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Cfp: SISP Conference - Panels on Religion and Politics


UNIVERSITY OF PERUGIA – Department of Political Science - UNIVERSITY FOR FOREIGNERS OF PERUGIA - Department of Human and Social Studies

11 – 13 September 2014

Deadline for paper proposals: 15 May 2014


Panels on Religion and Politics:

1) Religion and Political Parties (Luca Ozzano and Massimiliano Livi)

2) Religion and International Relations (Valter Coralluzzo)

3) Religion and Local Politics (Xabier Itzcaina and Alberta Giorgi)

4) Religion, Secularism and Politics in 21st Century Turkey (Luca Ozzano)

For more information on the section, see the website:



Cfp: Addressing the Asylum Crisis

CALL FOR PAPERS: Addressing the Asylum Crisis: Religious Contributions to Rethinking Protection in Global Politics

A British Council-sponsored workshop (Bridging Voices program)

University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies, Brussels, 26th and 27th of June 2014

Deadline for abstract submission (250 words max): April 24, 2014

Convenors: Luca Mavelli (Kent) and Erin Wilson (Groningen)

We are organizing a British Council-sponsored workshop (Bridging Voices program) on ‘Addressing the Asylum Crisis: Religious Contributions to Rethinking Protection in Global Politics’. The workshop which will take place at the University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies, Brussels on the 26th and 27th of June 2014.

This event will be the second of two transatlantic academic and policy dialogues (the first workshop will take place at Georgetown University, Washington DC, in May 2014) which aim to explore the current and potential future contribution of religious groups and traditions to addressing the asylum crisis and the development of policy strategies which may complement current modes of protection and asylum. In particular, the workshop aims to explore:

a. The role of religious traditions in promoting forms of solidarity that transcend state-centric approaches centred on border protection, legal rights and security. Are religious argumentations in the public sphere contributing to redefine the debate on migration? Is it possible to identify forms of convergence between different religions in their approach to the global migration crisis? Can religious approaches to migration promote inclusion, but also different forms of exclusion?

b. The role that religious organisations and institutions play in the global migration crisis. What are they approaches and how do they differ from state-centric approaches? To what extent do religious organisations fill gap left by states in the provision of asylum and protection? What are the existing forms of practice and cooperation between religious and secular organisations?

c. The crisis of secular modes of protection, based on logics of securitization, but also of profit, as witnessed by the proliferation of immigration detention centres run by private security firms. Is it the case, as Loïc Wacquant suggest, that multinational corporations are increasingly competing against ‘benevolent associations delivering services to the poor’? Can postsecular approaches to asylum act as a source of resistance against the pathologies of neoliberal modernisation?

The workshop will involve a selected group of scholars, policy makers, practitioners, and refugees with expertise and experience in religion, asylum, foreign policy, development and humanitarianism.

Among the confirmed speakers are: · John Milbank, Christian theologian and the Professor of Religion, Politics and Ethics at the University of Nottingham; · Alexander Betts, Director, Global Migration Governance project, University of Oxford · Katharina von Schnurbein, Adviser for the Dialogue with Churches, Religions and Philosophical and Non-Confessional organisations, European Commission; · Nava Hinrichs, Director, The Hague Process for Refugees and Migration · Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Senior Research Officer at the University of Oxford and Research Fellow in Refugee Studies at Lady Margaret Hall. · Adrian Pabst, Senior Lecturer at the University of Kent · Sadia Kidwai, Policy and Research Analyst at Islamic Relief

We particularly welcome submissions from practitioners working with secular and faith-based NGOs in this sector, reflecting on the place of faith and spirituality.

PUBBLICATION OUTCOME: We are planning to publish the papers presented at the workshop in one special issue of an internationally recognised peer-reviewed journal or edited volume. In addition to academic publication outputs, we will produce a report and list of recommendations to be distributed to participants and interested stakeholders, as well as disseminating the findings of the two dialogues in a variety of media outlets including newspapers and blog posts.

Limited funding is available as a partial contribution to travel and accommodation expenses.

The deadline for abstract submission (250 words max) is April 24, 2014. Please send your abstract together with a short biographical note to Luca Mavelli (L.Mavelli@kent.ac.uk) and Erin Wilson (e.k.wilson@rug.nl).


Conference: Explaining Nonreligion and Secularity in the US and beyond



Call for Papers| 19-20 November 2014, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA



Conveners: Ryan Cragun (ryantcragun@gmail.com), Christel Manning (manningc@sacredheart.edu), and Phil Zuckerman (phil_zuckerman@pitzer.edu)

Keynote speakers:

Professor Darren Sherkat (Sociology, Southern Illinois University)

Professor Lori Beaman (Classics and Religious Studies, University of Ottowa)

The study of nonreligion and secularity, long neglected by religion researchers, has recently become a growing field of inquiry. The NSRN is an international, interdisciplinary association of scholars from various fields (religious studies, sociology, anthropology, political science, psychology, history, etc.) who are interested in nonreligion, atheism, secularity, secularism, secularization – and related issues. Since the NSRN convened its first international conference in 2009 at the University of Oxford, UK, research and publications dealing with nonreligion and secularity have continued to increase and diversify. The third NSRN conference will reflect upon accumulated and newly emerging empirical work and focus attention on how these diverse phenomena can be explained. To what extent do they fit into existing theoretical frameworks, such as secularization theories, ‘desecularization’ theories and pluralist or ‘postsecular’ models? Do we need to refine these models, or even generate new theories altogether in order to understand the occurrence and nature of contemporary secular populations and nonreligious cultures?

The conference welcomes papers that further expand our understanding of nonreligion and secularity, including topics such as:

· Theoretical development in the study of secularity and nonreligion

· The explosion of the so-called “Nones” in the United States in the last two decades

· Nonreligion and secularity in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East

· Cross-cultural comparisons/contrasts of nonreligion and secularity

· Secularism and politics in the USA and around the world

· Intersections of non-religion and secularity with race, class, and gender

· The varieties of nonreligious experience

· Typological development in the analysis of secular people and secular movements

· Neurological and emotional aspects of secularity

· Secularity and sexuality

· Prospects for the further development of secular studies

· Ritual and community within secular culture

· Secular-religious conflict and cooperation

· Apostasy and religious rejection

Abstracts for panels and presentations should be submitted to Ryan Cragun at ryantcragun@gmail.com by 1 June 2014. Abstracts should be 250 words long and accompanied by a short biographical note.

Registration will open in April 2012. Full conference (includes all meals, does not include accommodations) is $155.


