IPSA RC 43 - Religion and Politics

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18Feb 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

18Feb 2016

Conference on Populisms and Religion in Europe

2nd conference concerning the Populism in Europe, funded by the Council of Europe.



3-4 JUNE 2016

Collège des Bernardins, 20 rue de Poissy, 75005 Paris

The third and last international conference will be held in November 2016 at the University of Luxembourg with the research question on Populisms and Economy in Europe.

The conference proceedings will be published in winter 2016-17 in the parliamentary studies collection from Larcier in French and in English (http://editionslarcier.larciergroup.com/collections/120557_6_30942/etudes-parlementaires.html).

For more information contact Prof Philippe Poirier: philippe.poirier@uni.lu.

16Dec 2015

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

18Nov 2015

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.

18Nov 2015

International Seminar on Theology, Religion and Politics (Buenos Aires, November 26, 2015)

November 26,  2015, Florencio Varela, Buenos Aires, Argentina

PEC (Cultural Studies Program) part of IEI (Initial Studies Institute)

Institutional support:
CLACSO (Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales)
IPSA (International Political Science Association)-RC43 Politics and Religion

Academic coordination: Dra. Emilce Cuda

Presentation of international jounal: Politics and Religion.
Director: Dr. Miroljub Jevtic. Special Number 2015 about Latin America

10:00 – 10:30 Brekfast Conference
Dr. Miroljub Jevtic. University of Belgrade: “Politics of religions”

10:30 – 12:30 Panel/Theology and Politics

-Dr. Emmanuel Taub. UBA/Political Science-CONICET: “Jewish Philosophy and Education: Reflecting on the diáspora to Argentina from the theology of Franz Rosenzweig”
-Dr. Hernán Borisonic. UBA/ Political Science: “Notes about faiting between catholics and pratestants”
-Dr. Omar Albado, Lic. Enrique Bianchi, Lic. Fabrizio Forcat.. UCA/Theology College: “Theology of the People”

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch/ Conference
Dr. Hans Aasmundsen. University of Bergen: “Religión and Politics in Argentina, a contemporary-historical perspective"

14:30 – 16:30 Mesa redonda/Religión y Política

-Dr. Fortunato Mallimaci. UBA/Social-CEIL/CONICET: “Pluralism and Individualism in the religious argetininen context”
-Dr. Néstor Miguez. ISEDET: “L
The political ambiguity of popular religión in Latin America: Francis and the political”
-Dr. José Fernández Vega. UBA/Fhilosophy-CONICET: “The legitimacy of the pontifical”

18Nov 2015

Politics and Religion Journal: Special issue on 'Religion and Politics in Europe"

29Sep 2015

Call for papers: 2016 IPSA Conference (Istanbul, 23-28 July, 2016)


Call for papers: 24th World Congress of Political Science (IPSA), Istanbul, July 23-28, 2016

"Politics in a World of Inequalities"

The deadline for the Call for Submissions (PDF) for the next IPSA World Congress of Political Science is fast approaching!

**You have until October 7 to submit your closed panel or paper proposals**

Please take notice of the Instructions before submitting your panel proposal.

For more information, please visit the WC2016 website




29Sep 2015

Call for sections. 2016 ECPR General Conference (Prague, 7-10 September 2016)

10th ECPR General Conference – 7-10 September 2016, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
As Europe's biggest gathering of political scientists, the ECPR General Conference is the platform for lively discussion, exchange of ideas and the best thinking in the discipline. The conference covers the full range of political science, and attracts scholars from throughout the world and at all stages of their career.
The tenth anniversary of the ECPR General Conference will be held at Charles University, Prague, in the Czech Republic; the oldest institution of higher learning in Central Europe.
The Academic Programme for the General Conference will consist of lectures, Roundtables and themed Sections and Panels on topical subjects. Each Panel will include 4 – 5 Papers. The Programme will be very broad with Sections covering all the main areas of political science, political theory and international relations. You can present and discuss your work or simply observe and become involved in other elements of the programme.
Submit your Section proposal
Participants from full ECPR member institutions are invited to organise a Section. Don't forget that your Co-Chair can come from a Full, Associate or non-member institution. All proposals to organise Sections must be submitted through the online form by midnight UK time on 16 November 2015. The Sections will be selected by the Academic Convenors in early December. Further information about the role of a Section Chair can be found in our handy Guidelines
The Section proposal requires:
  • The Section Chair must come from a Full member institution.
  • A Co-Chair to come from a Full member, an Associate or non-member institution. The proposed Section Chair and Co-Chair must have a MyECPR account
  • Co-Chair's email address, which must be the same as the one used to access their MyECPR account. 
  • A Section title.
  • An Abstract of no more than 1000 words, in English, which summarises the key aims and objectives of the Section and includes ideas for the Panels and Papers.
  • A selection of 3-8 key words.
  • An indication of the number of Panels you would like in your Section (generally between 3-8)
Proposers will be notified of the outcome of their Section proposal in early December 2015. The Call for Panels and Papers will be announced in early December 2015, as soon as the Sections have been confirmed. 
We are pleased to confirm that the conference fees for the 2016 General Conference will remain the same as for 2015. The fees are as follows:

