Call for papers: The Impact of Religion Challenges for Society, Law and Democracy

The second international conference on: The Impact of Religion Challenges for Society, Law and Democracy at Uppsala University, Sweden, April 24-26th 2018 

The Impact of Religion conference offers an interdisciplinary forum for sharing recent research on the role of religion in both the public and the private sphere – locally, nationally and internationally.

Particular attention is paid to the links between religion, the law and wider social developments.

The religious landscape of Europe is continually changing. Migrations, provoked by international conflicts and poverty, have brought new challenges to secular states regarding the handling of religious and cultural pluralism. Religious traditions and convictions raise new issues for states, local governments, lawyers, healthcare workers, and teachers – in practice for all citizens. At the same time secularist counter-reactions oppose religious visibility in the public sphere and religious/ethnic pluralism is questioned by right wing groups. Increasing racism related to religion and religiously motivated terror, adds energy to growing polarizations. Additionally new existential issues appear due to feelings of insecurity arising from war, terror, global warming and advancing technology. In such circumstances, religion appears in a positive as well as negative light.

These ongoing changes provoke new questions regarding the role of religion in democracy, human rights, law, family life, healthcare, well-being, welfare and science. Religion has become a crucial research area in a wide variety of academic disciplines. Thus there is a need to reconsider the concept of religion and to rethink theoretical and methodological approaches.

The Uppsala conference provides an opportunity to disseminate, share and discover a wide range of data and ideas within this expanding field. We expect contributions from lawyers, human rights experts, social scientists, specialists in social policy, health and welfare, philosophers and scientists, as well as those engaged directly in theology and religious studies. We are particularly interested in how religion (in all its diversity) influences different sectors of society and how they in turn influence religion. The conference marks the end of the 10 year research programme The Impact of Religion: Challenges for Society, Law and Democracy, and the merging of the Impact programme with Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre. Results from the IMPACT programme will be presented and discussed in joint sessions along with contributions from other researchers attending the conference.

Call for papers

The second international interdisciplinary conference on:The Impact of Religion Challenges for Society, Law and Democracy. Uppsala University, Sweden, April 24-26th 2018.

Abstracts for paper presentations are invited on the following themes:

  • Religion and migration
  • Religion in the public sphere, media and politics

  • Religious diversity, non-religion, secularism

  • Religious freedom versus other human rights

  • Religion and youth, family, gender, sexuality

  • Religion and racism, discrimination, segregation

  • Religion and violence, terror and the security state

  • Faith based organisations as welfare providers, civil society, social capital

  • Existential health and well-being

  • Science and religion, relativism and absolutism

  • and other related themes….

Comparative papers are particularly welcome. Theoretical, methodological and substantive issues will be given equal consideration. Thematic sessions will be developed as submitted abstracts arrive. The conference language is English. Selected papers will be published!

Suggestions for special thematic sessions are welcome; please send an email to by May 31st 2017

Deadline for the submission of abstracts (max 200 words): October 31st 2017

The conference is hosted by The Impact of Religion Programme and Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre at Uppsala University.

Information on abstract format and delivery, programme, registration, venue etc. will be available at:

Call for Papers: Surveillance and Religion

Call for Papers: Surveillance and Religion

Special Issue of ‘Surveillance and Society’ journal

Edited by Eric Stoddart, University of St Andrews, UK, and Susanne  Wigorts Yngevesson, Stockholm School of Theology.

Deadline for submission: 1 August 2017

Publication date: early 2018

This special issue will be one of the outputs of the AHRC funding of the network  during 2016 & 2017.


This issue of Surveillance & Society is seeking papers and other submissions that examine the interplay between religion and surveillance.

Religious communities are targets, as well as consumers, of surveillance. This may occur as the securitization of religious identity. Cultures of surveillance develop with societies where religion remains a significant player and/or where religious themes continue to influence as part of the broader heritage. Political rhetoric may draw  upon concepts of the eye of God, popular culture may appeal to fears and/or reassurances of a divine and omnipresent gaze. Religious traditions also have the potential to contribute to discussions of the ethics of surveillance, whether in the realm of national security, human rights, trust, privacy or human flourishing in general.

This issue seeks to explore the ways in which particular religious communities are subjects of surveillance and invites critical attention to the ways that religious communities deploy surveillance strategies. It aims to scrutinize how religious themes circulate within discourses that attempt to legitimate or resist surveillance. Furthermore, this issue seeks to articulate particular religious and theological insights and perspectives on the contemporary debate around surveillance.

Possible research areas might include (but are not limited to):

Religions under surveillance.
Religious practice and identity as surveillance.
Religions consuming surveillance.
Religious ethics and surveillance.
Religion and surveillance in films.
Religion and surveillance in novels.
Religion and surveillance in art.
Religion in the political discourses of surveillance.

