Call for Papers: A conference on: “Bible, churches and spirituality in a (non?-)secular world”

26 – 27 September 2018

Stellenbosch (near Cape Town), South Africa

The discipline of Christian Spirituality at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and Volos Academy for Theological Studies, Volos, Greece invite proposals for the first of three international conferences on: “Bible, churches and spirituality in a (non?-)secular world”.

The global rise of religion has seen the centre of gravity of Christianity move into the global south, as numerous sociologists and religion theorists attest. Christian theology internationally has an important mission to fulfill, despite its devaluation and assumed unimportance in the policies of many states and institutions. With the demographic trends currently and over coming decades of a rising tide of confessionality over against non-religiosity, such assumptions of unimportance are becoming ever more untenable.

One of the main tasks of Theology, particularly after the fall of Communism in Central and East Europe, is to reassert the dignity and worth of human persons, as it was ravished by Soviet communism. In South Africa, the same search for renewed human dignity characterises the post-Apartheid period. In both contexts, such dignity is now ever more under threat by the commodification accompanying consumer capitalism and neoliberal education policies that are oriented solely toward the market place, without much sense of the human and spiritual experience – which lies at the foundation of every single human being.

These conditions provide Theology with the opportunity to witness to its core contributions. In doing so, different theologies will have to reconsider their doctrinal, ethical, homiletic and pastoral narratives, and hence the often-neglected role of the Bible and spirituality; the latter, not only in the light of the particular histories, but, also, in the light of the present and emerging contexts. With this rise in the global interest in religion, the Bible in particular and spirituality in general have considerable roles to play – apart from theologically, also phenomenologically and sociologically. On the one hand, the Bible is clearly recognised as the common ground and heritage of the main Christian traditions and of Christian-heritage societies, upon which deeply irenic and fruitful encounters take place. On the other hand, spirituality, as the essential means by which religious life is concretely expressed, is the common existential experience of all people, irrespective of particular religious or national origins. Spirituality brings together. This means that Bible-and-spirituality could be considered as a widely-applicable language by which the major Christian traditions, like Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestant Churches, in their own immediate contexts and more broadly within Christian-heritage societies, could facilitate understanding for shared visions for the wider world.

To this end, paper proposals are invited on aspects of the theme: “Bible, churches and spirituality in a (non?-)secular world”. Of particular interest would be proposals from or on aspects of the Eastern Orthodox and Protestant traditions. However, papers would be welcomed from other perspectives too.

Proposals for papers should include:
• A succinct title
• A brief abstract (± 150 words)
• The name/s and (where applicable) institutional affiliation/s of the author/s
• Contact details
Papers may be proposed and delivered in any language.

Closing date for proposals: 1 February 2018
Acceptance of proposals: Before 1 March 2018
Confirmation of attendance: 5 April 2018


Call for Papers A conference on “Spirituality, Theology, Education”

20 – 22 September 2018. Pretoria, South Africa

University of South Africa (Main campus = Lukasrand campus)

The discipline of Christian Spirituality at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and the Department of Systematic and Practical Theology, University of Latvia, invite proposals for a third international conference in the series: “Spirituality, Theology, Education”. The intention of the conference is to facilitate a wider inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural forum where researchers, scholars and others engaged in the study and practice of spirituality in diverse disciplines can:

• share and debate their research;
• draw comparative perspectives and insights from different cultures;
• incorporate different forms of writing and expressions of spirituality;
• explore new methodological approaches; and
• identify new agendas for research into spirituality.

These may include ways in which spirituality can be taught, or asking why it is we sometimes allow our critical faculties to be diluted when working with spirituality.

To this end, the conference welcomes contributions that will critically examine spirituality in the following disciplines:
• Christian Spirituality
• Music and Spirituality
• Law and Spirituality
• Religion and Spirituality
• Biblical Spirituality
• Anthropology and Spirituality
• Sociology and Spirituality
• Psychology and Spirituality
• Primary Spiritualities
• Contextuality and Spirituality




CFP: “Migrant Masculinities and Global Religions. Exploring Gendered Religious Change through International Mobility”


Bergamo (Italy) – June 6-9, 2018

University of Bergamo

Call for Papers – Panel Session:

Migrant Masculinities and Global Religions. Exploring Gendered Religious Change through International Mobility

Convenors: Ester Gallo (University of Trento) and Francesca Scrinzi (University of Glasgow/European University Institute)