ECPR Members - €232.00
ECPR Student Members - €138.00
Non-ECPR Members - €345.00
Non-ECPR Students - €214.00

18Sep 2015

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.


24Jun 2015

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.

22Jun 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.

22Jun 2015

Vacancies: John Cabot University - Rome

The John Cabot University, based in Rome, has opened the following positions in the field of political science:

Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs
John Cabot University, a four year, fully-accredited American liberal arts college in Rome, Italy, invites applications for a full-time faculty position in political science and international affairs at the assistant professor rank. We seek candidates with a Ph.D. in Political Science, demonstrated excellence in teaching and research, and commitment to academic service.
The ideal candidate will be expected to teach introductory and advanced undergraduate courses in international relations and global public policy with a load of three courses per semester. Ability to teach classes in American politics and foreign policy is an asset.
The candidate should be a graduate of an American university or have extensive experience in the American liberal arts educational tradition. The initial appointment is for two years with the possibility of tenure.  Candidates are expected to be fluent in English, which is the language of instruction. Applicants should send a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, transcript, three letters of recommendation, one or two research papers or journal publications, and evidence of teaching excellence to: politicalSciSearch@johncabot.edu. The deadline for applications is October 31, 2015. Only short-listed applicants will be notified.

Visiting Assistant/Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs
John Cabot University, a four year, fully-accredited American liberal arts college in Rome, Italy, invites applications for a visiting faculty position in political science and international affairs at the assistant or associate professor rank. We seek candidates with a Ph.D. in Political Science, demonstrated excellence in teaching and research, and commitment to academic service. The candidate will be expected to teach introductory and advanced undergraduate courses in political science and international relations. The ideal candidate should be a graduate of an American university or have experience in the American liberal arts educational tradition. The search is open to all subfields.
The appointment is for one year, from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016. Candidates are expected to be fluent in English, which is the language of instruction and have permission to work in the EU. Applicants should send a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, transcripts, three letters of recommendation, one or two research papers or journal publications, and evidence of teaching excellence to: plsearchvisiting@johncabot.edu. The position will remain open until filled. Only short-listed applicants will be notified.


19Jun 2015

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.

19Jun 2015

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)


18May 2015

Research Group: Histoire, Femmes, Genre et Migrations

Sous la direction de la professeure Yolande Cohen, le Groupe de recherche Histoire, Femmes, Genre et Migrations est basé au Département d’Histoire de l’UQAM. Deux axes de recherche fédèrent les travaux des membres du groupe : l’histoire des femmes et du genre en France et au Canada dans la première moitié du XXème siècle et l’histoire des migrations juives séfarades dans la seconde moitié du XXème siècle. Autour de ces axes, plusieurs projets de recherche sont actuellement en cours.


21Apr 2015

Politics and Religion Journal, special issue on "Religion and Politics in Latin America"

Politics and Religion Journal, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2015
Special issue on "Religion and Politics in Latin America"
Edited by Emilce Cuda
Published by: Center for Study of Religion and Religious Tolerance


Emilce Cuda
The Word of the Guest Editor

Nestor O. Miguez
The Political Ambiguity of Latin American Popular Religion

Fortunato Mallimaci, Juan Cruz Esquivel
Pluralism and Individualization in the Argentine religious field: Challenges for Catholicism in the Perspective of society and Politics

Emmanuel Taub
Jewish Philosophy and Education: Thinking Argentina's Diaspora from the theology of Franz Rozenzweig

Elio Estanislau Gasda
Secularity of the State and Political Strategies of Religion


