New Book: The i-zation of Society, Religion, and Neoliberal Post-Secularism

The i-zation of Society, Religion, and Neoliberal Post-Secularism

Possamai, Adam

https://www.palgrave.com/br/book/9789811059414#aboutBook

This book explores the elective affinity of religion and post-secularism with neoliberalism. With the help of digital capitalism, neoliberalism dominates, more and more, all aspects of life, and religion is not left unaffected. While some faith groups are embracing this hegemony, and others are simply following the signs of the times, changes have been so significant that religion is no longer what it used to be. Linking theories from Fredric Jameson and George Ritzer, this book presents the argument that our present society is going through a process of i-zation in which (1) capitalism dominates not only our outer, social lives (through, for example, global capitalism) but also our inner, personal lives, through its expansion in the digital world, facilitated by various i-technology applications; (2) the McDonaldization process has now been normalized; and (3) religiosity has been standardized. Reviewing the new inequalities present in this i-society, the book considers their impact on Jurgen Habermas’s project of post-secularism, and appraises the roles that various religions may have in supporting and/or countering this process. It concludes by arguing that Habermas’s post-secular project will occur but that, paradoxically, the religious message(s) will be instrumentalized for capitalist purposes.

Job Opening: Assistant/Associate Professor of the Study Religions

https://en.academicpositions.fi/ad/university-of-helsinki/2017/assistant-professor-associate-professor-professor-of-study-of-religions/106545?utm_medium=email&utm_source=transactional&utm_campaign=Job+alerts

The field of the professorship is empirical and comparative study of religious traditions.  The study of religions involves empirical and comparative research on religious phenomena and traditions from a religion-neutral perspective and with a focus on empirical field work. At the University of Helsinki, students can pursue the study of religions at both the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Theology. At the Faculty of Arts, the study of religions will be included as of the beginning of 2018 in the new multicultural Department of Cultures.

The successful applicant may be appointed to a permanent professorship or a fixed-term associate/assistant professorship (tenure track system), depending on his or her qualifications and career stage.

A professor will carry out and supervise scientific research, provide teaching based on it, follow developments in research and participate in societal interaction in his/her field and in international cooperation.
He or she shall also participate in the development of teaching and acquire research funding.

An appointee to the position of assistant/associate professor within the tenure track system shall hold a doctoral degree, have the ability to conduct independent scholarly work and have the teaching skills necessary for the position. In addition, applicants for assistant professorships shall demonstrate their capability and motivation as regards an academic career through publications and other means.

Applicants are requested to enclose with their applications a single PDF file that includes the following documents in English:
1) A curriculum vitae
2) A report (max. 5 pages) on pedagogical expertise
3) A report (max. 5 pages) on the applicant’s research activities
(including activities in scientific communities, the acquisition of
research funding and international scholarly work)
4) A report (1-2 pages) on how the applicant intends to develop his or
her research and focus his or her activities, if appointed
5) A list of publications.
For instructions see https://www.helsinki.fi/en/faculty-of-arts/faculty/instructions-to-appli….

Mid-term Conference Religions and Identities in the European Migration Crisis

30 August -1 September 2018 TURIN (IT) University of Turin, Campus Luigi Einaudi

The relation between immigration, citizenship, integration/participation in host societies, and religion has been for quite some time central to the interest of scholars. Over time, the increase of migrations from non-European countries has further enriched the debate, drawing attention to various religious traditions. The growth in the number of Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists (as well as other religious affiliations) has re-directed scholars to the question of whether religious belonging (leading to convinced behavior) improves or hinders the process of integration of immigrants and, above all, of their children in the host society. At the same time, migration patterns have become quite complex. Migration from Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe has intensified and traditionally emigrant countries, particularly in Southern Europe, have also become destination countries. In addition, refugees and asylum seekers, associated with what has been usually termed as the “Mediterranean Crisis”, have prompted a profound social and political crisis across different European countries, contributing to anti-immigrant feelings. The issue of religious pluralism has thus become linked to wider interrelated issues such as citizenship rights; “deserving” and “non-deserving” migrants; how states and other institutions, including old and new religions, and in particular educational institutions, are managing the rising number of migrants; relations between different types of secularities and religious identities; understandings of cultural identities and so on.

