We are soliciting proposals for 8000-10,000-word contributions to a roundtable or special issue on religion, economy, and class in global context to submit to a leading US journal in Religious Studies. In particular, we seek contributions examining the ways that religion and economy co-produce one another in non-Western and non-Christian contexts in the current moment of late capitalism. See the abstract below.
300-word abstracts are due on October 15, 2019 and full articles are due April 1, 2020. We have received positive interest from journal editors and expect the roundtable to be published by early 2021.
Kirsten Wesselhoeft and Deonnie Moodie
Religion, Economy, and Class in Global Context
Neoliberal capitalism shapes social and religious life worldwide, and yet theoretical work analyzing it draws disproportionately on North Atlantic contexts and Christian or Christian-secular traditions. Scholars of religious studies, for example, have begun to examine the ways Christian ideas and practices have both produced and responded to capitalist economic conditions (Bowler 2013; Hulsether 2019; Singh 2018; Porterfield 2018). Important recent work has also shown how practices of capitalist consumption in the US both reanimate Christian theological categories and, more broadly, constitute domains of effervescent religious activity (Gonzalez 2015; Lofton 2017; Moreton 2010; Vaca 2019). While individual studies of religion in diverse global contexts attend to economy and class in important and novel ways (Ahmad 2017; Birla 2009; Rudnyckyj 2018), these works are rarely taken up as part of a shared conceptual conversation about economy and class in the study of religion.
This special issue seeks to address this lacuna by bringing together scholarship that examines the multitude of ways that communities in non-Christian and non-Western contexts respond to the idioms, practices, and infrastructure of the global capitalist economic order. Drawing on ethnographic and historical research, contributors address the following questions: How do religious and economic ideas and practices produce one another in the present economic moment? In what ways do religious idioms become intertwined with ideas about economic value and class status? How are religious practices used to address problems of inequality inherent in neoliberal capitalism? And how are religious idioms deployed to reproduce certain economic conditions? The editors’ introduction to the special issue will not only draw together the individual contributions, but will offer a ‘state of the field’ analysis of contemporary conversations about religion, economy, and class, taking into account the global range of work in these areas.
Kirsten Wesselhoeft, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Religion