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RC43 and RC 14 Joint Workshop: The Nation as a Sacred Communion?


Image by Surinder Shani, Dec 2022
Image by Surinder Shani

The late Anthony D. Smith once suggested that the ‘nation’ was a ‘sacred communion of the people' (A.D. Smith 2003). This workshop, held in the year of the centenary of the establishment of the Irish Free State and the 75th anniversary of the Partition of South Asia against the background of the unfolding conflict in Ukraine, seeks to examine the role played by the reference to community with shared religious heritage and beliefs in preparing the grounds for intergroup conflict. We invite contributions engaging with references to religious symbolism, heritage and legacies as mechanisms for political mobilisation. Proposals for papers should include contact details of the author(s), title and an abstract of no more than 200 words. We also welcome panel proposals of a minimum of three papers and a maximum of four.

The final deadline for the electronic submission of paper and panel proposals is 15 February 2023. Notices of acceptance will be sent out the week of 27 February 2023. Proposals should be submitted online at: https://form.jotform.com/220863996860369

The organizers will endeavour to hold event in person, with opportunity to join online; for those travelling to Belfast, we will aim to support a select pool of graduate students/early career academics with a bursary to partially cover travel expenses. The decision on the pool of recipients will be made at the time of paper selection.

Venue:  Queens' University Belfast, UK (Hybrid Workshop)

Dates: May 31 (virtual); June 1-2 (in person), 2023

Co-Sponsors: RC43 Religion and Politics, RC 14 Politics and Ethnicity, IPSA

Co-Convenors: Prof. Giorgio Shani (RC43), Dr. Timofey Agarin (RC14)

URL: https://sites.google.com/view/ipsarc14/events/belfast-2022



Call for papers: SISP Conference - Panels on Religion and Politics

Call for papers


University of Salento, Lecce, September 12-14, 2019

Deadline: May 19, 2019

The standing group on 'Politics and Religion' of the Italian Political Science Association (SISP) will organize two panels at the conference:

Post-secularism and post-democracy – focusing on the intersections (convened by Alberta Giorgi and Luca Ozzano)

Catholic mobilizations: religious movements in the public sphere (convened by Martina Avanza and Alberta Giorgi)

Please also check the following panel, that may by of interest to some:

The politics, the Policy and the Polity of (anti)Gambling (convened by Matteo Bassoli and Marco Pedroni)

The paper proposals have to be submitted on the website www.sisp.it after creating a free MySISP account.


Call for papers: CESNUR Conference (Turin, 5-7 September 2019)


Co-organized by:
Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) 
Contemporary Religions and Faiths in Transition (CRAFT)
Italian Association of Sociology (AIS) - Sociology of Religions Section
Center of Religious Sciences "Erik Peterson"
International Society for the Study of New Religions (ISSNR)

Campus Luigi Einaudi
Università di Torino
Torino, Italy
5-7 September 2019


The conference will assess the international, global-local, and local dimensions of religious change, religious pluralism, spirituality, minority religions, new religious movements, new movements within Islam and Christianity, Esotericism and the New Age, survey the current situation, and consider the fate of religious and spiritual groups as they change and relate to everyday life in an increasingly multi-cultural and trans-national world. Papers will be accepted from a variety of perspectives (sociology, history, anthropology, psychology, law, religious studies).

Topics will include: Change in Old and New Religions; Religion and Everyday Life; Societal Responses to Religious Diversity and Pluralism; Religious Movements between Mainstreaming and Marginalization; Religion, Spirituality, and Body; Religion Online and Online Religion; Magic, Esotericism, and the Sacred; Bio-religion and Politics; Prayer and Everyday Life; Young Generations; Lifestyles, Religion, and the Sacred; Gender and the Sacred; New Forms of Spirituality; New Religious Movements, Religious Liberty, and Refugee Issues; New Religious Movements and the Arts; and The Emergence of New Movements and Groups.

Those who would like to present papers are invited to submit a 200-word abstract of their paper (in English or Italian) and a 200-word curriculum vitae to cesnur_to@virgilio.it before April 10, 2019. Speakers will be allocated 20 minutes for their talks (but they can bring longer papers to give to interested participants or e-mail these later).

Those who would like to arrange a full session should assume that they will have 2 hours, allowing time for 5 speakers or, if they prefer, 3 or 4 speakers and more time for discussion. The session organiser should, in turn, submit a 200-word synopsis of the whole session and 200-word CVs and abstracts for each speaker to cesnur_to@virgilio.it before April 10, 2019. Authors of papers that have been accepted will be notified before May 15, 2019.

The conference will begin in the morning of Thursday September 5 and it will continue on Friday September 6. A field trip will be arranged on Saturday September 7 to Damanhur and the Church of Universal Soul, with some sessions organized in situ. Participants will be responsible for arranging their own accommodation: there are plenty of good hotels in downtown Torino and you may want to consult your travel agent. Further details about the conference will be available in due course on the CESNUR website (www.cesnur.org).


Call for papers: Religionization and Citizenship

Citizenship Studies

Special Issue: Religionization and Citizenship

Guest Editors: Guy Ben-Porat and Yoav Peled

Call for Papers


The resurgence of religion in the public sphere (dubbed de- or post-secularization,resacralization, or religionization) is a well-known and widely commented upon phenomenon in much of the world. According to José Casanova, in the 1980s "religion, leaving its assigned place in the private sphere, had thrust itself into the public arena of moral and political contestation" (Casanova 1994:3). Bryan Turner has averred that “The idea that secularization is an inevitable outcome of modernization has been widely challenged by contemporary research and historical analysis” (Turner 2010:5). Students of this phenomenon, such as Casanova, Turner, David Martin, Peter Berger, Jürgen Habermas, Judith Butler, Craig Calhoun and many others, have explained the resurgence of public religion largely in terms of the failure of secular ideologies (such as nationalism, liberalism and socialism) to provide normative and emotive foundations for collective identity and action, and the failure of scientific approaches (such as rationalism, positivism and methodological individualism) to provide a meaningful understanding of reality. Many have questioned the validity of the secularization thesis itself and the presumed close ties between secularization, modernity, and the Enlightenment.

