Book Announcement: “Faith and Social Movements: Religious Reform in Contemporary India”

Dear members,
My book titled Faith and Social Movements: Religious Reform in Contemporary India, published by Cambridge University Press, has come out this year.
It might be of interest to some of you.
Anindita Chakrabarti
Associate Professor (Sociology)
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
IIT Kanpur

International Conference on Universality v Particularity: Human Rights and Religions

Call for Papers

The Joint PhD Program on «Human Rights, Society, and Multi-Level Governance» offered by the University of Padova, University of Zagreb-Faculty of Law, University of Western Sydney, Panteion University of Athens, and the University of Nicosia

invites submissions for an international Conference on

Universality v Particularity: Human Rights and Religions

Nicosia, Cyprus

8-9th of June, 2018

The two-day conference will examine the aspects of the relationship between human rights and religions, universality and particularity, considering both the internal aspects of regulating human rights within a religious group, as well as the external aspects of regulating the interaction between religion and human rights on behalf of the state.

Religion is a salient aspect of a global public order. Extensive migration flows and the growth of religious plurality alongside with different levels of secularization have led to diverse models of relationship between human rights and religion. The particularity of ethnic and cultural diversities highlights the need for a re-evaluation of the traditional legal and socio-political thinking on religious freedom within the universality of human rights.

All these aspects will be considered through a multi- and interdisciplinary approach which encompasses law, sociology, philosophy, and political science. Participants are invited to address these issues and propose papers in line with the conference rationale, in relation to the following topics:

  1. 1. Universal human rights, domestic regimes, and dominant religions/ religious minorities
  2. 2. The religious effect on the states’ commitment to human rights
  3. 3. Religious freedom and ECtHR rulings
  4. 4. Religious freedom governance in domestic and international perspectives
  5. 5. Generational evolution of rights and the impact of religions
  6. 6. Political and legal secularisms and religious freedom
  7. 7. Regional negotiations of religious freedom practices
  8. 8. Religion and LGBT rights
  9. 9. Women inside and outside religions: human rights approaches
  10. 10. Grassroots society initiatives and religious freedom engagement
  11. 11. Global ethics and moral and cultural particularities
  12. 12. Religion, migration, and human rights
  13. 13. Human rights rhetorics within a religious tradition
  14. 14. Interreligious dialogue and human rights
  15. 15. Religion, human rights, and economic crisis

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Prof. Marco Ventura, University of Siena

Dr. Effie Fokas, Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Study (ELIAMEP)

Key Dates

January 15th, 2018 – Abstracts (400 words) should be sent to

February 10th, 2018 – Notification of acceptance

There are no fees for attendance. Participants are, however, responsible for securing their own funding for travel and lodging.


Please direct inquiries in connection with this Conference to:

Prof. Achilles Emilianides:

Conference on ‘Religious Marriages in the Mediterranean’

I am writing to inform you of a Conference on ‘Religious Marriages in the Mediterranean‘ to be hosted by the University of Malta on the 20th and 21st March 2018. The deadline for submission of abstracts is the 31st January 2018.Further details are in the accompanying blurb. I hope to see some of you there.

Best regards,

David E. Zammit LL.D. Ph.D. (Dunelm)
Head of Department of Civil Law
Faculty of Laws Room 116
University of Malta
Tal – Qroqq
Msida MSD 2080

Call for Papers for the Panel “Disputing Religion and Politics Research: How Western/Eurocentric is its Agenda?”

ECPR General Conference, Hamburg 24-26 August 2018

Section: Revisiting Religion and Politics Research: Achievements, Critique, Future Questions

Panel Chair: Anja Hennig, European University Viadrina (

This panel specifies some of the major questions, addressed in the section “Revisiting Religion and Politics Research: Achievements, Critique, Future Questions”. It departs from the observation that over the last three to four decades a research field analysing the mutual impact of religion and politics has been consolidating. The existence of various research networks on national and transnational level, dictionaries, handbooks, an ever growing number of edited volumes with empirical studies on various aspects of religion and politics such as Church-state arrangements, governance of religious diversity, religious voting, religion and public policy etc. and respective journals is a proof of it.

However, a reflection on the approaches, theories, or assumptions constitutive of this field is rare. This panel opens the floor for dispute and reflection on the subject by taking the Western origin of the religion and politics research agenda as point of departure.

To what extent does contemporary religion and politics research reflect a predominantly Western- or Eurocentric agenda? What justifies such perspective? Which decentralizing perspectives (empirically or theoretically) do exist or are desirable?

West- or Eurocentrism here implies primarily a reference to the liberal-democratic separation principle, and, thus, to the normative assumption that religion and politics/Churches and state ought to be separated or constitute separate spheres; a still dominant perspective despite the fact that politico-religious cooperation or overlaps of both spheres is a matter of fact also in the global West. Such a perspective reflects not only the normative impact of the secularization (or nowadays rather differentiation) paradigm. The separation principle grounded in Western liberal thinking structures also empirical research on religion and politics. An example would be the widely used analytical distinction between religious and political actors or factors.

Paper givers may also propose a different understanding of “West-or Eurocentrism” as focal point for critically revisiting the state of the art of religion and politics research. Counter arguments are welcomed as well!

Scholars are invited to submit a proposal of max. 350 words that outlines the major arguments in relation to the central questions. Such arguments may be based on (comparative) case studies or reflect theoretical or conceptual thoughts.

