CFP: Strong Religion and Mainstream Culture

Call for Papers
Strong Religion and Mainstream Culture: Youth, Education, and Technology
Umeå University, Sweden
9–10 November 2017

Conference Theme
Historically, the relationship between strong, conservative religion and modern society has been a complex one. Various means of inclusion and exclusion have been employed by mainstream society, and the religious groups themselves have applied both world-fleeing and world-mastering strategies. In contemporary Europe, the liberal multicultural society is being challenged by polarized religious fundamentalism of both Christian and Islamic foundation. This conference wants to highlight the past and present encounters between strong religion and mainstream society in general, but preferably with respect to youth, education and technology. Special interest will be paid to young people and their ways of relating to both strong religion and the ideologies and attributes of modernity.

The organizers invite papers that address the theme in various ways. Papers can focus on either general aspects of the main theme or any of the subthemes, and develop both internal and external perspectives on religious communities, in history as well as contemporary culture. Possible aspects include approaches to and use of technology at individual and group levels; ideas and mechanisms of upbringing, socialization and educa-tion; sites of separation and integration such as schools, including attempts at interreligious education and reli-gious dialogue, etc. Empirical cases are encouraged, but theoretical contributions are also welcome.

Keynotes
Dr Wolfram Weisse, Professor of Religious Education at University of Hamburg, Germany
Dr Pauline Cheong, Professor of Communication at Arizona State University, USA

Abstracts
Proposals for papers to be presented at the conference must be submitted no later than 15 June 2017. The requested information includes name, title and institutional affiliation of presenter(s), title of paper, and an ab-stract of the proposed paper of maximum 300 words. Please upload your abstract here.

Important Dates
15 June 2017 Deadline for submission of abstracts
1 July 2017 Notification of acceptance
30 September 2017 Deadline for registration and payment of conference fee

Organizers
The conference is an activity of the European Bible Belt project, funded by the Dutch research council NWO and directed by Professor Fred van Lieburg, Free University, Amsterdam. It will be co-hosted by the Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, and Humlab, Umeå University.

More information
Contact persons: Prof. Daniel Lindmark +46 (0)90 786 6250 daniel.lindmark@umu.seAssoc. Prof. Stefan Gelfgren +46 (0)90 786 5087 stefan.gelfgren@umu.se
Website: http://www.trippus.net/Strongreligion2017

Job Opening: Assistant Professor on Contemporary Islam

Dear colleagues,
The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) is hiring an Assistant Professor on Contemporary Islam. Deadline 27 August.
More information: http://www.rug.nl/about-us/work-with-us/job-opportunities/overview?details=00347-02S0005NUP

Kind regards

Julia Martínez

Dr. Julia Martínez-Ariño
Assistant Professor of Sociology of Religion
Department of the Comparative Study of Religion
Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies
University of Groningen
Oude Boteringestraat 38
9712 GK Groningen
The Netherlands

Tel.: +31 (0) 503635592

Job Opening: Assistant Professor on Contemporary Islam

Dear colleagues,
The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) is hiring an Assistant Professor on Contemporary Islam. Deadline 27 August.
More information: http://www.rug.nl/about-us/work-with-us/job-opportunities/overview?details=00347-02S0005NUP

Kind regards

Julia Martínez

Dr. Julia Martínez-Ariño
Assistant Professor of Sociology of Religion
Department of the Comparative Study of Religion
Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies
University of Groningen
Oude Boteringestraat 38
9712 GK Groningen
The Netherlands

Tel.: +31 (0) 503635592

New Book: Devotional Fitness

Devotional Fitness
An Analysis of Contemporary Christian Dieting and Fitness Programs

by Martin Radermacher

https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319498218

Series: Popular Culture, Religion and Society. A Social-Scientific Approach

 

This book examines evangelical dieting and fitness programs and provides a systematic approach of this diverse field with its wide variety of programs. When evangelical Christians engage in fitness and dieting classes in order to “glorify God,” they often face skepticism. This book approaches devotional fitness culture in North America from a religious studies perspective, outlining the basic structures, ideas, and practices of the field. Starting with the historical backgrounds of this current, the book approaches both practice and ideology, highlighting how devotional fitness programs construe their identity in the face of various competing offers in religious and non-religious sectors of society. The book suggests a nuanced and complex understanding of the relationship between sports and religion, beyond ‘simple’ functional equivalency. It provides insights into the formation of secular and religious body ideals and the way these body ideals are sacralized in the frame of an evangelical worldview.

https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319498218

New Book: Devotional Fitness

Devotional Fitness
An Analysis of Contemporary Christian Dieting and Fitness Programs

by Martin Radermacher

https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319498218

Series: Popular Culture, Religion and Society. A Social-Scientific Approach

 

This book examines evangelical dieting and fitness programs and provides a systematic approach of this diverse field with its wide variety of programs. When evangelical Christians engage in fitness and dieting classes in order to “glorify God,” they often face skepticism. This book approaches devotional fitness culture in North America from a religious studies perspective, outlining the basic structures, ideas, and practices of the field. Starting with the historical backgrounds of this current, the book approaches both practice and ideology, highlighting how devotional fitness programs construe their identity in the face of various competing offers in religious and non-religious sectors of society. The book suggests a nuanced and complex understanding of the relationship between sports and religion, beyond ‘simple’ functional equivalency. It provides insights into the formation of secular and religious body ideals and the way these body ideals are sacralized in the frame of an evangelical worldview.

https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319498218

New Book: American Jewish Year Book 2016

American Jewish Year Book 2016:
The Annual Record of North American Jewish Communities

Dashefsky, Arnold, Sheskin, Ira M (Eds.)

