the ICSOR GRANT 2020 winner

Immagine incorporata 1

Caro collega,
il vincitore dell’ICSOR GRANT 2020 è il professor Robert Woodberry, Baylor University, USA. Il tema di ricerca è “Religione e cambiamento sociale in due secoli: Mappatura delle attività della Chiesa cattolica dai documenti dell’Archivio Apostolico Vaticano & Propaganda Fide”.
La qualità delle domande è stata elevata e la selezione molto difficile.

Cordiali saluti.
Roberto Cipriani

Dear Colleague,

The ICSOR GRANT 2020 winner is Professor Robert Woodberry, Baylor University, USA. The research topic is ” Religion and Social Change over Two Centuries: Mapping the Activities of the Catholic Church from Documents in the Vatican Apostolic & Propaganda Fide Archives”.  The quality of applications has been high and the selection very difficult.

Best regards.
Roberto Cipriani

Postponement of the IV ISA Forum of Sociology to February 2021

As you have been informed recently, the Executive Committee of the ISA decided to postpone the IV ISA Forum of Sociology in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to February 23-27, 2021

We are aware that this postponement may be problematic for many of you. The size and speed of the Covid-19 outbreak gave us no other solution. We will redouble our energy and motivation to use these seven months delay to make this Forum a major and insightful meeting of the global sociological community in extraordinary times.

All the activities that have been prepared for the Forum will be maintained. This includes the regular session as much as the plenaries and the common sessions. We will however provide some flexibility to the RC that would like to adapt their program and, if they decide so, to allow their participants to update the title and abstracts of their contribution to the Forum. The abstract selected for the Forum in July 2020 remain thus valid for the Forum in February 2021.

Together with a new “early registration deadline”, we have set a new calendar that allows some flexibility to RCs that wish to update and re-open some of their panels to new participants to replace the colleagues who will not be able to join us in February and to take into account the questions and challenges raised by the Covid-19 outbreak, its social impact and the world that will come out of it.

15 September – 15 October 2020

  • The authors of abstracts selected for the ISA Forum will be invited to confirm their participation to the Forum before October 15th, 2020. They may update their abstract and title, in consultation with their session organizers or RC program coordinators.

15 October 2020 Final day to confirm participation by authors of the already accepted abstracts.

  • The abstracts that have not been not confirmed will be automatically removed from the program

16 – 25 October 2020 Publication of the calls for new abstracts proposals by the RC/WG/TG

26 October – 12 November 2020 Submission of new abstracts proposals via online platform

12 November 2020 Deadline for new abstract submissions

24 November 2020 Authors are notified about the acceptance or rejection of their abstracts
15 December2020 Presenters final registration deadline (early registration fees apply).

We are aware that postposing the Forum will require additional work for our RC program coordinators, presidents and boards, for the Local Organizing Committee and in particular for its president Hermilio Santos, and for the ISA Secretariat. We would like to thank each of them and ensure them we will be there to support them. On our side, have no doubt that we will use this delay to make this Forum an insightful space, to reinforce the existing panels and projects and to set up new ones, such as the “Sociological Movies section” for which a call will soon be published.

The CoVid outbreak is shaking our world in a way that no one expected and will have deep consequences on our world and the way we see it. The 2021 ISA Forum of Sociology will be a unique opportunity to learning from colleagues from all continents and sharing analyses of the crisis, its social impacts and the world that will emerge out of it with. We look very much forward to seeing all of you.

Sari Hanafi, President of the International Sociological Association

Geoffrey Pleyers, ISA Vice President for Research and President of the IV ISA Forum of Sociology

Association for the Sociology of Religion 2020 Conference Cancelled

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 ASR Annual Meeting in San Francisco has been cancelled. There remains great uncertainty around whether this global health crisis will be resolved by August. Some experts are predicting social distancing orders will last at least through the summer.  The American Sociological Association has cancelled its SF conference, and we do, too.

