Call for Sessions & Papers: Association for the Sociology of Religion, August 2021

82nd Annual Meeting of the Association for the Sociology of Religion

Call for Sessions and Papers

Theme: “Communicating Religion’s Relevance”

Location: A specially designed virtual conference platform (see note 1 below)
Dates: 3 days between August 7 – August 10 (see note 2 below)
Program Chair: Brian Starks, Kennesaw State University (

Although scholars of religion are keenly aware of the relevance of religion in today’s world, too many social elites and academics diminish religion’s importance. Even scholars who know better sometimes fail to explain how religion permeates nearly every aspect of contemporary life. As sociologists of religion, we understand religion’s relevance to individuals and its consequences in the social, cultural, political, and economic spheres. This year’s conference invites scholars to reflect on religion’s continuing – and in some areas increasing – relevance to society.

We invite session and paper proposals on several key topics:

  • · What can sociologists of religion do to communicate religion’s relevance to their (our) fellow academics and to the broader public?
  • · Are there ways that various sectors of our society have misunderstood, or failed to fully understand, religion? How can sociologists of religion speak to this problem?
  • · How do social and political elites, as well as ordinary citizens, employ religion when communicating about, or working to address, issues of local, national, or international concern?
  • · How do social actors, including social movement leaders, draw upon religion and religious narratives to frame social problems and/or appeal to human cognition, emotion, and morality?
  • · What are religion’s unique features that distinguish it from other social phenomenon and help explain its distinct capacity to influence human and social life?
  • · How, and under what circumstances, does religion contribute to new forms of identity, community, meaning, expression, moral conviction, and social control? How do we, as sociologists of religion, communicate religion’s relevance in these facets of our lives, to others?

Paper and session proposals may speak to these themes, or they may engage with any topic relevant to the sociology of religion. We especially encourage proposals that pursue and stimulate new avenues of research and/or innovative theoretical and/or methodological approaches. Specialty sessions are also welcome, including book salons, teaching and professional development, and discussions that focus on a particular question of interest.

We are very excited about our upcoming conference and the opportunities it will provide for intellectual interchange. Indeed, if people are interested in developing and structuring sessions in an especially creative manner, we are open to different (but feasible) approaches. Please email Program Chair Brian Starks to discuss any ideas you have and how we might accommodate them.


  • Session proposals: March 31, 2021
  • Paper abstract submissions: April 30, 2021
  • All submissions should be made through the ASR website at

ASR Membership is required for organizing a session, presenting a paper, serving as a panelist, or holding another role in the program. All are expected to register for the meeting by July 1, 2021. For questions, contact Brian Starks (, James Cavendish (, or Rachel Kraus (

Note 1: Because of the pandemic, our meeting this year will be a virtual conference. We have been working hard to design a stimulating experience that allows the intellectual interchange, the networking, and the chance to catch up with old and new friends that make our in-person conferences so enjoyable.

I am happy to report that we will be using a major platform with previous experience running other academic conferences. This platform organizes all sessions into a single attractive, easy-to-access online hall. The platform will also host our major plenary sessions and allow publishers to hold virtual book exhibits. To this, we are excited to be incorporating a virtual café that will remain open throughout the conference. This will allow private conversations and will let people meet and network easily with other participants during the conference at any time.

Our goal is to have each session include not only a traditional facilitator, but also a technological convener who could help individual participants with any technology related issues or questions. This will allow facilitators to focus on time-keeping and substantive conversation, as they usually do. Towards that end, if there are grad students or others interested in earning a little extra money by serving as technological conveners for several sessions, please email me at

Note 2: We do not yet know our exact dates, as we are still waiting for the ASA to confirm the date of the Religion Section’s session. We want to avoid overlapping with them, so people can participate in both conferences. We simply ask you to keep August 7-10 open in your schedules. We will let you know exact dates as soon as we can.

