International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP)

Dear SISR Colleagues

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP). You can find more about the IPSP and its ways of working here: https://www.ipsp.org/. You will see that it exists to ‘harness the competence of hundreds of experts about social issues’ and to ‘deliver a report addressed to all social actors, movements, organizations, politicians and decision-makers, in order to provide them with the best expertise on questions that bear on social change’.

We Grace Davie (University of Exeter, UK) and Nancy Ammerman (Boston University, US), are the Coordinating Lead Authors (CLAs) for the chapter on religion, entitled ‘Religions and social progress: Critical assessments and creative partnerships’. Altogether we are a team of twelve. Here is our Abstract:

This chapter starts from the premise that some 80 percent of the world’s population affirms some kind of religious identification, a proportion that is growing rather than declining. Emphasizing the significance of belief and practice in everyday lives and local contexts, we analyze the impact of religion and its relevance to social progress in a wide variety of fields. These include the family, gender and sexuality; differences and diversity; democratic governance; violence and peace-making; health and economic well-being; and care for the earth.

We argue that researchers and policy makers pursuing social progress will benefit from careful attention to the power of religious ideas to motivate, of religious practices to shape ways of life, of religious communities to mobilize and extend the reach of social change, and of religious leaders and symbols to legitimate calls to action. All of that, however, can be put to either good or ill, for which reason assessment of particular religions in specific contexts is essential.

Running through the chapter are five interconnected themes: the persistence of religion in the twenty-first century; the importance of context in discerning outcomes; the need for cultural competence relative to religion; the significance of religion in initiating change; and the benefits of well-judged partnerships. The continuing need for critical but appreciative assessment and the demonstrable benefits of creative partnerships are our standout findings.

The IPSP process – see https://www.ipsp.org/process – mirrors that of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and includes a period of public comment in the autumn of 2016. The ‘Commenting Platform’ is now open – see comment.ipsp.org. It would be hugely helpful if members of SISR could take part in this. The IPSP website will indicate how you access our chapter and how you make your comments. Or if you prefer you can simply send us (g.r.c.davie@exeter.ac.uk; nta@bu.edu) an e-mail.

European Academy of Religion launching event, Bologna, 5 December, 2016

Hon. Valerio Onida and Professor Alberto Melloni on behalf of the Foundation for Religious Studies, together with the Rector of the University of Bologna Francesco Ubertini and the Minister for Education, University and Research Stefania Giannini, are glad to invite you to join the launching event of the European Academy of Religion in Bologna, on December 5th 2016, under thePatronage of the European Parliament.

Scholars, Representatives of Scientific Societies and Academies, Research Centers, Journals,Publishers and Political Authorities are invited to the meeting,which will be honored by the presence and the keynote addresses of Commissioner Carlos Moedas, Special Envoy Ján Figel’, Professor Romano Prodi and Vice President David Sassoli.

The agenda of this meeting is very simple. Several thousands of Scholars coming from Europe and the Mediterranean Countries participate in the Fall to the Annual Convention of the American Academy of Religion. They are independent esteemed scientist, working in the field of law, history, philosophy, archeology, psychology, sociology, etc., concerning the religious experience in its variety and diachronic extension. As specialists, they are a real resource for the Euro-Med Countries, Unions and cultures, and their research can emerge if a research framework is available. The purpose of a Eu/ARE and the Bologna event is to make them visible and offer them a common framework, with an Annual Convention, to be held in the Spring, as a place of research, exchange and public engagement.

Therefore we kindly ask you: – to join us and the Bologna initiative, also giving a short address supporting this gathering of scholars, academic societies, research centers –to encourage in the most proper and persuasive way the participation/endorsement of national societies and academies as well as the greatest research institutions, scientific journals and specialized publisher which must be part of the initiative. To join the meeting please register at http://forms.fscire.it/app/form/ or write to melloni@fscire.it or events@fscire.it

News from the ISSR

We would like to inform you about the following:

  • The registration for the ISSR conference to be held in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, 2-5 July 2015 is now open. Please go to the ISSR web site and follow the link to be found on the home page or under “Conferences’. The deadline for registration is May 15, 2015.
  • The deadline for proposals for the ISSR Best Article Award and the ISSR Student Paper Award has been extended to February 28, 2015. For more details, please go the ISSR web site. The link is on the home page (http://www.sisr-issr.org).
  • We would like to remind you that we are still seeking nominations for Council members to represent various countries / regions. Nominations should be sent to the General Secretary no later than March 15, 2015. Elections will be held in April 2015. For further details about the procedures to follow and the Council positions to be filled, please see Network 48, available on the web-site (“Newsletters”).
  • Please note also that only members in good standing can participate in the conference, be nominated or vote. If you have not yet paid your membership fee for the 2014-2015 period, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible.You may pay your membership through the web site, under “Join”.