Cfp: Rethinking Political Catholicism

Call for Papers - Rethinking Political Catholicism: Empirical and Normative Perspectives Rethinking Political Catholicism

International Conference John Cabot University Rome, May 22-23, 2014

Call for Papers

Although the study of religion and politics has blossomed over the past decade, the normative debates over the appropriate place of religion in modern democracies often remain divorced from the study of the actual practices and meanings of religion in these democracies. Consequently, many new normative concepts and arguments have not filtered down to the empirical study of religion, while normative debates are often inadequately informed by the empirical realities of contemporary religious practices and beliefs.

Rethinking Political Catholicism aims to bridge this divide by focusing on the fertile case of political Catholicism in Italy. Empirically, the conference aims to take stock of political Catholicism in Italy today, compare it with Catholic and Muslim politics elsewhere, and use contemporary theoretical and normative insights to better understand its post-secular dynamics. Normatively, the conference aims to evaluate the practices of contemporary political Catholicism in Italy and elsewhere, and thus contribute to developing a more sophisticated debate about the proper roles of religious politics in contemporary democracies.

The empirical papers of the conference are invited to analyse the project and impact of political Catholicism in Italy and elsewhere today. Suggested themes include the following.

Current Catholic political groups, claims, or activism, in Italy or elsewhere; The normative meaning and grounds of ‘political Catholicism’; Catholic analyses of contemporary political issues; New challenges posed by Catholic political thought and practice to liberal democratic theory; The significant of the church-state relationship in Italy for theories of post-secularism; Comparisons with recent trends in Islamic political thought and practice.

Normative contributions to the conference are instead invited to consider such themes as the following:

Current Catholic political groups, claims, or activism, in Italy or elsewhere; The normative meaning and grounds of ‘political Catholicism’; Catholic analyses of contemporary political issues; New challenges posed by Catholic political thought and practice to liberal democratic theory; The significant of the church-state relationship in Italy for theories of post-secularism; Comparisons with recent trends in Islamic political thought and practice.

The working language of the conference will be English, and a collection of papers based on the conference will also be published.

The conference is part of the John Cabot University Summer Institute for Religion and Global Politics (May 19-June 20, 2014).

Confirmed speakers:

Paola Bernardini (Contending Modernities Project) Luca Diotallevi (Roma Tre) Agostino Giovagnoli (Cattolica, Milan) Paul Weithman (Notre Dame)

Submission guidelines

A 500-word abstract, of a paper suitable for presentation in 20 minutes, should be sent by March 15, 2014, to the organizers, Tom Bailey (tbailey@johncabot.edu) and Michael Driessen (mdriessen@johncabot.edu). Notice of acceptance will be provided by March 22.

Selected papers will be considered for publication in a collected volume.

Registration fee (includes lunches and refreshments): Faculty € 50, Students € 25

The conference is funded by John Cabot University.


Cfp: The Politics and Poetics of Managing Tourism in Sacred Cities

Call for Papers for a Special Session:

The Politics and Poetics of Managing Tourism in Sacred Cities

Amos S. Ron - Ashkelon Academic College, Israel Daniel H. Olsen - Brandon University, Canada

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2014

26 to 29 August 2014, at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in London

Sacred cities are one of the oldest and most prevalent forms of urban organization and can be found in several cultures and locations throughout human history. Cities such as Varanasi, Lourdes, Mecca, Lalibela and Jerusalem have long attracted pilgrims, merchants, and other tourists. However, although there has been much written on sacred cities from various disciplines, such as comparative religion (e.g. Diana Eck on Varanasi), history (e.g. Ruth Harris on Lourdes) and anthropology (e.g. Abdellah Hammoudi on Mecca), very little has been written by geographers and tourism scholars. Furthermore, in studies on sacred cities the focus has been descriptive and case study-oriented with little focus on the management of pilgrimage and other forms of tourism.

This session therefore aims to bring together a range of papers that examine sacred cities from various theoretical, methodological and practical perspectives, in different historical, cultural and geographical contexts with a focus on tourism management. Submissions can be case study oriented, comparative or conceptual, and may address, but are not be limited to, the following areas:

  • The history of sacred site management
  • Challenges, problems and solutions in management of sacred destinations
  • Modern mass tourism to ancient sacred cities
  • Modernity, technology and visiting the sacred
  • Contested spaces in sacred cities
  • Sustainable development of sacred cities
  • Commodification in sacred cities
  • The resilience of sacred cities
  • The shared characteristics of sacred cities
  • Patterns of globalization in sacred cities
  • Spatial patterns of beggars and begging in sacred cities

Abstracts (max. 250 words) should be submitted by Sunday 23 February, 2014. For more details, and to submit an abstract, please contact:

Dr. Amos S. Ron, Department of Tourism and Leisure Studies, Ashkelon Academic College, Ashkelon, Israel: amosron@gmail.com

Dr. Daniel H. Olsen, Department of Geography, Brandon University, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada: olsend@brandonu.ca


Cfp: Moderation and its Discontents

Moderation and its Discontents: religion, rights and social justice

Organiser: Dr Alexander Smith Department of Sociology, University of Warwick

Monday, 23 June - Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Keynote speakers Professor Bob Antonio (Sociology, University of Kansas) Professor Danielle Allen (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton) Professor John Holmwood (Sociology, University of Nottingham) Dr Rowan Williams (ex-Archbishop of Canterbury)

Workshop With the rise of neoliberal globalisation in the early 21st Century, the world is undergoing complex and rapid economic and political transformations. The apparent arrival of a 'post-secular' moment in the West, in which religion has re-entered the public square in multicultural liberal democracies like Britain and further unsettled debates about rights, secularism and 'truth', further signals a world 'in flux'. The threat of both 'home-grown' terrorism and racist violence, as witnessed last year with the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich and Pavlo Lapshyn's attempted bombings of mosques in the West Midlands, intensifies again these anxieties and uncertainties. This has prompted some now to argue for a project of moderation to mitigate the effects of crisis and indeterminacy associated with market-based policies and the so-called 'culture wars' they have provoked. Indeed, moderation has been fiercely argued in relation to combating Islamic extremism and finding an enduring peace in the Middle East. It has also been the subject of US debate in relation to issues of electoral polarisation and Church-State separation.

