Event: Conference on Digital religion at the Donner institute

Following the earlier event listing regarding digital media and religion, this event should also be included. The event does not elude to secular spaces, but  technology, media and social networking spaces are contested ground for secular and religious meaning making. The conference will address the ways in which religious communities are challenged by these technologies and in what ways they negotiate new digital phenomenon.

Conference: Digital religion at the Donner institute

13-15 June 2012 in Åbo / Turku, Finland

Åbo Akademi University
Fänriksgatan 3 / Vänrikinkatu 3
Åbo / Turku/

The theme we have chosen for the Donner Institute 23rd Symposium is Digital Religion.
The conference “Digital Religion” aims to explore the complex relationship between religion and digital technologies of communication. Digital religion encompasses a myriad of connections between religion and digital technologies of communication and the goal of the conference is to approach the subject from multiple perspectives.

Developments in digital technologies are having a noticeably growing impact on the very character and nature of contemporary religious life and practice across the globe. Digital technologies of communication – epitomized in the continuing development and proliferation of the Internet and online modes of communication – are providing religious communities of virtually all strands with new means, environments and arenas within and through which to interact, express, and communicate their message in ways unknown to previous generations.

For many religious communities, this development has undoubtedly brought a whole host of challenges. Many religious communities today find themselves struggling with how to come to terms with a rapidly expanding Internet-based communications environment that challenges traditional understandings of religious mediation and religious authority. Nevertheless, there are also religious communities that have faced the challenges head on and come to thrive thanks to the new technologies or whose very existence is dependent on e.g. the Internet.

From a scholarly perspective, this development is intimately connected to ongoing debates about the impact of accelerating processes of mediatization and digitalization on contemporary religious life and practice. Though religion has colonized many different forms of digital media, it has also doubtlessly been altered by the media. This process is, however, complex and moves in several directions. Though digital technologies no doubt transform religion and the contemporary religious landscape, religion too can be argued to have an impact on the digital world.

Subjects for papers include but are not limited to the following:

– Theoretical, methodological and historical approaches to “digital religion”
– Empirical studies of “religion on line”, “online religion”, and the relation between “online” and “offline” religion
– New media and transnational religious networks
– Challenges and/or opportunities for religions by digital media
– The Internet as an arena for religious/spiritual community
– Authority and legitimacy in digital religion
– Technological development and religious change
– Religion and digital media: appropriations, configurations, impacts
– Digital religion: generational, demographic, and geographical aspects
– Religious communicational strategies and digital technologies

Keynote speakers:
Ass. Prof. Heidi Campbell, Texas A & M University, Texas
Prof. Mia Lövheim, Uppsala University, Sweden
Prof. Jolyon Mitchell, University of Edinburg, UK
Dr. Marcus Moberg, Åbo Akademi University, Finland
Dr. Alexander Ornella, University of Hull, UK
Prof. Michael Pye, Phillips-Universität Marburg, Germany
Dr. Sofia Sjö, Åbo Akademi University, Finland

Finally, we would like to inform you that the lectures will be published, in English, French or German, in volume 25 of the Donner Institute series Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis. The published version of your lecture may be longer than the one you present at the symposium. We will be happy to receive a digital and publishable version of your lecture already at the symposium but no later than October 31 2012.


The registration fee is 150 €. (75 € for accompanying person)

The fee should be paid by the end of April 2012.
Account number: Nordea FI 12 20571800020055  NDEAFIHH
Name of the accountholder: Stiftelsen för Åbo Akademi (Foundation of Åbo Akademi University)

The registration fee includes an excursion and a banquet organised in connection with the symposium.

Please indicate in your registration whether you wish to participate in the excursion and the banquet.


Donner institute
PB 70
FIN-20501 Åbo / Turku
E-mail: donner.institute@abo.fi
Tel.: +358 20 786 1450


Tore Ahlbäck, Joakim Alander, Björn Dahla,
Ruth Illman and Anna Nyman

Åbo/Turku 08.11.2011


Event: Conference Religions, Science and Technology in Cultural Contexts: Dynamics of Change March 1 -3 2012

Sadly registration to this event is now closed, but I wanted to bring it to the attention of the community. The conference addresses one of the key themes in the secularity debate, science. The debate has run long, but hopefully this event will provide a more nuance and complex view of the these categories beyond the typical binary.

International Association for the History of Religions Special Conference 2012

Religions, Science and Technology in Cultural Contexts: Dynamics of Change

Venue: NTNU-The Norwegian University of Science and Technology
1-3 March 2012

In current public and academic debates, the complex relationships between ‘religion’ and ‘science’ tend to be reduced into one between monolithic entities. By exploring historical and contemporary interactions between religions, science and technology, a more complex understanding may be reached of the areas and ways in which they overlap, correspond, challenge and conflict with each other.

This conference seeks to explore how religions, science and technology interact and generate change (progressive, reactive, regressive), particularly in relation to such issues as the environment and climate change; the economy; welfare; life expectancy; popular representation; and sexual equality.

Of particular interest are explorations of dynamic relationships between worldviews/cosmologies, socio-cultural practices and technologies; and of ‘the politics of change’, i.e. how different actors seek to convince the public of the benefits of their own approaches or of the detriment of ‘the others’ approaches.

Keynote speakers:

-Tim Jensen, University of Southern Denmark

-Ingvild Gilhus, University of Bergen

-Donald Lopez, University of Michigan

-Taner Edis, Truman State University

The conference is organized by the Department of Archaeology and Religious Studies of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

Registration fee until 1 December 2011 is 250 EUR, which includes conference materials, lunches and refreshments. There will also be bursaries for participants from lower income countries.

For any type of inquiries, you are welcome to contact the Conference secretary, Filip Ivanovic (filip.ivanovic@ntnu.no).