Springer: https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319461212

The American Jewish Year Book, now in its 116th year, is the annual record of the North American Jewish communities and provides insight into their major trends. Part I presents a forum on the Pew Survey, “A Portrait of American Orthodox Jews. Part II begins with Chapter 13, “The Jewish Family.” Chapter 14 examines “American Jews and the International Arena (April 1, 2015 – April 15, 2016), which focuses on US–Israel Relations. Chapters 15-17 analyze the demography and geography of the US, Canadian, and world Jewish populations. In Part III, Chapter 18 provides lists of Jewish institutions, including federations, community centers, social service agencies, national organizations, synagogues, Hillels, day schools, camps, museums, and Israeli consulates. In the final chapters, Chapter 19 presents national and local Jewish periodicals and broadcast media; Chapter 20 provides academic resources, including Jewish Studies programs, books, articles, websites, and research libraries; and Chapter 21 presents lists of major events in the past year, Jewish honorees, and obituaries.

An invaluable record of Jewish life, the American Jewish Year Book illuminates contemporary issues with insight and breadth. It is a window into a complex and ever-changing world.

Deborah Dash Moore, Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of History and Judaic Studies, and Director Emerita of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, University of Michigan

A century from now and more, the stately volumes of the American Jewish Year Book will stand as the authoritative record of Jewish life since 1900. For anyone interested in tracing the long-term evolution of Jewish social, political, religious, and cultural trends from an objective yet passionately Jewish perspective, there simply is no substitute.

Lawrence Grossman, American Jewish Year Book Editor (1999-2008) and Contributor (1988-2015)

https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319461212

New Book: Religious Indifference

Religious Indifference:
New Perspectives From Studies on Secularization and Nonreligion

Quack, Johannes, Schuh, Cora (Eds.)

Springer: https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319484747

This book provides a conceptually and empirically rich introduction to religious indifference on the basis of original anthropological, historical and sociological research.

Religious indifference is a central category for understanding contemporary societies, and a controversial one. For some scholars, a growing religious indifference indicates a dramatic decline in religiosity and epitomizes the endpoint of secularization processes. Others view it as an indicator of moral apathy and philosophical nihilism, whilst yet others see it as paving the way for new forms of political tolerance and solidarity. 

This volume describes and analyses the symbolic power of religious indifference and the conceptual contestations surrounding it. Detailed case studies cover anthropological and qualitative data from the UK, Germany, Estonia, the USA, Canada, and India analyse large quantitative data sets, and provide philosophical-literary inquiries into the phenomenon. They highlight how, for different actors and agendas, religious indifference can constitute an objective or a challenge. Pursuing a relational approach to non-religion, the book conceptualizes religious indifference in its interrelatedness with religion as well as more avowed forms of non-religion.

https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319484747

New Book: Religion, Education and Human Rights

Religion, Education and Human Rights:
Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives

Sjöborg, Anders, Ziebertz, Hans-Georg (Eds.) | Springer: https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319540689

Volume 1 in Religion and Human Rights

This book examines the interconnectedness between religion, education, and human rights from an international perspective using an interdisciplinary approach. It deals with compulsory or secondary school education in different contexts, as well as higher education, and has as its common theme the multiplicity of secularisms in different national contexts. Presenting rich cases, the contributions include empirical and theoretical perspectives on how international trends of migration and cultural diversity, as well as judicialization of social and political processes, and rapid religious and social changes come into play as societies find their way in an increasingly diverse context.

  • The book contains chapters that present case studies on how confessional or non-confessional Religious Education (RE) at schools in different societal contexts is related to the concept of universal human rights.
  • It presents cases studies that display an intriguing array of problems that point to the role of religion in the public sphere and show that historical contexts play important and different roles.
  • Other contributions deal with higher education, where one questions how human rights as a concept and as discourse is taught and examines whether withdrawing from certain clinical training when in university education to become a medical doctor or a midwife on the grounds of conscientious objections can be claimed as a human right.
  • From a judicial point of view one chapter discerns the construction of the concept of religion in the Swedish Education Act, in relation to the Swedish constitution as well European legislation.
  • Finally, an empirical study comparing data from young people in six different countries in three continents investigates factors that explain attitudes towards human rights.

https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319540689

New Book: Religious Beliefs, Evolutionary Psychiatry, and Mental Health in America

Religious Beliefs, Evolutionary Psychiatry, and Mental Health in America:
Evolutionary Threat Assessment Systems Theory

Series: Religion, Spirituality and Health: A Social Scientific Approach, Vol. 1

Flannelly, Kevin J. 2017 | Springer: https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319524870

This book provides a new perspective on the association between religious beliefs and mental health.

