CFP: Sacred Practices of Everyday Life

A conference of interest of that perhaps has space for a nonreligious and civic perspective on the notion of the Sacred?


9th to 11th May 2012

The John McIntyre Conference Centre (Edinburgh University), 18 Holyrood Park Road, Edinburgh, EH16 5AY

Call for Papers

Roadside shrines; divorce parties; tattoos made with ink containing a loved one’s ashes; spiritual retreats; prayer cairns; naming ceremonies; healing rituals; contacts with the dead: however ‘disenchanted’ the world may be, there is plenty of evidence of enchantment and re-enchantment all around. Life and death are still rendered meaningful through ancient and reinvented practices, rituals, beliefs and symbols which attach sacredness and significance to what would otherwise be merely mundane.

The purpose of the conference is to explore new evidence, analysis and theory concerning the sacred practices of everyday life. There is a particular focus on the varied ways in which the life course is being re-enchanted in the 21st century, but papers looking at other eras and/or larger forms of sacred practice (e.g. civic rituals) are also welcome. The scope is global.

The conference will showcase thirty or so projects funded by the Religion and Society Programme which have new findings in this area. These will be supplemented by the papers received through this open call.

The conference streams are:

  • Formation and Cultivation
  • ·Life-styles and (After)Death-styles
  • Sex, Life and Love
  • Gods, Spirits and the Sacred
  • Fate, Destiny and the Future
  • Identity, Solidarity and Conflict
  • Suffering, Healing and Well Being
  • Objects, Language, Rituals and Consumption

Individual paper proposals (max. 200 words) should be submitted to:

Peta Ainsworth: by 29th February 2012.

The conference is subsidised by the sponsors and costs £95 per delegate, £60 for postgraduates/unwaged (for the entire conference) or £45 per day, £30 for postgraduates/unwaged. The conference fee excludes accommodation and conference dinner. For further details and registration go to:

Peta Ainsworth


AHRC/ESRC Religion & Society Programme

C14 FASS Building

County South

Lancaster University

Lancaster LA1 4YD

Tel. (01524) 510826

Cultural Anthropology – Secularism

Following the recent update on our bibliography, please find details of a further special series of essays on Secularism from the November issue of Cultural Anthropology which will be included shortly. The essays focus on theories of Secularism and possibilities for its practical application within the field of Anthropology, using the work of Asad and Connolley as a theoretical frame.


Charles Hirschkind and Matthew Scherer
Cultural Anthropology November 2011, Vol. 26, No. 4: 620.

Landmarks in the Critical Study of Secularism

Matthew Scherer
Cultural Anthropology November 2011, Vol. 26, No. 4: 621-632.

Is There a Secular Body?
Charles Hirschkind
Cultural Anthropology November 2011, Vol. 26, No. 4: 633-647.

Some Theses on Secularism
William E. Connolley
Cultural Anthropology November 2011, Vol. 26, No. 4: 648-656.

Thinking About the Secular Body, Pain, and Liberal Politics
Talal Asad
Cultural Anthropology November 2011, Vol. 26, No. 4: 657-675.

Secularism and Nonreligion Journal: Article publication Vol. 1 January 2012

The first article published in Vol 1, January 2012, Stephen M. Merino, Irreligious Socialization? The Adult Religious Preferences of Individuals Raised with No Religion

ABSTRACT: Recent birth cohorts of Americans are more likely than previous cohorts to be raised outside of a religious tradition. In addition, those raised with no religion are increasingly likely to have no religion as adults. Despite their growing numbers, individuals raised with no religion have received little  attention from scholars. The adult religious preferences of these individuals provide researchers with a unique opportunity to test theories of religion and social change. Using General Social Survey data, I examine the adult religious preferences and beliefs of individuals raised with no religion. I provide evidence of a shift in socialization and social influences experienced by those who report growing up with no religion. Compared with earlier cohorts raised with no religion, more recent cohorts have had more secular upbringings and tend to be more secular, liberal, and wary of organized religion as adults. They are also more likely to have a religiously unaffiliated spouse, if they marry at all. Results from a logistic regression analysis indicate that these trends explain much of the cohort differences in the likelihood of remaining unaffiliated as an adult.


To see the latest publication please follow the link to the Secularism and Nonreligion Journal current issue

NSRN Launch New Website!

The Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network (NSRN) are proud to announce the launch of their new website –!

The NSRN website has been going from strength to strength since its relaunch in November 2009 at the site – but wide-interest in and growing membership of the NSRN means we’ve needed to expand our services. After weeks and months of development with the new online editorial team, the next generation NSRN website is here!

Visit to take  a look.

*Although the old . address will still be around for a while, we’d be extremely grateful for anyone linking to the site to amend their records, citations, links and so forth. The NSRN is truly international, in membership and audiences, and we felt it was important to reflect this in the web address – and we appreciate your help in implementing this change*

A preview of some of the new things we provide on the site:

We’ve also updated and expanded our existing services and resources. The new site boasts,

And we now have a range of new Thoroughly Modern features, including:

  • full integration with the NSRN’s new Twitter feed
  • full integration with the NSRN’s new Facebook page

… and which will enable users to keep up to date with NSRN news and resources in whatever way suits you:

New features and older material are now fully archived and easily searchable.

We hope you like it. As ever, comments and suggestions are always encouraged.

We would greatly appreciate it if you could circulate this information around any individuals or groups that you think might be interested. As a research network, we rely upon the input of our members and friends in the collation and dissemination of information. If you notice any errors or omissions, or are aware of any events, resources, articles etc that we should be promoting, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

With kind regards from,

The NSRN Online Team