In this special issue we wish to explore the effects of religionization on the institution of citizenship. The modern idea of democratic citizenship entails, inter alia, social solidarity, political equality, tolerance and civility as between the citizens. Since the French Revolution citizenship has developed hand-in-hand with modernization, secularization and democratization. The question we would like to raise, then, is how religionization may affect, and has affected, the various qualities encompassed by the concept of citizenship in different social spheres including, but not limited to: the rights of women and the LGBTQ community, inter-ethnic relations in multiethnic societies, freedom of thought and of expression, the rise of populism and decline of liberal politics.

We are interested in original articles dealing with these and related issues in all parts of the world and with respect to all religions.

Please send titles, abstracts of no more than 250 words, and five keywords of proposed articlesby January 15, 2019, to:

Prof. Guy Ben-Porat, gbp@bgu.ac.il or Prof. Yoav Peled, poli1@tauex.tau.ac.il 


Call for papers: Perspectives on Religion and Politics

Perspectives on Religion and Politics  (https://brill.com/view/journals/rprp/rprp-overview.xml) is a reference online journal devoted to key interdisciplinary research  on religion and politics. Its main goals are:

 -Providing a unique platform for the burgeoning scholarship on religion and politics that cannot find visibility within the constricted boundaries of either religious studies or political science.

- Publishing scholarship from the Global South.

-  Reexamining topics that are intensely debated in the public space from an objective, data-driven perspective in order to offer alternatives to ideological or partisan positions specially when it comes to hotly debates topics like violence and politics, Human Rights or Democracy and Secularism.

Published quarterly, each peer-reviewed issue will consist of one uniquely focused article of approximately 40,000 words. As a digital-born venture, issues will be published online within 30 days of acceptance, and can be updated periodically.  However, each individual issue will also be made available as a standalone book in both print and electronic format. Authors would receive a one-time honorarium of $500 per submission.

The first issue to be released in June 2019 is an original text of Professor Jose Casanova, “The Modern Religious-Secular Binary System of Classification” that addresses the current and somewhat conflicting categories used today by scholars from different disciplines to apprehend the role of politics in religion and vice versa.

For its second issue to be released December 2019, Perspectives on Religion and Politics (BPRP) is seeking a paper that will focus on secularism.

In 1999, sociologist of religion Rodney Stark declared the secularization paradigm dead because none of its three core dimensions were validated by facts: separation of religion and politics, privatization and decline of personal religiosity. Twenty years after this article, the debate is still raging with attempts to produce alternative approaches to the secularization paradigm. BPRP is seeking papers that will address this debate from the dual perspective of religious studies and social sciences and preferably outside the West and across religious traditions.

Send your abstracts for preselection no later than February 1 2019. The authors of the preselected papers will be invited to submit their full text no later than August 1 2019.

Abstracts should be sent to: perspectives-rp@contacts.bham.ac.uk.


Call for Papers: Strictly observant religion, gender and the state

Call for Papers: Strictly observant religion, gender and the state

Conference held at the Woolf Institute, Cambridge
March 25-26, 2019


This conference seeks to address the question how strictly observant religious groups or "fundamentalists" (Harding 2001) challenge two basic principles within contemporary societies: gender equality and the modern state. The conference will bring together political scientists, sociologists, social anthropologists, gender studies scholars, postcolonial scholars, theologians and religious studies scholars to discuss different approaches to the contestations over gender roles, patriarchy and the politics of sexuality between and across strictly observant religious groups and the nation state. In the broadest sense, it seeks to address the question, what happens when fundamentalist groups and the state interact concerning questions of gender and sexuality?

Drawing on Martin Riesebrodt's work on fundamentalism as “patriarchal protest movement” (1992, 2000), the conference seeks to investigate what role gender plays for the persistence of self-identifying strictly observant, fundamentalist, exclusivist, (ultra)orthodox, traditionalist, or socially conservative religious people in their interaction with state actors at different levels. The conference aims to address the question how particularly the changing role of women and embodied religion within and outside fundamentalist movements poses challenges to established religious authorities (Stadler 2009). As the work of Saba Mahmood (2005) and Anabel Inge (2016) demonstrates, women play an increasingly important role in the organisational structures and recruitment successes of strictly observant religious movements. At the same time, gender inequality remains a pivotal building block of these groups. Thus, building on the work of Talal Asad (2003, Asad et al 2009), it is incumbent for researchers to investigate how the family, marriage (Chambers 2017), LGBTQ+, the “sanctity” of women and "hegemonic masculinity" (Connell and Messerschmidt 2005) are mobilised as crucial arenas of religious and political assertion against both the religious establishment and the nation state in different religious, social and spatial contexts (Pateman and Mills 2007).

The struggle over the role of women is closely connected to the contested relationship between fundamentalists and the nation state (Fischer 2009). Torkel Brekke's (2011) claims that the modern nation state in its different varieties of secularism has always functioned as a crucial target for fundamentalist struggles, for example for a Caliphate State, a Christian Dominion, or a Jewish homeland. The conference seeks to address the question on what grounds strictly observant movements challenge or are at odds with key tenants of the modern state, particularly in relation to the role of women, LGBTQ+ and the family. It seeks to uncover to what extent and for what reasons certain aspects of state are accepted, which could include e.g. socio-economic support, health infrastructure, or legal protection of religious freedom, and what elements of the state are actively challenged, for instance certain aspects of secular family law, equality legislation, dress regulations, counter-extremism policies, institutionalised discrimination, or foreign policy and development aid.

The conference seeks to address, among others, the following questions:

·      How should we conceptualise the relationship between strictly observant religion, gender and the state?

·      What are the analytical and ethical challenges of different conceptualisations of these groups as "strictly observant", "fundamentalist", "socially conservative" etc. and what methodologies should we employ that are appropriate and sensitive to power-dynamics between researchers and researched groups, especially in postcolonial contexts?

·      How are strictly observant groups' attitudes and practices regarding gender and sexuality being perceived by different state and non-state actors?