The aim of the ESA RN34 mid-term conference is to respond to such challenges by welcoming papers that may contribute to:

  • clarifying the relations between migrants and faiths in host societies;
  • understanding the role played by ethnic churches/mosques/worship associations in the broader integration process;
  • investigating about how native Europeans develop their identity in response/ relationship to the religious identities of the newcomers;
  • addressing the relations between the European Convention on Human Rights and the role of regional and local authorities in managing religious pluralism;
  • scrutinizing the issues of anti-religious racism, right-wing extremism, radicalization and fundamentalism;
  • interrogating the treatment of various religious identities and different secular identities in host societies; –
  • exploring the relations between religions and gender in the context of migration; –
  • examining the implications for how immigrants, belonging both to first- and second-generations, (re)configure religious arrangements in the context of anti-immigrant discourse; –
  • contributing to an innovative research agenda on to what extent religions matter in migrants’ daily life.
  • Other topics related to the theme of the conference are also welcomed.

Beside papers, session /panel proposals are welcomed too. PhD students and post-doc fellows are particularly encouraged to submit a paper. There is a possibility to propose also a poster session, including work in progress. The best poster will get a small, but nice prize.

A specific workshop will be organized on “Mixed-methods in exploring religiousness within diaspora communities” for nonacademic researchers.

 

We look forward to your proposals and to welcoming you in Turin!
Roberta Ricucci & Siniša Zrinščak (ESA – RN34 Coordinator & Vice-Coordinator)

Download a PDF file for complete instrucctions:CfP_ESA_RN34_2018.pdf

Conference on Music and the Sacred

12–14 November 2018, Helsinki, Finland

Call for Papers and Presentations

The Finnish Society for Ethnomusicology and the Finnish Society for Hymnology and Liturgy hereby invite submissions for the conference ”Music and the Sacred”. In the conference, the aim is to address the various ways in which music intersects with sacred phenomena, and vice versa. This entails acknowledging the multidimensionality of both music and the sacred, and how music becomes sacralised in diverse ways and how the sacred becomes reconceptualised in musical contexts. A crucial point of departure for the conference is to understand the sacred not only as a religious idea but also as a broader conceptual field that, in the words of Gordon Lynch, pertains to “what people collectively experience as absolute, non-contingent realities which present normative claims over the meaning and conduct of social life” (The Sacred in the Modern World, 2012). In music, alongside explicitly religious songs and tunes, clearest examples include national anthems and other national(istic) forms of music, as well as ubiquitous ideas about music’s transcendental qualities and effects.

The topic relates also to recent discussions over multiculturalism and postsecularity, both of which imply a change towards a more diverse religious and spiritual cultural environment. While multiculturalism is associated with the spread of conventional religions, postsecularity in turn may be understood as the possibility to broaden the ethics and values of modernist secular states through world’s religions, traditional cultures and various alternative spiritualities. While there is ample literature on “rescripting the sacred”, as it were, in relation to these societal and cultural shifts, music features surprisingly rarely in these accounts. To emphasise the importance of music in the current conditions of religious diversity and re-enchantment, submissions dealing with the following themes, among other relevant ones, are invited:

·      musics within religious institutions and otherwise organised religions and religious movements;
·      religiosity in music;
·      “sacred” music in relation to its “mundane”, “profane”, “secular” or “unholy” counterparts;
·      the importance of religious doctrines for definitions of music;
·      origin myths and other forms of mythologisation of music;
·      ideologies of musical autonomy and authenticity;
·      stars and geniouses, fan(atic)s and aficionados;
·      music and sub-/occultures;
·      national(istic) musics;
·      music, racialisation and racism;
·      music, the sacred and gender;
·      music and indigenous belief systems;
·      music and paganism;
·      canonisation and other forms of historiographical sanctification of music;
·      music and dark tourism;
·      music and sacred spaces;
·      sacred politics of music;
·      music, the sacred and freedom of expression;
·      music, censorship and moral panics;
·      music and totalitarianism.

The organisers welcome proposals for individual 20-minute presentations, entire 90-minute sessions and 45-minute lecture-recitals. Alternative presentation formats will be considered. Proposals from Master’s students are also welcome.


The proposals shall include the following information:

·      the title of the presentation/session;
·      the name(s), position(s) and affiliation(s) of the presenter(s);
·      an abstract not exceeding 300 words (in case of sessions, please indicate individual topics if appropriate).


The proposals shall be sent preferably in pdf to musicandthesacred@gmail.com no later than 20 April 2018. Letters of confirmation will be sent by 31 May 2018.

The participation fee for the conference is EUR 60 (no concessions). Members of the organising societies are exempt from the fee.

