CFP: Religion and Urban Politics” as part of the ISSR Conference in Barcelona in July 2019

Julia Martínez-Ariño
University of Groningen

Abstract (English):
This panel addresses the general topic of the conference from an urban perspective. The panel will delve into the interaction(s) between religion and politics in city contexts, namely how religious discourses, practices, imaginaries, expectations and mobilisations affect or influence urban politics and how urban politics deal with, shape, regulate or ignore religion. Papers that analyse the intersection of and interaction between the two fields in different geographical and religious contexts are welcome. Some questions that the papers may address are: What are the channels of interaction between religion and politics in cities? How are these shaped, maintained, contested? Are religious actors present in governance networks and political structures? Does this involvement entail forms of co-optation of, and cooperation or competition between, religious and political actors? How do religious/spiritual groups and organisations get in contact with, influence or ignore urban political arenas? How are religion, spirituality and non-religion mobilised in identity claims and claims to the right to the city? How do religious actors articulate struggles over visibility and recognition in urban contexts? What is the scope of intervention of religious and spiritual leaders, groups, and advocates in urban politics? How do urban political processes and policies transform local religious groups? What are urban policy tools used to govern and regulate religion in urban contexts?

Abstract (French):
Ce panel aborde le sujet général de la conférence d’un point de vue urbain. Le panel explorera les interactions entre la religion et la politique dans les contextes urbains, à savoir comment les discours, les pratiques, les imaginaires, les attentes et les mobilisations religieux affectent ou influencent la politique urbaine et comment la politique urbaine traite, façonne, régule ou ignore la religion. Les articles qui analysent l’intersection et l’interaction des deux domaines dans différents contextes géographiques et religieux sont les bienvenus. Certaines questions que les contributions peuvent aborder sont : quels sont les canaux d’interaction entre la religion et la politique dans les villes ? Comment sont-ils façonnés, entretenus, contestés ? Les acteurs religieux sont-ils présents dans les réseaux de gouvernance et les structures politiques ? Cette participation implique-t-elle des formes de cooptation et de coopération ou de compétition entre les acteurs religieux et politiques ? Comment les groupes et organisations religieux / spirituels entrent-ils en contact, influencent-ils ou ignorent-ils les arènes politiques urbaines ? Comment la religion et la spiritualité sont-elles mobilisées dans les revendications identitaires et du droit à la ville ? Comment les acteurs religieux et non-religieux articulent les luttes sur la visibilité et la reconnaissance dans les contextes urbains ? Quel est le champ d’intervention des leaders et groupes religieux et spirituels dans la politique urbaine ? Comment les processus politiques et les politiques urbaines transforment-ils les groupes religieux locaux ? Quels sont les outils de l’action publique urbaine utilisés pour régir et réguler la religion ?


The deadline for submitting your abstracts is 16 December 2018

Call for papers: The 2nd Annual Conference of the East Asian Society for the Scientific Study of Religion

Theme: “East-West Encounters and Religious Change in Modernizing East Asia”

Dates: July 27-28, 2019

Place:  Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

East Asia has undergone globalization and modernization in the last five hundred years. The first encounter between East Asia and the modernizing West was with the Jesuit missionaries in the late 16th century in China, Korea, and Japan, where their inculturation strategy succeeded in attracting some converts in certain social circles. The cultural and political elites in these countries began to realize the uniqueness of the institutional religion of Catholicism in contrast to the local customary religiosities originated from Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. In response, Christianity was suppressed in East Asia until the mid-19th century, when the second encounter between the East and the West brought about waves of modernization to East Asian countries. Under the Western-hegemony, Asian countries were coerced to modernize or Westernize, adopting a modern system of law, bureaucracy, education system, and abolishing many of their own traditions. The concept of religion and the relationship between religion and the state have been constructed and reconstructed in the process of this East-West encounter in the process of modernization. Along with the introduction of science and technology, theory of evolution, atheism, and various ideologies, East Asian societies became rapidly secularized. In the first half of the 20th century, most states in East Asia enforced administrative control over religions.

Since the end of World War II in 1945, East Asian societies have diverged in their paths of social development and religious change. In mainland China, following a period of eradication of religion in the 1960s and 1970s, some religions have revived in spite of strong state control. In Taiwan, institutional Buddhism and other Chinese religions have undergone modernization and many religions have thrived since the end of martial law. South Korea has experienced the rapid rise of Christianity, with nearly 30% of the population identifying as either Protestant or Catholic. Japan retained traditional religions and added many new religions in the free market religious economy, but today organized religions are in steady decline due to aging and secularization. Why are these societies so different even though they shared similar traditional religiosities and experiences of modernization in response to the West? 

At present, East Asian countries have strengthened their economic and cultural exchanges despite occasional political tension among them. Religious exchange has also accelerated with the growth of missionaries and migrant populations. Religious diversity has increased and nationalism has risen in response to the perceived foreign religions. Meanwhile, religions or religiosities originating in East Asia have spread to the West and other parts of the world. How do the various states in the region manage religious pluralism and provide social space for migrants and missionary religions? How do individuals and communities of the Global East practice religion in late modernity?

In short, East Asia has varieties of religious institutions and communities, folk religions and new religions, and atheism and other secularisms. The research on religion in East Asia needs historical, sociological, political, and other perspectives. While all topics on religion are welcome at the conference, we especially invite papers that address one or more of the following research questions:

· How did religions and their practitioners in the Global East encounter and respond to Christianity backed by western modernity and hegemonic power in recent centuries?

· How were the concepts of the boundary between religion and secularity, administrative control of religions in authoritative regimes and the policy of religious pluralism formed in the Global East?

· What kind of similarity and difference in traditional and new religions are there in the Global East?

· How has secularization proceeded in the Global East and manifested in the growth of religious “nones” and in the new forms of “believing without belonging” and “belonging without believing”?

Beyond addressing these questions, we seek a range of papers that draw on different geographical contexts and religious traditions. We particularly encourage proposals of organized sessions with 3-4 papers addressing the same religion or topic. For individual papers we will arrange them in the session of similar topics.


  • Presentation proposals are due by January 31, 2019.  Please submit your paper’s title, abstract (200 to 500 words), author’s information by clicking here: Submit Paper Presentation Proposal for EASSSR 2019 Conference. For submission-related questions, please email: Lily C Szeto, .
  • Notification of acceptance of presentation proposals will be sent out by February 28, 2019.
  • Meeting Registration will be open between March 1 and 31, 2019.
  • Participants need to make their own hotel reservations (see information below).

CFP: “Approaching esotericism and mysticism: Cultural influences”

Call for Papers

The Donner Institute will arrange a symposium 5–7 June 2019 in Åbo/Turku, Finland

Approaching esotericism and mysticism: Cultural influences

Conference website:

Hashtag: #esomyst2019

Facebook event:

This multidisciplinary conference approaches the traditions of Western esotericism and mysticism from a cultural-historical perspective. The aim is to analyse the diverse influences of esoteric ideas and practices and the various forms of mysticism in their cultural-historical surroundings. We promote approaches that focus on individuals, groups and networks, and various archival source materials, but we also welcome papers dealing with esoteric or mystical textual traditions.

The conference will consist of keynote lectures and sessions that can be either traditional paper sessions or roundtable talks, panels and/or artistic performances. The social program of the conference will consist of e.g. esoteric and occult walking tours in Turku and artistic performances (plans for an event together with Art Teatro Circus -group). An excursion to the exhibition on Finnish art and clairvoyance at the Gallen-Kallela Museum (Espoo/Esbo, 11.5.–8.9.2019) is also being planned. The exhibition is part of the research project Seekers of the New and is curated by Nina Kokkinen.

Keynote speakers:

  • Per Faxneld, senior lecturer/associate professor at Södertörn University, Stockholm
  • Christine Ferguson, professor in English Literature at the University of Stirling

  • Olav Hammer, professor in the Department of History, Study of Religions at The University of Southern Denmark

  • Maarit Leskelä-Kärki (PhD, Adjunct Professor), University Lecturer at the Department of Cultural History at the University of Turku

The expert symposium is arranged jointly by the Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural history and the research project Seekers of the New: Esotericism and the transformation of religiosity in the modernising Finland at the University of Turku. The project is funded by the Kone Foundation.

To apply, please send an abstract (or panel proposal with abstracts) of approximately 150 words to the Donner Institute,, no later than 31 December 2018. Letters of acceptance will be posted no later than 31 January, 2019.

CFL: The Sixth Annual Conference of the British Association for Islamic Studies

*The deadline for abstracts (individual papers and panels) has been extended until 6 January 2019*

15 April – 16 April 2019 (Arrival and Registration from 14 April)
University of Nottingham

Following BRAIS’s successful conferences in Edinburgh (2014), London (2015 and 2016), Chester (2017) and Exeter (2018), the organisers invite proposals for whole panels or individual papers for the Sixth Annual Conference of BRAIS. Islamic Studies is broadly understood to include all disciplinary approaches to the study of Islam and Muslim societies (majority and minority), modern and premodern.

Plenary sessions at the conference

  • – Maribel Fierro (CSIC, Madrid) on ‘Rulers as Authors in the Medieval Islamic West’
  • – Khaled Fahmy (University of Cambridge) on ‘Implementing Shari’a in Modern Egypt: A Medical Perspective’
  • – Alison Scott-Baumann (SOAS, London) and the ‘Re/presenting Islam on Campus’ team

Abstract Deadline: Sunday 6 January 2019

For details on how to submit an abstract, see here <>

Call for Papers: Gender and Religion: Correlates and Causes

Please submit here :

ISSR 2019 Conference,

International Society for the Sociology of Religion (Barcelona, Spain, 9-12 July 2019)

Dr Yaghoob Foroutan,
Associate Professor at The University of Mazandaran

Abstract (English):
This panel focuses on the place of religion in gender dynamics and women’s status. The term ‘religion’ here refers to all religions around the world (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, etc.), focusing either on a specific religion or on varying religions in order to highlight their role on women’s status from a comparative perspective. In particular, this panel explains the association between religion and gender in terms of a wide range of issues such as family formation patterns including marriage, childbearing and fertility, separation and divorce, new and emerging forms of family formation (like cohabitation etc.), religiosity, labour force participation and employment status, migration, intergenerational gaps related to the impact of religion on gender and women’s status. This panel addresses such key questions as, but limited to, how gender and religion are correlated? Whether and how women’s status is associated with their religion? What does happen to the association between religion and gender upon migration? Whether and how significantly do intergenerational variations exist in terms of the effect of religion on women’s status? Does the effect of a specific religion on women’s status vary in different settings? From a comparative perspective, what are the effects of varying religions (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, etc.) on gender dynamics and women’s status? What are more important determinants than religion on women’s status? We welcome both quantitative and qualitative papers with central focus on the association between religion and gender from cultural, economic, demographic and sociological perspectives.

Call for Papers: Religious Minorities: Muslims in the West and Minorities in the Islamic Societies

ISSR 2019 Conference,

International Society for the Sociology of Religion (Barcelona, 9-12 July 2019)

Please submit here :

Dr Yaghoob Foroutan,
Associate Professor at The University of Mazandaran

Abstract :
This panel provides an avenue to consider religious minorities with specific attention to the world’s fastest growing religion. It includes two interconnected parts: while the first part focuses on the status of Muslim minorities in the western societies, the second part looks at the status of religious minorities in the Islamic societies. In these varying contexts, this panel addresses such key questions as, but limited to, whether and to what extent do these religious minorities differ in terms of socio-economic and demographic experiences and religiosity in their residing society? In particular, do Muslim minorities differ from other religious groups in terms of these experiences? Are such experiences different within Muslim minorities by ethnicity and compositional characteristics? Whether and how significantly are such experiences influenced by the religiosity of Muslim minorities? Such particular questions can be also referred to religious minorities in the Islamic contexts. Accordingly, this panel primarily aims to explore the dimensions, determinants and differentials associated with socio-economic and demographic experiences and religiosity among Muslim minorities in the western societies and religious minorities in the Islamic societies. The contrasts designed in this panel will also provide evidence to examine Huntington’s theory asserting that Western ethno-religious minorities in the Islamic states are more discriminated against than Islamic minorities in Western states. The panel welcomes both quantitative and qualitative papers which address each of these two parts of this panel outlined above from cultural, economic, demographic and sociological perspectives.

