New Book: American Jewish Year Book 2016

American Jewish Year Book 2016:
The Annual Record of North American Jewish Communities

Dashefsky, Arnold, Sheskin, Ira M (Eds.)

Springer: https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319461212

The American Jewish Year Book, now in its 116th year, is the annual record of the North American Jewish communities and provides insight into their major trends. Part I presents a forum on the Pew Survey, “A Portrait of American Orthodox Jews. Part II begins with Chapter 13, “The Jewish Family.” Chapter 14 examines “American Jews and the International Arena (April 1, 2015 – April 15, 2016), which focuses on US–Israel Relations. Chapters 15-17 analyze the demography and geography of the US, Canadian, and world Jewish populations. In Part III, Chapter 18 provides lists of Jewish institutions, including federations, community centers, social service agencies, national organizations, synagogues, Hillels, day schools, camps, museums, and Israeli consulates. In the final chapters, Chapter 19 presents national and local Jewish periodicals and broadcast media; Chapter 20 provides academic resources, including Jewish Studies programs, books, articles, websites, and research libraries; and Chapter 21 presents lists of major events in the past year, Jewish honorees, and obituaries.

An invaluable record of Jewish life, the American Jewish Year Book illuminates contemporary issues with insight and breadth. It is a window into a complex and ever-changing world.

Deborah Dash Moore, Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of History and Judaic Studies, and Director Emerita of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, University of Michigan

A century from now and more, the stately volumes of the American Jewish Year Book will stand as the authoritative record of Jewish life since 1900. For anyone interested in tracing the long-term evolution of Jewish social, political, religious, and cultural trends from an objective yet passionately Jewish perspective, there simply is no substitute.

Lawrence Grossman, American Jewish Year Book Editor (1999-2008) and Contributor (1988-2015)

https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319461212

New Book: Religious Indifference

Religious Indifference:
New Perspectives From Studies on Secularization and Nonreligion

Quack, Johannes, Schuh, Cora (Eds.)

Springer: https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319484747

This book provides a conceptually and empirically rich introduction to religious indifference on the basis of original anthropological, historical and sociological research.

Religious indifference is a central category for understanding contemporary societies, and a controversial one. For some scholars, a growing religious indifference indicates a dramatic decline in religiosity and epitomizes the endpoint of secularization processes. Others view it as an indicator of moral apathy and philosophical nihilism, whilst yet others see it as paving the way for new forms of political tolerance and solidarity. 

This volume describes and analyses the symbolic power of religious indifference and the conceptual contestations surrounding it. Detailed case studies cover anthropological and qualitative data from the UK, Germany, Estonia, the USA, Canada, and India analyse large quantitative data sets, and provide philosophical-literary inquiries into the phenomenon. They highlight how, for different actors and agendas, religious indifference can constitute an objective or a challenge. Pursuing a relational approach to non-religion, the book conceptualizes religious indifference in its interrelatedness with religion as well as more avowed forms of non-religion.

https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319484747

New Book: Religion, Education and Human Rights

Religion, Education and Human Rights:
Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives

Sjöborg, Anders, Ziebertz, Hans-Georg (Eds.) | Springer: https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319540689

Volume 1 in Religion and Human Rights

This book examines the interconnectedness between religion, education, and human rights from an international perspective using an interdisciplinary approach. It deals with compulsory or secondary school education in different contexts, as well as higher education, and has as its common theme the multiplicity of secularisms in different national contexts. Presenting rich cases, the contributions include empirical and theoretical perspectives on how international trends of migration and cultural diversity, as well as judicialization of social and political processes, and rapid religious and social changes come into play as societies find their way in an increasingly diverse context.

  • The book contains chapters that present case studies on how confessional or non-confessional Religious Education (RE) at schools in different societal contexts is related to the concept of universal human rights.
  • It presents cases studies that display an intriguing array of problems that point to the role of religion in the public sphere and show that historical contexts play important and different roles.
  • Other contributions deal with higher education, where one questions how human rights as a concept and as discourse is taught and examines whether withdrawing from certain clinical training when in university education to become a medical doctor or a midwife on the grounds of conscientious objections can be claimed as a human right.
  • From a judicial point of view one chapter discerns the construction of the concept of religion in the Swedish Education Act, in relation to the Swedish constitution as well European legislation.
  • Finally, an empirical study comparing data from young people in six different countries in three continents investigates factors that explain attitudes towards human rights.

https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319540689

New Book: Religious Beliefs, Evolutionary Psychiatry, and Mental Health in America

Religious Beliefs, Evolutionary Psychiatry, and Mental Health in America:
Evolutionary Threat Assessment Systems Theory

Series: Religion, Spirituality and Health: A Social Scientific Approach, Vol. 1

Flannelly, Kevin J. 2017 | Springer: https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319524870

This book provides a new perspective on the association between religious beliefs and mental health.