This news is very disappointing. Every year, we look forward to intellectually stimulating research and conversation, sharing teaching experiences, and navigating grant opportunities. I want to express my sincere gratitude to our current President, James Cavendish, and our Program Chair, Brian Starks, who have already put a lot of work into creating a conference theme, proposing joint sessions with the ASA, soliciting session proposals and abstract submissions, and fielding questions about the Annual Meeting. I also appreciate the time and effort that ASR’s Council has dedicated to helping us plan this conference.

If you already registered for this conference, we will be happy to refund your money in full. We would also be happy to accept your payment as a generous donation to the ASR. If you would like a refund for your registration fee, please email me.

Please stay safe and healthy, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.  


Rachel Kraus, PhD, MPA
ASR Executive Officer
Professor of Sociology
Ball State University

RC22 Newsletter #21 posted on the Research Committee website

The ISA’s Research Committee on the Sociology of Religion has posted its latest newsletter on the RC website.  It contains a report and photos from the RC22 Mid-Term Conference in Accra, Ghana, a report from the pre-conference workshop on research design, notice about the deadlines for the July 2020 ISA Forum of Sociology in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and other news.


Download it at

Notices from the Australian Association for the Study of Religion

Call for Papers:

  • International Conference on Religious Tourism (ICRT), University of Punjab, Lahore Pakistan, 8-9 January 2020. Abstract deadline: 11 November 2019. More info.
  • “Mosques, power and politics”, Copenhagen, Denmark, 22-24 January 2020. Abstract deadline: 15 November 2019. More info.
  • The 25th Nordic Conference in the Sociology of Religion. 17-19 August 2020, Gothenburg, Sweden on ‘Religious Organisation(s): Challenges and changes in contemporary society’. Session proposal deadline: 15 November 2019. More info.
  • British Muslim Charitable Organisations: A Best Practice Forum, Birmingham, 15 January 2020. Abstract deadline: 22 November 2019. More info.
  • Rethinking​ ​Media, Religion and Secularities. Conference of the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture Conference location: Sigtuna Foundation, Sigtuna, Sweden. Conference dates: 4-7 of August 2020. Deadline for Paper proposals: 6 December 2019. More info.
  • International Communication Association Preconference on Intersectional Imaginaries in Media, Religion & Gender, Gold Coast, Australia, May 2020. Proposal deadline 15 December 2019. More info.
  • The XXII Quinquennial World Congress of the IAHR, hosted by the New Zealand Association for the Study of Religions, will take place at the University of Otago, in Dunedin, New Zealand from 23-29 August 2020. Submission deadline 31 December 2019. More info.
  • Navigating the non/confessional in university Islamic studies. University of Birmingham. 20-22 April 2020. Submission deadline 17 January 2020. More info.


  • Call for Papers on Digital Visibilities of the Religious. Deadline 15 January 2020. More info.
  • Call for papers on Religion & Ecology for a special issue of Religions. Deadline 31 May 2020.

Postgrad/ECR Opportunities

Also if you’re on Facebook, we have a postgrad page so do join us 🙂

New Publications
Oosterbaan, M., van de Kamp, L. and Bahia, J. (2019), Global Trajectories of Brazilian Religion: Lusospheres, London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Date and Location for SocRel 2020 conference

Dear colleagues,
I am pleased to circulate the date, location and list of speakers for the next Socrel Annual Conference

Celebrating SocRel at 45: Beyond Binaries in the Sociology of Religion
14 July – 16 July 2020
University of York

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr Sarah Jane Page (Aston University)
  • Professor Sam Perry (University of Oklahoma)
  • Further speaker TBC

Special 45th Anniversary Panel:

  • Professor Eileen Barker (London School of Economics)
  • Professor Jim Beckford (Warwick University)
  • Professor Grace Davie (Exeter University)
  • Professor Linda Woodhead (Lancaster University)

A full call for papers including conference theme, abstract submission and registration links as well as further conference information will be circulated in the next few weeks. But in the meantime, please do pop this date in your diaries and we look forward to seeing you in York next year!

