CALL FOR PAPERS: “Religion on the Periphery”

CALL FOR PAPERS 14th ISORECEA conference “Religion on the Periphery”
Olomouc, Czech Republic, 23-25 April 2020

Individuals or groups on the periphery have always been part of various societies, not only today but also in the past, in ancient times. Modern Europe, including Central and Eastern Europe, pays more and more attention to and exhibits increasing sensitivity about minorities, to people on the periphery, to those who are marginalized because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, religion or lack of religion. Attitudes of society and individuals to such persons or groups can be seen as an indication of the state of their culture and civilization, as an indication of the prevailing values, as a touchstone, which can not only unite but also divide the society. Numerous religious traditions throughout history demonstrate, however, that peripheral areas of social life, as well as peripheral areas of faith, are phenomena that involve special treatment and special attention by religious authorities as well as by ordinary believers.

Science and the humanities are also aware of peripheries and have peripheral areas, certain methods or theories can play a crucial role, some marginal. It is the same within the academic study of religions. Traditionally, the historical approach and the study of the history of religion have played a significant role. Many other approaches have emerged, however, since the nineteenth century. Some of these, such as the study of the origin and development of religions, have lost their popularity and then regained it later. Some approaches have been marginalized, others favored. In other words, science, including the study of religions, also creates different stratifications, exclusions, and the ostracism of individuals and groups of scholars.

The aim of this conference is to encourage scholars from Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Western scholarship, to reflect on the variety of such peripheries – in particular, peripheries in/of religions as well as in the study of religion; for instance, various forms of heresy, apostasy and blasphemy, ways and forms of religious and social exclusion, and types of power and powerlessness within religious traditions. At the same time, it is considered important to draw attention to the peripheral areas of religious studies, the reasons for the marginalization of certain scholars, and the exclusion of some approaches, methods and concepts. If religious studies is to be a discipline creating its own peripheries, it is undoubtedly important to take them into account.

We want to address these issues in the forthcoming international conference and encourage scholars from various parts of Europe and elsewhere to share their theoretical and empirical insights about religious diversification and varieties of approaches to it.

The conference topics include but are not limited to:
•  Non-believers and atheists in religious societies
•  Religious people as a minority
•  Dominant and peripheral discourses on religion
•  Exposing the explicit and implicit in religions
•  Transformations of the New Religious Movements: from the periphery to the mainstream or disappearance
•  Peripheral religious practices in history and modern times: magic, divination and ritual healing
•  Religious diversification and social exclusion
•  Theories and methods on the peripheries: marginal approaches in the study of religion

Important dates:
  *   Submission of abstracts: by December 15th 2019
  *   Submission of session/panel proposals: by December 15th 2019
  *   Notification of acceptance of abstracts: 15 January 2020
  *   Notification of acceptance of session/panel proposals: 15 January 2020
  *   Opening of registration: 15 January 2020
  *   Final date for registration: 15 February 2020
  *   Final program: 15 March 2020

New Book: Global Trajectories of Brazilian Religion

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

We are delighted to announce the publication of our book – Global Trajectories of Brazilian Religion – Lusospheres (Bloomsbury, 2019)

In this edited volume we show how Brazil is imagined and re-created as an authentic, spiritual, and sensual place that functions as the center for various global religions. To understand the new cross-fertilizations between religion, life-style, tourism and migration, we introduce the notion of ‘Lusospheres’, a term that refers to the historical Portuguese colonial reach, yet signals the contemporary modes of cultural interaction in a different geo-political age.

Here is the link to the Introductory Chapter:

Please write the authors to get a flyer for a 35% discount.

With all good wishes,

Martijn Oosterbaan —
Linda van de Kamp  —
Joana Bahia —

Call for Book Chapters on Sociological Theory



Expected Date of Publication: 28th February, 2020
PUBLISHER: A University Press in Nigeria

This is to invite submissions of chapters on Sociological Theory and Practice from scholars across the world. This book intends to contribute to the understanding of theories of Sociology and their usefulness and application, not only within the academic space but also, in business and practical development of Africa. The cutting edge/niche and research questions of this book are: what are these sociological theories? How applicable and useful are they in explaining Africa? To what extent, and how, can they be applied in business realities of Africa in practical terms? Are they mere theories for theories or theories for real life business and national/continental development? This book leverages on and breaks classrooms as well as established disciplinary boundaries in an attempt to contribute to what are already known, and what should be known to further bridge the gaps between gown and town. This is to bring Sociology to the business and development spaces for appreciated relevance and applicability. In this manner, this book will answer the common age long questions among students and many (non)sociologists about what sociologists do and how relevant Sociology and sociologists are/should be especially in the development and business of Africa. All submissions must be related and relevant to Africa.