Jose Fernandez Vega
The Legitimacy of the Papacy

Hernan Borisonik
Notes on the Dispute between Catholicism and Protestantism


Reimon Bachika
Manifesto of the Critical Theory of Society and Religion: The Wholly Other, Liberation, Happiness, and the Rescue of the Hopeless

Igboin Benson Ohihon
Boko Haram: Islamism, Politics, Security and the State of Nigeria

30Mar 2015

2015 UCSIA summer school on “Religion, Culture and Society"

Call for applications for the 2015 UCSIA summer school on “Religion, Culture and Society: Entanglement and Confrontation”. This summer school is a one-week course taking place from Sunday 23rd of August until Sunday 30th of August 2015 (dates of arrival and departure). This year the programme will focus on the topic: Is Faith-based Violence Religious?


Despite the predicted secularization process that would make religion less salient in the global world, the topic of faith biased violence remains hugely relevant, both from a societal and an academic perspective. Whether the movements are pro-democracy or pro-theocracy, religious movements are often instrumental in political change. Political tensions mapped onto religious discourse may also de-contextualize historical events, mythologize agendas and transform neighbours into ‘others’ while the struggle for ‘Truth’ renders defence into an act of aggression. Given UCSIA’s mission to delve into academically timely and challenging topics we will approach this phenomenon from an interdisciplinary perspective. More specifically, the UCSIA summer school will investigate both sides of the subject matter: Is religion inductive of or instrumental for violence?

Guest lecturers are Jonathan Fox (Religion and State Project, Faculty of the Political Studies, Bar-Ilan University); Peter Neumann (Department of War Studies, King’s College London, and International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation); Marat Shterin (Department of Theology and Religious Studies, King's College London); & Thijl Sunier (Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, VU University Amsterdam).

Practical details:

Participation and stay for young scholars and researchers are free of charge. Participants should pay for their own travel expenses to Antwerp.

You can submit your application via the electronic submission on the summer school website. The completed file as well as all other required application documents must be submitted to the UCSIA Selection Committee not later than Sunday 19 April 2015.

For further information regarding the programme and application procedure, please have a look at our website: http://www.ucsia.org/summerschool.

02Feb 2015

Conference: Islam and Democracy. Exploring the Strategies of Political Islam

The Cordoba Foundation NATIONAL CONFERENCE

ISLAM AND DEMOCRACY: Exploring the Strategies of Political Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood's Contribution

On the back of a trending upsurge in interest and critique of political Islam following the Arab Spring, and particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, this timely conference seeks to unpick the nature and manifestation of political Islam in Britain today. The conference will principally explore whether the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood is congruent with the values and principles of democracy; the orientation of the Brotherhood towards violence, extremism and radicalisation in Britain and abroad; the repressive measures targeting the group globally, and the increasing pressure placed on the political space by more extremist actors such as al-Qa'ida and ISIS.

Speakers (LATEST):

Leading academics, experts and scholars, including:

Prof. John Esposito – Georgetown University, USA

Prof. George Joffé – Kings College, London

Prof. Rosemary Hollis – City University

Prof. Yasin Aktay - Deputy Chairman, AK PartyTurkey

Jeremy Corbyn - MP for Islington North, London

Dr Maha Azzam – Egyptians Abroad for Democracy

Dr Anas Altikriti – The Cordoba Foundation

Dr Madawi Rashid – London School of Economics

Victoria Brittain – Former Associate Foreign Editor, The Guardian

Prof. Abdelwahab El-Affendi – Westminster University

Dr Barbara Zollner – Birkbeck, University of London

Mohammad Soudan – Freedom and Justice Party

Mona al-Qazzaz - Muslim Brotherhood

Oliver McTernan - Forward Thinkin

Dr Azzam Tamimi - Al-Hiwar TV

Prof. Jeffrey Haynes - London Metropolitan University

Dr Daud Abdullah - Middle East Monitor

Toby Cadman - Nine Bedford Row, London

Dr Omar el-Hamdoon - Muslim Association of Britain

Thu 12 February, 2015 10am-5pm

Holiday Inn London - Kensington Forum 97 Cromwell Road, London SW7 4DN

Nearest tube: Gloucester Road. Registration:tcfconf.eventbrite.co.uk Information:



22Jan 2015

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.