Despite the historical role played by religious institutions in reproducing social hierarchies based on gender (as well as on ethnicity and class), the sociology of religion has lagged behind other fields in developing a gendered analysis. Exceptions within feminist studies have mainly focused on women and religion, while since the 1990s critical men’s studies have started to pay attention to male spiritualties. From a different but related perspective, migration studies have increasingly shown how religion is transformed in its theological and sociological aspects in the context of transnational mobility. The gendered contours of these new religious formations have yet to be analysed in detail. Scholars of religion and gender in the migratory context have indeed focused mainly on migrant women, who are singled out as the ‘keepers of the cultural flame’ and responsible to pass on religious ‘traditions’ to the younger generations. Rare studies on religion and migrant masculinities suggest that religion is used by men to accommodate the challenges arising in transnational households; and show how patriarchal norms are renegotiated in migrant congregations in response to processes of racialization. Importantly, scholars have also shown how the current ‘moral panic’ around Islam has a sharp focus on migrant masculinities. Drawing from these considerations, this panel aims to develop an original dialogue between the sociology of religion, of migration and of gender, based on ethnographic/qualitative research methodologies. It will explore how gender and religion intertwine and transform each other in the context of transnational mobility. We welcome papers that consider (also comparatively) religions as different as Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism or Sikhism, and that focus on different migrant groups and geographical areas.

Some of the themes we wish to explore are:

  • o The relationship between religion and hegemonic/subaltern masculinities in the context of transnationalism and international migration;
  • o The role of (majority and minority) religious institutions and religious discourses in accommodating/representing the presence of migrants in immigration societies, and more particularly in forging ideas of masculinity and femininity;
  • o How migrant men (and women), as believers or religious leaders, use religion to renegotiate gender relations, and more particularly masculinities, in a transnational space;
  • o How migrants use religion to resist gendered processes of racialization and de-skilling;
  • o How gendered religious teachings are transformed/challenged in the migratory context;
  • o How migration challenges the association between masculinity and sacred power.


To submit your proposal please send an e-mail to the convenor/s of the session of your choice and to the conference committee ( – indicating the title of the chosen session – and to the panel convenors:

Please send:

  • ▪ the title of your talk and an abstract of a maximum 1,000 words (.doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, .rtf);
  • ▪ your contact details (f ull name, e-mail, post address and affiliation) and those of your co-author/s, if any;
  • ▪ if you like (and we would be very happy!), a short video talk (2 min. max.), not necessarily on your proposed talk but a sort of teaser trailer for it (by sending the video, you thereby allow the organizing committee to upload the video at its discretion, in full or cut form, on the youtube channel of Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa :

Abstracts (and video talks) must be submitted in English. The official languages of the conference, however, are Italian, English, and French. For each session, languages will be used on the basis of the composition of participants.

Proposals must be submitted by 15 January 2018 .

Francesca Scrinzi

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow
European University Institute

Summer School: Religion in Cities: Contested Presences, Contested Regulations”, 20-24 August, 2018

Dear colleagues,

I am glad to share this invitation to the summer school “Religion in Cities: Contested Presences, Contested Regulations”, that I am organising at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands) on August 20-24 2018.

The aim of this summer school is to provide undergraduate students in their last year of studies, as well as Master and PhD students in different disciplines with the means to reflect upon religious issues in cities from the perspective of sociology, geography, urban studies and religious studies. The topic will be addressed from three different stand-points: a) a theoretical perspective to understand the presence, visibility and regulation of religious diversity in cities; b) methodological insights into how to research these topics and conduct fieldwork in concrete urban settings; and c) discussions about the political relevance and policy responses offered at the level of cities.

The application deadline is June 1, 2018.

Please, feel free to share this information with your colleagues and students and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any question.

Kind regards,

Julia Martínez

CFP: Populist politics and the minority voice: British Muslims, extremisms and inclusion

A one-day Muslims in Britain Research Network conference organised in partnership with the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, King’s College London

Date: 19 April 2018

Across Europe and North America populist parties and leaders have surged in recent years, with figures such as Donald Trump and Andrej Babiš and parties such as UKIP and Alternative für Deutschland making significant electoral gains. Although different in important respects, these movements share certain themes, such as emphasis on national self-interest and hostility toward international co-operation, liberal political norms and established news media. In almost all cases this desire to reassert national identity has also involved renewed hostility toward ethnic and religious minorities – especially Jewish and Muslim minorities – as well as toward any frameworks of liberal accommodation that have allowed minorities to participate in public life on an equal footing. In the UK, this was evident in the referendum on European Union membership in 2016, which not only destabilised previously taken-for-granted political and legal frameworks but also contributed to a sustained rise in hate crime, anti-immigration rhetoric and Islamophobia.

