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:


ISSSC offering free articles on Irreligion

You can now follow and download articles from the ISSSC (Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture) from their Scribd feed

Articles include contributions from Frank Pasquale, Barry Kosmin and Ryan Cragun and include a range of international case studies.

The Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC) was established to advance understanding of the role of secular values and the process of secularization in contemporary society and culture. Nonpartisan and multidisciplinary, the Institute conducts academic research, sponsors curriculum development, and presents public events.

ISSSC has a global research agenda and aims to develop strong international links. In the teaching sphere innovative courses are being developed on secularism and secularization at both undergraduate and graduate levels, including curricula, bibliographies and syllabi. The Institute serves as a forum for civic education and debate through lectures, seminars and conferences.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

More information about the ISSSC can be found at their Trinity College site