The book is divided into five parts:

  1. Part I traces the development of theories of organic evolution in the cultural and religious context before Charles Darwin.
  2. Part II describes the major evolutionary theories that Darwin proposed in his three books on evolution, and the religious, sociological, and scientific reactions to his theories.
  3. Part III introduces the reader to the concept of evolutionary psychiatry. It discusses how different regions of the brain evolved over time, and explains that certain brain regions evolved to protect us from danger by assessing threats of harm in the environment, including other humans. Specifically, this part describes: how psychiatric symptoms that are commonly experienced by normal individuals during their everyday lives are the product of brain mechanisms that evolved to protect us from harm; the prevalence rate of psychiatric symptoms in the U.S. general population; how religious and other beliefs influence the brain mechanisms that underlie psychiatric symptoms; and the brain regions that are involved in different psychiatric disorders.
  4. Part IV presents the findings of U.S. studies demonstrating that positive beliefs about God and life-after-death, and belief in meaning-in-life and divine forgiveness have salutary associations with mental health, whereas negative beliefs about God and life-after-death, belief in the Devil and human evil, and doubts about one’s religious beliefs have pernicious associations with mental health.
  5. Part V summarizes each section and recommends research on the brain mechanism underlying psychiatric symptoms, and the relationships among these brain mechanisms, religious beliefs, and mental health in the context of ETAS Theory.

https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319524870

Call for Papers: Religion and the Rise of Populism: Migration, Radicalism and New Nationalisms

http://explore.tandfonline.com/cfp/pgas/crss-call-for-papers-religion-rise-populism

The editors of the journal Religion, State and Society are pleased to invite contributions to a special issue, slated for publication in early 2018. The special issue will investigate the roles of religion in recent trends towards populist politics, in particular as manifested in public reactions to migration, the rise of new nationalisms, and the increasing prominence of radicalism.

Growing evidence suggests that these developments are taking centre stage throughout the world, set in a wider context of global political and economic uncertainty. It can also be observed that religion plays an important role in each of these three issues, often in ways that interconnect them. For example, the actions of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have exacerbated an already worrisome global migration crisis, while also heightening concerns about violent radicalism.  From France to the Philippines, public anxieties surrounding ISIS and domestic ‘radicalisation’ have become frequent motifs in populist rhetoric that links them with increasing flows of migrants as representative of threats to social security and the economic wellbeing of local populations.

Other examples of contemporary issues in which religion is implicated in populist politics and linked to migration, new nationalisms, and radicalism include: the emphasis on ‘Hindu values’ in the politics of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in India; the Christian or anti-Muslim rhetoric of American presidential candidates; the UK Brexit campaigners’ use of the prospective membership of ‘Muslim’ Turkey in the EU; the deepening significance of ‘traditionalist’ and pro-Orthodox rhetoric in Russia’s domestic and international politics; and the increasing prominence of religion-based identity politics in Poland, Hungary, and Croatia.

This special issue will seek to probe the various roles of religion in these interlinked issues and across comparative cases. There is an urgent need for considered academic analysis to discern how the rise of populism is connected to religion and the issues of migration, radicalism, and new nationalisms, to elucidate the broader empirical and theoretical implications for our understandings of religion, state, and society.

Areas of investigation can include but are by no means limited to:

  • Religious dimensions of populism in national contexts, including comparative perspectives
  • The migration crisis and its implications for religion-based identity politics in European societies and beyond
  • The ‘crisis’ of the European Union following the Brexit referendum, and its broader implications with relevance to religion
  • Religious dimensions of radicalism: discourses, movements, and politics
  • Religiously-based conservative and traditionalist movements in Europe, the United States, India, Russia, or other parts of the world, including comparative studies
  • Fringe and far-right political and vigilante groups and movements, and their politics of religion
  • Religious dimensions of the securitisation of borders and the ‘othering’ of excluded groups
  • Theoretical, legal, or discourse-based work on the role of religious, such as ‘Christian’ or ‘Hindu’, affinities in constructions of national identity and the operation of national institutions

This special issue of Religion, State and Society is planned for publication in the first half of 2018. The editors have been invited by Routledge to also consider republication of the contributions as a book.