In case you are interested in contributing chapter(s) to this book, kindly send a 250-word abstract and your main submission(s) (chapter[s]) to and .

The language of communication and publication is English. It is expected that abstracts and final manuscripts/submissions would be submitted in English language. Submissions should please indicate the names of all authors and co-authors (in cases of multiple author’s submissions), affiliations, email addresses and titles of chapters. Originality is very central to this book and we expect all contributors to check their submissions through antiplagiarism software(s) and strive to achieve not more than maximum of 15% Similarity Index (SI) including references.

Original chapters are invited on the following topics:

  1. Defining sociological theory
  2. The central problem of sociological theory
  3. Historical and contemporary issues in sociological theory and practice
  4. Broad types of sociological theories
  5. Functionalism
  6. Conflict theory
  7. Marxism
  8. Social action theory
  9. Asuwada Theory of Sociation
  10. Rational choice theory
  11. The Macdonaldization thesis
  12. Structuration
  13. The Actor Network Theory
  14. Control and Opportunity Theory
  15. Protestant ethics and the spirit of capitalism: Lessons for wealth creation in Africa
  16. Symbolic interactionism
  17. Ethnomethodology
  18. Social Exchange Theory
  19. Feminist theory
  20. The relationship between theory and research
  21. Sociological theory and employment creation
  22. Theorising Africa: Issues, Debates, Challenges and Prospects
  23. The Future of Sociology and Sociological Theory

The above list of topics are however indicative and not exhaustive. Preference will however be given to these topics. It may be very important to state that this Call for Proposal is intended to be very competitive and chapters will be accepted based on strength, originality, relevance, timeliness and conformity with the Call. Authors can generally propose new chapter(s) but they must be related to the book title/focus/objective and the suggested topics.

Every chapter should be 5000 to 6000 words and straight to the point, engaging, well exemplified and easy to read. Every chapter should be arranged according to the following:

  • Title of Chapter
  • Name of author(s)
  • Abstract of the chapter (250 words maximum)
  • Keywords of not more than 5 words
  • Introduction and Background: problematisation and focus of chapter
  • Body of the essay
  • Application to business and development of Africa including well blended case studies
  • Conclusions
  • References (please include only those cited in the body of the chapter). Please use APA style for references, headings and sub-headings. You may wish to visit for guidance.

Deadline for submission of chapter is 10th December 2019

Job Opening: Gender & South Asian Religions

An announcement about a job at Concordia University:

Tenure-track position in Gender & South Asian religions, specialization in Hinduism

The Department of Religions and Cultures in the Faculty of Arts and Science at Concordia University seeks to hire a tenure-track faculty member at the assistant professor level, working in the fields of gender and South Asian religions, with a specialization in Hinduism. The ideal candidate will have an excellent research profile and appropriate abilities in Indian languages.  Filling this position allows us to support graduate studies in the area of South Asian religions. The successful candidate will, therefore, have teaching experience and the ability to mentor graduate students. He or she will also complement existing strengths in Asian religions and women, gender and sexuality studies in the Department.

Date and Location for SocRel 2020 conference

Dear colleagues,
I am pleased to circulate the date, location and list of speakers for the next Socrel Annual Conference

Celebrating SocRel at 45: Beyond Binaries in the Sociology of Religion
14 July – 16 July 2020
University of York

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr Sarah Jane Page (Aston University)
  • Professor Sam Perry (University of Oklahoma)
  • Further speaker TBC

Special 45th Anniversary Panel:

  • Professor Eileen Barker (London School of Economics)
  • Professor Jim Beckford (Warwick University)
  • Professor Grace Davie (Exeter University)
  • Professor Linda Woodhead (Lancaster University)

A full call for papers including conference theme, abstract submission and registration links as well as further conference information will be circulated in the next few weeks. But in the meantime, please do pop this date in your diaries and we look forward to seeing you in York next year!