The conference will be honoured with guest lectures by Professor Philip V. Bohlman (University of Chicago), Professor Hannu Salmi (University of Turku) and Senior Lecturer Abigail Wood (University of Haifa). The conference is supported financially by the Emil Aaltonen Foundation.

All correspondence regarding the conference should be directed to musicandthesacred@gmail.com


Conference on Religious & Spiritual Education

CALL FOR PAPERS
Worldviews in creating meaning and purpose for learning
EARLI SIG 19 Conference

June 11-13, 2018, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland
www.uef.fi/sig19conference2018/
email: EARLISIG19_2018@uef.fi

The sixth biennial conference of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction EARLI, Special Interest Group 19: Religious and Spiritual Education provides an international academic forum for presenting and discussing latest research findings on religious and spiritual education taking place in different societal and educational settings and across age groups. The EARLI SIG 19 is addressing both junior and senior scholars to present their work.

The topic of the conference discusses how worldviews impact people’s motivation to learn, how worldviews guide people’s life choices and future orientation, and how worldviews and religions help people to find meaning and purpose in life.

The conference includes keynote addresses from Professor Alyssa Bryant Rockenbach (North Carolina State University, USA), Associate Professor Jenny Berglund (Södertörn University, Sweden), Professor Kirsi Tirri (University of Helsinki, Finland) and Professor Ulrich Riegel (University of Siegen, Germany).

For submissions you will need to prepare:
An abstract of 200-250 words maximum (excluding references) submission December 1st – December 15th, informing about:
– Mention your preference for a paper or a poster presentation, or a particular roundtable session.
– Include your research questions and objectives,
– Theoretical framework and the referred literature,
– Research design (research approach, methods and tools for collecting and analyzing data) for empirical research or data sources, evidences and materials for others research projects,
– Findings of the study.

IMPORTANT DATES
December 1st – December 15th – Proposal submission via conference website
www.uef.fi/sig19conference2018/
January 15st – Review results and decisions
February 28th – Early bird registration fee
April 30th – Conference registration ends
April 30th – Deadline for full papers and contributions
June 11-13th – EARLI SIG 19 conference in Joensuu
You and your colleagues and students are warmly welcome to join us in Joensuu!


Report on Islamophobia

Colleagues may be interested in the launch of this new Runnymede Trust anniversary report on Islamophobia, which ‘brings together varied perspectives from leading thinkers on inequality and Muslims in Britain, unpacking issues such as integration, hate crime, gender, identity and, of course, racism’:

https://www.runnymedetrust.org/projects-and-publications/equality-and-integration/islamophobia.html

Best wishes,

Nasar


Nasar Meer FAcSS

Professor of Race, Identity and Citizenship

Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Fellow 2014-2020

PhD Studentship: Religion, Belief and Progressive Localism

Fully-funded Ph.D in Progressive Localism: the search for new partnerships and forms of co-production between local authority, faith sector and third sector actors as a response to ongoing austerity, increased despair and inequality and decline in institutional resources and knowledge.

Three years full-time to start January 2018. The Ph.D scholarship is for a total of £25,170 over three years to cover fees (£4,195 p/a) and maintenance (£4,195 p/a).

2 – 3,000 words proposals are invited from prospective candidates to develop new critical thinking and empirical research around the concept of progressive localism in UK settings. The concept, devised by David Featherstone et al., recognises that policies of ‘Localism’ have been associated with pushing responsibility for policy and funding away from the centre to local authorities and settings, thus connecting localism with austerity and neo-liberalism. Yet localism has the potential – and track record – for driving genuinely empowered, localised resilience and flourishing. Progressive localism is ‘outward looking and creates positive affinities between places and social groups negotiating global processes. These affinity groups and networks are expansive in their geographical reach … and productive of new relations between places and social groups.’ (2011)

We are looking for innovative and empirically based research that critically tests out the ideas behind this concept, addressing issues of power and partnership, leadership and change management, the postsecular, co-production, performative apologetics etc. We are interested in how new policy landscapes create or inhibit an ‘outwards facing approach’ to working alongside increased diversity, as part of ethical and tactical approaches towards increased engagement, leading to new and sustainable forms and expressions of progressive localism.

The proposal should outline how the candidate would construct a research thesis on this area, addressing issues of research questions, methodology, public impact and publications. A bibliography should be submitted as an appendix.