·      How do strictly observant groups interpret the relation between gender roles, sexuality, and various dimensions of the state, including state apparatus, populations, spaces and political ideas?

·      To what extend do changing gender norms in society challenge, stabilise, or transform gender norms and conceptions of the self in strictly observant religious movements and how does this intersect with categories such as class, race, age, and disability (cf.  Yuval-Davis 2010)?

·      How does a secular “politics of sexuality” contribute to governing the lives of or dis/enabling agency across strictly observant and other religious and non-religious individuals and groups?

·      What concepts, theories, narratives, languages, theologies, disciplines, materialities, affects and practices are mobilised in the struggles around the role of gender and sexuality strictly observant groups and the state are enmeshed in?

Scholars from the fields of political science, sociology, social anthropology, gender studies, postcolonial studies, theology, study of religion and adjacent disciplines are invited to submit contributions that aim to make an original theoretical or empirical contribution focusing on one or more religious traditions and political settings.


Confirmed Keynote Speaker

Prof Torkel Brekke, University of Oslo and Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)


Tobias Müller, post-doctoral Junior Research Fellow, Woolf Institute

Dr Ed Kessler MBE, Founder Director, Woolf Institute 


Call for Papers and Format

Name, Institution/affiliation, short-biography, contact details must be submitted along with abstracts (max 300 words). All abstracts should be sent by October 20, 2018 to Tobias Müller (tm498@cam.ac.uk) and Ed Kessler (edk21@cam.ac.uk). Applicants will be notified by November 1st about the outcome of their submission. The format will involve sending the workshop paper (2000-3000 words) to the relevant discussant three weeks ahead of the workshop (March 4, 2019). Participants will be asked to prepare a presentation of 15 minutes to leave ample time for discussion.  Following the workshop, participants will be invited to submit developed and revised papers for a special issue of a top journal or an edited volume of a leading publisher.


Conference on Global Risk, Security and Ethnicity


Conference on Global Risk, Security and Ethnicity

Organized by
International Political Science Association
Research Committee on Security, Conflict, and Democratization (RC44) and

Transdisciplinary Research Platform on “Risk Society” in
Humanities and Social Sciences (Nagasaki University)

Hosted by

School of Global Humanities and Social Sciences

Nagasaki University, Japan

In cooperation with

IPSA Research Committee on Politics and Ethnicity (RC14),

IPSA Research Committee on Religion and Politics (RC43) and

Palgrave Handbook on Ethnicity Project (Palgrave Macmillan Publishing)

Venue and date

Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan
10 - 11 August 2019

Theme: Global Risk, Security and Ethnicity


This is a call for papers for the conference on global risk, security, and ethnicity which will be convened in Nagasaki, Japan, on 10-11 August 2019. The conference will be organized by Research Committee 44 (on Security, Conflict and Democratization) of the International Political Science Association in collaboration with Nagasaki University, RC14 (Politics and Ethnicity), RC43 (Religion and Politics) and other RCs.

Today the world is faced with pervading tensions and violent changes which challenge the way we define and respond to security, risks and ethnicity. The conference provides an opportunity to critically examine and share experiences on the causes and consequences of conflict; security threats; societal risks; and dynamics of ethnic conflict and provide some possible strategies as well as theoretical implications for the future. The approach will be inter-disciplinary in nature and will draw on the wide and comparative prism of the different regions of the world (Americas, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Pacific) as well as the unique circumstances of different countries and specific situations.

The papers can be based on theoretical discourse, philosophical debates, empirical case studies, comparative analysis between regions or countries, or critical narrative and reflection of an ongoing situation. We welcome interdisciplinary approaches that include areas of study including cultural studies, history, anthropology, ethnography, geography, security studies, international relations, law, philosophy, indigenous studies, media studies, feminist and gender studies, queer perspectives, sociolinguistics, development studies, psychology, and economics, to mention a few.

We hope to publish the papers related to risk and security in a book, and contributions focusing on ethnicity will be published separately in another volume.

Paper abstracts and panel proposals of about 300 words should be submitted through the two forms below. Only if you are unable to submit through the entry forms below or here, you may send your abstracts to the RC44 Vice-President, Radomir Compel at Nagasaki University (cmplrad@nagasaki-u.ac.jp). Early responses will be accepted from August 1, 2018, and paper abstracts and panel proposals can be submitted from Oct 1, 2018. The deadline for abstracts and panel proposals is Dec 20, 2018 and the deadline for the final papers is July 10, 2019.


Call for papers: “Religion and Political Parties in Contemporary Democracies” (ECPR General Conference, Hamburg, 22-25 August 2018)

Call for papers

Panel on “Religion and Political Parties in Contemporary Democracies”

Convenor: Luca Ozzano, University of Turin, luca.ozzano@unito.it

ECPR General Conference, Hamburg, 22-25 August 2018, https://ecpr.eu/Events/EventDetails.aspx?EventID=115

Section on “Revisiting Religion and Politics Research: Achievements, Critique, Future Questions” (Convenors Anja Hennig and Luca Ozzano)


The role of religion in contemporary democracies has been for decades neglected by mainstream political science. Although in the 2000s and 2010s many authoritative works have started to cast light on this field, the state of the art of specific studies on the role of religion in political parties is however still not satisfactory. This is mainly because works on this subject have often focused on the category of religious party, which does not fully account for the role of the religious factor in parties which cannot be labelled as ‘religious’ as a whole. This paper aims at going beyond this deadlock by looking at the role of religion not only in ‘religious’ parties, but also in officially secular parties (e.g.: conservative, nationalist, progressive, etc.) which however have some kind of religious orientation, in terms of values, connections to religious institutions and movements, and/or religious orientation of sizeable sectors of their social base. This orientation of the panel also meets the broader aims of the conference section on “Revisiting Religion and Politics Research”, in terms of questioning the state of the art of the literature on religion and parties, too focused on the concept of ‘religious party’, and proposing alternative paths and methodologies for research on this sub-field. Both theoretical contributions, as well as comparative works and in-depth single case studies (on a single political party or a national case) are welcome. To propose a paper, please send an abstract of up to 200 words to luca.ozzano@unito.it by 30 January 2018.