But what does 'moderation' actually mean? And what might a reasoned project of moderation look like - intellectually, politically and in practice? This interdisciplinary workshop builds on the arguments of Alex Smith and John Holmwood in their edited volume Sociologies of Moderation: problems of democracy, expertise and the media (2013, Wiley Blackwell) to suggest that moderation is better understood as a disciplined engagement with divided publics rather than a doctrine devoid of intellectual commitment or moral courage. Papers are therefore invited from scholars working in any field of the arts, humanities and social sciences on issues relating to the conference theme. Working with an expanded definition of moderation, contributions on the following topics would be particularly welcome:

  • Democracy, multiculturalism and interfaith dialogue
  • Citizenship, human rights and social justice
  • Education, expertise and the media
  • Publics versus markets
  • Pragmatism and social theory
  • Religion, secularism and science

Please send abstracts to Dr Alexander Smith at alexander.smith@warwick.ac.uk no later than 17.00 on Friday, 7 February 2014. Those selected to give papers will be informed by the end of February. Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words and should be attached as a Word document with your institutional affiliation and position.


Cfp: Social Science History Association Religion Network

Call for Papers: Social Science History Association Religion Network

Social Science History Association 2014 Annual Conference Toronto, Ontario, Canada, November 6-9, 2014 Conference Theme: "Inequalities: Politics, Policy, and the Past"


The Religion Network of the Social Science History Association invites proposals for papers, panels, and book sessions for the 39th annual meeting of the Social Science History Association in Toronto, Ontario, November 6-9, 2014. We also are looking for volunteers to serve as panel chairs and discussants.

The SSHA is the leading interdisciplinary association for historical research in the US, providing a stimulating venue for explorations of how social processes unfold over time. The Religion Network serves as the home within the organization for scholars interested in religious history, religious mobilization, religious change, and religion's effect on social and political processes. Our network is interdisciplinary and cross-national in scope, and embraces all scholarship that examines how religion intersects with other social processes in historical perspective.

We encourage the participation of graduate students and recent PhDs as well as more established scholars from a wide range of disciplines and departments. Graduate students are eligible to apply for financial support to attend the annual meeting (see http://www.ssha.org/grants). Further details about the association, the 2014 annual meeting, and the call for proposals are available on the SSHA website: www.ssha.org.

The deadline for paper and/or panel submissions is February 14th, 2014.

We welcome and encourage papers and panel proposals on a wide array of issues related to the historical study of religion and religious movements. While complete panel proposals (consisting of 4-5 individual papers, a chair, and a discussant) are preferred, we also seek out high-quality individual paper submissions. Panels and papers may address the topics below, or any other relevant and related topic examining religion in a historical context:

  • Religion and Policy Development
  • Church/State Relations
  • Religion and Social Inequality
  • Religion and Politics
  • Religion and Social Movements
  • Religion and Law
  • Religion, Migration, and Identity
  • Religion and Nationalism
  • Secularization and Secularism
  • Religion and Empire
  • Missionaries and Social Change
  • Religion and Space

Please use the SSHA's web conference management system to submit your papers and panel proposals. Paper title, brief abstract, and contact information should be submitted on the site http://conference.ssha.org/.

Damon Mayrl (dmayrl@clio.uc3m.es) Sam Nelson (scnelson0@gmail.com) SSHA Religion Network Representatives


Cfp: Muslims in UK and Europe

"Muslims in UK and Europe" Postgraduate Symposium, University of Cambridge, 17-18 May 2014 Organised by the Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge Centre of Islamic Studies invites applications from current Masters and PhD candidates to present their research on issues pertaining to Muslims in the UK and Europe, from any discipline. The postgraduate symposium, taking place over 17-18 May 2014, will be a platform for students to present and exchange current research on any topic in this field in a lively and dynamic forum. The symposium will take place at The Moller Centre, Cambridge. All travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the Centre of Islamic Studies.

To apply please submit a 500-word abstract, with curriculum vitae outlining current research interests, to cis@cis.cam.ac.uk by *14 February 2014*.

Successful candidates will be notified by 28 February 2014 and invited to submit draft papers of no more than 5000 words by 10 May 2014.

For further information, please contact cis@cis.cam.ac.uk

For more information about the Centre of Islamic Studies please visit: www.cis.cam.ac.uk


Conference: Missio Dei? Evangelicalism and the New Politics

Missio Dei? Evangelicalism and the New Politics

University of Chester, Hollybank

12th June, 2014, 10.00 – 4.00 pm

2nd Call for Papers – Deadline March 31st 2014

Aim and Context

The aim of this conference is to facilitate a space whereby the innovative mission, praxis and ecclesiologies of evangelical Christianity (including inner-urban areas and including Pentecostal and charismatic contributions) is enabled to enter into dialogue with emerging themes within contemporary Evangelical theology including new understandings of the concepts of Missio Dei, Kingdom of God, Incarnation, Atonement and Trinity.

The overall trajectory observable in many disciplines outside systematic theology (especially sociology of religion and human geography and public policy) suggests a shift within the evangelical Christian communities towards more activist and holistic models of mission, which are also characterised by a willingness to experiment in new ways of ‘being church’. There are also shifts in a different direction where instead of forms of rapprochement with the public sphere, a certain bifurcation emerges as a response to the new complexity and plurality of the public space. It is fair to say that both trajectories within contemporary British Evangelicalism (including Pentecostalism and Charismatic traditions) are having an increasing strategic impact on the political and social fabric of British society and public policy.

This conference will represent a unique opportunity to track and debate this shift at both theological and missional/ecclesiological levels, as well as from perspectives that lie outside the Christian tradition. Relevant perspectives or ‘lenses’ by which to track these shifts include doctoral level research from urban and missional practitioners within contemporary British evangelicalism, systematic and practical theologians and interdisciplinary perspectives. The event concludes with a public lecture by Revd Steve Chalke MBE and Founder of Oasis Trust on the theme of The Progressive Power of Religion in the Public Sphere from within the framework of a contemporary evangelical perspective. This lecture will be open to both conference delegates and the wider public.

Although emerging primarily from a British context, papers are welcomed from other contexts and situations outside the UKwhich reflect the ongoing and dialectical relationship between evangelicalism (including Pentecostalism and Charismatic experience), urbanisation, culture and politics.


The conference will feature 3 keynote lectures of 30 minutes reflecting the three perspectives of the conference:

Practitioner - Krish Kandiah, Evangelical Alliance;

Theology - Dr Stephen Holmes, University of St Andrews;

Sociology of Religion/Public Policy – Dr Anna Strhan, University of Kent

In between these lectures will be parallel paper sessions which further reflect on the theme of Missio Dei – Evangelicalism and the New Politics from the following perspectives: a missional/urban/ practitioner/integral mission strand; a theological strand; and a sociology of religion/public policy strand.