Call for Papers: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, August 2021


Deadline to Submit to the 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting is February 3

ASA invites you to submit proposals for its 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting, August 6-10, 2021. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, February 3, 2021, 11:59 p.m. (Eastern). We are accepting submissions for:

  • Papers, which have four outlets, including Regular Sessions, Section Sessions, Roundtables, and the Student Forum. You may elect to a submit either a full paper (15-35 pages) or an extended abstract (3-5 pages)—a new feature this year. If you submit an abstract and it is accepted, plan to send the full paper to session participants at least a month before the annual meeting .
  • Courses, which are half- or full-day opportunities for sociologists to gain new skills and knowledge
  • Workshops, including: (1) Departmental Leadership and Management; (2) Professional Development; (3) Research and Policy; and (4) Teaching.
  • Preconferences, which provide an opportunity for disciplinary peers to gather for an extended period to discuss their work related to a particular field of study, theory, perspective, question, controversy, or professional context.
  • Ideas for Future Research, which are primarily networking roundtables valuable to those who are developing a new set of ideas or formulating issues and who would like to have these explored further by colleagues with similar interests.
  • The Sociology in Practice Settings Symposium, where sociologists employed in government, non-profit organizations, commercial industry, research centers, and other practice settings can present abstracts that address the context-specific opportunities and challenges of their work.
  • The Teaching and Learning in Sociology Symposium, which will advance the conference theme of “Emancipatory Sociology: Rising to the Du Boisian Challenge.”

Review the Call for Submissions for details. Contact if you have questions.

New Book: Fighting in God’s Name


Edited by Afe Adogame, Olufunke Adeboye, and Corey L. Williams

image  November 2020

Fighting in God’s Name provides a critical, inter-disciplinary exploration of the relationship between religion, conflict, violence, and tolerance from local-global perspectives. It highlights theoretical issues and approaches with contrasting case studies drawn from Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and South Asia.

Hardback: ISBN 978-1-4985-3993-7   
E-book:  ISBN 978-1-4985-3994-4    

PhD Workshop: Emergent Themes in the Study of Science & Belief in Society

Online workshop, 12-16 April 2021

The International Research Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society (INSBS) will be running an international PhD workshop online from 12-16 April 2021. The workshop is open to anyone currently enrolled on a PhD programme and conducting research on any social or cultural aspect of Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths or Medicine (STEMM) in relation to any religious, spiritual or non-religious tradition, position or worldview, including unbelief.
We welcome PhD candidates from all regions and countries worldwide and from a range of disciplines across the social sciences and humanities, including (but not limited to): sociology of religion, psychology of religion, science and technology studies, sociology of health/medicine, media and cultural studies, social anthropology, politics, the history and philosophy of science/religion and religious studies.

In keeping with the aim of INSBS, to support the growth of high-quality international research examining the relationship between science and belief in relation to cutting edge social issues and individuals’ lived experiences, the workshop seeks to introduce PhD candidates from a range of disciplines and geographical contexts to foundational readings on science and belief in society.

The PhD Workshop will focus on cutting-edge research in the study of science and belief in society, introducing PhD students to key themes including:
The challenges and benefits of incorporating multidisciplinary perspectives into your work

  • Internationalising perspectives beyond Western conceptions of science and belief
  • The difficulties of categorisation in both quantitative and qualitative approaches to studying science and belief in society

The workshop will take the form of a series of five daily workshops and reading groups. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss readings and content with the academic authors of the work. We will be running each session twice (at different times on the same day), to accommodate as best as possible those in different time zones. Participants will be expected to read/listen to a maximum of 10 pieces of academic work (articles, chapters, podcasts) in advance of the workshop – all of which will be provided by INSBS.

INSBS is based at the University of Birmingham, and led by team members from the Science, Knowledge and Belief in Society Research Group.

Honorariums: We have a limited number of small honorariums to help cover any costs associated with attending this online workshop. For example, these could be used to cover the cost of purchasing mobile data where wifi access is unreliable or the cost of additional childcare or dependent care.

To apply to participate in the workshop please send a short biography (maximum five hundred words) outlining your research interests and your interest in the workshop, along with a short Curriculum Vitae/Resume (maximum two pages). If you require an honorarium to help support your attendance at the workshop, please add a short statement (maximum two hundred and fifty words) outlining the reason for requiring an honorarium (internet access, childcare etc.) and the amount you are requesting (maximum £100 GBP).

