The 25th Nordic Conference in the Sociology of Religion

17th-19th August 2020, Gothenburg, Sweden

Religious Organisation(s) – challenges and changes in contemporary society

In today’s globalised and fast changing society, religious organisation and religious organisations face several challenges. Globalization, migration and different secularisation processes, but also/together with political, technological and environmental changes/issues, influence, not only society in general, but also religious organisations and the ways in which religion is practiced and expressed in contemporary society. This situation prompts questions such as:

How do religious organisations handle an influx of new members from other parts of the world and at the same time, an increased loss of members who have been there for a long time? How do religious organisations react to new technology such as digital communication instead of face-to-face interaction, and web-broadcasted religious meetings?

Other questions of interest are for example: how do religious groups and organisations handle the late modern individual who has little need of belonging to religious groups, and who is sceptical of religious authority? And, on the other hand, how can we explain why late modern individuals choose to belong to conservative and fundamentalist religious groups?

These, and other, questions concerning how religion is organised in contemporary society will be addressed at the 25th NCSR conference held in Gothenburg 17th-19th August 2020, which includes a pre-conference for doctoral students in the morning of the 17th August.


  • 15th November 2019                 Deadline for submission of session proposals (paper sessions, panels, posters, authors-meets- critics, workshops etc.)
  • 15th Mars 2020   Deadline for submission of abstracts for papers

We look forward to seeing you in Gothenburg,

Open-Access article on Mosques as Gendered Spaces

You may be interested in my article on mosques as gendered spaces, which has now been published in the open-access journal Religions. The article is free to download here:  Mosques as Gendered Spaces: The Complexity of Women’s Compliance with, And Resistance to, Dominant Gender Norms, And the Importance of Male Allies –

Women’s presence and role in contemporary mosques in Western Europe is debated within and outside Muslim communities, but research on this topic is scarce. Applying a feminist lens on religion and gender, this article situates the mosque as a socially constituted space that both enables and constrains Western European Muslim women’s religious formation, identity-making, participation …

With very best wishes

Dr Line Nyhagen
Reader in Sociology. SFHEA.

New Journal Issue: Scandinavian Jewish Studies 30/1

We are happy to announce the publication of Vol. 30/1 of the journal Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies, which is a special issue focusing on Jewish everyday life and identities in Finland today.

Guest Editors: Mercédesz Czimbalmos & Dóra Pataricza, Åbo Akademi University

You find the journal at

Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies aims at promoting Jewish studies in Scandinavia by publishing scholarly articles, surveys and documents, by reviewing recent literature, and compiling bibliographies. The contributions are published in one of the Scandinavian languages, or in English, German or French, with an abstract in English. The journal is strictly academic and does not pursue any special religious, political or cultural policy.

NJ is published open access online.

Thanks for the continuing interest in our work,

Karin Hedner Zetterholm & Ruth Illman
Editors of Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies

World Congress of Faith Call for Papers

The World Congress of Faiths (WCF) is a community of individuals from different faiths and beliefs working to promote interfaith relations through spiritual dialogue. It organises conferences and lectures designed to stimulate discussion and disseminate new information on this theme.

WCF is seeking papers to be presented at its forthcoming conference:

Meetings of Minds: Conflict, Reconciliation and Inter Faith Relations
Time and Date: 10am to 4pm, Tuesday 10 September 2019
Venue: St Michael’s House, Coventry Cathedral

Keynote speaker: Dr Kristin Aune: ‘How can religious communities or professionals work for mutual respect and understanding in an educational institution?’

We will consider papers on the following and similar themes:

  • What can faith communities learn from studies in reconciliation?
  • Can there be mutual benefit between education for reconciliation and spiritual encounter between faiths?
  • What might a polarised society expect from inter faith relations?
  • Preparing young people for faith diversity
  • Navigating prejudice, toleration, and reconciliation in the global context of inter faith relations and thought

You will be asked to present your own paper and take questions and will have a total of 45 minutes allocated, of which 15 minutes will be for questions.  Papers should reflect original work, which may or may not have been published, and we encourage students to participate. Papers will normally be published in the WCF journal Interreligious Insight after the event.

Reasonable travel expenses will be paid to speakers.

Please send a synopsis of your paper in no more than 200 words together with your affiliation and contact details (term time and home) by Friday 21 June 2019 to: Jenny Kartupelis,<> If you have any queries, use this email or call on 01223 781781.

New Book: “Essays on Secularism and Multiculturalism” by Tariq Modood


Whether the recently settled religious minorities, Muslims, in particular, can be accommodated as religious groups in European countries has become a central political question and threatens to create long-term fault lines. In this collection of essays Tariq Modood argues that to grasp the nature of the problem we have to see how Muslims have become a target of a cultural racism, Islamophobia. Yet, the problem is not just one of anti-racism but of an understanding of multicultural citizenship, of how minority identities, including those formed by race, ethnicity and religion, can be incorporated into national identities so all can have a sense of belonging together. This means that the tendency amongst some to exclude religious identities from public institutions and the re-making of national identities has to be challenged. Modood suggests that this can be done in a principled yet pragmatic way by drawing on Western Europe’s moderate political secularism and eschewing forms of secularism that offer religious groups a second-class citizenship.

Rowman & Littlefield, 2019

30% Off with Discount Code

SOCREL News, Issue 9 online


Issue #9 of the British Sociological Association’s Sociology of Religion section’s News has been posted at

Besides the Editor’s Welcome, it contains:

  • News of the upcoming SOCREL 2019 Annual Conference Cardiff: Communicating Religion
  • Profiles on our Seed Corn Fund winners
  • Socrel Member Interviews with Eileen Barker, Kristin Aune, Rob Barward-Symmons
  • A short tribute to David Martin (1929-2019)

Read it!!

Call for Papers: AAIMS Conference on Islam and Society: Challenges and Prospects.


AAIMS Second Conference on the Study of Islam and Muslim Societies.
Hosted by the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at Western Sydney University, in partnership with Alfred Deakin Institute at Deakin University.

30 September and 1 October 2019

Western Sydney University Parramatta South Campus, Female Orphan School

We are pleased to announce confirmation of our international keynote speaker, award winning scholar and activist Deepa Kumar from Rutgers University in the United States. She will be speaking on: Terrorcraft: The Making of the Racialized Terrorist Threat.

The two leading nodes in Australian scholarship of race and ethnic studies are combining to offer the second Australian Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (AAIMS) Conference. After the successful inaugural conference, the second conference will further represent the depth and breadth of scholarship in Australia and internationally. It will showcase and reflect upon the range of Muslim experiences across many countries from multi-disciplinary perspectives. The conference will bring togetherscholars from such disciplines as law, politics, sociology, religious studies, geography, philosophy and theology.

The conference will feature international and local keynotes who are leading scholars in their fields. In addition to papers, we are calling for convenors and participants for conference panels on cutting edge topics that fit within the broad theme of the conference.

We strongly encourage Higher Degree by Research students to attend and the conference program will include networking, feedback and mentoring sessions. HDR students are eligible for a discounted fee.

Topics for presentation might include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Geopolitics of Islam
  • Islam in an era of populism
  • Countering Violent Extremism
  • Islam and women
  • Muslim organisations, politics and volunteering
  • Islamophobic ideologies, manifestation, impact and response
  • Refugees and Islamophobia
  • Youth and Islam
  • Islam in the spaces of education
  • Law and religion
  • Muslim popular cultures and new media
  • Islam in Indonesia
  • Converts, reverts and apostates

Application Process
Abstracts (100-200 words)
Brief bio (50-100 words)

Participants are expected to organise and financially cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. Advice will be later provided on registration options and suitable accommodation.