Cfp: Experiencing the Sacred between Religion and Spirituality



University of Bergamo (Italy), 6-9 June 2018

PANEL: Experiencing the Sacred between Religion and Spirituality


Stefania Palmisano (Università di Torino) stefania.palmisano@unito.it

Nicola Pannofino (Università di Torino) nicolaluciano.pannofino@unito.it

Emily Pierini (University of Wales Trinity Saint David / The American University of Rome) e.pierini@aur.edu


‘Religion’ and ‘Spirituality’ are terms of a binomial that is at the core of recent debates in the field of religious studies. Their relation is variably understood either as opposition or complementarity. In the first instance, according to the formula ‘spiritual but not religious’ used by those who cultivate a personal relationship with the transcendent beyond institutionalized religions. In the latter one, spirituality expresses the subjective dimension of religion. Both these definitions emphasize lived experience, and especially a sacred that permeates everyday practices, close to the body, to sensory perception and to the agency of the person in transition between multiple secular spheres of society.

 In order to delve into this field, we invite contributions grounded in ethnographic research focussing upon the relationship between religion and spirituality in the concrete social contexts of everyday life, and that stress a methodological reflection upon the status of ethnography in the study of lived religion and spirituality.

Some of the areas around which this theme can be developed are:

-        spirituality and religion in everyday life

-        spirituality and gender

-        body, emotions and spirituality

-        the perceptive dimension in the experience of the sacred

-        health, wellbeing and spirituality

-        spirituality and the notion of personhood

-        creative expressions of the religious in secular contexts

-     the ethnography of spirituality: how the ethnographer perceives the experiences of others



 Submission deadline: 15 January 2018.

Acceptance of proposals will be notified by 12 March 2018.

Contributors must register by 16 April 2018 to be included in the programme.

To submit your proposal, please send an e-mail to the panel convenors and to the conference committee (erq.conference@unibg.it), indicating:

-        the title of the chosen session;

-        the title of your talk and an abstract of max. 1,000 words (.doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, .rtf); 

-        your contact details (full name, e-mail, post address and affiliation) and those of your 
co-author/s, if any;

-         those who wish may also send a short video talk (2 min. max.), not necessarily on your proposed talk but a sort of teaser trailer for it (by sending the video, you thereby allow the organizing committee to upload the video at its discretion, in full or cut form, on the youtube channel of Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTAnycGjE5KzDCr-AnFJwow/feed) . 

Abstracts (and video talks) must be submitted in English. The official languages of the conference, however, are Italian, English, and French. For each session, languages will be used on the basis of the composition of participants.

 Conference website: http://www.etnografiaricercaqualitativa.it/?page_id=517 


Call for papers, IPSA Conference, Brisbane (Australia), July 21-25, 2018 - Section on Religion and Politics


Call for papers, International Political Science Association (IPSA) Conference

Brisbane (Australia), July 21-25, 2018

Section on Religion and Politics


The call for panels and papers for the 2018 IPSA conference is open. Until October 30, 2017, you can propose a panel and/or an individual paper by creating a free IPSA account (if you don't have one already) and visiting the page https://wc2018.ipsa.org/events/congress/wc2018/home

The IPSA Research Committee 43 ‘Religion and Politics’ welcomes submissions of panels (including 4-6 papers) and individual papers in English and French, not only in relation to the specific theme of the conference (“Borders and Margins”), but also regarding all aspects of the relations between religion and politics, at the domestic and the international/global levels.

For any enquiry, please write to networkrelpol@gmail.com or contact the section convenors, Emilce Cuda and Luca Ozzano, at emilcecuda@gmail.com and luca.ozzano@unito.it.


Call for papers: Anarchism and Religion

Anarchism and Religion: Broadening the Focus
Anarchist Studies Network 4th International Conference
Loughborough University
14-16 September 2016

The intersection of anarchism and religion has provided a fertile field of intellectual inquiry. Some publications have focused on traditional anarchist quarrels with religion and its institutions; others have elaborated and discussed anarchist exegesis of religious scripture; others yet have articulated theological reflections with an anarchist angle; and others still have studied the histories of specific religious anarchist thinkers, communities and movements. However, the literature has tended to display familiar biases: authors are often white and Western, the main religion is often Christianity, and few have turned their attention to feminist themes.

In line with the central theme of the broader conference, papers for the stream of panels on anarchism and religion are particularly encouraged to focus on anarcha-feminist and queer concerns (of which many are listed in the broader call for papers copied below). Proposals developing non-Christian perspectives are also encouraged. Nonetheless, contributions on any topics relevant to the study of anarchism and religion are welcome, with or without connection to anarcha-feminism. Any disciplinary angle is welcome.

Please send abstracts of up to 250 words with your name and (if relevant) any institutional affiliation to stream convenor Alex Christoyannopoulos at a.christoyannopoulos@lboro.ac.uk by 7 March 2016.


Society for the Scientific Study of Religion annual meeting (Atlanta, October 28-30, 2016)

Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
2016 Annual Meeting
October 28-30
InterContinental Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia

Religion and Public Life in Comparative Perspective

The theme of the 2016 SSSR conference centers on the diverse public roles of religion, where pluralism and globalization are recasting religion’s public face. Public life is something that is shared with others; it moves beyond the private realm. Religious worship, when done corporately, is a public activity, and public life extends to civic as well as political involvement. Religious actors and institutions can shape various aspects and spheres of public life, and they, in turn, can be shaped by their public involvement.

Religion continues to be a force in public life—locally as well as internationally, across regions as well as cultures. To address the diverse public roles that religion can play in the contemporary world, we invite new assessments of religion in public life framed in comparative analyses—whether across religious and social groups, cultural settings, or nation-states. We particularly encourage proposals that place public religion in broader comparative perspectives, leveraging cross-national variation to develop concepts and test theories. But, of course, proposals for panels and papers on any topic in the scientific study of religion are welcome.

