Call for Papers: A conference on: “Bible, churches and spirituality in a (non?-)secular world”

26 – 27 September 2018

Stellenbosch (near Cape Town), South Africa

The discipline of Christian Spirituality at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and Volos Academy for Theological Studies, Volos, Greece invite proposals for the first of three international conferences on: “Bible, churches and spirituality in a (non?-)secular world”.

The global rise of religion has seen the centre of gravity of Christianity move into the global south, as numerous sociologists and religion theorists attest. Christian theology internationally has an important mission to fulfill, despite its devaluation and assumed unimportance in the policies of many states and institutions. With the demographic trends currently and over coming decades of a rising tide of confessionality over against non-religiosity, such assumptions of unimportance are becoming ever more untenable.

One of the main tasks of Theology, particularly after the fall of Communism in Central and East Europe, is to reassert the dignity and worth of human persons, as it was ravished by Soviet communism. In South Africa, the same search for renewed human dignity characterises the post-Apartheid period. In both contexts, such dignity is now ever more under threat by the commodification accompanying consumer capitalism and neoliberal education policies that are oriented solely toward the market place, without much sense of the human and spiritual experience – which lies at the foundation of every single human being.

These conditions provide Theology with the opportunity to witness to its core contributions. In doing so, different theologies will have to reconsider their doctrinal, ethical, homiletic and pastoral narratives, and hence the often-neglected role of the Bible and spirituality; the latter, not only in the light of the particular histories, but, also, in the light of the present and emerging contexts. With this rise in the global interest in religion, the Bible in particular and spirituality in general have considerable roles to play – apart from theologically, also phenomenologically and sociologically. On the one hand, the Bible is clearly recognised as the common ground and heritage of the main Christian traditions and of Christian-heritage societies, upon which deeply irenic and fruitful encounters take place. On the other hand, spirituality, as the essential means by which religious life is concretely expressed, is the common existential experience of all people, irrespective of particular religious or national origins. Spirituality brings together. This means that Bible-and-spirituality could be considered as a widely-applicable language by which the major Christian traditions, like Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestant Churches, in their own immediate contexts and more broadly within Christian-heritage societies, could facilitate understanding for shared visions for the wider world.

To this end, paper proposals are invited on aspects of the theme: “Bible, churches and spirituality in a (non?-)secular world”. Of particular interest would be proposals from or on aspects of the Eastern Orthodox and Protestant traditions. However, papers would be welcomed from other perspectives too.

Proposals for papers should include:
• A succinct title
• A brief abstract (± 150 words)
• The name/s and (where applicable) institutional affiliation/s of the author/s
• Contact details
Papers may be proposed and delivered in any language.

Closing date for proposals: 1 February 2018
Acceptance of proposals: Before 1 March 2018
Confirmation of attendance: 5 April 2018


Call for Papers A conference on “Spirituality, Theology, Education”

20 – 22 September 2018. Pretoria, South Africa

University of South Africa (Main campus = Lukasrand campus)

The discipline of Christian Spirituality at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and the Department of Systematic and Practical Theology, University of Latvia, invite proposals for a third international conference in the series: “Spirituality, Theology, Education”. The intention of the conference is to facilitate a wider inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural forum where researchers, scholars and others engaged in the study and practice of spirituality in diverse disciplines can:

• share and debate their research;
• draw comparative perspectives and insights from different cultures;
• incorporate different forms of writing and expressions of spirituality;
• explore new methodological approaches; and
• identify new agendas for research into spirituality.

These may include ways in which spirituality can be taught, or asking why it is we sometimes allow our critical faculties to be diluted when working with spirituality.

To this end, the conference welcomes contributions that will critically examine spirituality in the following disciplines:
• Christian Spirituality
• Music and Spirituality
• Law and Spirituality
• Religion and Spirituality
• Biblical Spirituality
• Anthropology and Spirituality
• Sociology and Spirituality
• Psychology and Spirituality
• Primary Spiritualities
• Contextuality and Spirituality




CFP: “Migrant Masculinities and Global Religions. Exploring Gendered Religious Change through International Mobility”


Bergamo (Italy) – June 6-9, 2018

University of Bergamo

Call for Papers – Panel Session:

Migrant Masculinities and Global Religions. Exploring Gendered Religious Change through International Mobility

Convenors: Ester Gallo (University of Trento) and Francesca Scrinzi (University of Glasgow/European University Institute)