This one-day conference on ‘Populist politics and the minority voice’ will discuss the effects of these changes on British Muslims, and how the concerns of British Muslims relate to those of other minority groups as well as wider debates about the future of liberal states, free speech and ‘fake news’. Since at least the 1970s, British Muslims – as a group and alongside other minorities – have been involved in a struggle for rights, for media and political representation and for recognition. What might these struggles look like in the future? What is the future of British Muslim identity, post-Brexit? How might rights and legal accommodations be affected by withdrawal from the EU? How do concerns about rising Islamophobia intersect with concerns about resurgent anti-Semitism and far-right and populist movements? How should debates about Muslims and the media proceed in an era of ‘fake news’? How can standards of debate about minorities be preserved and what can higher education and Muslim institutions contribute?

Abstracts are invited for papers that address any of the conference themes:

  • Muslim activism and populist politics;
  • New media, populism and the representation of Muslims and other minorities;
  • Recognising, opposing and offering alternatives to anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other extremisms;
  • British Muslims and national identity after Brexit;
  • Challenges to, and for, principles of tolerance, free speech and accommodation.

Participants will be asked to present their research in a short format as part of a panel. To participate please send an abstract (250 words max) to the email address below by Friday January 19th along with a biographical note of no more than 50 words.

Abstract submissions and any general questions should be sent to the conference organisers at

Proposal Deadline Submission for the Workshop, “Brokerage in a Diverse Europe: Intermediaries, Go-Betweens and Bridges”,Extended to November 24th!

Description of the workshop’s theme and aims:

As contemporary Europe has become ever more diverse due to globalization and international migration, processes of mediation and brokerage have become increasingly central to communication, cooperation, and conflict resolution in a range of political, institutional, and social domains. Whether as religious mediators, ethnic community leaders, diaspora experts or so-called migrant smugglers, middlemen and go-betweens bring together disparate communities and translate across different social fields. To describe their role, the concept of brokerage is used across a variety of disciplines, including political science, sociology, anthropology, economics, linguistics, development studies and subfields of each discipline, such as social movement studies, network studies, religious studies, and organizational studies. However, disciplinary boundaries have meant that disparate conceptions of brokerage coexist with limited exchange across research fields. This two-day multi-disciplinary workshop aims to bring together scholars working on brokerage in different social and political domains with the aim of identifying trends and divergences across various fields. We also seek to share and develop conceptual and methodological frameworks for studying brokerage in a diversifying Europe.

We invite paper presentations on the following topics, but are open to any paper addressing brokerage in a diverse Europe:

  • What are typical characteristics of brokers? Are certain groups or individuals more likely to act as brokers, and if so, why?
  • What are the conditions of success of brokerage and what leads to its failure?
  • How do brokers negotiate loyalty and conflicting interests between different social groups?
  • How does brokerage reinforce or challenge static conceptions of ‘culture’, ‘communities’, ‘borders’?
  • How can we understand brokers as gendered, racialized and classed subjects?
  • What is the role of brokerage in the governance of diversity?
  • What distinguishes brokers from related figures, such as native informants and mediators?

Please submit abstracts of approx. 500 words by the 24th of November to

The workshop will take place 12-13 January 2018 in London and is organised by Sara de Jong (The Open University/Göttingen University) and Avi Astor (Autonomous University of Barcelona). The workshop is sponsored by the Council for European Studies (CES). There is no registration fee, but participants have to fund their own travel and accommodation.

We seek to develop concrete plans for the publication of a special issue or edited volume on the basis of selected papers presented at the workshop.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Download a PDF file for complete instrucctions:CfP_ESA_RN34_2018.pdf

Conference on Music and the Sacred

12–14 November 2018, Helsinki, Finland

Call for Papers and Presentations

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

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

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

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

The proposals shall include the following information:

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

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

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

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

All correspondence regarding the conference should be directed to

Conference on Religious & Spiritual Education

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

June 11-13, 2018, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details online at: