Call for papers

The Impact of Religion
Challenges for Society, Law and Democracy

An interdisciplinary conference at Uppsala University
Uppsala, Sweden, 20-22 May 2013

This conference offers a forum for sharing recent research on the role of religion in both the public and the private sphere – locally, nationally and internationally. Its design reflects the work of its host: a multi-disciplinary research programme at Uppsala University known as the Impact of Religion: Challenges for Society, Law and Democracy. This programme pays particular attention to the links between religion, law and wider social developments. For example, extensive migration has brought new forms of religion to European societies (including the Nordic countries) for many different reasons; their presence raises new issues for lawyers, healthcare workers and other service providers. At the same time, European populations live longer; their families reconstitute themselves in new ways; the workplace changes in nature; and the explorations of science render commonplace what was unthinkable one or two generations earlier. All these shifts interact with the changing nature of religion to make new demands on our understandings of democracy, law, family life, healthcare, well-being, welfare and science itself. Why, for instance, does legal pluralism appear to challenge the democratic order considerably more than its cultural equivalents? And how can we understand better the role of religious agents in a modern liberal democracy?

Religion, it is clear, has become a crucial research area in a wide variety of academic disciplines. The Uppsala conference provides an opportunity to disseminate, share and obtain results within this expanding field. We expect contributions from lawyers, human rights experts, social scientists, specialists in social policy, health and welfare, philosophers and scientists as well as those engaged directly in theology and religious studies. We are particularly interested in how religion (in all its diversity) influences different sectors of society and how they in turn influence religion.

Among the plenary speakers are:
Katarina Boele Woelki, Netherlands
Effie Fokas, Greece
Grace Davie, UK
Ayelet Shachar, Canada
Yilmaz Esmer, Turkey
Linda Woodhead, UK

Call for papers
Submissions are invited on the following themes, which – broadly speaking – mirror the Impact programme. Further sub-themes will be developed as the submitted papers arrive; these will be displayed on the conference website. Papers on comparative research are particularly welcome. Theoretical, methodological and substantive issues will be given equal weight. The conference language is English.

A variety of formats are envisaged: plenary sessions, paper sessions, roundtables, academic exchanges and policy debates. Please indicate your preference when you submit your abstract. Pre-organised sessions are welcome.

* Religious and social change – including the role of the media in these shifts
* Integration, democracy and political culture
* Families, law and society
* Well-being and health
* Welfare models – their organization and values
* Science and religion

Deadline for the submission of abstracts (max 200 words): 30th November 2012
The conference is hosted by The Impact of Religion programme and Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre at Uppsala University.
Up to date information on the programme, registration, abstract format, venue etc. is available at:, where you also find more details about The Impact of Religion programme itself.