Should you have any questions or queries, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Best wishes,
Rachael  (Socrel conference and events officer)
Dr Rachael Shillitoe
Research Associate
School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT

Seminar: Religion in Contemporary Society – What do we need to know to manage complexity?

31.10 2019, Turku/Åbo, Finland

Sibelius Museum, Piispankatu 17

13.00   Linda Woodhead, Distinguished Prof. of Religion and Society, Lancaster University, UK: De-Reformation: how the old religious and political order came apart and what has taken its place

  • Response by Terhi Utriainen, Prof. of the Study of Religions, University of Turku

14.00  Paul Bramadat, Prof., Director, Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, University of Victoria, Canada:   Urban Religion, Irreligion, and Spirituality: After After Religion in Canada  

  • Response by Tuomas Martikainen, Director, Migration Institute of Finland, Turku
  • Discussion (Chair: Tuula Sakranaho, Prof. of the Study of Religions, University of Helsinki)

15.30   Coffee

Turku City Library, Linnankatu 2

17.00   Public Discussion: Uskonto ja suomalainen yhteiskunta – mihin olemme menossa?

Paneelikeskustelun tarkoituksena on valottaa Suomen uskonnollista nykytilannetta ja siinä tapahtuvia muutoksia eri uskontokuntien näkökulmista. Onko uskontojen rooli yhteiskunnassa muuttumassa, ja millä tavoin? Millä elämän aloilla uskontoa joudutaan pohtimaan uudella tavalla? Pystyykö suomalainen yhteiskunta vastaamaan yhä monimuotoisemman yhteiskunnan haasteisiin ja näkemään myös sen tarjoamat mahdollisuudet?

  • Kaarlo Kalliala, piispa, Turun arkkihiippakunta
  • Simon Livson, rabbi, Helsingin ja Turun juutalaiset seurakunnat
  • Terhi Utriainen, professori, Turun yliopisto
  • Zahra al-Take, opettaja, Turku
  • Ari Vuokko, psykoterapeutti, Suomen vietnamilaisten buddhalaisten yhdyskunnan varapuheenjohtaja

Moderaattori: Dosentti Ruth Illman, Donner-instituutti, Turku

The seminar is arranged by the Argumenta Project “Uskontolukutaito moniarvoisessa yhteiskunnassa”, dealing with religious literacy in contemporary diverse societies:

It is free of charge, no registration needed.


Call for Papers Artificial Intelligence and Religion

International Conference
3 – 5 March 2020
Centre for Religious Studies
Centre for Information and Communication Technology
Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), Trento

Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are having a significant impact on contemporary societies, and it is a widely held belief that their societal impact will become disruptive in a not too distant future. Religion has proved to remain a salient and determining feature of human societies, with an estimated 84% of the global population in 2010 identifying with a religious group, according to the PEW Research Centre. The goal of this conference is to explore current interactions between the religious sphere (widely construed in terms of diverse communities, institutions, practices, precepts, beliefs, and rites) on the one hand, research and innovation in the field of AI on the other. AIR2020 will bring together researchers and scholars in artificial intelligence, religious studies, economics, legal studies, science communication, narratology, philosophy, and sociology. While covering the more obvious and researched topics, such as the role of religious vocabulary in popular AI narratives and techno-utopian or dystopian visions of human futures, the conference will also focus on less researched areas, such as the involvement of religious actors in shaping current debates over AI governance, the impact of AI technologies on freedom of religion or belief, the value alignment problem for AI with regard to religiously grounded values, and the discrepancy between non-expert perceptions of AI and the current state of the art in AI research, development and innovation.

AIR2020 is embedded in the mission on religion and innovation of the Centre for Religious Studies, as articulated in our 2019 position paper Religion and Innovation: Calibrating Research Approaches and Suggesting Strategies for a Fruitful Interaction. Our position paper proposes a set of eleven recommendations concerning action research in religion and innovation that can benefit societal actors in their attempts to strengthen the interaction between religion and innovation. For an account of FBK-ISR’s work on religion and innovation please consult our booklet Religion & Innovation at FBK.