Central to the aims and outcomes of the conference will be papers on:

· New directions in evangelical theology

· New emphases in doctrine and biblical theology including Missio Dei, Kingdom of God, Incarnation, Trinity, atonement, Holy Spirit

· Influence of evangelicalism on politics – both past and present

· Spectrums within Evangelical practice, belief and ecclesiology

· Cutting edge issues within evangelicalism

· Role of evangelical worship and ecclesial/political formation

· Evangelicalism, politics and integral mission

· Emerging church and emerging Christianity

· New expression of urban mission and evangelical identity

· Black majority churches and the public sphere

· Charismatic churches and the public sphere

· Quantitative measurement of evangelicalism and its social impact

· Post evangelicalism and the new politics

· Evangelicalism and culture

· Evangelical/post evangelical geographies of religion

Call for Papers

For this call we are looking for 20 minute papers that respond to any of the above themes and can be accommodated into one of the disciplinary strands outlined above. This is a second call for papers – deadline for submission: March 31st, 2014.

Some papers from non-UK contexts on the themes of the conference will be welcomed. Please send an abstract of ca. 250 - 300 words to Dr Chris Baker (chris.baker@chester.ac.uk) or Dr Ben Fulford (b.fulford@chester.ac.uk)

Registration and enquiries

Please register by the 30th May, 2014. Secure online registration is available at:


For any enquiries, please contact Carly McEvoy: c.mcevoy@chester.ac.uk +44 1244 511031

Please visit http://www.chester.ac.uk/find-us and click ‘Chester Campus’ for travel and location instructions


Conference: Society for the Scientific Study of Religion

2014 Annual Meeting Call for Papers

Society for the Scientific Study of Religion

October 31-November 2, 2014

JW Marriott, Indianapolis, Indiana

Building Bridges

SSSR's current web site notes:

The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion was founded in 1949 by scholars in religion and social science. Its purpose is to stimulate and communicate significant scientific research on religious institutions and religious experience. Scholars from all fields of study who are interested in the scientific exploration of religion are invited to join the Society. Membership in the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion gives scholars the opportunity to share their research and ideas with other scholars.

Our theme for the 2014 conference is “Building Bridges” between all those interested in the study of religion. This includes any disciplines that focus upon the study of religion as well as scholars from the widest possible geographical and cultural areas. Our intent is to build bridges between disciplines and cultures that have become isolated and communicate only among themselves and not to others with similar interests but from different perspectives. Suggestions for contributions include:

· the study of religion in diverse cultures and regions (Eastern, Central Europe, Asia, South America, etc.)

· the study of religion within diverse faith traditions (Islam, Christianity, Paganism, NRMs, etc.)

· inter-disciplinary studies of religion (religious studies & the social and behavioral sciences, etc.)

· new disciplines that study religion (cognitive science, evolutionary psychology, etc.)

· methodology interaction in the study of religion (quantitative, qualitative, creative, etc.)

· the study of non-belief and atheism

All session and paper proposals must be submitted via the on-line submission system that will be available on the SSSR’s web site, http://www.sssrweb.org. In addition to the session proposer’s full contact information, a session proposal requires a session title and an abstract of not more than 150 words describing the goal of the session and how the proposer expects the session to contribute to scientific knowledge about 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 contributes or expects to contribute to the knowledge or understanding of religion. PLEASE NOTE NEW POLICY ON PREREGISTRATION OUTLINED BELOW.

Submissions Open: February 03, 2014 (see http://www.sssrweb.org)

Submissions Close: March 31, 2014

Decision Notification: April 30, 2014

In 2014, the SSSR/RRA Annual Meeting will require all program participants to preregister for the meeting, and to pay the non-refundable fees, by May 31, 2014. For submitted papers, the presenting author must pre-register, although co-authors not attending the meeting are not required to do so. For submitted sessions, the organizer and all presenters must pre-register and pre-pay. Online registration will open immediately after decision notifications are emailed. Those presenters and organizers who do not preregister will be dropped from the program.

Please direct questions to: Ralph Hood (UTC), Program Chair (Ralph-Hood@utc.edu)

Co-chair for Asia-Pacific region: Alphia Possamai-Inesedy (Alphia.Possamai@uws.edu.au)

Co-Chair for Western, Central, and Eastern Europe: Elisabeth Arweck (Elisabeth.arweck@warwick.ac.uk)

Special assistant for developing sessions on Islam: Besheer Mohamed (BMohamed@PewResearch.org)

Graduate Student Representative: Christopher F. Silver (Christopher-Silver@utc.edu)


Cfp: International Society for Media, Religion and Culture

Call for Papers International Society for Media, Religion and Culture 4-6 August 2014 / post-conference workshop 7 August 2014

Over the past decade the study of media, religion and culture has broadened out from interests in media representation to thinking about the religious uses and aesthetics of media, the significance of media for religion in public life, and the role of media technologies for new forms of religious life and practice.

Building on this, the biannual conference of the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture will explore how we can understand societies in which much public encounter with religion takes place through media and in which religious life takes place through a multiplicity of mediated practices and networks. It will explore questions such as what difference do media content, aesthetics, technologies and networks make to the ways in which religion is understood and practiced? And how do we understand the nature of power in relation to these mediated networks and practices?

Keynote speakers will include Professor Jonathan Walton (Harvard), author of Watch This! The Ethics and Aesthetics of Black Televangelism, Associate Professor Kathryn Lofton(Yale), author of Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon, with an address also given by the inaugural President of the Society, Professor Stewart Hoover (Colorado).

Key information about the conference, including the call for papers which is open until 3 December 2013, registration and accommodation details and the conference programme, is available here. If you have any queries about the conference which are not answered in the information below then please email IMRC 2014.

We are accepting paper proposals of up to 350 words; panel proposals (which must include paper titles, 150 word abstracts for each paper, and names and titles of four participants plus a moderator/respondent); and proposals for exhibitions and/or workshops of up to 350 words. Sessions will be 1½ hours in length.

Some of the questions that may be addressed in paper, panel, workshop, or exhibition proposals include:

- The role of media in shaping religious and cultural understandings - Emergent networks of meaning, religion, and power - Theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of religion and media - The role of religious and humanitarian organizations in cross-national justice and media initiatives - Media and human rights - Media, religion, and authority - Religious conflict and media representation - Religion and film - Growing up multi-cultural and multi-religious in a mediated world - Religion, globalization and cosmopolitanism - The role of media in the emergence of global religious and cultural movements - Diasporic media and transnational religious communities - Media, religion and global politics - The mediatization of religion - Religion, media, and the global marketplace

Proposals should be sent to Professor Lynn Schofield Clark, University of Denver (Lynn.Clark@du.edu) by 3 December 2013. Notification of acceptances will be sent out from 15th January 2014.