Potential topics related to the conference theme include studies of:
•how involvement (or lack of involvement) in public worship shapes individual attitudes and behavior

•the involvement of different religious groups, organizations, or institutions in the 2016 American presidential election

•the role of religion in shaping civic life across different religious or cultural groups, geographic regions, or nation-states

•the strength or weakness of religious political parties in North America, Europe, the Mideast, Asia, Latin America, and Africa;

•the impact of religious social movements on a range of issues, such as education policy, social service provision and human rights protection;

•the place of religion in constitutions and law, particularly putting prominent cases like the United States into comparative perspective;

•the impact of transnational forces on the public role of religion within particular states;

•the relationship between of economic development and public manifestations of religion; and

•the political or social meaning of secularism across regions, and the political impact of “secular” actors on the place of religion in public life.

All session and paper proposals must be submitted via the on-line submission system of the SSSR’s web site, http://www.sssrweb.org, which opens February 2, 2016. A session proposal requires: 1) session proposer’s full contact information; 2) a session title; and 3) an abstract of not more than 150 words describing the goal of the session and how the session will contribute to the scientific knowledge of religion. Individual paper proposals require the name(s) of the author(s), first author’s full contact information, an abstract of not more than 150 words that succinctly describes the question(s) motivating the research, the data and methods used, and what the paper expects to contribute to the knowledge or understanding of religion.

Submissions Open: February 2, 2016 (see http://www.sssrweb.org)
Submissions Close: March 31, 2016
Decision Notification: April 30, 2016

Direct questions to: David Buckley, Program Chair, University of Louisville david.buckley@louisville.edu


Call for papers: “European Secularization: Views from Turkey and Israel" (ECPR conference, Prague 2016)

Call for papers for the ECPR general conference 2016 in Prague for the section: Religious and Political Affiliation in Comparative European Perspective", for a prospective panel entitled “European Secularization: Views from Turkey and Israel".

Turkey and Israel can be described as diametrically opposed, a secular state “imposed” on a religious population (Turkey) and a religious state imposed on a secular population (Israel). But, in fact both countries engage with questions regarding the role of religion in public and private lives and are in search for accommodation. In this proposed panel the questions of secularism and post-secularism will be discussed from a perspective of two countries on the fringes of Europe, where religion performs an important yet contested role.

If interested, send a short title to GUy Ben-Porat (Ben Gurion University of the Negev) at gbp@som.bgu.ac.il


Call for Participants: Section on Islam in International Affairs (EISA Conference, Izmir, 7-10 September 2016)

Call for participants for the section on
Islam in International Affairs: Politics and Paradigms
EISA 10th Pan-European Conference, Izmir (Turkey), 7-10 September 2013

Organized by the European International Studies Association (EISA)

Chaired by www.Co-IRIS.org (International Relations and Islamic Studies Research Cohort)

The section presents Islamic contributions to international affairs and to the field of International Relations. It seeks to explore theoretical approaches and empirical experiences of the Islamic civilization by referring to both classical and modern sources, the worldview of prominent thinkers, statecraft experiences, current transnational movements, and case studies on the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) phenomenon.

The section offers analyses of both theoretical approaches of Islam in International Relations and concrete historical experiences. The main themes are patterned in three levels of abstraction: the individual, state (or society), and the international system. Most, if not all, of the researches carried out by students of IR have fallen into two extremities: they have either (1) tried to “Islamize” the Western tradition of IR or (2) overlooked Islamic contributions to the field and the rich tradition of the Islamic civilization regarding international affairs and statecraft. Going beyond these misleading extremities, we aim to promote a bridge between IR and Islam by looking into various variables such as theories, empiricism, and categorical levels of generalization in international relations.

The objective is to develop and sustain a body of knowledge that addresses the theories and practices of the Islamic civilization and of Muslim societies with regards to international affairs and to the discipline of International Relations. The larger aim of this section is to set a model for the inclusion of Muslim contributions to the field of IR in order to enrich, diversify, and strengthen it.

This section takes into account a whole picture of current Islamic contributions to IR fashioned under the themes highlighted below.

- Theoretical Approaches of Islam in International Relations (2 panels)
- Worldviews of Muslim Thinkers and Practitioners (2 panels)
- Islamic Polity/Governance vis-à-vis Nation-State (2 panels)
- Transnational and Political Movements of Islamists (2 panels)
- The Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) Phenomenon (2 panels)

Proposals (with abstracts of 200 words maximum) must be submitted, starting 10 November 2015, via the online submission system: https://www.conftool.pro/paneuropean2016/

Instructions on how to submit proposals are available at http://www.paneuropeanconference.org/2016/spage.php?s=52

Please note that there will be a participation limit of three contributions per participant — whether as paper giver, roundtable speaker, or discussant/chair (any of these roles counts as one contribution).

The closing date for paper, panel, and roundtable proposals is midnight (CET) on Friday, 8 January 2016.


Call for sections: 2016 ECPR Graduate Student Conference

The next Graduate Student Conference will take place at the University of Tartu in Estonia from 10-13 July 2016. The Call for Sections is open until 30 September, and the board of the standing group on 'religion and politics' invites young scholars to propose a section related to our field of expertise.

If you have any questions about the conference, please don’t hesitate to contact the conference organization at graduateconference@ecpr.eu and/or the standing group convenor, Prof. Jeff Haynes, at jeff.haynes@londonmet.ac.uk.



Conference on “Transnational Religious Movements, Dialogue and Economic Development”

Call for papers

Conference on “Transnational Religious Movements, Dialogue and Economic Development: The Hizmet Movement in Comparative Perspective”

University of Turin, Turin (Italy), 10-11 December 2015

Transnational religious actors, and civil society faith-based movements are a well-established reality of the contemporary world, which is however still understudied especially at the comparative level. Only recently, with the rise of transnational radical Islam, have religious actors started to be regarded as influencing the international and global systems, sparking a significant scholarly production. As a consequence, much of the recent literature in this sub-field has focused on pro-conflict radical and terrorist networks. However, in today’s Europe there are notable cases of transnational faith-based movements which are engaged in education and dialogue, as well as in the economic field, with proposals for interesting new entrepreneurial models merging free-trade principles and social/moral concerns. This conference aims at contributing to a better comprehension of this phenomenon.

