IPSA RC 43 - Religion and Politics

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11Nov 2021

New Book: Sikh Nationalism


Sikh Nationalism


Sikh Nationalism 


Gurharpal Singh, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Giorgio Shani, International Christian University, Tokyo

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Expected online publication date: November 2021

Print publication year:2021

Online ISBN:9781316479940

Discount Flyer: Here


Book description

This important volume provides a clear, concise and comprehensive guide to the history of Sikh nationalism from the late nineteenth century to the present. Drawing on A. D. Smith's ethno-symbolic approach, Gurharpal Singh and Giorgio Shani use a new integrated methodology to understanding the historical and sociological development of modern Sikh nationalism. By emphasising the importance of studying Sikh nationalism from the perspective of the nation-building projects of India and Pakistan, the recent literature on religious nationalism and the need to integrate the study of the diaspora with the Sikhs in South Asia, they provide a fresh approach to a complex subject. Singh and Shani evaluate the current condition of Sikh nationalism in a globalised world and consider the lessons the Sikh case offers for the comparative study of ethnicity, nations and nationalism.


‘This is a magisterial work that will be a reference point for many years. The authors show that Sikhs are so much more than a faith community. Using a wide array of social and political theory, they have carefully fashioned a comprehensive understanding of Sikhs as an ethnicity, a nation and a minority with a distinctive diaspora.’

Robin Cohen - University of Oxford

‘This well researched and elegantly written book provides the most complete account to date of the complexities of Sikh nationalism. It explores the historical background, the influence of diaspora communities and the intersection of religion, ethnicity and politics. This authoritative study is a benchmark in the study of South Asian socio-politics, globalised religious communities and the contemporary rise of religious neo-nationalism throughout the world.’

Mark Juergensmeyer - University of California

‘This is an exciting study that seeks to go beyond religion and territory. Singh and Shani masterfully map out the ever-shifting historical, political, economic, social, and cultural terrain of Sikh nationalism. In doing so, they offer a nuanced reading of the unfolding of critical events and their complex interconnections, both internal and exogenous, in colonial, postcolonial, contemporary Indian politics and diaspora settings. The authors address difficult questions of whether the Sikh case as an identity-driven nationalism in the throes of modern globalism seeks separatism or multiculturalism, long-distance nationalism or de-territorialisation. As the dynamic past of the minority Sikh religion intersects with the robust Sikh global diaspora today, new possibilities of imagining Sikh futures open up. We have here a most informative, accessible and provocative resource.’

Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh - Colby College

‘This is a major study of the Sikhs, who can be variously framed as a world religion, a nation and a religious minority. Theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich, it offers a provocative thesis about the deterritorialisation of contemporary nationalisms.’

John Hutchinson - London School of Economics

‘The resilient nationalism of “small peoples” in South Asia has been overlooked. This book outlines the turbulent history of the Sikhs from their past regional ascendancy to the grim aftermath of the partitionist creation of India and Pakistan, and takes us onward to the present, wrapping in an account of Sikhdom beyond its homeland. This study will be of general interest to students and scholars of nationalism, ethnicity and diasporas. Singh and Shani are to be commended for their synopsis.’

Brendan O’Leary - University of Pennsylvania

‘In a clear and insightful analysis, the volume reveals the centrality of the Sikh question to the division of India in 1947 and the contemporary politics and international relations in South Asia. This thoughtful study will be essential reading for scholars and students of South Asia.’

Ian Talbot - University of Southampton

26Sep 2019

New book: Religion and Nationalism in Asia

New book: Religion and Nationalism in Asia

Edited by Giorgio Shani and Takashi Kibe

Rourtledge 2019



This book re-examines the relationship between religion and nationalism in a contemporary Asian context, with a focus on East, South and South East Asia.

Addressing empirical, analytical, and normative questions, it analyses selected case studies from across Asia, including China, India, Iraq, Japan, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka and compares the differences and commonalities between the diverse configurations of nationalism and religion across the continent. It then goes on to explain reasons for the regional religious resurgence and asks, is the nation-state model, aligned with secularism, suitable for the region? Exploring the two interrelated issues of legacies and possibilities, this book also examines the relationship between nationalism and modernity, identifying possible and desirable trajectories which go beyond existing configurations of nationalism and religion.

