceived limitations. Therefore, we encourage contributions from academics who study the various religious traditions around the world as well as those studying North American religious communities. In particular, we would like submissions from scholars from all academic ranks across the lines of nationality, region, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
Call for Papers:
The Sociology of Religion Group (SOR) invites both panel and paper proposals across a wide range of topics of interest to both the sociology of religion and religious studies and are particularly interested in papers, which speak to both thereby encouraging increased dialogue between them. In particular, this year’s CFP expresses interest in the following topics:
• Following the theme of AAR’s 2016 annual meetings, the Sociology of Religion Group invites papers that address the multi-dimensions of “Revolutionary Love.” This includes but is not limited to love communism (or the communism of love), brotherly/sisterly love, or love as an impulse for social change. Conversely, it could include the inverse hypothesis – where love is not revolutionary at all but is egoistic or narcissistic (self-love), where revolutions are not based on love but on hate, where love is harmful and tears down dreams rather than build them up. Finally, papers could contain a synthesis addressing the contradictory impulses of revolutionary love – e.g. paradoxical reflections of the religious adage to love thy enemy.
• Social and Religious Movements and/or Social Movements Theory and Religious Movements Theory
• Competing Canons within the Sociology of Religion and Religious Studies
• Theory and Methodology including issues of reproducibility, validity, and empiricism
• Religion and the Public Sphere
• Religion and Education including but not limited to “Religion and Education in Pluralistic Societies” or “Religion and Education in the Postsecular Age.”
• In a co-sponsored paper session, the Quaker Studies Group and Sociology of Religion Group invite proposals on normative religious identity and notions of the ‘true Church.’ We are interested in papers that utilize sociological theories and methods in the analysis of this topic. We are particularly interested in the following questions: What mechanisms do religious groups use to establish normative identities, particularly against deviants or schismatics within their own group? How is ‘membership’ and ‘authenticity’ counted and measured? What types of authority are used to sustain particular identities and how are these operationalized within the group? How are notions of ‘the world’ constructed and sustained, and how are these notions adapted when they no longer serve their original purpose (for example during the processes of denominationalization or internal secularization)?
• The topics mentioned above are meant merely as suggestions. We encourage submissions of all papers that utilize sociological theories, methods, and questions in their analysis of religion. We are particularly interested in papers that address issues of inequalities of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or those that utilize critical paradigms including but not limited to critical theory, Marxism, feminism, queer theory, post-colonialism, post-structuralism, and environmentalism.
Publication:
The Sociology of Religion Group of AAR regularly co-sponsors panels with the peer-reviewed print and online journal Critical Research on Religion (CRR) (http://crr.sagepub.com). Published by SAGE Publications, over 2600 libraries worldwide have subscriptions to the journal. Presenters of promising papers in SOR panels will be invited to turn their papers into articles and submit them for peer review to CRR.
Deadline for Submissions: Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Leadership:
 
Co-Chairs:
Rebekka King (Middle Tennessee State University) rebekka.king@mtsu.edu
Warren S. Goldstein (Harvard University) goldstein@criticaltheoryofreligion.org
Steering Committee:
Afe Adogame (Princeton University)
Courtney Bender (Columbia University)
David Feltmate (Auburn University)
Volkhard Krech (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
Katja Rakow (Universiteit Utrecht)
Randy Reed (Appalachian State University)
For questions or support, email: support@aarweb.org

Workshop for PhD candidates at the University of Zurich

The Emmy Noether-project “The Diversity of Nonreligion” is organizing a workshop for PhD candidates at the Department of Social Anthropology & Cultural Studies (ISEK) at the University of Zurich. The Workshop will take place on the 13th and 14th of November, right after the NSRN lecture of Jörg Stolz, ‘Outline of a Theory of Religious-Secular Competition‘, on the 12th of November.
The participants of the workshop are PhD students in the fields of social anthropology, sociology, and religious studies, who all study nonreligious, secular and religious phenomena and their entanglements. The PhD projects include studies with a regional focus on China, Germany, India, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Sweden, and the United States.

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 a.dinham@goldsmiths.ac.uk or Rachael Shillitoe r.shillitoe@worc.ac.uk

Rachael

SocRel Conference and Events Officer

CFP: ISORECEA 2016 Conference

International Study of Religion in Eastern and Central Europe Association and European Sociological Association Research Network 34 (Sociology of Religion) in cooperation with Department of Sociology University of Zadar and Croatian Sociological Association

 CALL FOR PAPERS

 12th ISORECEA conference & ESA RN34 mid-term conference

RELIGION AND NON-RELIGION IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETIES

Theoretical, Empirical and Methodological Challenges for Research in Central and Eastern Europe and Beyond

 Zadar, Croatia, April 21-24, 2016

 Both religion and non-religion are subjected to remarkable changes in today’s world. Interplay between historical, cultural, and political occurrences and religion and non-religion challenge theoretical considerations of ongoing processes. Faced with different empirical data around the world secularisation theses have been contested for decades; theoretical debates about religious changes have occupied sociologists of religion. They have sought to better and more accurately understand and explain religious changes in different parts of the globe contemporary. Their points of view differ: privatization thesis, de-privatization thesis, religious economies thesis, religious bricolage, multiple secularities thesis. One angle, non-religion as religious counterpart, has been neglected in sociological research.  Indeed, until the end of the 20th century, it was only Campbell (1971) who gave a comprehensive insight into the sociology of non-religion, while many scholars wrote and published within the strand of the sociology of religion.