Please note honorariums cannot be used to cover salaries or wages.

Please email applications to Paula Brikci (
The closing date for applications is Tuesday 9th February 2021.

SocRel conference 13-15 July 2021

Dear colleagues,

The Socrel annual conference 2021 will take place online via zoom from 13th to 15th July 2021. To deliver a paper, please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words. We will also be accepting a limited number of panel proposals. To deliver a panel, please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words. Due to the process of receiving and reviewing abstracts, we are unable to automatically accept those abstracts submitted and accepted for the 2020 conference. However, we warmly welcome all those who submitted abstracts for 2020 to resubmit your abstract for 2021. All presenters must be members of Socrel.

Please follow this link for the call for papers and to access the portal to submit your abstract.

** We are aware that some delegates have experienced issues when submitting abstracts. This should now be resolved but if anyone is experiencing any problems, please email Rachael at **

Information about the conference, including theme and speakers, can also be found on the page above. Further details regarding registration and how presentations will be delivered (e.g. live or pre-recorded) will be uploaded in due course.

Abstracts must be submitted by 10 February 2021.

Key Dates:

  • Abstract submission: Open now
  • Early bird registration opens: 20 January 2021
  • Abstract submission closes: 10 February 2021
  • Decision notification: 26 February 2021
  • Presenter registration closes: 26 March 2021
  • Registration closes: 30th June 2021

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

Best wishes,
Dr Rachael Shillitoe 
Conference and Events Officer for the British Sociological Association, Sociology of Religion Group (SocRel)

Job Opening: Digital Researcher

Goldsmiths, University of London – Faiths and Civil Society Unit, Dept of Social Therapeutic and Community Studies

Location: New Cross
Salary: £39,306.20 to £43,783.32
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract

Placed On:
6th January 2021

11th January 2021 (12 noon)

Job Ref: 433060

Pay Scale: Grade 7 (Spine point 32)
Duration: 25th January 2021 – 18th September 2021

This is an exciting opportunity for a Digital Researcher to join a thriving research unit on religion and belief in the public sphere. You will design and deliver a comprehensive online platform for policy makers in health and social care who are seeking to engage with the diversity of religion and belief among their service users and patients. You will combine some or all of an interest in the study of religion and belief, understanding of the health and social care sector, and a high level of digital skills to deliver the following key roles:

  • Collate a searchable database of sources and resources around religion, belief and policy for use by policy makers in health and social care on an open access basis;
  • Maintain and further develop a network of policy makers, practitioners and service providers in the area of religion and belief in health and social care;
  • Design an attractive and highly accessible web platform
  • Design and deliver a highly effective approach to uses of social media;
  • Write for academic publishing;
  • Build small-scale funding proposals to support the ongoing life of the project.

Applications from Black Asian and Ethnic Minority backgrounds and from other people of other minority identities are particularly welcomed.

All applicants should enclose a two page letter of application (max) highlighting their suitability and eligibility for the post, together with a two page CV.

Closing date for applications: 11th January 2021 (12 noon)

Digital Researcher at Goldsmiths, University of London (

Postdoc in the Sociology of Religion

Happy New Year dear SocRel colleagues!

I would like to draw your attention to a 2-year post doc open at the University of Helsinki, with a focus on sociology of religion (religion in Europe, religion and migration, stats skills preferred, but all considered).

Please share!

Dr Titus Hjelm
Associate Professor in the Study of Religion
Department of Cultures
University of Helsinki

Three new books on Religion & Sexualities

Religion and Sexualities: Theories, Themes and Methodologies, by Sarah-Jane Page and Heather Shipley (Routledge 2020) This book offers an encompassing account of the sociology of sexuality and religion, considering theoretical and methodological lenses, queer experiences, and how sexuality is gendered in religious contexts.

Intersecting Religion and Sexuality: Sociological Perspectives, edited by Sarah-Jane Page and Andrew Kam-Tuk Yip (Brill 2020) This edited collection outlines what an intersectional analysis can offer research into religion and sexuality, over 12 chapters.