Bringing together a stellar line up of contributors in the field, Religion and Nationalism in Asia will be a valuable resource for students and scholars of Asian religion and politics as well as sociology, ethnicity, nationalism and comparative politics.


Introduction: Legacies and Possibilities, Giorgio Shani and Takashi Kibe

1. Tagore and the Conception of Critical Nationalism, Sudipta Kaviraj

2. Midnight’s Children: Religion and Nationalism in South Asia, Giorgio Shani

3. Articulations of Religiously-Motivated Nationalism within Philippine Catholicism: A Critical Assessment, Manuel Victor J. Sapitula

4. Reconsidering the Relation between ‘Sectarianism’ and Nationalism in the Middle East, Fanar Haddad

5. The Irony of Secular Nation-Building in Japanese Modernity: Inoue Kowashi and Fukuzawa Yukichi, Takashi Kibe

6. Buddhism, Cosmology, and Great East Asian Co-prosperity Area: Multiculturalism and Nationalism in the Pre-war period Japan, Kosuke Shimizu

7. Political modernity in East Asia: Religion, nationalism and subversion of imperialism, Atsuko Ichijo

8. Religious Nationalism with Non-domination: Ahn Changho's Cosmopolitan Patriotis, Jun-Hyeok Kwak

9. The Structural Problem of Religious Freedom in China: Towards a Confucian-Christian Synthesis, Zhibin Xie

10. Augustine’s Critique of Religious Identity and Its Implications for the Chinese Church, Wei Hua

11. Post-Chinese Reconnections through Religion: Buddhism, Christianity, and Confucianism, Chih-yu Shih

12. Conclusion, Takashi Kibe and Giorgio Shani

26Sep 2019

Book Series: Critical Perspectives on Religion in International Politics

Book Series: Critical Perspectives on Religion in International Politics

Series edited by Giorgio Shani and Mustapha Pasha


In recent years, the discipline of International Relations has undergone a religious renaissance. The distinction between the religious and the secular has been brought into question by a resurgence of interest in religion, culture and identity in the context of international politics, forcing mainstream theories to take religion seriously. Furthermore, efforts to “provincialize” IR by bringing in voices from the “outside” the West have stimulated interest in other religious traditions which have hitherto been marginalized in the discipline. Attempts have also been made to free IR from its dominant secular orientation through an encounter with the “post-secular” which can open up productive avenues of inquiry.

The overall objective of this series, therefore, is to open up space for critical scholarship on Religion and International Relations and to “post-secular” approaches to global politics. The main aims of the series are to decentre and pluralize discussions of religion in international politics by bringing into question the theological underpinnings of IR and by creating room for the articulation of alternative understandings of the relationship between the ‘religious’ and ‘political’ from other faith traditions. The overall objective of the series is to open up space for critical scholarship on Religion and IR and to “post-secular” approaches to global politics which engage with different religious traditions. We understand “critical” in a broad sense to denote a perspective which seeks to bring into question both the main metaphysical underpinnings of the discipline of IR and of the category of religion itself.

In particular, this series would welcome proposals focusing on the following themes:

– Interrogating the Category of Religion
– Exploring Religion's Relationship with Politics
– Religion and Theories of IR
– Religion and Security
– Religion and Peacebuilding
– Religion and Identity Politics
– Religion, Gender and Sexuality
– Religion and Nationalism
– Religion and International Political Economy
– Postsecularism in IR
– Non-Western Religious Traditions and IR
– Transnational Religious Actors and IR
– World Religions and Global Politics

17Apr 2019

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

Call for papers


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

Deadline: May 19, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

28Feb 2019

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

19Dec 2018

Call for papers: Religionization and Citizenship

Citizenship Studies

Special Issue: Religionization and Citizenship

Guest Editors: Guy Ben-Porat and Yoav Peled

Call for Papers


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

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

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

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

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

25Oct 2018

Call for papers: Perspectives on Religion and Politics

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

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

- Publishing scholarship from the Global South.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

02Oct 2018

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Confirmed Keynote Speaker

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


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

Dr Ed Kessler MBE, Founder Director, Woolf Institute 


Call for Papers and Format

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

13Sep 2018

Conference on Global Risk, Security and Ethnicity


Conference on Global Risk, Security and Ethnicity

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

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

Hosted by

School of Global Humanities and Social Sciences

Nagasaki University, Japan

In cooperation with

IPSA Research Committee on Politics and Ethnicity (RC14),

IPSA Research Committee on Religion and Politics (RC43) and

Palgrave Handbook on Ethnicity Project (Palgrave Macmillan Publishing)