Non-religion started to occupy attention of sociologists since the beginning of this century especially in UK and USA influenced by different appearances in Western world: the rise of declared non-religious people, the appearance of so-called a New atheism movement (inspired by books by R. Dawkins, S. Harris, D. Dennett, and C. Hitchens), numerous organizations and associations of non-religious people and their enhanced activities as an alternative to religious conservativism, growing influence of religion in public sphere and fundamentalist expressions of religion connected to terrorism. Researchers mostly based their work on theories of subcultural identities, identity politics and new social movements; yet, some authors also drew on the theory of religious economies. In spite of this strands, non-religion remains theoretically underdeveloped and under-researched. Interesting is the fact that this particularly refers to former communist countries where atheism was enforced as part of the official ideology; more research would have been expected on non-religiosity and atheism there. Independently of the exact geopolitical context, non-religion and in particular the interplay between religion and non-religion in different dimensions seem to be a key for understanding contemporary religious changes.

This international conference would like to encourage scholars from various parts of the world to share their theoretical, empirical and methodological considerations on religion and non-religion and take part in discussion on different related topics, like:

  • Social theory of religion and non-religion
  • Comparative empirical data on religion and non-religion
  • Methodological challenges of research on religion and non-religion
  • Historical development of religion and non-religion
  • Non/religious minority and majority
  • Human rights, religion and non-religion
  • Religion, non-religion and State
  • Religion, non-religion and social inclusion/exclusion
  • Religion and non-religion in the intersectional perspective (involving gender, age, socio-economic aspects, etc.)
  • Religion and non-religion in everyday life
  • Religious and non-religious activism

 Please submit a 200-300 words abstract of your presentation by e-mail to: isorecea2016@idi.hr by November 15, 2015.

If you are interested in a specific topic related to the study of religion and/or non-religion, we encourage you to organize a session/panel. In this case, please submit a 300-400 words proposal with full session details (names and affiliation of contributors, titles of their presentations) by November 15, 2015 to the same email address.

 Key dates

Submission of paper and session/panel proposals – November 15, 2015.
Notification of acceptance and opening of the registration – December 15, 2015.
The final date of the registration for the conference – January 31, 2016.

Final program – February 20, 2016.

 Fees
Membership fees

Please note that in order to present a paper you need to be a member of ISORECEA for the years 2016-2017 or a member of ESA in the year 2016.

 The conference fees are as follows (in EURO):

For members of ISORECEA

List of Countries*

A

B

C

Regular members

80

60

40

Students and unemployed

30

18

12

Retired

40

30

20

* This is according to the Table of Economies used by the International Sociological Association:
http://www.isa-sociology.org/table_c.htm

 For members of ESA

List of countries*

Band 1

Band 2

Country falling under A or Bcategory of ISA**

Country falling under Ccategory of ISA**

Regular members

80

60

40

Early career scholars***

60

60

40

Students and unemployed

30

18

12

Retired

40

30

20

* Band 1 and Band 2 are defined by ESA at: http://www.europeansociology.org/member/

** This is according to the Table of Economies used by the International Sociological Association:
http://www.isa-sociology.org/table_c.htm

*** As defined by ESA at: http://www.europeansociology.org/membership.html

 For those who are not members of ISORECEA or ESA*

List of Countries**

A

B

C

Regular participants

160

120

80

Students and unemployed

80

60

40

Retired

80

60

40

Conference fee paid on the spot

25% higher (each category)

* Only those who do not present a paper can participate in the conference as non-members.

** This is according to the Table of Economies used by the International Sociological Association:
http://www.isa-sociology.org/table_c.htm

 Those accepted for the conference will be asked to pay their fees through the PayPal system at the ISORECEA website. For the information on how to become a member of ISORECEA or ESA, or renew the membership, please visit these organisations’ websites: http://isorecea.net/ orhttp://www.europeansociology.org/. The information about accommodation and the conference venue will be given in the second half of December 2015. In case of any earlier questions, please send an email to: isorecea2016@idi.hr.