Should you have any questions or queries, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Best wishes,
Rachael  (Socrel conference and events officer)
Dr Rachael Shillitoe
Research Associate
School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT

ICSOR Newsletter Posted

The recent Newsletter of the International Center for the Sociology of Religion has been posted on the organization’s website.

Available in both English and Italian, the newsletter contains information about:

  • The ECSOR International Grant Program for 2020
  • An announcement about the School for Advanced Training in the Sociology of Religion (SAFSOR), which will be held later this autumn.
  • Two scholarships available to young researchers at the Summer School on Religions in San Cimignano.
  • Reports on this year’s grant program and last year’s SAFSOR.
  • Much other information.

Pratiques religieuses dans l’espace urbain Approches géographiques et sociologiques

Atelier du programme PSL

« Agenda pour une sociologie critique des religions »

9 octobre 2019, 14h-18h30 ENS – Salle R2-02 48 bd. Jourdan, 75014 Paris


14h-14h50. Hugo Suarez (IIS-UNAM, IHEAL Sorbonne Nouvelle). La religion dans les rues : analyse des expressions religieuses dans un quartier populaire de Mexico City.

14h50-15h40. Julie Picard (Université de Bordeaux). Les territorialités religieuses des migrants africains chrétiens : entre dynamiques identitaires et recompositions urbaines discrètes


16h-16h50. David Garbin (University of Kent). Espace-temps de l’urbanisation religieuse et visions territoriales dans les mega-cities.

16h50-17h40. Irene Becci (Université de Lausanne). Les parcs publics comme hétérotopies religieuses.

17h40-18h30. Discussion générale.


Hugo Suarez. La religion dans les rues : analyse des expressions religieuses dans un quartier populaire de Mexico City.

Cet exposé présente les données ethnographiques issues d’une recherche menée dans le quartier populaire d’Ajusco, au sud de Mexico. Il montre la manière dont la religion s’exprime dans l’espace public dans deux situations distinctes : d’une part, les espaces officiels des entrepreneurs du salut (temples et églises) ; et d’autre part, les manifestations populaires qui ne relèvent pas des autorités ecclésiales mais plutôt de l’initiative des croyants (chapelles, croix). Je m’intéresserai en particulier au Monumento a la Piedra, un rocher devenu lieu de réunion pour plusieurs expressions religieuses populaires et un monument public qui a finalement disparu en l’espace de dix ans. J’expliquerai en quoi ce processus fait partie d’une resémantisation de l’espace par les croyances, qui construisent un environnement assignant de nouvelles significations au territoire. De même, j’évoquerai l’importance des images et des pèlerinages dans l’élaboration d’un réseau de significations religieuses ancrées territorialement.

Suarez, H., 2015. Creyentes urbanos. Sociologia de la experienca religiosa en una colonia popular de la ciudad de Mexico, Mexico, UNAM. Suarez, H., 2018. “Socioantropología de la religión en México. Historia y horizontes”, en Revista Cultura y Representaciones Sociales, 12, (24) : 9-16. Site Internet :

Julie Picard. Les territorialités religieuses des migrants africains chrétiens : entre dynamiques identitaires et recompositions urbaines discrètes

Cette intervention s’appuie sur nos travaux de recherche en géographie, réalisés au Caire et à Toulouse, et portant sur les processus d’ancrage urbain – temporaire ou durable – de migrants africains chrétiens (notamment protestants évangéliques). Elle propose d’interroger à la fois les liens entre géographie, pratiques, croyances et mobilités religieuses, ainsi que la place et le rôle des territoires religieux, matériels et symboliques, dans les parcours et la vie quotidienne de migrants de confession chrétienne, originaires du sud du Sahara. Nous tenterons de démontrer que ces Agenda pour une sociologie critique des religions (micro)territoires, qu’ils soient produits par les migrants eux-mêmes ou co-produits, peuvent servir de ressource, de leviers d’ancrage urbain afin de mieux vivre l’attente et d’affirmer, ou de réviser, leurs appartenances identitaires. Si l’espace urbain d’accueil peut participer à la redéfinition des identités des personnes en exil, ces dernières recomposent également, souvent de manière discrète et précaire, les territoires urbains qu’elles habitent (ce qui interroge par la même occasion la méthodologie du chercheur, soucieux de mieux saisir les liens entre migrations, religions et espaces urbains).