Embodying Religion, Gender and Sexuality, edited by Sarah-Jane Page and Katy Pilcher (Routledge 2020) Taking the notion of embodiment as its starting point, this volume maps the interconnecting relationships between religion, gender and sexuality.

Job Opening: Assistant Professor of Sociology

Assistant Professor – Sociology Pacific University Forest Grove, OR
Information at the Pacific University website.

Focus on quantitative sociology

The department of Sociology, Anthropology, Criminal Justice Law and Society (SOANCJ) at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon is seeking an Assistant Professor of Sociology (tenure-track) to join the department in Fall 20

  • In alignment with the university’s mission to mentor students to be individuals who ‘think, care, create, and pursue justice in our world,’ the SOANCJ department strives to ‘engage students to create learning environments that foster critical and creative thinking using social science research and methods regarding the context, origins, and solutions to pressing social issues.’ The successful candidate’s approach to teaching, research, and university service will align with these mission statements. Candidates must have a PhD in Sociology or related field by September 1st, 20
  • The department seeks an individual with a quantitative background in sociology who demonstrates a promise for excellent teaching and mentorship of students and who will be able to teach courses within a liberal arts context. In addition to a promise for excellent teaching and mentorship, the successful candidate will implement a promising research agenda. Tenure-track faculty at Pacific teach 20 credits (typically, five courses) per year. The successful candidate will be asked to teach First Year Seminar (FYS), Social Statistics, Quantitative Research Methods and other courses in their specialty. We especially encourage scholars with a specialty in ethnic/intersectional studies and/or an interest in contributing to the development of an ethnic/intersectional studies program to apply. Pacific University is located in Forest Grove, Oregon, twenty-five miles west of Downtown Portland.
  • Call for Papers: “The Family in Chinese Christianity”

    “Generational Legacies:
    The Family in Chinese Christianity”

    Special Issue of Review of Religion and Chinese Society

    Though the vast majority of Christians in China today are converts, or first-generation Christians, a significant and influential number of Chinese Christians trace their faith back to earlier generations. Some Chinese families count a Christian heritage six, seven, or even more generations back. In the contemporary Western tradition, Christianity is often framed as an individualized religion—conversion is an individual’s choice and having a “personal relationship” with God is emphasized. However, outside of the West where Christianity has experienced rapid growth, particularly in collectivist cultures, such a framing may not fit. In China, the family, rather than the individual, has traditionally been the most basic unit. The family is integral to the understanding of Chinese religious life, but this has not been a major focus of much of the research on Chinese Christianity, particularly Protestantism. By focusing on the importance of the family in Chinese Christianity, we see that this religion is not simply a Western implant, but truly a Chinese religion.
    This special issue of Review of Religion and Chinese Society will publish select articles that provide fresh perspectives on how understandings of the family may shed new insights onto Chinese Christianity. Topics may include (but are not limited to):

    • Commemoration of family history by Chinese Christian families
    • How Chinese Christianity is linked to kinship or lineage networks
    • Religious influence of (great) grandparents on young generations
    • “Sinification” of Chinese Christian families
    • Intergenerational challenges for Chinese Christian families
    • Multi-religious or mixed religious Chinese families
    • How Chinese Christian families perform life course rituals
    • How Chinese Christian families express their religious identity

    Important Dates:

    • Complete drafts: March 20, 2021. Drafts should be 5,000-8,000 words (including bibliography and notes). Please refer to the RRCS Instructions for Authors for paper formatting details. Also, please include abstract (100-200 words) and a brief CV. Submit these materials and any questions to Chris White:
    • Decisions will be made by April 1. Those selected will be invited to participate in a workshop that will take place on April 26, 2021, 9:00-11:30 am EST. The goal of this workshop is for all contributors to offer constructive suggestions on the papers and better allow the articles to dialogue with each other. (Attendance at the workshop is not mandatory for consideration.)
    • Final draft: May 31, 2021. After final submission, all papers will go through the normal, rigorous blind peer-review process with the journal. The tentative plan is that the special issue will be published in late 2021 as issue 8.2 of Review of Religion and Chinese Society.