Please submit your proposals (350 words) to latest by 1 February 2018!

Please consider also our Call for Panels for the Section “Revisiting Religion and Politics Research” at the ECPR General Conference 2018:

Dr. Anja Hennig
Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin / Lecturer and Researcher
Lehrstuhl für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft / Chair of Comparative Politics
Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences
Europa-Universität Viadrina / European University Viadrina
in / at Frankfurt/Oder

Book Announcement: Muslims in Eastern Europe

Egdūnas Račius
2018, Edinburg University Press

The history and contemporary situation of Muslim communities in Eastern Europe are explored here from three angles. First, survival, telling of the resilience of these Muslim communities in the face of often restrictive state policies and hostile social environments, especially during the Communist period. Next, their subsequent revival in the aftermath of the Cold War, and last, transformation, looking at the profound changes currently taking place in the demographic composition of the communities and in the forms of Islam practiced by them. The reader is shown a picture of the general trends common to the Muslim communities of Eastern Europe, and the special characteristics of clusters of states, such as the Baltics, the Balkans, the Višegrad states, and the European states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Egdūnas Račius

Associate Editor, Journal of Muslims in Europe

Muslims in Eastern Europe, Edinburgh University Press, 2018

CFP: Religions and Identities in the European Migration Crisis

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 increase 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)

CFP: “Post-global religion” — EASR conference 17-21 June in Bern

Dear colleagues,

For the EASR conference 17-21 June in Bern (​) I have proposed a session on “Post-global religion”.​

This open session investigates critical responses to globalisation and articulations of strategic particularity in (the study of) religions.

The session is explorative and invites scholars of religion to think with the term through both theoretical perspectives as well as empirical cases from around the world.

Please contact Jørn Borup ( with suggestions of individual papers before 12th of January.

Although transcultural interaction and exchange of people, ideas, practices and goods are essentially part of all religious history, the speed and media of such circulations, compressed in time and space, are more typical of a global (post)modernity. Transnational migration and the increasing representation of global diasporas have furthermore questioned essentialist relations between religion, ethnicity, culture, language and territory. Hybrids, fluidity, liquidity and synthesizing flows are the centripetal forces framing also increased religious pluralization and multi-religiosity in cultures traditionally having been mainly mono-religious. Westernization dressed as universalisation and global harmonization has been responded to by negotiated domestication (‘glocalization’), and the study of religion has increasingly been de-protestantized in light of more global approaches to the study of global religion.

Ideals of a global world seem also, however, to be questioned and criticised by new political realities. Walls are being built, borders and boundaries are being reinstalled and countries are withdrawing from international cooperation. Insistence on diversity (rather than pluralisation) and assimilation (rather than integration) are part of national, ethnic and cultural narratives favouring closed systems, as are the increasing influence of interaction-resisting groups representing themselves through identity politics. If globalisation was an ideal of a new world order, there seems also to be parallel indications of strategic reactions towards this in a post-global world.

Critical responses to globalisation seem to be also affecting religious worlds. Reports from Pew Forum show more religious intolerance and less freedom of belief, and also religious voices applaud discourses of contraction. What could be termed ‘post-global religion’ is characterised by the strategic articulation of a re-enchantment of particularity. Just like post-colonial voices were critical responses to Western hegemony, post-global discourses and practices at both individual, institutional and national levels are critical reactions to globalisation favouring the forces of centrifugal dispersion. This can be represented by anti-global religious re-nationalisation, re-ethnification, re-culturalisation, re-traditionalisation, re-racialisation, re-tribalism, re-territorialisation and re-configuration of the codes appropriating religious diversity. It can be seen in discourses and practices favouring monolithic cultural/national narratives, minority suppression, fractionalisation, downscaling of religious freedom and by ‘religionisation’ of political, cultural, ethnic or gender-related identity politics being turned into sacred authenticity claims.

Inaugural Ecclesiology and Ethnography Conference in Canada!

Welcome to the inaugural Ecclesiology and Ethnography Conference in Canada!

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the inaugural Canadian Conference on Ecclesiology and Ethnography, 6-8th June, 2018, at the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg.
The Call For Papers for the conference is now available. Please pass it on to any students, scholars, and others who might want to participate and/or present. This is the first academic conference for the E & E in Canada and we are excited with the interest of both practitioners and academics about the conference. Further details about keynote presentations to come.
Details for submission for papers can be found here:
For further information contact the organising group at
The early submission date is tied to a grant application for funding to help offset travel for presenters. If you are interested in presenting and would like an opportunity for some funds to help offset travel please submit by the date stated. Please contact conference organisers with any questions.

Please submit by 18th January if you wish to apply for a travel grant.

upcoming 2018 conference of The Ritual Year Working Group.

Dear Members and Friends of The Ritual Year,

This is a pre-announcement of the upcoming 2018 conference of The Ritual Year Working Group.
Our 13th conference will be hosted by the Romanian Academy and is scheduled to take place in Bucharest (Romania), 7-9 November 2018.
The conference theme is City Rituals.
The Call for papers (with details about the theme, costs and deadlines) will soon be sent to you.
In the meantime, please book the dates.Irina Stahl
Researcher, Institute of Sociology, Romanian Academy
Secretary of “The Ritual Year” Working Group