Despite the historical role played by religious institutions in reproducing social hierarchies based on gender (as well as on ethnicity and class), the sociology of religion has lagged behind other fields in developing a gendered analysis. Exceptions within feminist studies have mainly focused on women and religion, while since the 1990s critical men’s studies have started to pay attention to male spiritualties. From a different but related perspective, migration studies have increasingly shown how religion is transformed in its theological and sociological aspects in the context of transnational mobility. The gendered contours of these new religious formations have yet to be analysed in detail. Scholars of religion and gender in the migratory context have indeed focused mainly on migrant women, who are singled out as the ‘keepers of the cultural flame’ and responsible to pass on religious ‘traditions’ to the younger generations. Rare studies on religion and migrant masculinities suggest that religion is used by men to accommodate the challenges arising in transnational households; and show how patriarchal norms are renegotiated in migrant congregations in response to processes of racialization. Importantly, scholars have also shown how the current ‘moral panic’ around Islam has a sharp focus on migrant masculinities. Drawing from these considerations, this panel aims to develop an original dialogue between the sociology of religion, of migration and of gender, based on ethnographic/qualitative research methodologies. It will explore how gender and religion intertwine and transform each other in the context of transnational mobility. We welcome papers that consider (also comparatively) religions as different as Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism or Sikhism, and that focus on different migrant groups and geographical areas.

Some of the themes we wish to explore are:

  • o The relationship between religion and hegemonic/subaltern masculinities in the context of transnationalism and international migration;
  • o The role of (majority and minority) religious institutions and religious discourses in accommodating/representing the presence of migrants in immigration societies, and more particularly in forging ideas of masculinity and femininity;
  • o How migrant men (and women), as believers or religious leaders, use religion to renegotiate gender relations, and more particularly masculinities, in a transnational space;
  • o How migrants use religion to resist gendered processes of racialization and de-skilling;
  • o How gendered religious teachings are transformed/challenged in the migratory context;
  • o How migration challenges the association between masculinity and sacred power.


To submit your proposal please send an e-mail to the convenor/s of the session of your choice and to the conference committee ( – indicating the title of the chosen session – and to the panel convenors:

Please send:

  • ▪ the title of your talk and an abstract of a maximum 1,000 words (.doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, .rtf);
  • ▪ your contact details (f ull name, e-mail, post address and affiliation) and those of your co-author/s, if any;
  • ▪ if you like (and we would be very happy!), 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 :

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.

Proposals must be submitted by 15 January 2018 .

Francesca Scrinzi

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow
European University Institute

Summer School: Religion in Cities: Contested Presences, Contested Regulations”, 20-24 August, 2018

Dear colleagues,

I am glad to share this invitation to the summer school “Religion in Cities: Contested Presences, Contested Regulations”, that I am organising at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands) on August 20-24 2018.

The aim of this summer school is to provide undergraduate students in their last year of studies, as well as Master and PhD students in different disciplines with the means to reflect upon religious issues in cities from the perspective of sociology, geography, urban studies and religious studies. The topic will be addressed from three different stand-points: a) a theoretical perspective to understand the presence, visibility and regulation of religious diversity in cities; b) methodological insights into how to research these topics and conduct fieldwork in concrete urban settings; and c) discussions about the political relevance and policy responses offered at the level of cities.

The application deadline is June 1, 2018.

Please, feel free to share this information with your colleagues and students and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any question.

Kind regards,

Julia Martínez

CFP: Populist politics and the minority voice: British Muslims, extremisms and inclusion

A one-day Muslims in Britain Research Network conference organised in partnership with the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, King’s College London

Date: 19 April 2018

Across Europe and North America populist parties and leaders have surged in recent years, with figures such as Donald Trump and Andrej Babiš and parties such as UKIP and Alternative für Deutschland making significant electoral gains. Although different in important respects, these movements share certain themes, such as emphasis on national self-interest and hostility toward international co-operation, liberal political norms and established news media. In almost all cases this desire to reassert national identity has also involved renewed hostility toward ethnic and religious minorities – especially Jewish and Muslim minorities – as well as toward any frameworks of liberal accommodation that have allowed minorities to participate in public life on an equal footing. In the UK, this was evident in the referendum on European Union membership in 2016, which not only destabilised previously taken-for-granted political and legal frameworks but also contributed to a sustained rise in hate crime, anti-immigration rhetoric and Islamophobia.

This one-day conference on ‘Populist politics and the minority voice’ will discuss the effects of these changes on British Muslims, and how the concerns of British Muslims relate to those of other minority groups as well as wider debates about the future of liberal states, free speech and ‘fake news’. Since at least the 1970s, British Muslims – as a group and alongside other minorities – have been involved in a struggle for rights, for media and political representation and for recognition. What might these struggles look like in the future? What is the future of British Muslim identity, post-Brexit? How might rights and legal accommodations be affected by withdrawal from the EU? How do concerns about rising Islamophobia intersect with concerns about resurgent anti-Semitism and far-right and populist movements? How should debates about Muslims and the media proceed in an era of ‘fake news’? How can standards of debate about minorities be preserved and what can higher education and Muslim institutions contribute?