Application Process

Please send completed papers of 6,000-8,000 words by 15 August 2017. To submit a paper, please register for an account and follow the submission instructions at the journal’s online submission portal: http://www.edmgr.com/crss

Before submitting your manuscript please read carefully the journal’s submission instructions, available on the RSS main website under the ‘Instructions for Authors’ page (http://www.tandfonline.com/crss). All manuscripts will go through the normal peer review process.

Questions related to the theme and potential ideas for papers can be discussed with the editors:
Dr Daniel Nilsson DeHanas (daniel.dehanas@kcl.ac.uk)
Dr Marat Shterin (marat.shterin@kcl.ac.uk)

Conference CFP–last call: “Religion(s) and Power(s)” Oct 5-6, 2017, Kaunas, Lithuania

Religion(s) and Power(s)

Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania

October 5-6, 2017

The Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions in cooperation with Latvian Society for the Study of Religions and Estonian Society for the Study of Religions invites proposals for its upcoming international conference “Religion(s) and Power(s)”. To encourage new directions in the critical research of interrelations of religion(s) and power(s) from a broad range of approaches, we are seeking proposals on a wide range of topics including: 

•    Private and public religions;

•    Religions and politics;

•    Non-religion and power;

•    Religious inequalities and discrimination;

•    Religions, human rights and justice;

•    Powers of/within religions;

•    Religion and nationalism;

•    Mythology, divine kinship and power;

•    Religion and colonialism;

•    Religions and education.

Other topics related to the conference theme are also encouraged. 

Conference paper and session proposals must be sent by June 15, 2017. Please send your 250-300 word abstract and a 200-word personal bio to email: religiousstudieslt@gmail.com

Important conference dates:

June 15, 2017 – submission of conference papers and sessions proposals;

July 1, 2017 – notification of paper/session proposal acceptance;

July 1, 2017 – opening of registration for the conference;

August 15, 2017 – closing of registration for the conference;

September 1, 2017 – announcement of the conference program.

Conference Registration Fees: 

–    Members of national associations of Baltic States associations for the study of religions – 50 EUR;

–    Permanent/full-time faculty and non-affiliated participants – 80 EUR;

–    Graduate students and emeritus faculty – 50 EUR;

–    Late bird conference fee – 100 EUR.

*       *       *

Vytautas Magnus University (hereinafter – VMU) has 10 faculties (Arts, Catholic Theology, Economics and Management, Humanities, Informatics, Law, Natural Sciences, Political Science and Diplomacy, Social Sciences, Music Academy), including 40 departments, 22 study and research centers, 3 laboratories and Psychology Clinic, Kaunas Botanical Garden, and other non-academic divisions. Main buildings of VMU are located in the center of Kaunas, the second biggest city of Lithuania. 

There are two possibilities to reach Kaunas. One way is to go by plane to Kaunas airport. Ryanair and Airbaltic companies operate flights to Kaunas airport that is connected with city by bus line. Another possibility is to fly to Vilnius airport and to go to Kaunas by train from Vilnius train station. The journey takes approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. There are also frequent buses from Vilnius bus station from Vilnius to Kaunas and return. Journey usually takes one hour and a half. 

There is wide variety of accommodation possibilities in Kaunas from four-three star hotels to B&B’s. 

*       *       *

Organising Committee of the conference: Anita Stasulane, Atko Remmel, Milda Alisauskiene, Rasa Pranskeviciute, Egle Aleknaite, David Tjurfell.

Call for Session Proposals: ISA Research Committee on the Sociology of Religion (RC22)

XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology
Power, Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses and Responsibilities
Toronto, Canada, July 15-21, 2018

RESEARCH COMMITTEE 22: SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION: Religion, Power, and Resistance: New Ideas for a Divided World

NOW OPEN – Call for Session Proposals: ISA Research Committee on the Sociology of Religion (RC22): https://isaconf.confex.com/isaconf/wc2018/rc/cfs.cgi?

Program Coordinators:

  • Anna Halafoff, Deakin University, Australia
  • Sam Han, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Caroline Starkey, University of Leeds, UK

Current environmental, economic, social, and political challenges indicate that people are losing faith in existing power structures and mechanisms for coping with crises. This creates increasingly divided societies, riven by ideological battles for the future of the human and the more than human world. Religion has a place in this picture. Not only is it often a source of divisions; it can also be a source for alternative means of addressing them.