Bava S. et Capone S., 2010 – « Religions transnationales et migrations : regards croisés sur un champ en mouvement », Autrepart n°56, p. 3-15. Bava S. et Picard J., 2010. « Les nouvelles figures religieuses de la migration africaine au Caire », Autrepart 56(4) : 153-170. Dejean F., Endelstein L., 2013, « Approches spatiales des faits religieux. Jalons épistémologiques et orientations contemporaines », Carnets de Géographes n°6. Endelstein L., Fath S., Mathieu S. (dir.), 2010, Dieu change en ville. Religion, Espace et immigration, Paris, L’Harmattan. Picard J., 2016. « De lieu de passage au territoire d’ancrage : les Églises du Caire et les migrants africains chrétiens », Les Cahiers d’Outre-mer 2016/2 (274) : 133-160.

David Garbin. Espace-temps de l’urbanisation religieuse et visions territoriales dans les mega-cities.

Cette communication a pour objet d’examiner la relation entre l’urbain et le religieux en considérant les dynamiques liées à l’économie morale de la production des espaces, plus spécifiquement en relation avec les enjeux politiques de la pluralité, du développement et de l’aménagement urbain. On prendra pour exemples plusieurs terrains récents effectues dans des ‘villes globales’ (Londres, Atlanta, Lagos, Kinshasa) pour discuter des notions de ‘religion urbaine’ (urban religion, Robert Orsi) et ‘d’urbanisation religieuse’ (religious urbanisation) en utilisant de façon critique le concept de spatial fix développé par David Harvey. En focalisant plus particulièrement sur Lagos au Nigeria nous montrerons également comment une mise en lumière des espace-temps religieux (vision, projection, aspiration) peut nous permettre d’envisager les stratégies de territorialisation sous l’angle particulier des infrastructures matérielles et spirituelles, dans un contexte de ‘mega-urbanisation’ et de concurrence intense pour les ressources foncières.

Garbin, D., « Visibility and invisibility of migrant faith in the city: diaspora religion and the politics Agenda pour une sociologie critique des religions of emplacement of Afro-Christian churches », Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 39(5) : 677-696. Garbin D. et A. Sthran (eds.), Religion and the Global City, Londres, Bloomsbury. Harvey, D. (2001) Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press; New York: Routledge. Orsi, R. (1999), ‘Introduction: Crossing the City Line’, in R. Orsi (ed.), Gods of the City. Religion and the American Urban Landscape, 1–78, Bloomington: Indianapolis University Press.

Irene Becci. Les parcs publics comme hétérotopies religieuses

Les parcs publics des sociétés modernes sont souvent conceptualisés comme des espaces sociaux hétérotopiques (Gandy, 2015). À partir d’observations empiriques et de réflexions théoriques menées dans le cadre d’une étude sur le militantisme écologique en Suisse et d’une autre recherche sur la diversité religieuse en Allemagne, cette présentation porte sur les pratiques religieuses qui se déroulent dans des parcs publics urbains. Qu’il s’agisse de festivals, de réunions régulières ou de pratiques individuelles, des pratiques liées à la religion ou la spiritualité sont de fait présentes dans les parcs publics urbains. Je m’intéresserai à l’importance symbolique de ce type de lieux ainsi qu’aux discours qui accompagnent ces pratiques. Les références à la spiritualité ou à la nature varient considérablement. Les parcs publics urbains sont en effet pour les habitants des villes les réceptacles symboliques d’un imaginaire de la nature et des espaces contestés, exposés à différentes appropriations séculières ou religieuses.