We also welcome other subjects not outlined above, opinion pieces and research notes, as well as art, new media and other cultural responses. Please contact the guest-editors in advance to discuss proposed topics:

Eric Stoddart, University of St Andrews, UK,
Susanne Wigorts Yngevesson, Stockholm School of Theology,

Read more:

ISA Research Committee 22 2017-03-21 22:17:15

Ottoman Sufism: Scholars, Works, and Problems

09.12.2017 – 10.12.2017

Ottoman Sufism: Scholars, Works, and Problems
The established understanding dominated by academic studies on Islamic culture and civilization rests on the assumption that Islamic thought had lost its productivity from the middle ages onwards. As a result of this perspective, it became widely accepted that the field of Islamic sciences during the Ottoman epoch which spanned from the middle ages continuing on until the modern era was, with the most optimistic of expressions, a stationary period. In recent years, however, revisionist/critical studies have begun to question these assumptions. Beyond reductionist conceptualizations as in productivity and stagnation of the knowledge and cultural heritage of the Ottoman period, there is a need for studies which aim to understand the Ottoman tradition in its own context. ISAR put together a series of scholarly forums aimed at redefining the place of the Ottoman scientific tradition by considering the Ottoman scholarly tradition as an extension of this approach with a multi-layered understanding. The first two symposiums of the series were devoted to the sciences of kalām and fiqh. The third forum of the series will focus on the sufi tradition of the Ottoman period. Sufism (Taṣawwuf) is a sphere of activity that reinterprets issues of metaphysics as well as reconstructs morality from the viewpoint of sincerity and rectitude in relation to the relationship between God and the human being, and is thus a source of different perspectives within the aggregate formed by Islamic sciences. Sufism which has become an integral part of social structure with the spread of the ṭarīqahs (Sufi currents), and has developed reflexes in response to the multi-faceted expectations of the social segments oriented towards itself, and thus has been active in political relations as much as in everyday relations alongside in the forms of religiousness and the issues of Islamic theoretical heritage. The Sufi experience which has left a mark in all cultural manifestations stands as an area of research that is suitable for rereading, taking into consideration various stages in the history of Islamic sciences. The Ottoman phase in the history of Islamic sciences corresponds to a historical range which reflects the fundamental characteristics of sufism in a multi-faceted way with its theoretical and practical aspects. As a matter of fact, Ottoman Sufis have on the one hand kept alive the conceptual repertoire of the theoretical heritage with the works they wrote, and on the other hand created an educational field that found their institutional identities in the tekkes (Sufi lodges) and practically exemplified sufi perspective of the human being. From today’s perspective, whether with its conceptual expansions or its discovered areas of application in history, evaluating the Ottoman Sufi tradition requires an interdisciplinary effort. This study does not stop at simply making an important contribution to Sufi studies, but will also broaden the perspective of researchers who study Ottoman history by noting the widespread influence sufism has. For this reason, the examination of the religious and social dimensions of sufism in the Ottoman Empire can only be possible through the joint efforts of different disciplines such as history, literature, and philosophy. This symposium, which focuses on the Ottoman period of Sufi history and aims to open up new viewpoints to the present scholarship, will accept original and high quality papers within the following sample headings:
  •  The Ottoman Sufi experience in general and its place in Sufi history and thought
  •  Textual and ritual contributions to the theory and practice of sufism in the
           Ottoman geography
  • Commentaries, glosses, treatises and translations of classical texts into Ottoman
  • The basic polemics that took place within Sufi thought and institutions: Debates
           of oneness of being (waḥdat al-wujūd), discussions of sema-devran, the orthodoxy-heterodoxy dilemma
  • Relations between Sufi groups and other scholars
  •  The harmony and tension between Sufi circles and the ruling elite
  • The interaction between sufism and the Ottoman political tradition
  •  Perception of sufism in texts of other Islamic sciences (kalām, philosophy, fiqh, etc.)
  • The science of taṣawwuf in relation to the place of Sufis in Ottoman social life
Following the symposium, only papers selected from those presented will be published as a separate work.
The languages that shall be used for the symposium in Istanbul are Turkish, English and Arabic.
Abstracts must be written with a maximum of 250 words. Abstracts – together with applicants’ contact information and academic CVs – should be sent to
Important Dates:
Submission of Abstracts: April 15, 2017
Announcement of Accepted Presentations: April 30, 2017
Submission of Completed Papers: October 15, 2017
Date of Symposium: 9-10 December 2017

Announcement: Dr. Sara Silvestri

Dear colleagues and friends:
Here is an editorial I have written for the Conversation on the unprecedented ECJ ruling on religious symbols that was published 2 days ago. It has just gone live:
And here an interview that I gave yesterday on this same topic for PBS:
Dr Sara Silvestri
Senior Lecturer
Department of International Politics
City, University of London

Paper Submissions: Inequalities Conference MSU

Inequalities Conference
MSU College of Education 
June 12 -13,
 Our multidisciplinary conference will bring together researchers and practitioners in dialogue to address pressing issues of inequality.  Among our invited dialogue participants are sociologists Richard Alba from CUNY – The Graduate Center, Cornelia Kristen from University of Bamberg, Germany, and Stephanie Nawyn from Michigan State University.  
For more detailed description please see below as well as the attached conference brochure.  We are currently accepting paper submissions until April 1 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. 