These divisions take new and as yet unclear shapes, which sociologists are only now beginning to comprehend. It is not enough to refer to the struggle between ‘tradition’ and ‘modernity’, terms that dominated sociology through the 1970s. Nor do the tropes ‘colonialism vs. anti-colonialism’ and the ‘clash of civilizations’ adequately explain what is going on. Nor, arguably, does ‘populism vs neo-liberalism’ fully capture such things as the recent clashes between cosmopolitan and anticosmopolitan actors in the major Western democracies. Each of these has a piece of the picture; none of them captures it all.

What is religion’s role in this situation: as a creator of divisions, as a locus of power, and as a ground of resistance?  How does religion influence our divided societies? How is religion influenced in turn?

We invite proposals for RC22 sessions that focus on religion, power, intersectional violence, and social divisions, and also resistance to power, violence, and division. We encourage sessions that explore the nexus between:

  • religion and global capitalism;
  • religion and colonialism;
  • religion and nationalism;
  • religion and racism;
  • religion and violent extremism;
  • religion and gender inequality;
  • religion and sexuality inequality;
  • religion and environmental crises;
  • religion and resistance to power and violence; and
  • other topics that speak to religion’s role in a divided world.

We particularly encourage a focus on new ideas. We thus encourage sessions on:

  • post-colonial, Southern and Eastern social theories;
  • gender and sexuality equality;
  • violent and nonviolent social movements;
  • human rights and peacebuilding;
  • third spaces, digital activism, and other new phenomena.

Above all, we seek new ways of understanding religion in our divided world.

The ISA CONFEX website site will be open to session proposals between 2 February and 15 March, 2017 24:00 GMT.

https://isaconf.confex.com/isaconf/wc2018/rc/cfs.cgi?

We welcome both pre-organised invited sessions, topical sessions that will be open to paper proposals by individuals, and poster sessions and roundtable proposals.

Once the sessions are chosen, individuals will have an opportunity to propose individual papers for those sessions, from April 25 to September 30, 2017 24:00 GMT, also at the CONFEX website.

Please address any questions to the Program Coordinators:

ISA-RC22 Statement of Opposition to the U.S. Restrictions on Visas and International Travel

January 31, 2017

The Board of the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on the Sociology of Religion expresses its opposition to the restrictions on international travel, visas, and immigration that have been imposed by the President of the United States and his administration.  We join with many other scholarly associations to protest this restriction on the free movement of people and ideas across national borders.  As scholars of religion, we particularly protest the unjust singling out of Muslims and the residents of Muslim majority countries.

As sociologists, we oppose this Executive Order because it affects our colleagues and students as well as the conditions for knowledge production. In addition, sociologists have documented and analyzed the ways in which symbolic boundaries are made more rigid and result in the social exclusion of specific groups. This Executive Order targeting specific groups of individuals has effects not only on its immediate victims, but also on how our society understands itself and its orientation toward diversity and human rights.

We are an international scholarly organization with members from all over the world.  Some of our members come from the targeted Muslim countries.  Others come from the 38 countries that are affected by the suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Program – including members of the European Union.  Banning or hindering their travel threatens to prevent them from attending our conferences and participating in our workshops and other intellectual exchanges.  Retaliatory travel banning by the affected countries will isolate U.S. scholars as well, weakening their contribution to our society.

As scholars, we know the importance of maintaining the free flow of information and persons across national borders.  Shared knowledge helps the public understand society’s workings.  It reduces international tensions.  It reduces prejudice.  It creates stronger social institutions.  And it increases international prosperity.  The Executive Order does not increase safety; it increases discord and indeed endangers people around the world.  We call on the American government to reverse the order immediately and restore the free flow of people and ideas between the U.S. and other countries.

On behalf of the Research Committee,
James V. Spickard, PhD, President
Professor of Sociology, University of Redlands
United States of America

Click HERE to download a PDF copy

Call for Papers for the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, November 2017

AAR Annual Meeting
Boston, MA
November 18-21, 2017

https://papers.aarweb.org/content/sociology-religion-unit

Sociology of Religion as part of a larger discipline is marked by a canonization of its theory and its division by paradigms and methodologies–whether these be the classics (Weber and Durkheim), the old paradigm (functionalism and social constructionism), or the new paradigm (rational choice) on the one hand or quantitative, qualitative, or historical-comparative sociology on the other. As it intersects with sociology of religion, the study of religion has drawn from theories and methodologies in conversation with sociology, anthropology, critical theory, psychology, history, and other related disciplines. We are interested both in papers that utilize the methods and theories in the study of religion and bring them into the sociological canon as well as those that help religious studies gain a better grasp of the sociological theory of religion. We encourage papers that exploit both the theory and methodology of sociology of religion and religious studies and use them as frames for analysis of concrete cases. We are interested in historical topics in the sociology of religion as well as contemporary ones. In particular, we request papers that touch upon social divisions examining race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, region, age, etc.

