The Impact of Religion - Challenges for Society, Law and Democracy

An interdisciplinary conference at Uppsala University

Uppsala, Sweden, 20-22 May 2013

This conference offers a forum for sharing recent research on the role of religion in both the public and the private sphere – locally, nationally and internationally. It pays particular attention to the links between religion, law and wider social developments. The conference reflects the work of its host: a multi-disciplinary research programme at Uppsala University with the same title as the conference. Extensive migration has brought new forms of religion to European societies for many different reasons; their presence raises new issues for lawyers, healthcare workers and other service providers. Europeans live longer; their families reconstitute themselves in new ways; the workplace changes in nature; the explorations of science render commonplace what was unthinkable one or two generations earlier. All these shifts interact with the changing nature of religion to make new demands on our understandings of democracy, law, family life, healthcare, well-being, welfare and science itself.

Religion has become a crucial research area in a wide variety of academic disciplines. The conference include contributions by lawyers, human rights experts, social scientists, specialists in social policy, health and welfare, philosophers and scientists as well as those engaged directly in theology and religious studies. Apart from plenary sessions more than 130 papers will be presented in parallel paper sessions.

We welcome all of you that are interested in how religion (in all its diversity) influences different sectors of society and how they in turn influence religion.

The conference is hosted by The Impact of Religion programme and Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre at Uppsala University and sponsored by Swedish Research Council.

Up to date information on the programme, registration, venue etc. is available at:

Lower early bird registration fee until April 10th

Invitation to participate – remember to register

(Updated 26/03/2013)

Plenary speakers

Heiner Bielefeldt, Professor, Erlangen/Nürnberg University, Germany, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief

Katarina Boele Woelki, Professor of Comparative Law, Private International Law and Family Law, University of Utrecht, Netherlands

Grace Davie, Professor of Sociology of Religion, University of Exeter, UK

Yilmaz Esmer, Professor of Political Science, Bahcesehir University, Istanbul, Turkey

Marie-Claire Foblets, Professor of Law and Anthropology, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany

Effie Fokas, Phd in Political Sociology, Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, Athens, Greece

Inger Furseth, Professor of Sociology of Religion, University of Oslo, Norway

Niels Henrik Gregersen, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Ian Leigh, Professor of Law, Durham University, UK

Mattias Martinson, Professor of Systematic Theology and Studies in World Views, Uppsala University

Ayelet Shachar, Professor of Law, Canada Research Chair in Citizenship and Multiculturalism, University of Toronto, Canada

Jonathan VanAntwerpen, Director of Communications and Program Director, Social Science Research Council, USA

Linda Woodhead, Professor of Sociology of Religion, Lancaster University, UK

Siniša Zrinščak, Professor of Social Policy, University of Zagreb, Croatia