Its first day will focus on a relevant example of dialogue-oriented group: the Hizmet movement, inspired by the Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen, which is portrayed by many as an example of modern, ‘enlightened’ Islam, oriented towards dialogue and co-operation rather than conflict. In recent years the movement has been the focus of extensive international scholarship – both appreciative and critical –  dealing with its founder and his teachings, its schools in Turkey and abroad, its relations with Turkish politics and society and the role of women therein. Although many interesting works exist about its development in countries other than Turkey, so far few coherent efforts have been made to understand its development at the transnational level. This is true particularly in relation to comparative works which can highlight the common points and the differences between the movement and other religious groups, either within Islam or belonging to other religious traditions. This conference aims at filling that gap by including papers addressing the Hizmet movement in its transnational perspective: either by analysing its activities, development and institutionalisation in different countries, or by comparing it to other dialogue-oriented religious movements. Different disciplinary perspectives, from political science to sociology, anthropology and law, as well as different methodological perspectives, are welcomed.

The second day of the conference will address more broadly the field of contemporary religious movements by focusing on the economic and entrepreneurial activities carried out by faith-based groups and the economic models which inspired them. The above-mentioned Hizmet movement is an example of a religious movement successfully engaged in several entrepreneurial activities, particularly in the education and media fields. However, religion-related entrepreneurship is widespread also in the Christian world, as shown for example by the Focolare movement, which inspired the ‘communion’ or ‘civil’ economy, marked by a strong solidaristic orientation within the free-market economy. Moreover, some ‘new’ religious movements which are not part of ‘traditional’ religions also propose interesting entrepreneurial activities in a neo-communitarian perspective strongly marked by spiritual values. This section of the conference welcomes contributions about the relationship between religious movements and economy, both through single-case studies and broader comparative and theoretical works.

The conference is funded by the University of Turin and the Compagnia di SanPaolo Foundation, and co-sponsored by the ‘Religion and Politics’ standing group of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), the IPSA RC43 ‘Religion and Politics’ Research Group and the Istituto Tevere based in Rome. It will take place on 10-11 December 2015 and will be hosted by the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society of the University of Turin (Italy) at the Luigi Einaudi Campus (CLE).

Prospective paper givers can send a proposal of up to 250 words, as well as any enquiry, to the scientific coordinator of the conference, Dr. Luca Ozzano, at the address: luca.ozzano@unito.it, and to the organization assistant, Dr. Chiara Maritato, at the address: chiara.maritato@unito.it.

The deadline for paper proposals is 15 September 2015.


Call for panels: 2016 IPSA conference - Istanbul

24th World Congress of Political Science – International Political Science Association (IPSA)

Call for Panels is NOW OPEN!

The Research Committee 43 ‘Religion and Politics’ welcomes the submission of panel proposals (in English or French) for its section. Panel proposals (no more than 250 words) must be submitted online, after creating a free account on the site ipsa.org, at the address: http://istanbul2016.ipsa.org/events/congress/istanbul2016/submit-panel

Please also send copy of your proposal to the section convenor Jeff Haynes, at the address: jeff.haynes@londonmet.ac.uk

Information on how to submit a panel can be found at this address:

The deadline for the submission of open panels is July 8th, while closed panels, already complete with paper proposals, can be submitted until October 7th.
The call for papers (for open panels only) will open on August 7th and close on October 7th.


Call for Papers: Religion, Gender, and Sexual Citizenship

Call for Papers

Revista Crítica de Ciências Sociais
Editors: Ana Cristina Santos, Teresa Toldy, Alberta Giorgi
Deadline for submission: 17 July 2015

Religion plays an important role in contemporary societies and in different geographical contexts. Debates on bioethics, gender relations, sexual and reproductive rights, among others, show the centrality of the religious position, which is in dialogue with, or opposed to, human rights and intimate citizenship issues.

At the crossroad of these perspectives, in recent years many controversial topics came to the fore: control over women’s body, regulation of sex-workers, debates on reproduction and scientific and medical procedures, recognition of same-sex marriages and homoparenthood. These issues, among others, sparked huge controversies in both the private and the public sphere. This special issue aims to focus on the intersections between religious and political debates concerning family models and their regulation, sexuality, reproduction, and gender relations. This call for papers aims to bring together relevant, original, and interdisciplinary contribution to the topic.

Texts must follow the guidelines for publication available online and sent by email to rccs@ces.uc.pt, with explicit indication of “Religion, Gender, and Sexual Citizenship” in the subject of the message. Although the journal favours publication in Portuguese, it accepts manuscripts in other languages (English, French, Spanish, and Italian).

All submissions will be subjected to evaluation through a peer-review process as described in the guidelines for publication.


International Workshops: Is secularism bad for women? Women and Religion in Multicultural Europe

International Workshops:

Is secularism bad for women? Women and Religion in Multicultural Europe

How can societies secure religious women’s freedom and flourishing? What political arrangements offer the most to those who are religious and female? Given the increased visibility of religion in the globalized world of the 21st century, these questions demand urgent answers.

Frequently, the rights of women and religious people are pitted against each other. Laws, policies and practices are advocated that will help either those of faith, or women, but not both. Gender equality or religious freedom is prioritised, but the other group is marginalised. Religious groups argue for their right to express and practice their beliefs, to educate their children in a faith-based school or to use religious decision-making bodies – for instance rabbinic courts or sharia arbitration councils – to settle family conflicts. Some take this further and argue that the state should align itself with a particular faith, making its laws reflect religious traditions and texts. Women’s rights activists argue for religious freedoms not to be granted at women’s expense – for instance challenging enforced gender segregation in public education and unequal marriage laws – and press for gender equality in employment, personal relationships, healthcare, culture and politics.

Yet there is major disagreement about the role of religion in the fight for gender equality. Is religion – at least some forms of it – an impossible impediment, something that must be destroyed in order for women to be free? Or can religion be a positive force in women’s lives, something that enhances their wellbeing and aids social justice?