Islam, the Modern Nation State and Transnational Movements

The Special Programme Islam, the Modern Nation State and Transnational Movements has entered its final phase. The next and penultimate deadline for applications is May 24, 2017.

The funding initiative is aimed at researchers who, with an eye to current developments, are examining the emergence of political movements in the Islamic world at the national and/or transnational level. The programme takes a look at the dynamics between Islamic teachings, Islamism, nationalism and transnational orientations and environments. Scientific discussion of the countries and regions of the Islamic world should bring together expertise possessing regional and thematic focus in order to allow the problems associated with areas of conflict to be expounded upon, particularly with regards to global influences and processes of cultural exchange. The research programme addresses scholars of all disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

The individual research areas are:
1. Historical and present day Islamic systems of society and state
2. The concept of nation, national movements and nationalism in Islamic civilisation
3. Islamic fundamentalism or Islamic emancipation?
4. Transnational civil society movements in the Islamic world
5. Islamic states in the international world system.

Further information on the research areas, the nature and scope of support as well as the application procedure is available online at:

We would be grateful if you could please draw attention to the funding initiative through other suitable means.  Please contact us at any time with any queries.


Conférence: Dialogue interreligieux au féminin : lecture croisée de l’action missionnaire catholique féminine en Afrique du Nord musulmane depuis 1945

Le Centre de recherche Société, Droit et Religions de l’Université de Sherbrooke (SoDRUS), en collaboration avec la chaire de recherche droit, religion et laïcité vous invite à une conférence publique qui aura lieu le jeudi 30 mars 2017.
Dialogue interreligieux au féminin : lecture croisée de l’action missionnaire catholique féminine en Afrique du Nord musulmane depuis 1945
Date : Le jeudi 30 mars 2017
Heure : De 12 h 00 à 13 h 30
Lieu : Campus principal de Sherbrooke, Faculté de droit, local A9-162
Cette conférence sera présentée par Catherine Foisy, professeure au Département des sciences des religions de l’Université du Québec à Montréal.
Pour plus d’information sur la conférence, visitez la page suivante :
Pour vous désabonner de la liste d’envoi du SoDRUS, merci de cliquer sur le bouton suivant : Se désabonner

Call for Papers: International Migrants in China

Please consider submitting a paper for this panel on international migrants China and forward this call to others who might be interested.

We are looking forward to receiving your paper proposals (max. 250 words) until March, 24th 2017.

 Please do not make your own paper submission first as we will submit it as a panel. After the conference, we will explore the possibility of publishing the panel papers in a special/themed issue in Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration (,id=252/) – a dynamic, emerging interdisciplinary journal published by Intellect Books, UK. 

Panel Proposal for the 2017 AAA Meeting (November 29 – December 3 2017, Washington DC):

 International migrants in China: Infrastructures, trajectories and positionalities

 Convenors: Ka-Kin Cheuk (Leiden University) and Aldina Camenisch (University of Basel)

This panel explores the increasingly numerous and diverse international migration to China through the combined lens of infrastructure, trajectory, and positionalities. Drawing on ethnographic studies of several foreign migrant groups, the panel seeks to trace the intersecting forces shaping the migration trajectories and positionalities of foreigners in China.

Hereby, the panel unpacks 1) how they imagine, create and encounter opportunities and negotiate their position as international migrants in China, and 2) how these efforts are configured and mediated by an array of structural factors at work both in China and the sending countries; these forces can be understood as the ‘migration infrastructure’ that takes on various forms and can lead to rather surprising consequences of migration (Xiang and Lingquist).

The panel looks at several frontiers of such migration infrastructure, including everyday local-global encounters, cross-border mobilities, grassroots entrepreneurship and international trade practices. Analyzing migrants’ lifeworlds and the global change at the same time, our panel aims to capture the emerging dynamics and diversity of international migration to China.

Best regards, Kin and Aldina and

Researching home and migration: questions, methods, prospects

Researching home and migration: questions, methods, prospects
An international workshop at the University of Trento, 5-6 June, 2017
Relevant proposals should be submitted to by March 19, 2017.