Becci, I., Burchardt, M. et Casanova, J. (eds.), 2013. Topographies of Faith. Religion in Urban Spaces, Leiden, Brill. Becci, I., Fahramand, M. et Grandjean, A., (à paraître). « The (b)earth of a gendered eco-spirituality : globally connected ethnographies between Mexico and the European Alps », in A. Fedele et K. Knibbe (eds.), Secular Society, spiritual selves ? Gendering the overlaps and boundaries between religion, spirituality and secularity, Londres, Routledge. Gandy, M., 2015. Écologie queer. Nature, sexualité et hétérotopies, Paris, Eterotopia.

Voir :

Obituary: Wade Clark Roof

The Department of Religious Studies announces with deep sadness the sudden passing of our colleague Wade Clark Roof on August 24th in his sleep. Professor Roof, who was J.F. Rowny Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Religion and Society from 2013, joined the department in 1989 as J.F. Rowny Professor of Religion and Society, at that time already a compelling figure in the sociology of religion. Previously, he had been Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Raised in rural South Carolina, he graduated magna cum laude from Wofford College in Spartanburg, went on to Yale Divinity School, where he received a master of divinity degree in 1964, and subsequently received a master’s and then doctoral degree in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1971.

Professor Roof’s record of publication, leadership, grant administration, and mentoring have been truly stellar, as has been his contribution to the public understanding of religion. He became a towering figure in the sociology of religion as he marked the growth of the “unchurched,” the phenomenon of multiple memberships in religious or quasi-religious organizations, the religious odysseys of so-called “baby-boomers,” and—always and especially—the impact of an increasing religious pluralism on the shape of religion in the United States. He excelled at the statistical research that characterizes sociological study, but he was also, and as much, engaged in the human stories behind membership statistics. He offered models to make sense of the data, and the models followed people into their public and political expressions of private commitments and beliefs. With funding to study religious pluralism in the baby boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964), the resulting multi-year project led to two transformational works in the field. A Generation of Seekers: The Spiritual Journeys of the Baby Boom Generation in 1993 and Spiritual Marketplace and the Remaking of American Religion in 1999 shed a new, clear light on American spiritual experience with their attention to “quest culture” and “reflexive spirituality.” Professor Roof presented narratives that unpacked the statistical numbers, creating a ground-breaking paradigm for the sociological study of religion. Even before his books were published, his work with the baby boomers had attracted the editors of Newsweek magazine, who made Professor Roof’s research a cover story. Later, A Generation of Seekers was reviewed in major national newspapers, with a New York Times profile for Professor Roof himself in 1993. His work sparked national conversations regarding the decline of organized religion in many quarters and the forms of spiritual seeking and renewal that were rising instead. President Bill Clinton quoted from the book in one of his State of the Union addresses.

As major as baby boomer research was, however, it existed as only part of Professor Roof’s scholarly legacy. The author or co-author of five books since the 1970s, Professor Roof also co-edited six books, two encyclopedias, and five special issues of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. With sixty journal articles and forty-five chapters in edited volumes, he contributed as well a plethora of book reviews to academic journals. His success in attracting grants became almost legendary in the department, with almost 2.2 million dollars awarded as principal or co-principal investigator for over twenty research grants. In addition, he presented his work over one hundred times at major academic conferences, universities, theological centers, and public policy forums. Meanwhile, Professor Roof became a

tireless advocate for the public understanding of religion, granting media interview after media interview in leading venues such as NBC Nightly News, CBS News, CNN, the BBC, Good Morning America, MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour, U.S. News and World Report, Time, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and numerous others.