The book is divided into five parts:

  1. Part I traces the development of theories of organic evolution in the cultural and religious context before Charles Darwin.
  2. Part II describes the major evolutionary theories that Darwin proposed in his three books on evolution, and the religious, sociological, and scientific reactions to his theories.
  3. Part III introduces the reader to the concept of evolutionary psychiatry. It discusses how different regions of the brain evolved over time, and explains that certain brain regions evolved to protect us from danger by assessing threats of harm in the environment, including other humans. Specifically, this part describes: how psychiatric symptoms that are commonly experienced by normal individuals during their everyday lives are the product of brain mechanisms that evolved to protect us from harm; the prevalence rate of psychiatric symptoms in the U.S. general population; how religious and other beliefs influence the brain mechanisms that underlie psychiatric symptoms; and the brain regions that are involved in different psychiatric disorders.
  4. Part IV presents the findings of U.S. studies demonstrating that positive beliefs about God and life-after-death, and belief in meaning-in-life and divine forgiveness have salutary associations with mental health, whereas negative beliefs about God and life-after-death, belief in the Devil and human evil, and doubts about one’s religious beliefs have pernicious associations with mental health.
  5. Part V summarizes each section and recommends research on the brain mechanism underlying psychiatric symptoms, and the relationships among these brain mechanisms, religious beliefs, and mental health in the context of ETAS Theory.

https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319524870

Call for Papers: Religion and the Rise of Populism: Migration, Radicalism and New Nationalisms

http://explore.tandfonline.com/cfp/pgas/crss-call-for-papers-religion-rise-populism

The editors of the journal Religion, State and Society are pleased to invite contributions to a special issue, slated for publication in early 2018. The special issue will investigate the roles of religion in recent trends towards populist politics, in particular as manifested in public reactions to migration, the rise of new nationalisms, and the increasing prominence of radicalism.

Growing evidence suggests that these developments are taking centre stage throughout the world, set in a wider context of global political and economic uncertainty. It can also be observed that religion plays an important role in each of these three issues, often in ways that interconnect them. For example, the actions of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have exacerbated an already worrisome global migration crisis, while also heightening concerns about violent radicalism.  From France to the Philippines, public anxieties surrounding ISIS and domestic ‘radicalisation’ have become frequent motifs in populist rhetoric that links them with increasing flows of migrants as representative of threats to social security and the economic wellbeing of local populations.

Other examples of contemporary issues in which religion is implicated in populist politics and linked to migration, new nationalisms, and radicalism include: the emphasis on ‘Hindu values’ in the politics of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in India; the Christian or anti-Muslim rhetoric of American presidential candidates; the UK Brexit campaigners’ use of the prospective membership of ‘Muslim’ Turkey in the EU; the deepening significance of ‘traditionalist’ and pro-Orthodox rhetoric in Russia’s domestic and international politics; and the increasing prominence of religion-based identity politics in Poland, Hungary, and Croatia.

This special issue will seek to probe the various roles of religion in these interlinked issues and across comparative cases. There is an urgent need for considered academic analysis to discern how the rise of populism is connected to religion and the issues of migration, radicalism, and new nationalisms, to elucidate the broader empirical and theoretical implications for our understandings of religion, state, and society.

Areas of investigation can include but are by no means limited to:

  • Religious dimensions of populism in national contexts, including comparative perspectives
  • The migration crisis and its implications for religion-based identity politics in European societies and beyond
  • The ‘crisis’ of the European Union following the Brexit referendum, and its broader implications with relevance to religion
  • Religious dimensions of radicalism: discourses, movements, and politics
  • Religiously-based conservative and traditionalist movements in Europe, the United States, India, Russia, or other parts of the world, including comparative studies
  • Fringe and far-right political and vigilante groups and movements, and their politics of religion
  • Religious dimensions of the securitisation of borders and the ‘othering’ of excluded groups
  • Theoretical, legal, or discourse-based work on the role of religious, such as ‘Christian’ or ‘Hindu’, affinities in constructions of national identity and the operation of national institutions

This special issue of Religion, State and Society is planned for publication in the first half of 2018. The editors have been invited by Routledge to also consider republication of the contributions as a book.

Application Process

Please send completed papers of 6,000-8,000 words by 15 August 2017. To submit a paper, please register for an account and follow the submission instructions at the journal’s online submission portal: http://www.edmgr.com/crss

Before submitting your manuscript please read carefully the journal’s submission instructions, available on the RSS main website under the ‘Instructions for Authors’ page (http://www.tandfonline.com/crss). All manuscripts will go through the normal peer review process.

Questions related to the theme and potential ideas for papers can be discussed with the editors:
Dr Daniel Nilsson DeHanas (daniel.dehanas@kcl.ac.uk)
Dr Marat Shterin (marat.shterin@kcl.ac.uk)