CFP: “Young people, religion, politics, and education” — ISSR Conference in Barcelona, July 9-12, 2019

Deadline for Proposals is 16 dec – Proposal (title and abstract up to 250 words)


Session abstract (English): <>

Organized religion is currently experiencing profound generational change in europe and the anglophone world. Young people are increasingly identifying as non-religious. What does this mean for the sociology of religion and education? Political debates about religion, politics and education often exclude the voices of children and young people. Do young people still want to get educated about religion? What is the relevance of education about religion when increasingly young people are declaring themselves as having no faith? What does this mean for future imaginings of education about religion? Through social media and digital cultures contemporary teenagers are exposed to diverse perspectives on religion, politics and education. How are their experiences mediated by where they go to school, their faith, their politics, their gender and sexual identity and their geographic location and ethnic identity? How is this shaping their worldviews? What is taking the place of religion in young people’s lives in relation to education about ethics/spirituality/morality? Education about gender, and sexuality is being weaponized by the recent resurgence of nationalism and populism in some european countries – take recent debates in hungary over attempts to ban gender studies. How are young people mobilized and mobilizing in these political struggles and what can this tell us about their changing worldviews? How do religious prescriptions of normative gender and sexualities in education become proxies for broader political debates about young people and education?  

Please join us in Barcelona!!

Call for proposals: “Religion and Demography”

International Society for the Sociology of Religion’s conference to be held July 9-12 2019 in Barcelona.

How is religion shaping demographic processes? How are demographic processes shaping religious communities? Proposals addressing one or both of these questions are invited for the religion and demography strand of the

Strand convener: Conrad Hackett, Pew Research Center

General conference information:


Note: You’ll need to join the organization to make a proposal. Proposals must be submitted by Dec. 16.

Call for Papers: “The regime of “spirituality” and the culture of well-being in neoliberal societies”

17th European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR) conference “Religion – Continuations and Disruptions” from June 25 to June 29, 2019 in Tartu, Estonia.

The deadline for individual papers is December 15, 2018.
For more information about the call for papers please see:

The regime of “spirituality” and the culture of well-being in neoliberal societies

Géraldine Mossière, Université de Montréal, Canada,
François Gauthier, Université de Fribourg, Switzerland

While the role of secularization and individualism in the transformation of religions and religious patterns is now widely acknowledged, research now points to the interaction between contemporary religious behaviours on one hand, and the many facets of the neoliberal and consumerist paradigm and its diffusion in all spheres of social life on the other hand. Among them, the thriving culture of well-being probably owes part of its success to the popularization of psychological theories to which it intermingles more than often, but also to the leverage of resources offered by religious traditions. As the latter are restated under the umbrella term of “spirituality” now aimed at working on the self, bettering the individual and equipping her/him for social life, they are redesigned to meet the impetus of leading a “good life”, maximizing one’s potential and focusing on one’s subjectivity. While critics have emphasized the social bias of this new trend towards a category of privileged actors, other accounts testify to the deep penetration of these self-realisation and well-being tropes within mainstream culture. Certainly, empirical and critical studies can bring more to this conversation, which has not been given the place it deserves as an overt thematic within the discipline.

In this session, we invite papers to discuss the dynamics between the contemporary regime of spirituality, ethics of well-being and the consumerist/neoliberal paradigm; all disciplinary lenses are welcome (anthropology, sociology, religious sciences, history, psychology, ethnology, philosophy).