Abstracts are invited for papers that address any of the conference themes:

  • Muslim activism and populist politics;
  • New media, populism and the representation of Muslims and other minorities;
  • Recognising, opposing and offering alternatives to anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other extremisms;
  • British Muslims and national identity after Brexit;
  • Challenges to, and for, principles of tolerance, free speech and accommodation.

Participants will be asked to present their research in a short format as part of a panel. To participate please send an abstract (250 words max) to the email address below by Friday January 19th along with a biographical note of no more than 50 words.

Abstract submissions and any general questions should be sent to the conference organisers at

SAFSOR Conference Program (27-30 December, 2-17, Rome)

Scuola di Alta Formazione in Sociologia della Religione

ICSOR, viale delle Milizie 108, scala A, interno 1 (metro A: Ottaviano) Tel. 3475160442


Mercoledì, 27 Dicembre

9:30 – 10:00: Inaugurazione e saluti, Roberto Cipriani, Cecilia Costa ed Emanuela C. del Re

10:00 – 11: 00: Relazione introduttiva del Presidente Onorario dell’ICSOR, Franco Ferrarotti, su “Concetti migranti nelle scienze sociali”

11:00 – 12:00: Relazione di Horst Jürgen Helle, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Institut für Soziologie: “Simmel as sociologist of religion”

12:15 – 13:15: “Robert N. Bellah classico contemporaneo”, Federico D’Agostino

14:-30 – 15:30: Visita alla Facoltà Valdese di Teologia (via Pietro Cossa 42), con gli interventi di Claudio Paravati e Paolo Ricca

15:30 – 16:30: “Tipi di fondamentalismo nelle grandi religioni mondiali”, Enzo Pace

16:30 – 17:30: Presentazione del documentario “Noi, cristiani perseguitati dell’Iraq” di Emanuela C. Del Re

18:30: Visita alla Sinagoga ed al Museo Ebraico (Lungotevere de’ Cenci), con l’intervento di David Meghnagi

20:30: Cena Sociale: Nonna Betta (via del Portico d’Ottavia 16, quota individuale: 20 euro)

Giovedì, 28 Dicembre

9:00 – 10:00: “Religioni tra pace e conflitti”, Fabrizio Battistelli

10:00 – 11:00: “La secolarizzazione radicale: note a margine del concetto di exculturation du religieux di Danièle Hervieu-Léger”, Salvatore Abbruzzese

11:15 – 12:15: “Oltre la secolarizzazione: la religione al di là delle religioni”, Arnaldo Nesti

12:15 – 13:15 Workshop sulla rivista Religioni e Società, Simona Scotti

14:-00 – 15:00: “L’Islam in Cina”, Francesca Rosati

15:00 – 16:00: “Sport e religione: sono barriere o risorse per l’integrazione culturale nelle società europee?”, Stefano Martelli

16:00 – 17:00: “Nuovi movimenti religiosi e spirituali: la ISKON (Hare Krishna) e Damanhur”, Maria I. Macioti

18:00: Visita alla Moschea di Centocelle (via dei Gladioli 14), con l’intervento dell’Imam Mohammed Ben Mohammed

Venerdì, 29 Dicembre

9:00 – 10:00: “Genere e religione”, Chiara Carmelina Canta

10:00 – 11: 00: “La sociologia di fronte a religione e cristianesimo oggi”, Luca Diotallevi

11:15 – 13:00: Workshop su un progetto di ricerca, Clemente Lanzetti

13:00 – 14:30: Buffet lunch vegetariano ed incontro con la Fondazione buddhista Maitreya

14:-30 – 16:00: “Lived religion e spiritualità”, Stefania Palmisano e Verónica Roldán

16:00 – 17:30: “La religione in Italia”, Franco Garelli, Roberta Ricucci e Roberto Cipriani

18:30: Visita alla comunità Sikh “Gurudwara Sri Guru Nanak Darvar” (Circonvallazione Orientale, 4530/A)

20:00: Young Researchers Working Dinner, Little India Restaurant (via Principe Amedeo 303/305, quota individuale: 15 euro), con gli interventi di Katiuscia Carnà e Nicolamaria Coppola

Sabato, 30 Dicembre

9:00 – 10:00: “Minoranze religiose in Iran”, Carlo Cereti

10:00 – 11: 00: “Medicina e religione”, Gustavo Guizzardi

11:15 – 12:15: “Nuovi ambiti di secolarizzazione. L’autonomia degli stili di vita”, Luigi Berzano

12:15 – 13:15: “Tra religione e spiritualità. Nuove (e diverse) prospettive della psicologia della religione in Europa e negli USA”, Mario Aletti e Daniela Fagnani

13:15: Cerimonia di chiusura e Consegna degli attestati

Special Journal Issue: “The European Court of Human Rights and minority religions”