Cfp: 'New Approaches to the Study of Religion and Peace'

Proposals are invited for 20-minute papers for the panel on 'New Approaches to the Study of Religion and Peace' to be presented at the Joint conference of the Dutch Association for the Study of Religion (NGG) and the European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR), also ranked as special conference of the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR) "Religion and Pluralities of Knowledge". University of Groningen, 11-15 May 2014.

Short Abstract:

The study of the religious involvement in conflict, peacemaking and peacebuilding has mainly focused on the role of religion in good governance issues, such as state building in the so-called track II or non-official diplomacy. In addition, interreligious dialogue, faith-based diplomacy, and the role of religion in restorative justice and reconciliation have been some of the main concerns in the field. The majority of these studies have considered religion as an ally to liberal peacebuilding models.

The purpose of this panel is to challenge some of the dominant views in the study of religion and peace by proposing alternative paths of analysis. The papers will enhance the field through the proposal of critical analysis of concepts and theories through theoretical, historical, and empirical contributions. Papers include research on grassroots experiences of peacebuilding, religion and transformative reparation, religion and social justice, and religion and transitional justice from below.

More information about the panel can be found at http://www.godsdienstwetenschap.nl/media/images/Open%20proposals%20EASR14/New%20Approaches%20to%20the%20Study%20of%20Religion%20and%20Peace.pdf

Details about the conference here http://www.godsdienstwetenschap.nl/index.php?page=conference-2014

The deadline is 1 December 2013. Please email to the following address if you are interested in participating: smroyola@abdn.ac.ukl or sriosoyola@gmail.com


Cfp: Sacred or Secular: Politics, Policy, Practice

CALL FOR PAPERS Sacred or Secular: Politics, Policy, Practice

January 8th, 2014, 9am-4:30pm RHB 137, Goldsmiths, University of London

The last ten years has seen a reawakening to religion and its public role. The AHRC and ESRC funded Religion and Society programme especially has revealed a complex religious and nonreligious landscape in terms of the nature, manifestation and influence of belief.

Religion and belief are now widely recognised in the public sphere, but not fully comprehended in terms of politics, policy and practice. These spheres are still framed by an older, secular context, which now seems unsuitable.

We now have a much better idea of the religious and nonreligious landscape. The question is how to move forwards, knowing what we do.

By way of exploring this question, Sacred or Secular: Politics, Policy, Practice, seeks to highlight the multi-disciplinary array of research already underway at Goldsmiths. It intends to build relationships with key academics around the UK and researchers at Goldsmiths, as well as strengthening internal links between departments at Goldsmiths itself.

The day will include keynotes and panel discussions. Panel discussions will consist of three ‘lightning’ presentations of 10 minutes each, highlighting research and posing key questions and challenges for policy, politics and practice. These will stimulate broader debate from the floor and in panels.

To contribute a ‘lightning’ presentation, please submit a 1-paragraph outline to t.stacey@gold.ac.uk


Workshop: Did You Mean Halal? 
Islamic Normativities, Globalization and Secularization

International Colloque: "Did You Mean Halal? 
Islamic Normativities, Globalization and Secularization", Collège de France, Paris, 7-8 November 2013

The study of Islamic normative dynamics will be at the heart of this conference that will focus on ‘halal’ qualification / disqualification processes in all areas: how and by whom, for whom, for what reasons objects, discourses, practices can or are actually called "halal" or "haram"? What methods, institutions, arguments of Islamic legitimation / de-legitimation are used? What are the procedures for monitoring compliance with the standard and how and by whom are they developed or institutionalized?

The seven sessions will question the issues of qualification and disqualification through objects, practices, behaviours qualified as halal or haram in areas such as: food, matrimonial relationships , sexualities, finance, tourism etc. The selected contributions will cover different fields of social sciences and humanities, history and law, philosophy, they are based on empirical studies, survey, archival research, comparisons and syntheses that take a deconstructive perspective Presentation

Information http://colloquehalal.sciencesconf.org/?lang=en


Cfp: Identity and Conflict in the Middle East and its Diasporic Cultures

International Conference: “Identity and Conflict in the Middle East and its Diasporic Cultures”, University of Balamand, Lebanon, 20-22 March 2014

This conference will consider the ways that representations of conflict through word, sound, and image have reconceptualized histories, geographies, religions, cultures, and political and economic systems, and affected peoples’ identities and lived experiences, across the Middle East and Middle Eastern diasporas.

Submission of abstracts will be accepted from scholars of literature, film, media, and music, as well as history, anthropology, sociology, psychology, linguistics, translation and political science. Deadline for submission of abstracts 20 October 2013. For information and call for papers please visit: http://home.balamand.edu.lb/english/Arts.asp?id=15162


Cfp: Media, Religion and Culture

The next biennial conference of the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture will be held be hosted by the University of Kent in Canterbury on 4-6 August 2014, followed by a post-conference workshop on the mediation and mediatization of religion on 7 August.

Over the past decade the study of media, religion and culture has broadened out from interests in media representation to thinking about the religious uses and aesthetics of media, the significance of media for religion in public life, and the role of media technologies for new forms of religious life and practice.Building on this, this conference will explore how we can understand societies in which much public encounter with religion takes place through media and in which religious life takes place through a multiplicity of mediated practices and networks. It will explore questions such as what difference do media content, aesthetics, technologies and networks make to the ways in which religion is understood and practiced? And how do we understand the nature of power in relation to these mediated networks and practices?

Keynote speakers will include Professor Jonathan Walton (Harvard), author of Watch This! The Ethics and Aesthetics of Black Televangelism, with an address also given by the inaugural President of the society, Professor Stewart Hoover (Colorado). Further details about the conference are available at http://www.kent.ac.uk/secl/thrs/events/event2014-08-06.html

The conference organisers are now accepting paper proposals of up to 350 words; panel proposals (which must include paper titles, 150 word abstracts for each paper, and names and titles of four participants plus a moderator/respondent); and proposals for exhibitions and/or workshops of up to 350 words. Sessions will be 1½ hours in length.

