New Book Series: Histories of the Sacred and the Secular, 1700 – 2000

Histories of the Sacred and the Secular, 1700 – 2000. Edited by David Nash, Oxford Brookes University, UK

Histories of the Sacred and the Secular (pdf flyer)

Histories of the Sacred and the Secular 1700 – 2000 reflects the awakened and expanding
profile of the history of religion within the academy in recent years. Intending to publish
exciting new and high quality work on the history of religion and belief since 1700, the series
actively encourages the production of interdisciplinary proposals and the use of innovative
methodologies. We welcome book proposals on the history of Atheism, Secularism,
Humanism and unbelief/secularity and encourage research agendas in this area alongside
those in religious belief, as well as proposals covering subjects in Britain, Europe, the United
States and Oceania. Histories of the Sacred and the Secular 1700 – 2000 aims to reflect both
the work of new scholars entering the field, alongside the work of established scholars.

Editorial Board

Professor Callum Brown, Dundee University, UK
Professor William Gibson, Oxford Brookes University, UK
Dr Carole Cusack, Sydney University, Australia
Professor Beverley Clack, Oxford Brookes University, UK
Drs Bert Gasenbeek, University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht, Netherlands
Professor Paul Harvey, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, USA

for more details of the series or guidelines on
submitting a proposal contact the general Editor:

Professor David Nash


Event: Pilgrimage and Sacred Places in Central and Eastern Europe: Place, Politics and Religious Tourism

During the NSRN Annual conference (details to follow) there was much debate around the usage of the word sacred. This conference may be of interest for that general purpose, but more specifically the stream Secular pilgrimage and tourism

Pilgrimage and Sacred Places in Central and Eastern Europe: Place, Politics and Religious Tourism
University of Zadar, 27-30 September 2012

With the global expansion of travel and tourism more and more people are engaged in what can be broadly described as religious tourism. According to the UNWTO, for example, in 2008 300 million tourists claimed that their trips were motivated in one way or another by religion. Pilgrimage plays a key role in such religious tourism and it is now attracting the attention of a wide variety of experts, e.g. religious leaders, those involved in the travel and tourism industry and academic researchers. Theoretical debates are moving beyond earlier communitas and contestation models and a more global reach is emerging as researchers explore beyond W. Europe and the Americas, examine the increasing religious diversity caused by global migration and investigate the

intimate, historic links between pilgrimage, sacred places, politics and tourism. In this conference we want to contribute to this widening focus by bringing together academics from different disciplines and travel and tourism professionals to explore pilgrimage across Eastern Europe broadly conceived as extending beyond W. Europe. In this way we seek to look at different religious traditions, e.g. Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim, and territorial ties (local, national, transnational, global).

We invite papers which will explore:

– Construction and deconstruction of sacred places
– Embodied spaces and body as a mediator
– Pilgrimage as a form of religious tourism
– Relationship between pilgrimage and travel and tourism industry
– Pilgrimage and territorial boundaries
– Politics and Pilgrimage in the past and today
– Pilgrimage in memories and narratives
– Tourist ab/use of pilgrimage and sacred places
– Tourist perspectives on the pilgrimage journey
– Secular pilgrimage and tourism
– The realm of pilgrimage / tourism experience

Registration fee

On or before July 15, 2012: € 50
Co-authors or accompanying person: € 50
Please note: All bank transaction costs are to be paid by the author

Registration fee covers:
– Conference proceedings (backpack with book of abstracts)
– Welcome cocktail
– Refreshments during breaks
– Excursions to the Croatian royal city and a pilgrimage place of Nin
– Tourist guidance through Zadar

Payments (in EURO) to be made to the following account number:

IBAN NUMBER: HR53 2330 0031 1001 6324 3

Payments (in HRK) to be made to the following account number (according to CNB central exchange rate for EURO on date of payment):

*we kindly ask you to put N. 37300 in your payment description

Event: “The Power of the Sacred and the Secular” 14-16 August 2012

Registration for the Aboagora symposium closes on 15th June!


Turku, 14-16 August 2012

Aboagora is an event that promotes dialogue between the arts, humanities and sciences, and aims at challenging and breaking boundaries between arts and the scholarly world. The programme consists of workshops, keynote lectures and concerts. Aboagora is a joint effort by the Turku Music Festival, the Department of Cultural History at the University of Turku and the Donner Institute, Åbo Akademi University.