06Jan 2015

Cfp: Section on 'Transnational Religion, Conflict and Dialogue", 2015 EISA Conference

Call for papers: 9th Pan-European Conference of the European International Studies Association (EISA), Section 55 on ‘Transnational Religion, Dialogue and Conflict’, convened by Jeff Haynes and Luca Ozzano. Wednesday 23 – Saturday 26 September 2015, Giardini Naxos, Sicily, Italy, http://www.paneuropeanconference.org/2015/

Deadline: January 15, 2015

Prospective participants can propose a paper, by submitting an abstract of up to 200 words by email to the convenor(s) of the panel of your choice by January 15, 2015.

PANELS LIST (please check below for the panel abstracts):

1. ‘Religion in the Arab-Israeli conflict’, convened by Guy Ben-Porat, GbP@som.bgu.ac.il

2. ‘Religion and European Integration’, convened by Simona Guerra, gs219@leicester.ac.uk

3. 'Turkey-Originated Transnational Islamic Movements and Institutions', convened by Erdi Özturk, erdiozturk86@gmail.com, and Luca Ozzano, luca.ozzano@unito.it

4. ‘Catholic Church and the Holy See: Empirical and theoretical perspectives on the biggest religious transnational actor in world affairs’, convened by Mariano Barbato, mariano.barbato@uni-passau.de

5. ‘What is a “War of Religion”?’, convened by Rodolfo Ragionieri, r.ragionieri@uniss.it and Debora Spini, deb.spini@gmail.com


1. ‘Religion in the Arab-Israeli conflict’, convened by Guy Ben-Porat, GbP@som.bgu.ac.il

Abstract: The Arab-Israeli conflict and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular have been described as multidimensional, underscored by territorial, economic, national and religious dimensions. In recent years the religious dimension seems to have taken prominence as fundamentalism, Muslim and Jewish, has risen, and the conflict has been described in religious terms manifested, among other things, in the conflict over the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif. The local developments are influenced also by regional developments like the rise of the Islamic State, the Iranian quest for regional power, as well as the involvement of Christian Evangelical movements. The salience of religious discourse and the involvement of religious leaders in the conflict are significant to the present and future dynamics of the conflict and the potential for its resolution. The majority of scholars perceive the salience of religion as having a negative influence on the ability to resolve the conflict, if not the potential for dangerous escalation. Other scholars, however, suggest that religious dialogue has the potential to resolve the conflict and therefore should be part of the resolution process. This panel calls for papers that will examine different aspects of religious influence on the Arab-Israeli conflict and the potential for religious war and peace. These include the influence of religious ideology and identities, religious fundamentalism, religious dialogue and the impact of global religions.

2. ‘Religion and European Integration’, convened by Simona Guerra, gs219@leicester.ac.uk

Abstract: This panel invites paper proposal that would seek to examine why, when and how religion can use a Eurosceptic narrative. As stressed in the literature, comparative research on the involvement of religious actors across societies is quite infrequent. Anna Grzymala-Busse (2012) suggests that the role of religion itself is fundamental to examine identity, the state and institutional actors in comparative political studies. This is critical in the post-Communist region where the repression of the Churches from the Communist regime froze affiliations, but did not halt people’s beliefs. The process of democratization provided the opportunity to the Church to reorganize itself and fill the possible political vacuum left by the Communist regime; on one hand, at the EU level, religious communities opened their offices in Brussels, while on the other, at the domestic level, the rewriting of the past could trigger a new religious revival across the former communist region. Although Catholicism never represented a determinant factor impacting on negative attitudes the EU integration process, it could become a source for EU opposition and influence a Eurosceptic narrative in the religious public discourse.

3. 'Turkey-Originated Transnational Islamic Movements and Institutions', convened by Erdi Özturk, erdiozturk86@gmail.com, and Luca Ozzano, luca.ozzano@unito.it

Abstract: It is well known that political theory and practices have often been feeding each other. In other words, there are two ways of interaction between theory and praxis; either there is an existing practise and on its basis a theory is built, or there is a developed theory and the implementation of this theory takes place in life. In this respect, the last two decades of the twentieth century have witnessed the return of religion to the mainstream of political life in an array of settings around the world. Moreover, since almost two decades religion got brought into international relations by transnational actors. Furthermore, not only Christian- and Jewish-oriented, but also Islam-oriented transnational actors are playing a more and more prominent role in word politics. Although they are often seen in a pejorative way, as sources of conflict and violence, they are organising philanthropy, education and inter-cultural dialogue activities and also developing mainly in relation to the role of the diaspora communities. In this context, Turkey has a particularly favourable position among other Muslim-majority countries because of its Western relations, a developing economy, and a relatively high rate of young population. As a consequence, Turkey-originated Turkish Islam is rapidly spreading throughout the globe. This panel aims to discuss the main activities of Turkey originated transnational Islamic actors and movements (such as for example the Hizmet movement of Fethullah Gülen and the Milli Gorus). Moreover, we welcome contributions about the transnational dimension of state institutions, such as the Diyanet.

4. ‘Catholic Church and the Holy See: Empirical and theoretical perspectives on the biggest religious transnational actor in world affairs’, convened by Mariano Barbato, mariano.barbato@uni-passau.de

Abstract: While the papacy and the Catholic Church were a source of legitimacy at the beginning of the global European expansion, the emergence of the sovereign territorial state in the 16th and 17th century undermined papal and Catholic influence, and the secular nation state of 19th century seemed to annihilate it. Despite secularization processes, the 20th century saw a revival of the papacy that can be measured in dramatically increased numbers of diplomatic relations (with almost all states and international organisations) and an equally dramatically increased numbers of faithful (the global number of Catholics went beyond the one-billion-threshold). Now the church and the pope are one of the biggest and most powerful transnational actors at the intersection of a global public sphere and the international world of states. The panel welcomes papers that address the papacy and the Catholic Church as a case study from various perspectives of International Relations with either a more theoretical or more empirical interest. Papacy and Catholic actors played a role at the beginning and at the end of colonial empires and the Cold War, at peace settlements, reconciliation processes but also by legitimising resistance and war. They were engaged in the spread of norms from social justice to sexual behaviour, at times supporting and at times challenging liberal cosmopolitanism and capitalism. While Catholicism lost influence in home regions, itgained new grounds elsewhere thereby engaging with other religions and world views in intercultural and interreligious dialogue but also defending its stance and facing persecution. Accepting religious freedom as a virtue only since the second half of the 20th century, it turned into one of the loudest advocates of religious freedom. Studies of the papacy and the Catholic Church can help to conceptualize the notion of the Transnational as ascribed to an actor but also to a community. They can serve as a transnational case study in the field of Sociology of International Relations with a particular focus on historical sociology of international relation. A focus on the institution and bureaucracy can analyse how the biggest transnational actor organizes itself. They can explain how a transnational practice can work and how it constitutes (soft) power, how religious actors resist the process of secularization, and how they manage keep or re-gain political influence in a transnational world.

5. ‘What is a “War of Religion”?’, convened by Rodolfo Ragionieri, r.ragionieri@uniss.it and Debora Spini, deb.spini@gmail.com

Abstract: Theoretical and empirical research on war and conflict has substantially argued that war is a multicausal event. Howwever, war is always political: if we assume Hedley Bull's (or Norberto Bobbio's) definition of war as organised violence between political groups, this is a tautology. Thus, all wars labelled in history and contemporary politics as “wars of religion” have had a substantial political issue, like control of territory or decision about power within a state. As examples of typical wars of religion, we can bring respectively the insurrection in the Flanders and the civil war in France, both in the second half of the XVI century. However, how can we state when and whether religion is among the causes of a certain war? First of all, what does it mean that a belief system is a “cause of war”? We could argue that this happens when a belief system concurs to give shape to the identity, and thus to the subjective motivations of war, of at least one of the parties. As O'Cavanaugh puts it in his The Myth of Religious Violence (2009), “Historians generally acknowledge—as political theorists do not—that other factors besides religion were at work in the wars of religion: political, economic, and social factors. The question then becomes: what is the relative importance of the various factors? Are political, economic, and social factors important enough that we are no longer justifi ed in calling these wars 'of religion'?” This question does not refer obviously only to the wars usually labelled as “wars of religion”, but to any war where religious identity plays a role. I agree with Cavanaugh that it is impossible to separate strictly religion from other causes of wars, but I also think that this does not exclude religions from the causes themselves.

This panel aims at discussing the definition and the typology of this type of wars and the interplay, in this framework, of religion, identity, power and violence. Subjects could be: 1. Religion as a main cause of war (Hutchinson) vs. “the myth of religious violence” (O'Cavanaugh). 2. Are some religions more war-prone than others (e.g., Assman and monotheism)? 3. The role of religions in the constructions of non-negotiable identities 4. Defining a “religion war” with respect to war aims 5. Defining a “religion war” with respect to actor's identities 6. Typologies of “religion wars” .

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