The conference is organised by the Centre for Religious Studies (FBK-ISR) in collaboration with the Centre for Information and Communication Technologies of Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK-ICT).

Abstracts and submission
The organisers welcome abstracts for 30-minute papers which engage with contemporary interactions between religion and artificial intelligence, in particular regarding – but not restricted to – the following topics:

  1. Involvement of religious actors/stakeholders (institutions, religious leaders, communities) in public debates over AI governance (e.g., analysis of soft law initiatives)
  2. Artificial intelligence and freedom of religion or belief (case studies of digital tools, strategies and trends promoting or impeding freedom of religion or belief)
  3. Value alignment: religiously grounded values and utility functions (quantifiability of religiously grounded preferences)
  4. The current state of AI research and development vs. non-expert perceptions of extant AI technologies (popular AI narratives and their relation to contemporary AI research and development)
  5. Religious imagery in AI narratives (in science communication, media, popular culture, academia, religious commitment or mere rhetoric?)
  6. The role of AI topoi in epistemically possible and/or merely speculative scenarios of humanity’s future(s) (transhumanism, posthumanism, techno-utopias and techno-dystopias)

Abstracts, max. 750 words in length and formatted for blind review, should be emailed to by Monday, October 21, 2019.

Please include your name, institutional affiliation, email address, and paper title in the email body, use “AI and Religion 2020” in the subject line of your email, and indicate which of the above topics your paper will address. Acceptance notices will be sent out by Thursday, November 7, 2019.

For further inquiries about the conference, please contact Dr Boris Rähme (

ICSOR Newsletter Posted

The recent Newsletter of the International Center for the Sociology of Religion has been posted on the organization’s website.

Available in both English and Italian, the newsletter contains information about:

  • The ECSOR International Grant Program for 2020
  • An announcement about the School for Advanced Training in the Sociology of Religion (SAFSOR), which will be held later this autumn.
  • Two scholarships available to young researchers at the Summer School on Religions in San Cimignano.
  • Reports on this year’s grant program and last year’s SAFSOR.
  • Much other information.

SocRel Sessions at the April 2020 BSA Conference at Ashton Univ.

Dear Colleagues,
I would like to draw your attention to the BSA Annual Conference taking place at Aston University next April. The call for papers can be found at the bottom of this email as well as the abstract submission links and deadline. I am also pleased to announce that SocRel will be hosting a stream plenary session at the annual conference on: ‘Modest Workwear as Aesthetic Labour: learning to wear religion’  with speakers Professor Reina Lewis (London College of Fashion, UAL) and Dr Lina Molokotos-Liederman (London College of Fashion, UAL). This is shaping up to be a great event and we would encourage you to submit your paper within the SocRel study group sessions.

Should you have any questions or queries, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Dr Rachael Shillitoe
Research Associate
School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT

The theme for the BSA Annual Conference 2020 is – Reimagining Social Bodies: Self, Institutions and Societies and we’d like you to help shape the discourse by presenting your research to the largest annual gathering of the sociological community in the UK.

Contemporary explorations of bodies generate a broad range of potential thematic questions or the conference in 2020. These include, but are not restricted to:

  • What role are bodies playing in current disputes over who is a citizen in different global locations and who has the right to cross state boundaries?
  • Does the concept of the ‘social body’ retain validity in contexts of fragmented identities and fractured ties to the state?
  • Looking at issues such as disability and age, how important are bodies as vehicles for citizenship rights and welfare entitlement?
  • What do contemporary disputes over gender and the body say about the intersection of medical, scientific and political classifications in establishing legitimate bodies’?
  • In what ways do bodies play into intersectional dynamics of inequality and marginalisation?
  • How important are bodies in understanding some of the costs of long-term austerity?

The conference will take place at Aston University, Birmingham from 21–23 April 2020.
Our Annual Conference is renowned for having an open, approachable and inclusive culture.  Whether you’re looking to refresh your networks, get stuck into intellectual exchanges, find some space to develop your research ideas or learn new approaches, we can help you. 

Whatever you’re searching for, you’ll find it at the BSA Annual Conference link.
There are opportunities for everyone connected to the discipline and if you’d like to present your research to the primary annual conference for sociology in the UK, we’d like to hear from you.
Abstract submission deadline Friday, 11 October 2019. Please follow this link to submit your abstract