“The Power of the Sacred and the Secular”

The theme for 2012 focuses on a process that is fundamental to Western culture, that of separation between sacral and secular culture. This opens a fruitful perspective on the dialogue between the arts and the academia, since the concept of the secular is vigorously debated in both fields. In 2012 Aboagora seeks to turn critical attention to such questions as the role of religion in contemporary society, the return of mysticism and spirituality to public discussion and the so-called post-secular. In special focus are the issues of power and religion in relation to questions of gender and sexuality, sacred and secular love, Medieval inquisition, cinema and architectural space, cognitive science and quantum physics.

Keynote speakers include Gianni Vattimo (Philosophy, Italy), Miri Rubin (History, UK), Marion Bowman (Religious Studies, UK) and Juhani Pallasmaa (Architecture, Finland)

The workshop members include Kari Enqvist (Physics), Ilkka Pyysiäinen (Religious Studies), Sabrina Maniscalco (Physics), Andrew Yip (Sociology), Salla Tuori (Gender Studies), Elina Pirjatanniemi (Human Rights), Peter Nynäs (Religious Studies), Benjamin Zeller (Religious Studies), Terhi Utriainen (Religious Studies), Erik Steinskog (Music Studies), Tom Linkinen (Cultural History), Reima Välimäki (Cultural History) and Pekka Tolonen (Religious Studies).

For full programme and online registration please visit

The registration fee for the symposium is 30 € (for students 20 €). It includes participation for all keynote lectures, admission to all workshops, three lunches at Hus Lindman and coffee/tea with small snacks during coffee breaks. Registration closes on 15 June.


Asko Nivala
Department of Cultural History
FI-20014 University of Turku

Phone +358 (0)2 333 6294
Visit the website at

CFP: Alternative Salvations conference 18 September 2012

Alternative Salvations

University of Chester, 18 September 2012, 10:30-4:30

CFP DEADLINE 18 May 2012

The Conference
To speak of salvation is, broadly, to speak about transformation from one present reality into a new, transformed and better reality. While the language of salvation itself is not necessarily found in every religious tradition, the hope of, or incentive to work towards, such transformation is a widespread characteristic of many religious traditions. In Christianity, there are a number of dominant perspectives on salvation associated with particular traditions, usually expressed in grand future eschatological narratives. But what of alternative approaches to salvation that have developed outside of established religious orthodoxies? The conference will explore how ‘unorthodox’ readings of sacred texts inform salvation experience; how life transformations outside of religious contexts might be considered spiritual; how  ideas of this-worldly salvation are politicised; how ideas of salvation are simultaneously secularised and infused with new power; what alternative salvations can be discovered within Christianity and how might they be practised. In particular, we are seeking to explore the ways that alternative religious, spiritual and secular understandings of the notion of salvation already shape, and have the potential to shape, how people live and act in Christian and post-Christian contexts.

Call for Papers
This exciting conference breaks new ground in exploring alternative approaches to salvation. Proposals for short papers are invited on any aspect of the theme of ‘alternative salvations’ as outlined here. Papers will normally be 20 minutes in length with an additional 10 minutes for discussion. Applications to submit a short paper should include:
·         Proposer’s name and affiliation
·         a title for the paper
·         a 200 word abstract
·         Details of any audio-visual equipment you will need to deliver your paper

Short paper proposals should be submitted to by no later than 4:00pm on 8th May 2012. Applicants should know the outcome of
their proposal by 18th May 2012.

Conference costs: £28 (£18 for unwaged and students) inclusive of lunch and refreshments.

More details about the conference and a booking form can be found at:

Submission of abstracts and online registration has started: Transformations of the Sacred in Europe and Beyond

ESA Mid-term Conference: Research Network 34 – Sociology of Religion

University of Potsdam, Germany, 3-5 September 2012
in cooperation with the German Section for the Sociology of Religon in the DGSYou will find the registration form on:

Plenary Speakers:

Schirin Amir-Moazami, Institute for Islamic Studies, Free University of Berlin
Hubert Knoblauch, Institute for Sociology, Technical University of Berlin
Gordon Lynch, Religious Studies School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent

Eva-Maria Schrage, Graduate School “Religion and Politics in the Cultures of Pre-modernity and Modernity”, University of Münster

Panel: Religions on the Move/Changes in Religious Cultures
Inger Furseth, Director of the Nordic Research Program NOREL, Oslo
Dorota Hall, Ass. Professor at the Dep. of Religious Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw
Volkhard Krech, Director of the Käte Hamburger Kolleg Dynamics in the History of Religions and speaker of the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) at the University of Bochum
Siniša Zrinščak, Department of Social Work, University of Zagreb