Professor Roof’s seminal book from 1987, American Mainline Religion: Its Changing Shape and Future (with William McKinney) first signaled the emerging voluntarism that was growing in the nation, unraveling old boundaries and creating new ways of being religious. As he scrutinized the developing situation in the country, however, Professor Roof brought to it an abiding comparative perspective. He had had years of turning toward Europe—teaching and lecturing there and looking toward other cultures and their religious expressions. In these situations, he learned as much as he taught, and through the years he continued to be interested in the striking connections and differences between societies in their religious arrangements. As a natural outgrowth, he began to teach French high school teachers about religious pluralism in the United States through an annual university program that offered them a month-long visit. The project soon morphed into connections with the U.S. State Department and success in obtaining a continuing series of grants that brought foreign scholars to UCSB through the Fulbright Summer Institutes (Religion in the United States: Pluralism and Public Presence). So from 2002 until 2016, he directed (and from 2011 co-directed) month-long seminars for eighteen foreign scholars annually at UCSB. Subsequently, he took them on a road trip to religious sites throughout the nation, ending in Washington, D.C. The number of Muslim scholars in attendance was consistently high; people of color were a strong presence, and so were women. Professor Roof generated through these summer institutes an outstanding laboratory for studying American religious pluralism and for living out experimentally an international pluralism. Supported by some 3.5 million dollars in federal grants over the years, more than 250 people participated in the summer institutes representing over eighty nations in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and Oceania.

Alongside this achievement, Professor Roof, from 2002 to 2017, directed the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life, housed in the Department of Religious Studies. The center was named for our renowned colleague Walter Capps, who became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives until a heart attack cut short his life in 1997. With the help of Capps’s widow Lois Capps (who served in the U.S. House from 1998 to 2017), the center received an initial grant from the UC Office of the President and later a sizable grant from the U.S. Congress, help from local donors, and then support from the NEH, amassing a 4 million dollar endowment. With this aid, from 2002 the Capps Center began to offer a wide range of programming to improve the public understanding of religion and ethics in public life, to stress its importance, and to work to bridge the worlds of academia and the wider public. Programs featured public humanities lectures, bringing to campus and the larger community in off -campus venues over 400 pre-eminent speakers. These included such well-known figures as Bill Moyers, Martin Marty, Garry Wills, Diana Eck, Karen Armstrong, Elaine Pagels, Sister Joan Chittister, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Morris Dees, Eric Foner, Daniel Ellsberg, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Thich Nhat Hanh, Hans Küng, Richard Rodriguez, Gustav Niebuhr, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Nobel Peace Prize winners Sherin Ebadi and Towakkol Karman. With five named lecture series annually, the center also offered one-time lecture series as well as a host of other special events.

It sponsored undergraduate student internship programs with public officials and NGOs in Washington, D.C., Sacramento, and Santa Barbara, five undergraduate courses in social ethics, including the much-acclaimed Henry Schimberg -supported course on “Ethics, Enterprise, and Leadership,” and annual graduate fellowships in cultural literacy.

This ambitious record of national and international achievement did not lead Professor Roof to neglect the specific work of the department, the university, his professional societies, and— especially—his students. He chaired the Department of Religious Studies for five years from 1999 to 2004, leading the department through a period of strategic growth and increasing the department’s endowments. Likewise, he served on a host of university committees including the Graduate Council, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, and the Arts and Lectures Committee. Nationally, he held the office of president for the Religious Research Association from 1990 to 1992 and for the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion from 1995 to 1997. Moreover, he served on advisory committees for the American Academy of Religion and on the Advisory Council for the National Endowment for the Humanities. Professor Roof was also editor, reviewer, or referee for over two dozen journals and monograph series, as well as grant referee for the National Science Foundation, the Templeton Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, and the Swedish Research Council. At UCSB, he advised numerous graduate students who earned their PhDs with his mentoring, and he served as a committee member for another huge number of graduate students, all of whom remember him with deep appreciation, warmth, and enthusiasm. In his work with students, he trained a generation of scholar-teachers in religious and sociological studies to attend to fluidity in religious identity, and to look for reflexivity, experimentalism, self-expression, and the questioning of authority in contemporary American religion. He was the recipient of the Association for the Sociology of Religion’s Lifetime Achievement Award last year. He is the recipient, this year, of the American Academy of Religion’s Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion, which will be presented to him posthumously in November.

Professor Roof is survived by his daughter Katherine Brandts, by six grandchildren, and by other family members. He lost both his wife, Terry, and a second daughter, Jennifer Guilford, to cancer, his wife only a year ago. Our hearts go out to Katherine, to the grandchildren and other family members, and to his many colleagues and friends on their loss.

(Catherine Albanese, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Department of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara)