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)

Announcement of new publication

I would like to inform you of my short essay recently published in the latest Reset Doc dossier on the 2018 Turkish elections. The essay which is about the voting behavior(s) of Turkish citizens abroad is part of my on-going project about transnational politics and diaspora-making.
You can access the essay at the following link:
Kind regards,
Sinem A.

New Pew Study Released

Being Christian in Western Europe

The majority of Europe’s Christians are non-practicing, but they differ from religiously unaffiliated people in their attitudes toward Muslims and immigrants, views on God, and opinions about religion’s role in society

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 29, 2018) – Western Europe, where Protestant Christianity originated and Catholicism has been based for most of its history, has become one of the world’s most secular regions. Although the vast majority of adults say they were baptized, today many do not describe themselves as Christians. Some say they gradually drifted away from religion, stopped believing in religious teachings, or were alienated by scandals or church positions on social issues, according to a major new Pew Research Center survey of religious beliefs and practices in Western Europe.

Yet most adults surveyed still do consider themselves Christians, even if they seldom go to church. The survey shows that non-practicing Christians (defined, for the purposes of this report, as people who identify as Christians, but attend church services no more than a few times per year) make up the biggest share of the population across the region. In every country except Italy, they are more numerous than church-attending Christians (those who go to religious services at least once a month). Non-practicing Christians also outnumber the religiously unaffiliated population (people who identify as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” sometimes called the “nones”) in most of the countries surveyed.

The Pew Research Center study – which involved more than 24,000 telephone interviews with randomly selected adults, including nearly 12,000 non-practicing Christians – finds that Christian identity remains a meaningful marker in Western Europe, even among those who seldom go to church. It is not just a “nominal” identity devoid of practical importance. On the contrary, the religious, political and cultural views of non-practicing Christians often differ from those of church-attending Christians and religiously unaffiliated adults.

Indeed, Christian identity in Western Europe is associated with higher levels of negative sentiment toward immigrants and religious minorities. On balance, self-identified Christians – whether they attend church or not – are more likely than religiously unaffiliated people to express negative views of immigrants, as well as of Muslims and Jews.

For example, in the UK, 45% of church-attending Christians say Islam is fundamentally incompatible with British values and culture, as do roughly the same share of non-practicing Christians (47%). But among religiously unaffiliated adults, fewer (30%) say Islam is fundamentally incompatible with their country’s values. There is a similar pattern across the region on whether there should be restrictions on Muslim women’s dress in public, with Christians more likely than “nones” to say Muslim women should not be allowed to wear any religious clothing in public.

Churchgoing Christians, non-practicing Christians and religiously unaffiliated people also differ in their attitudes on nationalism. Non-practicing Christians are less likely than church-attending Christians to express nationalist views. Still, they are more likely than “nones” to say that their culture is superior to others and that it is necessary to have the country’s ancestry to share the national identity (e.g., one must have Spanish family background to be truly Spanish).

For instance, in France, nearly three-quarters of church-attending Christians (72%) say it is important to have French ancestry to be “truly French.” Among non-practicing Christians, 52% take this position, but this is still higher than the 43% of religiously unaffiliated French adults who say having French family background is important in order to be truly French.

The survey, which was conducted following a surge of immigration to Europe from Muslim-majority countries, asked many other questions about national identity, religious pluralism and immigration.

Most Western Europeans say they are willing to accept Muslims and Jews in their neighborhoods and in their families, and most reject negative statements about these groups. And, on balance, more respondents say immigrants are honest and hardworking than say the opposite.

But a clear and consistent pattern emerges: Both church-attending and non-practicing Christians are more likely than religiously unaffiliated adults in Western Europe to voice anti-immigrant, anti-minority and nationalist views.

There also are other factors beyond religious identity that are closely connected with these positions. For example, higher education and personally knowing someone who is Muslim tend to go hand in hand with more openness to immigration and religious minorities. And identifying with the political right is strongly linked to anti-immigration stances. Still, even after using statistical techniques to control for these factors (and several others, including age and gender) Western Europeans who identify as Christian are more likely than those who have no religious affiliation to express negative feelings about immigrants and religious minorities.

Other key ways in which non-practicing Christians, churchgoing Christians and religiously unaffiliated adults in the region differ include:

• Although many non-practicing Christians say they do not believe in God “as described in the Bible,” they do tend to believe in some other higher power or spiritual force. By contrast, most church-attending Christians say they believe in the biblical depiction of God. And a clear majority of religiously unaffiliated adults do not believe in any type of higher power or spiritual force in the universe.

• Non-practicing Christians tend to express more positive than negative views toward churches and religious organizations, saying they serve society by helping the poor and bringing communities together. Their attitudes toward religious institutions are not quite as favorable as those of church-attending Christians, but they are more likely than religiously unaffiliated Europeans to say churches and other religious organizations contribute positively to society.

• The vast majority of non-practicing Christians, like the vast majority of the unaffiliated in Western Europe, favor legal abortion and same-sex marriage. Church-attending Christians are more conservative on these issues, though even among churchgoing Christians, there is substantial support – and in several countries, majority support – for legal abortion and same-sex marriage.

• Nearly all churchgoing Christians who are parents or guardians of minor children (those under 18) say they are raising those children in the Christian faith. Among non-practicing Christians, somewhat fewer – though still the overwhelming majority – say they are bringing up their children as Christians. By contrast, religiously unaffiliated parents generally are raising their children with no religion.

These are among the key findings of the new Pew Research Center survey. The study, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation, is part of a larger effort by Pew Research Center to understand religious change and its impact on societies around the world.

Read the report:

For more information, or to arrange an interview with the study’s lead authors, Associate Director of Research Neha Sahgal and Director of Religion Research Alan Cooperman, please contact Anna Schiller at (+1) 202-419-4372 or


Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does not take policy positions. The Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. Subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters or follow us on ourFact Tank blog.

[Scripta] New Issue Published

Dear Colleagues

We are happy to announce the publication of: Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis Vol. 28 (2018)

Theme: The Ethnic and Religious Future of Europe

Available in open access at:

The current issue consists of articles based on presentations given at the conference with the same name arranged in Turku/Åbo, Finland in June, 2017.

Scripta is published by the Donner Institute in Åbo, Finland. Its purpose is to publish current research on religion and culture and to offer a platform for scholarly co-operation and debate within the field. The articles have been selected on the basis of peer-review.

Thanks for the continuing interest in our work,

Ruth Illman
The Donner Institute


Table of Content (Vol. 28)


The ethnic and religious future of Europe



The demographic factors that make Islam the world’s fastest-growing major religious group


The NPW framework in future-oriented studies of cultural agency


Legitimacy for some


Humanity and hospitality


Islam’s increased visibility in the European public sphere


A critical discourse analysis of the media coverage of the migration crisis in Poland


Reconsidering the modern nation state in the Anthropocene


From Yidishe khasene to civil marriage


Income inequality and religion globally 1970–2050



Chapter: Does European Islam Think? By Mohammed Hashas 2018

This may interest some of you.

“Does European Islam Think?” By Mohammed Hashas

In this chapter I present two major divergent lines of thought that read European Islam differently, though this difference has hardly been problematised and remarked before, nor has it been put face to face in a scholarly debate. This chapter then presents the views of two major scholars of Islam and Muslims in Europe: those of the French scholar Olivier Roy, and those of the Danish scholar Jørgen S. Nielsen. My own reading of European Islam makes me stand with the latter on his position: European Muslims are making their own theology; it is a pluralist theology in progress. It may even be inspiring to the Arab-Islamic world.
Mohammed Hashas, “Does European Islam Think?” In Niels Valdemar Vinding, Egdūnas Račius, and Jörn Thielmann, eds., Exploring the Multitude of Muslims in Europe: Essays in Honour of Jørgen S. Nielsen (Brill, 2018), pp. 35-49.
The chapter is attached as pdf

Studies in Honor of Professor Saba Mahmood

Rethinking Politics and Religion: Studies in Honor of Professor Saba Mahmood

                                               Special issue of Sociology of Islam

On the sad news of the passing of Saba Mahmood, the editorial board of the journal Sociology of Islam has decided to organize a special issue to honor the work and legacy of our distinguished colleague for the study of global politics and religion.

Saba Mahmood’s anthropological work shifted debates on secularism and religion, gender and politics, the rights of religious minorities, and the impact of colonialism in the Middle East. Her conceptual engagement with these pertinent social and political issues, however, has opened up broader questions about the politics of religious difference in a secular age beyond the Middle East and Muslim majority countries. This special issue of Sociology of Islam intends to bring to the fore the scope of these contributions in order to assess the cross-disciplinary and transregional magnitude of her work. The editorial board calls for papers on the following and related subjects in the work of Saba Mahmood:

–          Agency and submission;

–          Body/Embodiment;

–          Citizenship;

–          Ethics;

–          Feminist Theory;

–          Gender;

–          Hermeneutics;

–          Law and the State;

–          Postcolonialism/Postcoloniality;

–          Religious freedom;

–          Religious difference;

–          Secularism/Secularity;

–          Sovereignty;

–          Subject formation;

–          The minority condition.

If you are interested in contributing to this special issue, please send a 500-word abstract to Sultan Doughan ( and Jean-Michel Landry ( by 30 April 2018. We acknowledge receipt of all emails and will reply to all. If you do not receive a reply, please resend your abstract. Please include the following in your email:

–          Author name;

–          Affiliation;

–          email address;

–          abstract in Word format;

–          a short CV.

Acceptance notices will be sent by 15 May 2018. Full articles are due 30 September 2018. The special issue will come out in early 2019 (2019/2). All articles must follow the guidelines provided in the attachment to this email.

The Impact of Law on Transnational Families’ Staying, Moving and Settling

For the EASA2018 conference: Staying, Moving, Settling (Stockholm August 14-17) we will convene a panel entitled

The Impact of Law on Transnational Families’ Staying, Moving and Settling.

Law shapes people’s decisions to stay, move, or settle. Institutions interpret international treaties and domestic legislation producing dynamic categories of deserving and undeserving migrants. Transnational families use, avoid or subvert this law to facilitate migration and maintain kinship.

To propose a paper please use the EASA conference website:

Deadline for paper proposals is April 9

Long abstract

Law and routine legal practice fundamentally shape people’s attitudes towards staying in a country, their choices about moving overseas, and their options for settling abroad.

Individual migrants’ interactions with bureaucrats, lawyers, advocacy organizations, and judges produce dynamic categories of deserving and undeserving migrants. The resulting legal statuses create, reunite or break transnational families, reconfiguring kin relations across borders.

This panel will bring together empirical research on the impact that family, citizenship and immigration, criminal, and human rights and refugee law has on family ties within differently positioned transnational families. Research sites might include CSOs, lawyers, government bureaucracies and families in any transnational context. We are interested in research focusing on either privileged or disadvantaged transnational family members; intersectional analyses of the legal production of categories of deserving and undeserving migrant kin; and critical enquiries into the concept of the transnational family.

Papers could discuss:

  • How migrants’ sources and levels of legal knowledge shape their use, avoidance or subversion of the law;
  • The “legal work” required to maintain family ties across borders;
  • The impact of international human rights law (eg. the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child) in lived experiences of attempting to reunite and settle;
  • The role of law breaking in sustaining the transnational family;
  • When law allowing or preventing migration contributes to power relations within transnational families;
  • The successes and failures of lobbying towards changing legal categorisations relevant to transnational families;
  • How transnational families’ experiences reflect, or do not, reflect political and public discourse about them.


·         Jessica Carlisle (Newman University) 

·         Iris Sportel (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Kind regards,

Iris Sportel

dr. Iris Sportel
Institute for Sociology of Law/ Centre for Migration Law
Radboud University Nijmegen

Article on Gender in the Islamic Republic of Iran

The following article which has just been published might be of research interest of some scholars in this list:
Foroutan, Y. (2018), Formation of Gender Identity in the Islamic Republic of Iran: Does Educational Institution Matter?, Journal of Beliefs & Values, Vol. 39, Issue 2. 
With kind Regards,

Shanghai University David Musto Center for Drug Policy Studies: Fellowship and MA/PhD Scholarship

Shanghai University David Musto Center for Drug Policy Studies would like to invite scholars who are interested in collaboration and students who would like to apply for PhD. or MA program at Shanghai University.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Professor Zhang Yongan


Tugrul Keskin

Associate Professor

Shanghai University


China: 86+15000-465734

Turkey Cell: (90) 533-607-8465

Editor of Sociology of Islam Journal (Brill)

Region Editor of Critical Sociology (Middle East and North Africa)