Some of the issues that may be addressed in paper, panel, workshop, or exhibition proposals include:

· The role of media in shaping religious and cultural understandings

· Emergent networks of meaning, religion, and power

· Theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of religion and media

· The role of religious and humanitarian organizations in cross-national justice and media initiatives

· Media and human rights

· Media, religion, and authority

· Religious conflict and media representation

· Religion and film

· Growing up multi-cultural and multi-religious in a mediated world

· Religion, globalization and cosmopolitanism

· The role of media in the emergence of global religious and cultural movements

· Diasporic media and transnational religious communities

· Media, religion and global politics

· The mediatization of religion

· Religion, media, and the global marketplace

Proposals should be sent to Prof. Lynn Schofield Clark, University of Denver (Lynn.Clark@du.edu) by 3 December 2013. Notification of acceptances will be sent out from 15th January 2014.


Cfp: Religion and Pluralities of Knowledge

2014 EASR/IAHR/NGG conference on "Religion and Pluralities of Knowledge"
to be held in Groningen from11-15 May 2014, are 15 October (for panel themes) and 1 December (for papers). Please submit your proposals to: easr2014.thrs@rug.nl.

We invite contributions from various disciplines and perspectives to explore the nexus of religion, pluralism, and knowledge. We encourage a conversation among theoretical, historical, and empirical contributions. Papers and panels may address topics such as the following:

The pluralistic nature of knowledge about religion, including different disciplinary perspectives and new concepts: history as imaginative knowledge, sociology of knowledge, knowledge and space, materiality of knowledge (goods, objects, machines, instruments), aesthetics of knowledge, knowledge as related to gender and race, etc.;

Various forms of knowledge about religion: rational knowledge, imaginative and poetic knowledge, explicit and implicit knowledge, embodied knowledge, ritual knowledge, etc.;

Historical developments, changes, and reconfigurations of knowledge systems that relate to the field of religion;

Procedures and politics in the organization of knowledge about religion: production, reception, circulation, transmission, (de)legitimization, (de)canonization, traditionalization, but also the rejection, marginalization, and exclusion of knowledge.

In addition to these subtopics and approaches, we encourage contributions that address other aspects of the conference theme. Proposals of contributions and panels that are not directly linked to the conference theme will also be considered. There will be panels for the presentation of ongoing doctoral research.

Requirements for proposals

Proposals for individual papers and for pre-arranged sessions need to consist of an abstract of no more than 150 words (to be used in the program book, should the paper and/or session be accepted) and an outline of the proposed paper and/or session with no more than 500 words. We also welcome suggestions for open panels, asking for submission of individual papers to fit with the proposed panel. Proposals will have to provide names of presenter(s)/convenors and their email address(es).

Deadline for submitting themes for open panels and pre-arranged sessions: 15 October 2013 Announcement of approved panels and sessions: 1 November 2013 Deadline for submitting proposals for individual papers: 1 December 2013 Notification of acceptance individual papers: 15 January 2014

Please indicate clearly whether you are applying for an individual paper fitting in with the conference theme, a pre-arranged session, an open panel or the presentation of ongoing doctoral research. All proposals should be sent as an e-mail or as a Word document attached to an e-mail to easr2014.thrs@rug.nl.

There will be a double-blind peer-review process. All proposals will be evaluated by an independent committee, consisting of members of the organization committee and the scientific advisory board.

For more information, please visit: http://godsdienstwetenschap.nl/index.php?page=conference-2014


Cfp: "Mutations des croyances et pratiques religieuses migrantes"



Numéro thématique :

« Mutations des croyances et pratiques religieuses migrantes : rejets, retours et réinventions »


À la remorque des trajectoires migratoires des individus, le croire et la pratique religieuse se retrouvent, à leur tour, migrants. Détachées de leurs contextes d’origine, les croyances, les pratiques, les identités, les organisations et les institutions religieuses migrantes se voient interpelées inlassablement par les nouveaux environnements dans lesquelles elles s’inscrivent et par les pratiques sociales et culturelles inédites avec lesquelles elles doivent dorénavant interagir. La pérennité des formes et des structures du croire et des pratiques religieuses s’en trouve alors ébranlée par un processus de réinscription dans de nouvelles réalités sociale, politique, économique et culturelle, processus qui entraîne d’inéluctables reconfigurations des croyances et des pratiques religieuses individuelles et collectives selon les aléas de leurs diverses expériences de continuité ou de discontinuité, de déracinement ou d’enracinement.

Mais qu’en est-il de ces croire et religieux, patries « portatives » (Bastenier), inscrits dorénavant au cœur d’un processus de recomposition identitaire « ethnoconfessionnelle » (Rousseau ; Castel) ? Ce processus s’opère aux niveaux des croyances, des pratiques, des identités, des représentations, voire des organisations et des institutions, et cela, en fonction des attitudes ou stratégies identitaires (Berry ; Camilleri) déployées par des individus et des communautés déracinées de leurs terreaux d’origine, mais en quête de renouvellement d’unité de sens. Se profilent alors à l’horizon plusieurs modalités de réinscription de cette unité de sens : multiples rejets, retours variés, et réinventions innovatrices (Rouvillois) dont les exemples sont innombrables, notons, pour n’en donner qu’un, l’exemple des nouvelles pratiques « croyantes » (Hervieu-Léger) des musulmans de deuxième génération en France (Saint-Blancat).

Ce numéro thématique se propose d’explorer, entre autres, les critères, les structures, et les théories de transformation, de mutation, de reconfiguration et de réinvention de croyances et de pratiques religieuses aux prises, d’une part, avec le déplacement, la dislocation, la (re)diasporisation, ou l’errance et, d’autre part, l’implantation, l’insertion, l’intégration ou la réinscription sociale, tout cela dans des contextes de dynamiques d’interactions qu’elles entretiennent avec les nouvelles pratiques sociales et culturelles des environnements dans lesquelles elles se retrouvent. Parmi les pistes possibles mais non exhaustives d’exploration, notons les suivantes :

- Enculturation, acculturation, déculturation du croire migrant - Déterritorialisation et translocalisation de l’autorité religieuse - Mutations du religieux, du croire et des appartenances transplantés - Nouvelles croyances et pratiques religieuses migrantes - Religion migrante, genre, politique, et éthique (« intersectionalité ») - Processus de recomposition et stratégies identitaires religieuses - Nouveaux réseaux transnationaux et construction de sens - Réinscription dans une « ligné croyante » en contexte minoritaire

Longueur des articles

Les articles devront être de 6,000 à 8,000 mots et soumis en format WORD (.doc) à l’adresse courriel suivante religiologiques@uqam.ca. Pour les consignes de présentation des textes, voir « Soumission d’articles » sur le site de la revue (http://www.religiologiques.uqam.ca)


Les manuscrits devront être soumis pour évaluation, au plus tard, avant la fin du mois de novembre 2013. La version finale des articles retenus devra être acheminée, au plus tard, avant la fin du mois d’avril 2014 (pour publication automne 2014 / printemps 2015).

Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez contacter

Roxanne D. Marcotte Département de sciences des religions Université du Québec à Montréal Courriel : marcotte.roxanne@uqam.ca


Conference announcement: Religion, Democracy and Law (London, Metropolitan University, January 14-15, 2014)

Conference announcement

RC43 Religion and Politics and the ECPR Standing Group on Religion and Politics organize with the financial support of Brigham Young University, International Political Science Association, European Consortium for Political Research and the Centre for the Study of Conflict and Cooperation, a conference themed Religion, Democracy and Law, to be held at the London Metropolitan University on January 14-15, 2014.

Conference website.

Keynote speakers

Professor Sharyl Cross Distinguished professor and director of Kozmetsky Center of Excellence (Global Studies), St. Edwards University, USA

Professor David Kirkham Senior Fellow for Comparitive Law and International Policy at the BYU International Center for law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University, USA

One more keynote speaker to be confirmed PANELS:

1: Religious Dissent in the Global Political Economy

Alexandre Christoyannopoulos, Loughbourough University, UK


Protest movements have spread across the globe in recent years, in many cases directly or indirectly expressing dissent from the ‘neoliberal’ policies steering the global political economy. However, the role of religion in those remains somewhat under-explored. Religion is often perceived to be an ally of the status quo, yet whether in Occupy London, in the pronouncements of Pope Francis or in the Egyptian revolution, religious actors can also side with those resisting political and economic orthodoxies. The aim of this panel is to examine such religious dissenters and discuss the role of religion in resistance to the global political economy. Proposals which focus on specific actors and movements or on the theoretical arguments which they employ will all be considered, as will proposals which engage with any religious tradition and which adopt any academic methodology.

2: Political Theology: A Sign of the Times in Periods of Institutional Crisis

Emilce Cuda, Department of Theology, Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Argentina


According to Carl Schmitt: "political concepts are secularized theological concepts." But the opposite could also be argued, as claimed by Jan Assmann: "theological concepts are theologized political concepts ". History offers examples which confirm each claim. Even in the late modern period, liberalism could not avoid ‘contamination’ between theology and politics. Debates from Eusebius of Cesaria in the court of Constantine to Pope Francis in the global village can be analysed from this political-theological perspective, in both directions. The political field today still offers multiple manifestations of this ancient formula "political theology", an ineffable formula, and as such, is always present. Both European totalitarianism of the first half of the twentieth century and Third World dictatorships in the second half of that century have been analysed as examples of secularization of theology. Likewise, the revolutionary political movements and theologies of liberation in Latin America, Africa and Asia have been analysed as an example of the inverse, the ‘theologization’ of politics. Consequently, we can believe that scientific inquiry of current social events, involving certain categories of political theology, can help in understanding political demonstrations in the early 21st century. The focus of the panel is as follows: Can the global institutional crisis - which prevents some non-European governments from conforming to Europe, which led to the resignation of the Pope, and in which liberal democracy appears to become a species of populism beyond Europe - be clarified if addressed conceptually from the point of view of political theology?Does the theological-political liturgy, which seems to support both current democratic institutions and ancient religious institutions, perform an aesthetic or a legal function?

PANELISTS: Emilce Cuda (Buenos Aires, Argentina), José Fernández Vega (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Chantal Muffe (Londres, Inglaterra) , Hans Egil Offerdal (Bergen, Noruega).

3: Public Debates on Religious/Ethical Issues in Western Europe

Alberta Giorgi, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Luca Ozzano, University of Turin, Italy

A number of controversies related to religious issues have characterised the European public debate in recent years, at both the EU and the country members level. The ‘affaire du foulard’ in France (2004-2011), the referendum on abortion in Portugal (2007), the recognition of same-sex marriages in many Western European States – from Belgium (2003), to Spain (2005), to France (2013) –, the debate over bioethics and the regulation of euthanasia (legalized in Belgium and the Netherlands – 2002), as well as the discussion on religious pluralism and the religious roots of Europe in the EU Constitution, are only a few examples of contentious issues involving religion. All these debates have been at the centre of the political and public spheres across Europe, contributing to revive the attention towards the role of religion in contemporary societies, and highlighting the diverse forms of political secularism in Europe, but also other issues, such as the right of the national/supranational institutions to regulate matters related to the private lives of European citizens. This panel aims at analysing this recent evolution of the Western European public and political debate, by providing insights on the actors who started the debates and their interrelations, their motives and the arguments they put forward. Both single-case studies and broad comparative analyses are welcome.

4: The Future of the European Union and Religion

Miro Jevtic, University of Belgrade, Serbia


One of the most important questions for the EU is whether this political formation will survive or not? While the answer to this depends on many factors, the issue of religion is surely an important component. In particular, does the current religious structure of the EU have positive or negative effects on the community’s survival and continuance? Differences concerning this question came into focus during the recent discussions about the putative EU constitution preamble. On one hand, we had a group of political figures and parties demanding that the preamble should explicitly refer to the EU’s Judeo – Christian traditions. On the other hand, there were other political leaders and parties against the proposal to include the EU’s Judeo – Christian traditions in the preamble. This debate reflects the fact that in recent times, the religious structure of the EU has become more complex. Initially, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism were dominant faiths within the EU’s borders. Now, however, following the accession of Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus and Greece, a strong Christian Orthodox block has developed. In addition, many EU countries have many non–Christian immigrants, including: Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists, a development with significant influence on relationships within the community. This panel invites papers that focus on the increasing religious heterogeneity of the EU and reflect on how this is likely to impact on the future development of the EU.

5: Representing Non-Religion

Steve Kettell, University of Warwick, UK


In recent years, debates about the relationship between religion and non-religion have become increasingly prominent in the media, in academia and in social and political life. This has been accompanied by growing interest in issues around ‘non-religion’, including processes of secularisation, the dynamics and normative merits of secularism and the emergence of ‘new atheist’ critiques of religious beliefs and practices. This panel explores a variety of issues engaged with the construction and representation of ‘non-religion’ in contemporary Britain. Some of the key themes include the political aims and strategies of non-religious cause groups and activists, discourses of militant or radical secularism, and questions about the representation of non-religion in terms of domestic equality, human rights and religion or belief legislation.

