Call for Papers Leaving religion and institutional belonging behind

Dear colleagues,

Please, find below the description of the session I am organizing at the ISSR 2021 online conference this summer (12-15 July). You are cordially invited to submit your abstracts here. Deadline: 28 February 2021

Call for Papers: Leaving religion and institutional belonging behind

Chair: Julia Martínez-Ariño
(University of Groningen)

This session will investigate the phenomenon of apostasy, understood broadly as the rejection of religion, faith, institutional belonging or a previously held religious identity. While a big part of the contemporary research on the religious “nones” has focused on those who define themselves as “indifferent”, less sociological research has been done on those who actively decide to leave religion and institutional belonging. There are some exceptions, especially in relation to New Religious Movements, but this field of inquiry deserves more attention. How do people narrate their experiences of leaving a religious group, faith or form of identification? How do these people navigate the apostasy process and which meaning do they attach to it? Which implications does apostatizing have for the everyday lives and social environments of these people? Which factors do apostates identify as triggering the process and how do the self‐narratives make sense of them? What are the political underpinnings and implications of apostasy within different socio‐political contexts? The session welcomes papers analyzing these and other questions, focusing on a range of religious traditions and geographical contexts. Papers based on empirical and comparative research are especially welcome. The session also welcomes theoretical reflections on the meaning of apostasy and its implications for the sociological analysis of religion and non‐religion.

Best wishes,