Critics of sociology of religion have pointed out that the field is dominated by North American scholars primarily interested in Protestantism. The discipline of religious studies provides a clear antidote to these perceived limitations. Therefore, we encourage contributions from academics who study the various religious traditions around the world as well as those studying North American religious communities. In particular, we would like submissions from scholars from all academic ranks across the lines of nationality, region, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

The purpose of the Sociology of Religion program unit of the American Academy of Religion is to bridge the gap and create cross-fertilization between the Sociology of Religion and Religious Studies. One way to do so is to break down each of these fields into their core component: theory, methods, and data. Comparing sociology of religion and religious studies: First, what are the core canons in each field? Sociological Theory of Religion (SOR) and Method and Theory in the Study of Religion (RS). What are their central theories? Second, what are the main methodologies that each field primarily relies upon? Finally, what count as data in each of these fields?

Along these lines, we are interested in the following topics:
• The intersection of theory, methods and data in Religious Studies and Sociology of Religion

• Bringing non-western theory into Sociological Theory of Religion and the Method and Theory in the Study of Religion

• Core Canons: Sociological Theory of Religion and Method and Theory in the Study of Religion

• Core Theories: Secularization Theory (or Religious Pluralism) and Critical Religion

• Comparative Methodologies: Sociology of Religion vs. Religious Studies

• What counts as data in Religious Studies and Sociology of Religion?

• Assessments of how “religion” is operationalized in quantitative sociology

Beyond this, we are particularly interested in the following more substantive topics. This is not an exclusive list and we encourage submissions on other topics as well.
• Peter Berger’s The Sacred Canopy at 50: Future Directions for a Sociological Classic

• Social and Religious Movements (along racial, ethnic, national, regional, or class lines)

• Sociology of Religion from Unheard Voices

In addition to this, the Sociology of Religion Unit is inviting proposal for a co-sponsored panel with the Anthropology of Religion Unit. Below is the description of the panel:
For a special panel co-sponsored with the Anthropology of Religion and Sociology of Religion program units, we invite papers that examine problems encountered or mistakes made in the context of ethnographic fieldwork. Papers should present the context of the research and the specific details of the problem/mistake that arose and how it was addressed. Extra time will be allotted to brainstorm additional solutions and to thinking broadly about a “methodology of/for mistakes.”

“Sociology of Islam” journal enters its 4th year

Greetings from Istanbul. 2017 will be our 4th year and we appreciate your support and activity as part of the mailing list. So far, we have published 16 issues including three ‘special issues.’ We are happy to accept articles related with the Sociology of Islam and Sociology of the Middle East which are related directly with the topics of inequality, social movements, political sociology, religion, nationalism and ethnicity, modernity, work and labor, criminology, aging, environment, health, deviance, sexuality, education, and social change. For your submission, we accept articles from 8000–12.000 words in length. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me, Gary Wood or other members of the editorial board. Additionally, we are open to special issue proposals, please email your ideas to us!

You can submit your article to the following website: http://www.editorialmanager.com/SOI/default.aspx

or send it to us for a prescreening process.   

Please remember that this is not a religious studies journal! All submissions must be related with the themes of Sociology of Islam and the Middle East.      

Our special issues can be found at the following website pages:

The Gülen Movement (Volume 1, Issue 3-4, 2014 )

A Guest editor: Joshua Hendrick, Loyola University of Maryland.

http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/22131418/1/3-4

Contemporary Social Movements in the Middle East and Beyond, 2014 (Volume 2,  Issue 3-4, 2014)

A Guest editor: Mojtaba Mahdavi, University of Alberta

http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/22131418/2/3-4

China, Islam and Middle East (Volume 4, Issue 1-2, 2016)

A Guest editor: Tugrul Keskin, Shanghai University

http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/22131418/4/1-2

SOCIOLOGY OF ISLAM:

http://www.brill.com/publications/journals/sociology-islam

Editorial Board

Editors-in-Chief
Gary Wood, Virginia Tech
Tugrul Keskin, Shanghai University
Assistant Editors
Sara Swetzoff, Howard University
Michael McCall, American University of Beirut
Associate Editors
Rachel Rinaldo, University of Colorado-Boulder
Joshua Hendrick, Loyola University of Maryland
Isabel David, University of Lisbon
Mark Gould, Haverford College
Sari Hanafi, American University of Beirut
Sean Foley, Middle Tennessee State University
Book Reviews Editor:
Joshua Hendrick, Loyola University of Maryland