Religion, State and Society

Volume 45, 2017 – Issue 3-4: European Court of Human Rights and minority religions

Edited by Effie Fokas and James T. Richardson

I. ECtHR and case law: clarity, consistency and controversy

  • The principled slope: religious freedom and the European Court of Human Rights – Melanie Adrian
  • The freedom to wear religious clothing in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights: an appraisal in the light of states’ positive obligations – Marcella Ferri
  • Human rights and religions: ‘living together’ or dying apart? A critical assessment of the dissenting opinion in S.A.S. v. France and the notion of ‘living together’ – Christos Tsevas
  • Militant or pluralist secularism? The European Court of Human Rights facing religious diversity – Roberta Medda-Windischer
  • Update on Jehovah’s Witness cases before the European Court of Human Rights: implications of a surprising partnership – James T. Richardson

II. The ECtHR at grassroots level

  • The European Court of Human Rights at the grassroots level: who knows what about religion at the ECtHR and to what effects? – Effie Fokas
  • The ‘filtering effects’ of ECtHR case law on religious freedoms: legal recognition and places of worship for religious minorities in Greece – Margarita Markoviti
  • ‘Genuine’ religions and their arena of legitimation in Italy – the role of the ECtHR – Alberta Giorgi and Pasquale Annicchino
  • Legal provisions, courts, and the status of religious communities: a socio-legal analysis of inter-religious relations in Romania – Mihai Popa and Liviu Andreescu
  • Beyond legal victory or reform: the legal mobilisation of religious groups in the European Court of Human Rights – Ceren Ozgul

Research Report: “Religion in Public Life: Levelling the Ground”, by Grace Davie

It is a commonplace, nowadays, to say that religion has returned to public life. And like most commonplaces it is partially true. Religion is most certainly present in public life in new and highly visible ways but to imply that religion was once nowhere and is now everywhere is seriously misleading.

We need instead to enquire into the factors that have brought about the current shift in perspective. That done, we must examine in detail the different – and at times contrasting – ways in which religion manifests itself is the very varied segments of society that we deem to be public.

In this report, sociologist of religion Professor Grace Davie draws on her 2016 Edward Cadbury Lectures to explore the ‘return’ of religion to public life, analysing a series of ‘levels’ – local, metropolitan, national, and global – and considering why and how we have got here, and what the future holds for religion in Britain. 

The report is available for download at

Grace Davie is Professor Emeritus at the University of Exeter. She is author of numerous works on religion and society, including Religion in Britain: A Persistent Paradox (2015, 2nd edition).

Proposal Deadline Submission for the Workshop, “Brokerage in a Diverse Europe: Intermediaries, Go-Betweens and Bridges”,Extended to November 24th!

Description of the workshop’s theme and aims:

As contemporary Europe has become ever more diverse due to globalization and international migration, processes of mediation and brokerage have become increasingly central to communication, cooperation, and conflict resolution in a range of political, institutional, and social domains. Whether as religious mediators, ethnic community leaders, diaspora experts or so-called migrant smugglers, middlemen and go-betweens bring together disparate communities and translate across different social fields. To describe their role, the concept of brokerage is used across a variety of disciplines, including political science, sociology, anthropology, economics, linguistics, development studies and subfields of each discipline, such as social movement studies, network studies, religious studies, and organizational studies. However, disciplinary boundaries have meant that disparate conceptions of brokerage coexist with limited exchange across research fields. This two-day multi-disciplinary workshop aims to bring together scholars working on brokerage in different social and political domains with the aim of identifying trends and divergences across various fields. We also seek to share and develop conceptual and methodological frameworks for studying brokerage in a diversifying Europe.

We invite paper presentations on the following topics, but are open to any paper addressing brokerage in a diverse Europe:

  • What are typical characteristics of brokers? Are certain groups or individuals more likely to act as brokers, and if so, why?
  • What are the conditions of success of brokerage and what leads to its failure?
  • How do brokers negotiate loyalty and conflicting interests between different social groups?
  • How does brokerage reinforce or challenge static conceptions of ‘culture’, ‘communities’, ‘borders’?
  • How can we understand brokers as gendered, racialized and classed subjects?
  • What is the role of brokerage in the governance of diversity?
  • What distinguishes brokers from related figures, such as native informants and mediators?

Please submit abstracts of approx. 500 words by the 24th of November to

The workshop will take place 12-13 January 2018 in London and is organised by Sara de Jong (The Open University/Göttingen University) and Avi Astor (Autonomous University of Barcelona). The workshop is sponsored by the Council for European Studies (CES). There is no registration fee, but participants have to fund their own travel and accommodation.

We seek to develop concrete plans for the publication of a special issue or edited volume on the basis of selected papers presented at the workshop.