Please send abstracts to: Mehrnosh Lajevardi Fatemi ( by Friday 14 June, 2019

Queries can be directed to Professor Linda Briskman ( or Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh (

Humour and Religion Network

Dear friends and colleagues,

We are delighted to launch the Humour and Religion Network aiming to bring together and connect both scholars and practitioners who work at the intersections of humour and religion.

This is a niche but growing area of research and practice exploring in different ways the multifaceted links between humour and religion. Here are a few examples:

The Humour and Religion Network aims to foster the exchange of ideas and forge interdisciplinary and international collaborations between humanities researchers and social scientists; interfaith leaders and social action stakeholders; as well as comedians and humourists, who all share a common interest in cross-cutting issues at the intersections of humour, satire and comedy, with religion, faith and belief. Some of the themes that may be of particular interest to the members of this Network include:

  • – Humour about religion in the context of blasphemy/free speech
  • – Humour and religion in popular culture
  • – Laughter and interfaith engagement
  • – Humour traditions in different religions
  • – Practices and lineages of religious humour, past and present
  • – Scriptural humour
  • – Philosophies and theories of religious humour
  • – Social science approaches to humour and religion

As part of this initiative, we are also aiming to eventually build a public archive of works by scholars who have published on humour and religion in the last 15-20 years. Our goal is to create a comprehensive, organised and searchable open archive of the study of humour and religion, which we hope will become a port of call for anyone interested in past and ongoing research projects and practical work at the intersections of humour and religion. It will be an ongoing work-in-progress.

The Network will further serve as a portal for discussion and information exchange about humour and religion, including calls for papers and upcoming conferences publications, public events, comedy work and the like.

To become a member (recommended!) you can simply register with Yahoo Groups and ask to join the Network by going to:

In case you only want to receive e-mails from group members, you can send an e-mail from your personal account to: and confirm the electronic response.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Roald Dijkstra, Ph.D.         

Lina Molokotos-Liederman, Ph.D.           

Bernard Schweizer, PhD

New E-Book: “The Fourth Secularisation” by Luigi Berzano

The Fourth Secularisation: Autonomy of Individual Lifestyles, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Routledge Focus, 2019, 82 pages

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1 From a single style to multiple styles
  • 2 Spiritual revolution: Multiplication of forms
  • 3 The fourth secularisation
  • 4 Sense of religion in the secular age


  • This book examines recent forms of secularisation to demonstrate that we are now witnessing a “fourth secularisation”: the autonomy of lifestyles. After introducing two initial secularising movements, from mythos to Logos and from Logos to Christianity, the book sets out how from Max Weber onwards a third movement emerged that practised the autonomy of science. More recently, daily life radicalises Weber’s secularisation and its scope has spread out to include autonomy of individual practices, which has given rise to this fourth iteration.
  • The book outlines these first three forms of secularisation and then analyses the fourth secularisation in depth, identifying its three main dimensions: the de-institutionalisation of the religious lifestyle; the individualisation of faith; and the development of new social forms in the religious field. These areas of religious practice are shown to be multiplying partly as a result of the general aestheticization of society. Individuals, therefore, aspire to personal styles of life with regard to beliefs and the choice of their own religious practices.
  • This book will be of great use to scholars of religious studies, secularisation and the sociology of religion.

Introduction to Islamic Codicology

We are once again collaborating  with the Islamic Manuscript Association’s Introduction to Islamic Codicology course on 23–27 September 2019 at Cambridge University Library, Cambridge.

This intensive five-day course will introduce the study of Islamic manuscript codices as physical objects, or the archaeology of the Islamic book. The lectures will provide an overview of writing supports, the structure of quires, ruling and page layout, bookbinding, ornamentation, tools and materials used in book making, the palaeography of book hands, and writing Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) manuscript descriptions. During hands-on sessions, participants will examine Islamic manuscripts from Cambridge University Library’s collections and complete a series of practical exercises on codicological description.

If you are interested then please contact the Association or apply via their website.

Neil Cunningham
Programmes Manager
Centre of Islamic Studies
University of Cambridge