Venue and date

Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan
10 - 11 August 2019

Theme: Global Risk, Security and Ethnicity


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

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

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

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

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

12Dec 2017

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

Call for papers

Panel on “Religion and Political Parties in Contemporary Democracies”

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

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

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


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

10Dec 2017

Cfp: Experiencing the Sacred between Religion and Spirituality



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

PANEL: Experiencing the Sacred between Religion and Spirituality


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

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

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


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

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

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

-        spirituality and religion in everyday life

-        spirituality and gender

-        body, emotions and spirituality

-        the perceptive dimension in the experience of the sacred

-        health, wellbeing and spirituality

-        spirituality and the notion of personhood

-        creative expressions of the religious in secular contexts

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



 Submission deadline: 15 January 2018.

Acceptance of proposals will be notified by 12 March 2018.

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

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

-        the title of the chosen session;

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

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

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

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

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

24Jul 2017

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


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

Brisbane (Australia), July 21-25, 2018

Section on Religion and Politics


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

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

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

07Apr 2017

New Issue: Politics and Religion Journal (PRJ)

Politics and Religion Journal (PRJ)
Issue on Political Economy and Religion
Vol. 11, No. 1, 2017
Published by: Center for Study of Religion and Religious Tolerance, Belgrade, Serbia


Paola Corrente

Miguel Herrero de Jáuregui

Fabián Ludueña Romandini

Micaela Cuesta

Joaquin Algranti

Emilce Cuda

Francisco Letamendia

Julián Giglio, Miguel Barrientos

Laura Adrián Lara

Milovan R. Pecelj

01Mar 2017

Petition for the release from prison of Professor Istar Gozaydin


Professor Istar Gozaydin has been for many years a prominent member of the European Religion and Politics community. She is an intellectual, a human rights activist and an important scholar who has written significant and illuminating contributions on Turkish society and politics. Istar was fired from her job shortly after the abortive July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey and in December 2016 she was arrested on charges that have still not been clarified.
Over the last two months, her friends and colleagues have made numerous efforts for her release, but without success. The stage has now been reached of a mass petition which we hope will attract signatures from scholars from Europe and elsewhere in the world to demand her release from prison. We hope very much you are willing to sign the petition and if you could circulate it among your colleagues too for their signatures that would be much appreciated.

If you willing to sign the petition below, then please email Ahmet Erdi Öztürk at aerdiozturk@gmail.com who is collecting signatures.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım

Office of the Prime Minister


06573 Ankara


Dear Prime Minister Yıldırım,

We, the undersigned, strongly urge the immediate release of İştar Gözaydın from her arrest at Aliağa Ceza İnfaz Kurumları Kampüsü. All evidence that is available to us suggests that she is, in fact, a prisoner of conscience of the Turkish state. We request that charges be dismissed directly. With the same breath, we ask that others among the fourteen members of Gediz University similarly incarcerated on December 20, 2016 and the hundreds of other academics, journalists and activists currently incarcerated under similar circumstances receive like consideration.  

The charges against İştar Gözaydın are clearly specious, for her activities are consistent with her professional role as a scholar and leading expert regarding the institutional relations of religion and state. As the charges have been related to us – and we must use that phrase because the state has yet to make a record of charges public, now over seven weeks after they have been laid – Professor Gözaydın is apparently not charged with affiliation to the Gülenist cause, but she is accused of having benefited from Gülenist activity because she received modest compensation in line with services that she provided to one television production company, Samanyolu TV. The series of eight televised roundtable discussions in which she participated was one among many activities as a public scholar in which Professor Gözaydın has recently participated. In the year before her incarceration, Professor Gözaydın has published her professional analysis in perhaps thirty-five newspapers and she has worked with fifteen television production companies. Her role as a public scholar has led her to many such endeavours.

What Professor İştar Gözaydın has done, to the contrary of these charges, is exercise her professional role for the betterment of a free society. Professor Gözaydın is an eminent scholar whose role in the context of roundtable discussions, news interviews and political analysis places her alongside professional journalists as a critic. Without agents for the dissemination and analysis of policy such as Professor Gözaydın, a society cannot remain free and democratic.

In agreement with our colleagues at Scholars at Risk, we are greatly “concerned about the arbitrary suspension, arrest and detention of scholars as a part of sweeping actions taken by the State against higher education community members. While State authorities have a right to maintain order and respond to legitimate security concerns, such actions must comply with States' human rights obligations, including those relating to freedom of association, due process, and academic freedom, which are protected by international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Turkey is a party. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, such incidents have a chilling effect on academic freedom and undermine democratic society generally.” The Committee to Protect Journalists finds that near to 1/3 of the world’s incarcerated journalists are to be found within the borders of Turkey. The Turkish state has muted and is in the process of destroying the organs of criticism and communication necessary for a free society. We ask that the government alter its path immediately.

With great attention and great concern,

[the undersigned]

07Feb 2017

Vacancy: Political Science and International Affairs (John Cabot University, Rome)

Full-time tenure track faculty position in 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 or associate professor rank. We seek candidates with a Ph.D. in Political Science, demonstrated excellence in teaching and research, commitment to academic service, and interested in the development of programs in a growing department.

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 ideal candidate should 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. John Cabot University is an equal opportunity employer. Review of applications will begin on March 1, 2017. Only short-listed applicants will be notified.

06Dec 2016

Conference: Ten year of publishing the Politics and Religion Journal (PRJ)

The Center for Study of Religion and Religious Tolerance and the Faculty of Political Science University of Belgrade jointly organized an international scientific conference dedicated to the tenth consecutive year of publishing the Politics and Religion Journal (PRJ). The Conference was held on November 25th 2016 and around 30 researchers had a chance to present their work in 7 different panels. Prof. Miroljub Jevtic, editor-in-chief, together with Prof. Dejan Milenkovic, opened the conference.

For the full program, and photos of the event, check the journal website:

02Dec 2016

Call for panels and papers: "Religion, Politics, and the Public Sphere: Contesting Liberalism?" (ECPR General Conference, Oslo, 6-9 September 2017)

Call for panels and papers
ECPR General Conference (Oslo, 6-9 September 2017)
Section on "Religion, Politics, and the Public Sphere: Contesting Liberalism?"
Convenors: Luca Ozzano, University of Turin (luca.ozzano@unito.it) and Anja Hennig, Europa-Universität Viadrina (ahennig@europa-uni.de)
Deadline: 15 February 2017

Panel and paper proposal must be submitted online through the ECPR website. Prospective panel convenors are also required to contact by email the two section convenors, possibly by the end of December 2016.

Section Abstract
Liberal principles such as autonomy, freedom and equality have always been challenging conservative thought. In particular they are disputed or rejected by traditionalists and fundamentalists within all major religions. At the same time and often within the same state or society, progressive religious traditions tend to embrace liberal principles such as freedom of choice in moral issues and sometimes even consider religion a merely private matter. However, especially with regard to the accommodation of Islam, also local or state governments sometimes touch the boundaries of liberalism.

Such dynamics have become particularly evident since the late 20th century with what some call the ‘revenge of god’ or ‘deprivatization of religion’, making religion again a relevant factor in the public sphere of most contemporary societies, liberal democracies included. Whereas in the 1990s academic debates focused mostly on the role of Catholicism in the most recent waves of democratization, after 9/11 and the subsequent events attention has mostly shifted to investigate the compatibility between Islam and democracy. Moreover, the presence of religious actors in the public sphere, and the rise of public debates on issues such as bioethics, LGBT issues, and the role of religious symbols in the public sphere, have also given rise to a growing corpus of studies on the so-called morality politics. On the other hand, in the international field, we have witnessed the relevance of religion in conflict, violence and terrorism, but also in dialogue and in new patterns of civil society-based cooperation, as well as in international relations and international judicial bodies such as the ECHR.

Such processes have also significantly changed the way both common people and social scientists look at the world, sparking lively debates on what liberalism, modernization and secularization mean, and how religion can be accommodated in the context of contemporary democracies. Particular emphasis has been put on the role religious actors play in the public sphere. Studies have focused on the role of religious movements, both at the national and the transnational level, on religiously oriented political parties, and on the role of religious institutions, such as the Catholic Church, in political affairs. In the domestic field, scholarly attention has focused particularly on the role of religious values and religious actors in democratization processes, in theoretical terms and in relation to specific religious traditions.

There is, however, still need to investigate more systematically the motives, strategies and consequences of religious agency in the public spheres. Against this background, this Section investigates the various tensions between religious actors (but also religious ideas, values or ideologies), political discourse or action and liberalism(s).

The Section will address the following issues:

1. Morality policy, gender relations and religion
This subsection invites studies which analyze the religious factor in political conflicts about “fundamental questions” concerning life, death, and family patterns. The focus will be on gender-related issues such as abortion, marriage equality and LGBTQI rights, as well as on other bioethics issues and euthanasia.

2. Governmental religious policies and religious pluralism
This subsection focuses on how states, local or federal governments, religious parties or transnational organizations behave vis-à-vis religion or govern religious pluralism, and Islam in particular. This includes conceptual studies on secularism or multiculturalism such as the analysis of policies dealing with religious symbols in the public spheres, religious education, welfare or exception rules on religious grounds. This subsection will also try to define what citizenship can mean in a religious pluralist context.

3. Religion as source for (international) conflicts or factor for democratization
This subsection addresses scholars who analyze the various roles of religious actors in local, regional or transnational (merely interreligious or interethnic) conflicts. This includes on the one hand actors clearly contesting liberalism such as fundamentalist religious movements or terrorist groups. On the other hand, studies are addressed, which scrutinize religious civil societal initiatives involved in conflict solution and democratization processes, such as constitution writing.

4. (Post)secularization, religion and liberal democracy in political theory and empirical analysis
This subsection reflects upon the normative discourses on (post)secularization, and, thus, about the role religion should play in the public spheres of secularizing and/or de-secularizing democracies. This includes also approaches dealing with illiberalism and norm diffusion.

5. Religious Actors in Comparative Perspective
This subsection deals more systematically with the role of religious actors in contemporary polities: particularly, the focus will be on both political parties with a religious orientation, and national and transnational religious institutions, organizations and movements. Panels included in it will both analyze them in comparative perspective, and investigate their role in policy making, public debates, economic processes, and welfare.

Panels and Papers may address these issues merely empirically, theoretically or combine both perspectives. Also comparative, sociological and historical approaches are welcome. Given that liberal ideas are spread and contested worldwide there is by no means a restriction to the “global West” or to traditional liberal democracies.

21Nov 2016

Call for papers: Political Secularism and Religious Difference in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa

Call for papers: ECPR Joint Sessions, Nottingham, 25-30 April, 2017 (deadline: 1 December 2016)

WORKSHOP TITLE: Political Secularism and Religious Difference in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa

KEYWORDS: Citizenship, Conflict, Conflict Resolution, Identity, Islam, Christianity, Religion

Workshop Director

Jeffrey Haynes 
London Metropolitan University 

Workshop Co-Director

Erin Wilson 
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen 


It was long assumed that one of the main outcomes of a secular political order in plural societies was to encourage both emancipation and political equality for religious minorities. These assumptions are now strongly challenged by recent events in two neighbouring regions. First, in recent years, coinciding with but not necessarily caused by the post-2010 'Arab Spring', violence against Christians and other religious minorities has grown in many countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Some scholars have sought to explain this as either a continuation or re-emergence of deep-rooted primordial conflicts or to Islam's supposed 'inherent intolerance'. In the MENA, political secularism was imposed from outside by Western colonial rule. Over the last few decades of independence mainly unelected rulers have sought to impose and perpetuate their rule via processes of political secularisation whose ultimate aim was to divide and rule the various religious groups in their polities. Second, recent and current events in Europe point to growing polarisation in many countries between the non-Muslim majority and Muslim minorities; and, often, growing intolerance and declining ability to live together seems to be the outcome in several European countries. In Europe, the overall result is that while religious equality, including between Muslims and non-Muslims, is a cornerstone of the region's democratic foundations and constitutional arrangements, equality between religious groups is rapidly being whittled away. The purpose of the workshop is to compare and contrast the impact of political secular regimes in the countries of both the MENA and Europe. The aim is to understand the impact of political secularism in both regions, as a key component of inter-religious and cultural discord and contention.

18Feb 2016

Call for papers: Anarchism and Religion

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

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

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

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

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

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