Kind regards,

Siniša Zrinščak

ISSR General Secretary

The post News from the ISSR appeared first on ISA Research Committee 22.

Call for Papers: Sociology of Religion Group of the American Academy of Religion

American Academy of Religion Annual Conference
Atlanta, Georgia
November 21-24, 2015

Sociology of Religion Group

Call for Papers:

The Sociology of Religion Group (SOR) aims to bridge the gap between sociology of religion and religious studies. For the most part, these fields have been isolated from each other with scholars from each existing in separate departments, attending different meetings, and publishing in different journals. We believe that this cloistering has hindered the development of both fields and that only a cross-fertilization that transgresses departmental boundaries can foster progress in research. Therefore, we invite scholars from both sociology of religion and religious studies to submit innovative papers pushing the boundaries of both fields.

We are open to both panel and paper proposals across a wide range of topics of interest to both the sociology of religion and religious studies and are particularly interested in papers, which speak to both thereby encouraging increased dialogue between them.

Theory, Method, and their Application

Sociology of Religion as part of a larger discipline is marked by a canonization of its theory and its division by paradigms and methodologies–whether these be the classics (Weber and Durkheim), the old paradigm (functionalism and social constructionism), or the new paradigm (rational choice) on the one hand or quantitative, qualitative, or historical-comparative sociology on the other. As it intersects with sociology of religion, the study of religion has drawn from theories and methodologies in conversation with sociology, anthropology, critical theory, psychology, history, and other related disciplines. We are interested both in papers that utilize the theories of religious studies and bring them into the sociological canon as well as those that help religious studies gain a better grasp of the sociological theory of religion. We encourage papers that exploit both the theory and methodology of sociology of religion and religious studies and use them as frames for analysis of concrete cases. In particular, we request papers that touch upon social divisions examining race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, region, age, etc.

Internationalism and Diversity

Critics of sociology of religion have pointed out that the field is dominated by North Americans scholars primarily interested in Protestantism. The discipline of religious studies provides a clear antidote to these perceived limitations. Therefore, we encourage contributions from academics not only studying Protestantism in North America but those who study the various religious traditions around the world. In particularly, we would like submissions from scholars from all academic ranks across the lines of nationality, region, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

Topics:

Below is a list of potential topics in which we are interested. These are merely suggestions, and we are open to a broad range of topics as discussed above. Suggested topics are alphabetized to indicate no particular preference. We encourage submissions on any topic deemed relevant.

  • Critical Religion
  • Critical Sociology of Religion
  • Critical Theory and Religion
  • Feminism and Religion
  • Marxism and Religion
  • Postcolonialism and Religion
  • Queer Studies and Religion
  • Religion and Class
  • Religion and Conflict
  • Religion and Environmental Sociology
  • Religion and Gender
  • Religion and Ideology
  • Religion and Inequality
  • Religion and Political Power
  • Religion and Social Stratification
  • Religious Movements and Social Movements
  • Religion and Race
  • Secularization Theory
  • Sociology of Islam

Co-Sponsored Session

“No Method to the Madness? Sociological Approaches to the Study of Black Expressive Cultures”

We request paper submissions for a possible co-sponsored session with the Critical Approaches to Hip Hop and Religion Group. Topics should explore theory and method in the academic study of religion, in particular, sociological approaches to religion, with attention to race and class in urban contexts, in the domains of hip hop and black expressive cultures. We encourage proposals that consider/make use of varying cultural practices/data, cartographies and formats. The interpretation of cultural products and the analyses that come to bear on them have a tendency to rely on “meaning” (and religion) as/in self-evident ways. As such, this session proposes to wrestle with the challenges faced, overcome and unearthed through the scholarly handling of such materials through sociological/social scientific means.

Publication

The Sociology of Religion Group of AAR regularly co-sponsors panels with the peer-reviewed print and online journal Critical Research on Religion (CRR) (http://crr.sagepub.com). Published by SAGE Publications, over 2500 libraries worldwide have subscriptions to the journal. Presenters of promising papers in SOR panels will be invited to turn their papers into articles and submit them for peer review to CRR.

Submission

Please submit paper and panel proposal through on-line system at: http://papers.aarweb.org

Proposal Deadline: March 2, 2015

For further information, please contact SOR co-chairs:

The post Call for Papers: Sociology of Religion Group of the American Academy of Religion appeared first on ISA Research Committee 22.