Background

The Faiths and Civil Society Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London and William Temple Foundation have invested in five fully funded Ph.D studentships to explore the role and impact of religion and belief in modern British life. William Temple was Archbishop of Canterbury in the 1940s whose theological and political thought and leadership led to the creation the post-war universal and comprehensive welfare state (a phrase that he coined). 

Both institutions are committed to critical, innovative and interdisciplinary research on trajectories in political, social and economic life, and policy. The new visibility of globalised religion within UK life, coupled with a steep rise of those who identify with ‘no-religion’ is a phenomenon of 21st century life, redefining key debates in public life; healthcare, education, law, community development, social cohesion, poverty and exclusion, human rights, wellbeing and flourishing. 

Four William Temple Scholar studentships were awarded in September 2017. Students will co-design one public impact event each year highlighting their research, as well as contributing regular blogs and social media feeds for both FCSU and WT Foundation platforms.

Deadline for applications: 12 noon, 1st December, 2017.

Successful applicants will be called to interview on 12th December, 2017.

Applications to Thomas Greenwood on  T.Greenwood@gold.ac.uk. Further queries to Professor Chris Baker on c.baker@gold.ac.uk.

Call for Sessions & Papers: Conference on Media, Religion and Public Scholarship, August 8-11, 2018

The Center for Media, Religion and Culture and the College of Media, Communication and Information at the University of Colorado Boulder will host the 11th biennial conference of the International Society for Media, Religion, and Culture (ISMRC), which will explore the relationship between media, religion and public scholarship. This conference will bring together international scholars from various disciplines including media studies, journalism, politics, religious studies, the anthropology and sociology of religion, history, the study of literature and public policy. The conference, since its first meeting in 1996, has become the leading international gathering for the discussion of research in religion, media and culture. We invite proposals for panels, workshops and/or roundtable sessions as well as for individual papers. The Call for Papers can be found here.

Following the success of the first doctoral student pre-conference at the 2016 ISMRC conference in Seoul, we will also host a workshop for PhD students on Tuesday, August 7. Participants register for this during conference registration. Details about this workshop, along with the Call for Papers, can be found here.

Conference Location
Village Center Dining and Community Commons
University of Colorado Boulder
3300 Baseline Road
Boulder, Colorado 80303

Details online at: https://www.colorado.edu/ismrc/conferences/conference-media-religion-and-public-scholarship

Call for Papers: Doctoral Colloquium Pre-Conference of the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture

Pre-Conference date: August 7, 2018
Deadline for paper proposals: January 15, 2018
Notification of acceptances: End of February 2018

The International Society of Media, Religion & Culture will be hosting a Pre-Conference for doctoral students on the day before the ISMRC bi-annual conference at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

This pre-conference will provide doctoral students the opportunity to present their research, receive feedback from leaders in the field, discuss theoretical, methodological and professional challenges, as well as network with other peers.

Interested students should prepare a) 1-2 page (500-800 word) extended abstract of the student’s thesis/major research project and b) a sample paper/chapter (up to 5000 words) of writing related to the topic.

All materials are to be prepared in English and are due on or before 15th of January 2018.

Please send all applications to the Doctoral Colloquium Chair, Associate Professor Heidi Campbell (heidic@tamu.edu), with subject: ISMRC doctoral colloquium application.

Questions may also be directed to the same email.

https://www.colorado.edu/ismrc/conferences/conference-media-religion-and-public-scholarship/call-papers-doctoral-colloquium-pre

Call for Papers: Doctoral Colloquium Pre-Conference of the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture

Pre-Conference date: August 7, 2018
Deadline for paper proposals: January 15, 2018
Notification of acceptances: End of February 2018

The International Society of Media, Religion & Culture will be hosting a Pre-Conference for doctoral students on the day before the ISMRC bi-annual conference at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

This pre-conference will provide doctoral students the opportunity to present their research, receive feedback from leaders in the field, discuss theoretical, methodological and professional challenges, as well as network with other peers.

Interested students should prepare a) 1-2 page (500-800 word) extended abstract of the student’s thesis/major research project and b) a sample paper/chapter (up to 5000 words) of writing related to the topic.

All materials are to be prepared in English and are due on or before 15th of January 2018.

Please send all applications to the Doctoral Colloquium Chair, Associate Professor Heidi Campbell (heidic@tamu.edu), with subject: ISMRC doctoral colloquium application.

Questions may also be directed to the same email.

https://www.colorado.edu/ismrc/conferences/conference-media-religion-and-public-scholarship/call-papers-doctoral-colloquium-pre