 Miklós Tomka Award

 The ISORECEA Board has established the Miklós Tomka Award to honour Miklós Tomka, the internationally acknowledged and widely esteemed scholar of religion specializing in the Central and Eastern European region, who died unexpectedly in 2010.

 The Award is granted based on a competitive basis for the best conference paper submitted to the award committee. The paper should refer to the conference theme. The competition is open to early career scholars, with a special focus on PhD students. The Award comprises:

 – The publication of the paper in the ISORECEA on-line journal Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe;

– Exemption from the conference fee;

– Covering accommodation costs at the conference.

 Early career scholars interested in entering the competition are invited to submit their full papers to the email address isorecea2016@idi.hr by January 10, 2016. The winner will be announced by January 31, 2016, which is the final date for registration for being on the program of the conference.

 Papers submitted for the Award should be between 5,000 and 7,000 words long and should strictly follow the rules applying to papers submitted to the ISORECEA journal Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe. For details see:http://www.rascee.net/index.php/rascee/about/submissions#authorGuidelines

We are looking forward to receiving your papers!

ISORCEA President                                         ESA RN34 Vice-President                              President of the Local Committee

Dinka Marinović Jerolimov                           Roberta Ricucci                                               Siniša Zrinščak

CFP: EASR 2016 Conference

EASR 2016 Conference

Relocating Religion

Helsinki 28 June – 1 July 2016

Annual conference of the EASR

Special conference of the IAHR

Welcome to the annual conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR) that will be held from 28 June – 1 July 2016, at the University of Helsinki, Finland. The theme of the conference is Relocating religion.

Religion has always been a moving concept. Throughout history, it has changed place, shape, function and content; conceptions of religion have been dependent on theoretical or political interests and strategies. Religion can be framed as a means of identity-work, world-building and well-being, but it can also be perceived as a consumer good or a security threat. Due to the open, fragile, and inherently negotiable nature of the category of ‘religion’, rigid definitions produce simplistic and distorted representations of the complexities involved in the formation of religious phenomena. At the same time, attempts to define and redefine religion in various contexts are themselves an important topic of research. All of this requires interdisciplinary scholarly imagination and critical new approaches.

In recent scholarship, religious change has been conceptualized from a variety of theoretical perspectives. When focusing on the modern period, some scholars speak about the vitalization of religions, secularization and post-secularity, while others refer to re-sacralization and re-enchantment. Concurrently, the need for more knowledge and understanding not only of religion, but also of secularization, secular positions and non-religion has been underlined. Many of these perspectives highlight the significance of religious change as a cultural and social phenomenon. Such perspectives are, however, equally applicable to the study of religious transformations in other contexts than the modern period. The conference will offer the opportunity to explore changes and continuities in the forms, practices and implications of religion at all levels of societies and cultures, in the past as well as in the present.

Language of the conference is English.

The keynote speakers are:

Giovanni Filoramo, University of Turin
Anne-Marie Korte, University of Utrecht
James R. Lewis, University of Tromsø
Linda Woodhead, University of Lancaster

CALL FOR PAPERS

Call for session proposals:

1 September to 30 October 2015

We invite proposals for closed sessions (with a fixed chair and speakers) and open sessions (with a chair and a theme).

Notification of acceptance: 15 November 2016 at the latest

Call for individual papers:

15 November to 31 December 2015

Notification of acceptance: 15 February 2016 at the latest

Registration15 February to 1 May 2016

Organizers: The conference will be organized by the Study of Religions at the University of Helsinki in collaboration with the Finnish Society for the Study of Religion, Comparative Religion at the Åbo Akademi University and the Donner Institute, Turku.

Welcome: On behalf of the organizing committee, cordially welcome to Helsinki,

Tuula Sakaranaho, President of the conference

Heidi Rautalahti, Conference secretary

For further information, please, contact: http://blogs.helsinki.fi/easr-2016/

Nordic Conference for the Sociology of Religion 2016

Nordic Conference for the Sociology of Religion 2016 | 17. – 19.8. 2016 Helsinki, Finland

We are pleased to invite you to the 23rd Nordic conference for the Sociology of Religion. The conference will be held on the 17th–19th of August in 2016 at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

The theme of the conference is: Wellbeing, leadership and the lifespan – Current trends in the sociology of religion

The subjective turn has made the individual the centre of attention in debates on current religious and spiritual change. The customisation of religious belief, ritual and thought often centres around individual wellbeing. At the same time, religious organisations are redrafting their management and leadership strategies and have shifted their attention from classic teaching and worship to new forms of individualised and experience-centred formats. Individuals and their lifespan have increasingly become the centre of focus in religion. These changes also tend to raise tensions in religious organisations, and the polarisation between extremes seems to be increasing. The changes are linked to changes in society at large, including demographic changes, generational changes, changes in the role of the media and changes in the role of religious authority. Religion is increasingly a matter of personal choice and is given no automatic authority at any level.

The 23rd Nordic Conference for the Sociology of Religion seeks more understanding, both theoretically and empirically, on the changes in the religious field and their meaning for the individual, for religious and secular organisations, and for society at large. Contributions addressing these developments and changes at different levels and broadening the understanding of the role of religion in society today are warmly welcome. Other current topics within the sociology of religion will also be discussed. We encourage proposals for both sessions and individual papers.

  • The dead line for session proposals is Nov 31, 2015.
  • The dead line for paper proposals is March 15, 2016.

The confirmed keynote speakers are:

Nancy Ammerman, Boston University
Jörg Stolz, University of Lausanne
Coutney Bender, Columbia University
Anne Birgitta Pessi, University of Helsinki
Language of the conference is English.

For further information, please contact the organisers:

Kati Niemelä, University of Helsinki, kati.niemela@helsinki.fi

Jenni Spännäri, University of Helsinki, jenni.spannari@helsinki.fi

CFP: Life Here and Hereafter: Beliefs and Practices – Vilnius Lithuania

3rd International Scientific Conference of the Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions

LIFE HERE AND HEREAFTER: BELIEFS AND PRACTICES

Vilnius, Lithuania
23-24 October, 2015

With Vilnius University and Vytautas Magnus University

Call for Papers

Life here and hereafter is considered to be one of the core concerns of an individual throughout the history of humanity. Quest for the meaning of life, role of death, possibilities of life after death are challenged with a broad scope of perceptions, reflections and expressions among various spiritual and religious traditions, emerging spiritualities, groups and individuals.

This conference addresses the topic of life here and hereafter and focuses on beliefs and practices of diverse origins, their formation, spread and expressions. It also focuses on the past and current representations of the phenomenon in specific regions and worldwide, discussing its diverse manifestations and changes concerning institutional and individual religiosities on (trans)national and (trans)regional levels.

The conference welcomes both empirical and theoretical contributions from various disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary approaches towards beliefs and practices within the domain of life here and hereafter. Of particular interest are those that combine perspectives and methods drawn from all social sciences and humanities on historical, present, and newly emerging approaches towards conceptions, manifestations and representations, as well as research methods, issues and problems, and new directions in studies of this phenomenon.

The 3rd Conference of the Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions Life Here and Hereafter: Beliefs and Practices will be held on October 23-24, 2015 at Vilnius University, Vilnius. We welcome scholars from religious studies, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, political science, and other disciplines to contribute to historical and contemporary studies of the role and manifestations of the phenomenon of life here and hereafter, in this way enriching its academic understandings. We expect individual paper proposals as well as panel proposals with three to four presentations.

We invite papers and panels including, but not limited to the following topics:

  • Methodological implications, challenges and issues;
  • Life here and hereafter and their socio-cultural representations;
  • Death and dying related beliefs and practices;
  • Divinations, predictions and prophecies;
  • The role of individuals and institutions in practices related to beliefs in life here and hereafter;
  • Life here, hereafter and cultural memory;
  • Life here and hereafter: religious and secular approaches;
  • Life, dying and afterlife in traditional religious groups and churches in the past and in the 21st century;
  • Life here and hereafter within contemporary spirituality, individual religiosity, combined forms of organized and individual religions;
  • Institutional arrangements, development and changes of beliefs and practices within the domain of life here and hereafter;
  • Afterlife and social imagination;
  • Life here and hereafter in the public sphere;
  • Life here and hereafter in the popular culture.

Please submit a 250-300 words abstract of your presentation accompanied by a short CV by e-mail to: religiousstudieslt@gmail.com by June 15, 2015. If you are interested in another topic related to the study of life here and hereafter, we encourage you to organize a session/panel. In this case, please submit a 200-300 words proposal by July 15, 2013 to the same email address.

Key dates

  • Submission of paper and session/panel proposals – June 15, 2015.
  • The authors of accepted proposals will be notified by July 15, 2015.
  • Notification of acceptance and opening of the registration – July 15, 2015.
  • The final date of the registration for the conference –September 15, 2015.
  • Final program – September 20, 2015

Fees

Conference fee (50 Euro) may be paid by bank transfer or in cash (not by card) at the registration desk.

The costs of travel and lodging should be covered by the participants.

Special events

Participants of the conference will be offered excursion in Vilnius city.

Organisers: dr. Eglė Aleknaitė (Vytautas Magnus University), assoc. prof. Milda Ališauskienė (Vytautas Magnus University), prof. Audrius Beinorius (Vilnius University), assoc. prof. Aušra Pažėraitė (Vilnius University), dr. Rasa Pranskevičiūtė (Vytautas Magnus University), prof. Edgūnas Račius (Vytautas Magnus University), assoc. prof. Annika Hvithamar (Copenhagen University).

Any conference related queries are to be sent to the conference email address.