Among others, the following topics could be addressed:

  • Who are the actors of the culture of well-being and how do they appropriate religious rituals, prescriptions or myth?
  • How does this contemporary movement lead to revisit and redefine the notion of “spirituality” beyond its Western historical understanding? What about the initial esoteric dimension of spirituality?
  • How do they negotiate with religious authority and traditions, and how do religious authorities and traditions negotiate with their new presence?
  • How do digital communication technologies shape and participate in this movement?
  • How does the material aspect of religion contribute to assert the influence of the culture of well-being in religious behaviours?
  • Is there a gendered dimension in the dynamic between well-being and religion? Does it correspond to a general “feminization” of religion?
  • What kind of ethics and moralities emerge from this contact zone between well-being and spirituality?
  • What are the best theoretical and analytical framework for understanding these transformations (marketization, secularisation, post-secularity, de-secularisation)?
  • What consistency should we give the term “spirituality” in the analysis of this movement? Should it be kept as a purely “emic” notion, or should it be developed into a sociological concept?

Voici un appel de soumission pour une session intitulée “The regime of “spirituality” and the culture of well-being in neoliberal societies” qui se tiendra au cours de la 17è édition de la conférence de la European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR) sous le thème “Religion – Continuations and Disruptions” du 25 au 29 juin prochain Tartu, Estonia.

La date limite de soumission des papiers individuels est le 15 décembre 2018.

Pour plus d’informations:

Dans l’attente de vous y retrouver,
Géraldine Mossière

Call for Papers: Conference on “The Ahmadiyya Muslim community In Scholarly Perspective” May 23-23, 2019

Venue: Faculty of Comparative Study of Religion and Humanism (FVG) Bist 164 – B-2610 Wilrijk-Antwerpen. Belgium. Tel.: +32 (0)3 830 51 58.

We are interested in organizing a conference on the Ahmadis and Ahmadiyya in which the speakers examine

  • Its theology- Christology
  • Its history,
  • Its organization, governance and associated groups,
  • Membership: numbers, growth, sociological profile. International expansion,
  • Iconography,
  • Their original territories and their international developments, as well as their various types of changes,
  • Judicial issues addressing its status; prosecution in certain countries,
  • Media relations and media coverage,
  • Impact on humanitarianism, art and culture in general,
  • Influences in popular culture,
  • The peculiar way of placing itself within the Islamic world, from which it is considered “heretical”
  • Relationship with the broader society.

This list of topics above is not exhaustive. We welcome additional studies or surveys completed or in process on the Ahmadiyya and its followers.

As for our previous conferences, we will prepare the publication of the best papers, once the scientific committee has reviewed them. You may see our publications on  We plan our conferences on one or two days, presuming there will about 12 speakers. Our requirement is to make sure speakers have a scholarly record and training even if they do not work in an academic background. Doctoral students are welcome. We do not offer grants or stipends to participants, and every participant has to pay registration fees.

Organized By:

The European Observatory of Religion and Secularism (Laïcité) in partnership with Faculty of Comparative Study of Religion and Humanism (FVG), Lirec (Rome), CLIMAS (Bordeaux), Cesnur (Turin).

Practical Information

Language of the conference: English.


Send a 10 line abstract, with a 5 line résumé of your previous work and a short biography to:

  • Régis Dericquebourg, Associate Professor at the FVG and President of the European Observatory of Religions and laïcité (secularism): Associate member of the Group of Sociology of Religion and Laicité. CNRS: Paris. France.
  • and/or to Bernadette Rigal-Cellard, Professor in North American Studies, Université Michel de Montaigne, member de CLIMAS (Culture et littératures du monde anglo saxon), Bordeaux. France Vice-President of the Observatory of Religion and Laicité.
  • and/ or Raffaella Di Marzio. Director of Lirec:
  • and/or Massimo Introvigne. Director of the Cesnur.
  • and/or Chris Vonck, rector of the Faculty for Comparative religion and Humanism (FVG). 
  • And/or Willy Fautre. Director of Human Rights Without Frontiers,

Papers will be considered for publication, with editorial details given during the conference. It is understood that each presenter must submit his or her paper first to the organizers for possible inclusion in the conference proceedings. When submitting the abstract, please inform the committee whether the paper has been submitted for review or publication in another venue.

Proposal Deadline: March 30, 2019

Registration and Transportation:

Registration Fee: 100 euros and 15 euros for each lunch.
Students: 30 euros and 10 euros each lunch.
There are many hotels in Antwerp and a few in the nearby town of Mortsel, which are discoverable online, and each attendee should book directly. FVG is located off of a bus line to downtown Antwerp.