Some writers argue that a form of political secularism is the best way to ensure gender equality. Allowing religious organisations political power enshrines gender inequality by giving state support to religious cultural practices that harm women (e.g. FGM, polygamy, forced marriage or forbidding abortion), they say, and leads to the state funding religious fundamentalists who pose as moderates. Reflecting political theorist Susan Moller Okin’s controversial 1997 essay ‘Is multiculturalism bad for women?’ they criticise multiculturalism (a political approach adopted from the 1970s to celebrate ethnic and religious diversity) as entrenching gender injustice. But other scholars consider secularism a bad political arrangement for religious people, because it excludes them from the political and public sphere (denying funds to faith-based welfare or education services, prohibiting the wearing of religious symbols in public spaces, or forbidding ‘religious arguments’ in political debates). Taking forward discussions initiated by Okin and continued recently in works of scholars including Saba Mahmood, Joan Scott, Nilüfer Göle, Nadje Al-Ali, Linell Cady and Tracy Fessenden, we will look at this in European and global contexts.

These workshops, funded by the International Society for the Sociology of Religion and led by Coventry, Uppsala, Helsinki universities and the Center of Social Studies (Coimbra), invite participants to join us in turning Okin’s ‘Is multiculturalism bad for women?’ question on its head, debating the benefits and drawbacks of secularism. Looking at the question this way around will, we hope, enable us to discover whether secularism is the best political system to ensure gender equality and religious freedom, and if so, which form of secularism? Or if secularism is not the best solution, how should governments work with and through religious people, without compromising women’s rights?

We will debate these questions in three workshops

Workshop 1 (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Women’s religious agency: negotiating secularism and multiculturalism in everyday life

This workshop explores how on the individual or everyday level, women today are negotiating religion, secularism, multiculturalism and non-religion.

Workshop 2 (Coventry University, UK)

Negotiating secularism and multiculturalism through civil society organisations

This workshop investigates what women’s and religious organisations and groups are doing to address faith, secularism and multiculturalism.

Workshop 3 (Center of Social Studies, Lisbon, Portugal)

Political and public approaches to gender, secularism and multiculturalism

This workshop will analyse political debates on religion and women’s in the public sphere. It will explore how political and public institutions, including the media, education, law and employment, are formulating and negotiating women’s and religious rights.

These workshops will bring together academics, activists and policymakers involved in legislating about religion and gender, so that together we can contribute to policy and activism by women and religious communities. We are planning to publish some of the papers in a book.

The workshops are subsidised by the ISSR, Coventry University, Uppsala University and Center of Social Studies, Coimbra and there will be a small fee to pay to attend and participate.

For workshop 1 (1.5 days): 30 euros standard, 15 euros for charities, activists, PhD students, the unwaged and early career researchers.

For workshop 2 (1.5 days): 20 euros standard, 10 euros for charities, activists, PhD students, the unwaged and early career researchers.

For workshop 3 (2.5 days): 50 and 20 euros respectively. Participants should arrange their own accommodation and travel (we will provide suggestions).

Dr Kristin Aune (Centre for Trust, Peace & Social Relations, Coventry University)

Professor Mia Lӧvheim (Department of Theology, Uppsala University),

Dr Terhi Utriainen (Department of Comparative Religion, University of Helsinki)

Dr Alberta Giorgi (Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra; GRASSROOTSMOBILISE, Eliamep)

Dr Teresa Toldy (Fernando Pessoa University, Porto; Centre of Social Studies, University of Coimbra)



Cfp: 2015 ECPR Conference (Montreal) - Section on Religion and Foreign Affairs

The General Conference of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) this year for the first time will take place in Northern America, more precisely, in Montreal, Canada (http://ecpr.eu/Events/EventDetails.aspx?EventID=94). The ECPR Standing Group on Religion and Politics organizes a section on Religion and Foreign Affairs (http://ecpr.eu/Events/SectionDetails.aspx?SectionID=468&EventID=94).

We would like to invite you to chair a panel and/or submit a paper, or to pass on this invitation to colleagues who might be interested.

We envisioned four panels on: - theoretical and conceptual questions - religious actors - EU External Relations - International Religious Freedom

Please find below the initial section and panel proposals. Feel free to use them or formulate new ones. Please also don't hesitate to contact Mariano Barbato or Anne Jenichen to assist with coordinating panels (3-5 papers each). We would also appreciate panel proposals on other issues.

The deadline for panel and paper proposals is February 16.

Please use the online form via MyECPR (http://www.ecpr.eu/MyEcpr/Forms/PanelProposalForm.aspx?EventID=94)​ to submit a proposal.

For panel proposals you will need the following information: •​The title of the Section •Panel title •Abstract (300 words) •3-8 keywords •(if applicable) Panel Co-Chair email address as registered with MyECPR •(if applicable) Panel Discussant email address as registered with MyECPR ​

Paper details for 3-5 Papers as follows: •​Paper title •Abstract (150 words) •3-8 keywords •Presenter email address as registered with MyECPR ​ •(if applicable) Co-author email address as registered with MyECPR ​

If prospective Panel Chairs/Co-Chairs/Discussants/Presenters and Co-authors do not already have a MyECPR account, they can create one here: http://ecpr.eu/LoginCreateNewAccount.aspx. Forgotten passwords can be retrieved here: http://ecpr.eu/LoginForgotPassword.aspx. Please do not create multiple accounts, but ensure your MyECPR account is correct and up to date, showing the correct institutional affiliation. The details in MyECPR will be what is used for communication purposes and also in the academic programme.

Section 49: Religion and Foreign Affairs

Section Chairs: - Dr. Anne Jenichen (University of Bremen, jenichen@uni-bremen.de) - Dr. Mariano Barbato (University of Passau, mariano.barbato@uni-passau.de)

Section Abstract: The role of religion in the foreign affairs of states and regional organizations is still relatively unexplored. Religion can influence this policy field through different avenues. Certain understandings of religion and secularism, for example, can become part of a state‟s or organization‟s identity, affecting how it interacts with others. Religious groups might have different ideas about goals and strategies than (secular) governments, therefore trying to influence their foreign conduct. Differing attitudes within their constituencies, some of them driven by religious affiliation, as well as their own religiosity, might also affect how policy-makers in democracies formulate their external policies. Last but not least, foreign policies often differ in how they deal with issues of religion abroad, whether they ignore them due to a secularist bias or incorporate ideas on religion in their understandings of problems and definitions of appropriate solutions. These policies, however, are not always only motivated by normative considerations. Strategic interests often have their share as well, leading to intended as well as unintended consequences on the ground. The section seeks to further our theoretical and empirical understanding of the role of religion in the field of foreign policy. It focuses on the intertwining between „the religious‟ and „the secular‟ in the foreign affairs of states from a theoretical perspective. It aims at assessing the organization and impact of religious actors as key transmitters of religious ideas into foreign policy. The section furthermore explores whether and how religion matters in the foreign conduct of the alleged „stronghold of secularization‟, Europe. Last but not least, it scrutinizes policies of international religious freedom, which have become prominent in the foreign conduct of many states in the last couple of years.

Panel 1 - Westphalia Under Siege? Conceptualizing Religion in Foreign Affairs.

In the Westphalian system foreign policy is guided by the principles of sovereignty and secularity. States decide internally about the good life that may or may not contain references to religion. Foreign affairs, in contrast, are about national interest understood as security and wealth but lack any religious or spiritual dimension. According to the Westphalian legacy, the lack of a religious dimension is a condition for peace as religious quarrels would lead to endless strife. This ideal type failed already to cope with the influence of antagonistic world views from the French Revolution to the Cold War. Globalization and the return of religion challenge the very basis of the Westphalian system and its concept of foreign affairs. Today, the boundaries between inside and outside are blurred. States are integrated in an emerging public sphere where religions and secular world views become the sometimes contested and sometimes shared context of cooperation and conflict. While the erosion of sovereignty has been discussed broadly during the last two decades, the return of religion as a “dimension of statecraft” (Johnston 1994) has attracted less attention in the conceptualizing of foreign affairs. Nevertheless, religion is part of foreign affairs, from offices for religious freedom in the USA and Canada to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Holy See who all directly deal with religion. As Stacey Gutkowski (2013) argued, religion is even part of secular warfare. It is a case of empery contradicting theory. What strands of theorizing can avoid this contradiction? What concepts of foreign affairs do we need to grasp the influence of religions? The panel welcomes theoretical, methodological and empirical papers that address these questions from the perspective of IR theory, sociology of International Relations, foreign policy analysis and normative approaches of international political theory.

Panel 2 – Religionizing foreign policy? Religious actors and networks

Religious communities and interest groups are key actors in transmitting and channeling religious ideas into politics. They have long been politically active on domestic policy issues. Less noticed, they also organize and lobby for foreign policy goals. Sometimes they do so on a purely national basis, but on many foreign policy issues, transnational and cross-faith networks play an increasingly important role. How and why do religious actors seek to influence foreign policy? How do religious activists form linkages across national and denominational borders? Are these alliances purely tactical or do they pursue broader aims and have more lasting effects on the participants, their organizations and faiths themselves? How do the activists‟ religious identities influence their lobbying tactics? How, if at all, do these groups and their tactics differ from secular groups in the foreign policy arena? What are the dimensions of conflict between religious and secular actors? How effective have religious interest groups and networks been in influencing foreign policy? What explains different degrees of effectiveness? How do political institutions, organizational structure, and mobilization capacities of religious institutions affect whether and how they influence foreign policy? The panel invites empirical contributions which analyze the organizing, networking, lobbying tactics and effectiveness of religious actors in the foreign policy arena to assess their features and impact on foreign policy-making. It particularly welcomes papers which bring together empirical evidence with the theoretical interest group and social movement literature.

Panel 3 – European External Relations: Does religion matter?

In European studies, religion has long been a blind spot because the social sciences deemed religion a negligible force in Europe. Only after the secularization theory had lost much of its previous plausibility, the analysis of the religious dimension of the European integration process entered the academic agenda. Meanwhile, a wealth of studies has demonstrated the still political relevance of religion within Europe. However, the field of European external relations, with a few exceptions such as the role of religion in EU-Turkey relations, has been largely excluded from this research agenda so far. This is surprising since much of the interest of the European Union in matters of religion has first emerged in its external relations. Both the EU and several of its member states, for instance, have recently introduced principles and institutions into their foreign policies to promote freedom of religion and belief and to engage with religious actors. Thus, to what extent does religion matter in European external relations? How do the EU and its member states deal with issues of religion in their foreign, security, development or other external policies? What has been the role of religion in European enlargement and policies towards the European neighborhood? Which ideas on religion and politics inform European external policies, and how and why have these ideas become effective? Why and how has the international religious freedom and engagement agenda in Europe emerged, how has it been implemented, and what are its challenges and potential pitfalls? How do European approaches compare with respective policies of other liberal democracies, such as the US or Canada, or other regional organizations, such as the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) or the Council of Europe? The panel invites papers that empirically analyze respective policy developments in Europe, both single case studies and comparative research, based on different theoretical and methodological approaches.

Panel 4 – Religious Freedom: Neo-imperialism or Common Ground?

In scholarly discourses and in practitioner‟s discussions alike, foreign policy debates on religion saw in the last years the rise of an old concept: religious freedom. Religious freedom became a core concept for dealing with the international resurgence of religions. However, religious freedom is a contested term. While advocates of religious freedom see it as remedy for religious strife others criticize it as a neo-imperial tool to promote Western values and interests – secular liberalism and Christian mission alike. Despite critical voices, the USA, Canada and others have integrated religious freedom into their human rights agenda of foreign policy. Is the concept of religious freedom a bridge into a more peaceful world or does it go too far for traditional world views and not far enough for individual human rights? What kind of concepts and actors inform the discourses of religious freedom? Who is implementing this agenda and to what end? What world views and aims do the discontents share or are they a very diverse group of people? What institutions – governmental, non-governmental and international – are set up or influenced through the concept? Do they matter? What effect does the concept of religious freedom have on the ground? The panel welcomes papers that discuss the theoretical concept of religious freedom, analyze the normative approaches for or against it, scrutinize the background of the opponents or test the validity of the conceptual claims on the ground.

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