6: Religion and Legal Boundaries in Islamic Contexts

Carimo Mohomed, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, New University of Lisbon, Portugal


The “Islamic World” is a huge area of land, with almost 1.6 billion people, integrating multiple different cultural, ethnic and political entities. In the contemporary period religious institutions, movements, and beliefs have had more political importance in the Muslim world than in the West. Although attributed to special features of Islam, which are of some importance, there are other causes, such as, first, different historical experiences in the West and in the Islamic world, and, second, the imperial and colonial experiences suffered by Muslims which made them defensive about Islam and to define (as did some Westerners) the situation in religious terms. One aspect which is usually focused is the Shari’a (normally translated as Islamic Law, but which is a concept with different connotations according to Time and Space) as if one single legal building were used from Morocco to Indonesia, thus giving to that geographical mass some kind of religious connotation. This grill of analysis ignores the different situations in different parts of the Islamic world, where there are countries which until recently were considered secularists but had a state religion (Egypt), or countries which do not have state religion but where the president must be a Muslim (Syria), or countries where the head of the state is also the Prince of the Faithful (Morocco), something that does not impede political groups of using Islam to delegitimize the political establishment. The aims of this panel are to analyse the diversity of political situations and the role of religion in different contexts of the Islamic world, using especially, but not only, the legal frameworks as they exist and how they are applied in society.

7: Religious Conservatism versus Universal Human Rights? The Struggle for LGBTi Rights in Africa

Martin Ridley, London Metropolitan University, UK


The objective of this panel is to explore the tensions that have emerged, as LGBTi groups demand equal rights and freedom from discrimination in SSA. These tensions highlight the competing paradigms of morality and inclusion that have emerged between the Global North and sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Questions of international law, domestic law, and local cultural norms in SSA will be considered, and of significant import the role of external political and religious groups that invest in and seek to erode the poor experience of sexual minorities. This can be understood within the context of a larger human rights conflict within the international system. The question of a core set of human rights, universal in application that either replaces or supplements local normative values is central to the arguments about the question of LGBTi rights in an African political and cultural setting; this panel will seek to identify the actors and issues involved.

8: Individual Attitudes towards Religion and Politics

Jolanda van der Noll, UC Louvain, Belgium


The revival of religion as a political force in national and international settings, has led to a renewed interest in examining relations between religion and socio-political attitudes. Although religiosity is often thought to have a diminishing effect on democratic attitudes, recent studies have stressed that the multi-dimensionality of religion, such as the content of religious belief or the participation in a social religious network, can have differentiated effects on democratic and other socio-political attitudes. The aim of this panel is to bring together papers from scholars who are interested in examining the interplay between religion and socio-political attitudes. It invites papers that include quantitative or qualitative empirical analyses of individual attitudes towards religion, democracy, freedom of religion and related concepts.

9: Religious Fundamentalism, Egalitarianism and Informal Law

Dr. Yohai Hakak, School of Health Sciences and Social Work, Portsmouth University, UK


Fundamentalist religious communities are usually portrayed as patriarchal in relation to women, and authoritative towards children and young people. In this lecture I will explore three cases in which a fundamentalist group, the Jewish Israeli Haredi (Ultra Orthodox) community, uses egalitarian discourses and practices. My claim here is that egalitarianism is a tool, used by the community to prevent members’ defection or to bring back members who have already defected. Egalitarianism or equality between members can be increased or reduced, according to changing needs. While egalitarianism is emphasized among members, condescension is emphasized with relation to the ‘outside’ of the community, which is often portrayed as unequal and abusive. As part of these attempts, Western psychological, feminist and democratic discourses, which are usually considered to be alien to the community, are incorporated.

10: Gender and Secularization

Yolande Cohen, University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada



How to participate?

If you are interested in presenting a paper, please contact the panel organizers with an abstract (max. 300 words) before August 30, 2013

Registration fee: £50 (c.€60, $75) for the two-day conference. Conference registration open soon. For pre-registration, please email Jeff Haynes


Cfp: Working with a Secular Age

Call for Papers Working with A Secular Age – Interdisciplinary Reflections on Charles Taylor’s Conception of the Secular International Conference,

Berne, Switzerland, 6-8 March 2014

Keynote speakers: Akeel Bilgrami (Columbia University, NY), Jonathan VanAntwerpen (SSRC, NY)

Since its publication in 2007, Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age has been generating a lively discussion. Understandably so: In his seminal work, the Canadian philosopher aims at nothing less than a re-telling of the (hi)story of the secular. While some enthusiastically welcomed A Secular Age as a breakthrough in the ongoing reconfiguration of secularity, others pointed to certain weaknesses and limitations of Taylor’s work. Moving one step beyond general appraisal and the already existing and important critique of A Secular Age, this conference aims at exploring the applicability (and its limits) of Taylor’s conception of the secular.

Participants’ common goal will be to critically reflect on the general potential of Taylor’s conception for individual disciplines. In their presentations, scholars working within the fields of Theology, Philosophy, Sociology, History, Religious Studies, Area Studies (incl. Islamic Studies), Political Science and Law, Literature and Art or Gender Studies will tackle the following questions concerning their respective discipline: Which aspects and assumptions of Taylor’s work can be adopted easily; when does a need for translation and transformation arise; and where are the barriers of disciplinary understandings, approaches and traditions too large to be overcome? Next to these theoretical considerations, participants will have the opportunity to present their completed or current research projects, which in one way or another integrate, modify or built upon a specific theoretical aspect or a phenomenological finding brought forward in A Secular Age.

We welcome contributions from advanced MA students, PhD students and Postdocs from all of the disciplines mentioned above as well as related disciplines. Please note that in order to ensure a red thread and common ground for discussion, both for theoretical contributions as well as for case studies the reference to A Secular Age is a must. The presentations should not exceed 15-20 minutes in order to allow time for discussion afterwards. Please submit an abstract of 300-400 words and a short bionote in PDF format to: florian.zemmin@iash.unibe.ch. As the panels will be organized around individual disciplines, please state in which of the above-mentioned fields you would like to present your paper.

Deadline for proposals: November 15, 2013.

For proposals accepted for presentation, we will try to fully cover the costs for travel (2nd class) and accommodation in Berne.

Please note: In preparation of this conference, the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) is organizing a workshop on A Secular Age in October/December 2013, addressing both MA and PhD students, for which there are still some places left. For further information, please visit: http://www.iash.unibe.ch/content/events/programme/index_eng.html

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