Religion and Spirituality in a Frightening World – Call for Papers

SSSR – Society for the Scientific Study of Religion

October 23-25, 2020 | Westin Convention Center, Pittsburgh

We are living in frightening times. The World Health Organization reports that rates of anxiety and depression continue to rise as people around the globe are bombarded by a wide range of circumstances that may evoke fear. What roles might religion—variously defined—and spirituality play in causing and ameliorating anxieties in today’s world?

Social scientists across disciplines who study religion and spirituality are remarkably well situated to add essential layers to our understanding of frightening social forces. For example, we cannot fully understand the rise of authoritarian nationalism, or efforts to resist it, without interrogating religion’s power as a social identity. We also need to understand when and how religion might bolster resistance to change. Many of today’s deepest divisions between and among humans are essentially different reactions to change. How does religion fuel—and try to bridge—divisions in attitudes about changing social norms, migration, new means of communication, and climate change? And how might religion contribute to perpetuating and challenging social and economic inequalities?

Meanwhile, religion itself is changing in myriad ways. How do forces such as declining rates of religious participation, state suppression of religion, and the increasing relevance of the internet to religious and spiritual practice affect religion’s capacity to help people and societies to cope? How well do 21st-century religions and spiritualities work to support mental health, provide meaning in everyday life, build communities rooted in social trust, and promote prosocial behavior and civic engagement?

Submissions Open: February 1, 2020

Submissions Close: March 31, 2020

Decision Notification: April 30, 2020

Please submit proposals for individual papers, full panels, author-meets-critics sessions, and roundtables via the online portal at www.sssreligion.org, choosing the SSSR option on the submission form.

Please direct all inquiries to the SSSR 2019 Program Chairs Job Chen (Department of Psychology, Clemson University) and Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme (Department of Sociology and Legal Studies, University of Waterloo) at program@sssreligion.org.

CFP: Journal: Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Professor Ralph Hood and I, welcome your proposals for the Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion (RSSSR). The ‘Call for Papers’ is appended below. We both look forward to your responses
Many thanks
Sariya
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Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion
Edited by Ralph Hood & Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor
For more information, please visit brill.com/rssr
ISSN 1046-8064
Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion (RSSSR) is an interdisciplinary, international peer-viewed annual series, which publishes new and innovative research within the social scientific study of religion or belief. Contributions span a range of theoretical orientations, geographic contexts and research methods, though most articles are reports of original quantitative or qualitative research related mainly to the sociology and/or psychology of religion.
RSSR usually includes a guest-edited special section that allows networks of researchers to report studies in areas that are or current interest or which are innovative and expanding the discipline into new areas. For 2020, RSSR will include a special section on Feminist Approaches to the Sociology of Religion. This section will include chapter about research that utilises feminist epistemological frameworks to study lived experiences of religion or belief. For this issue we define feminist approaches broadly as those that
*         use a gendered lens
*         privilege lesser-heard voices including women
*         reflect on researcher positionality
*         seek societal transformation as an integral aspect of research.
Submitting Proposals: We invite proposals for the next edition of the RSSR. We welcome proposals from academics at all levels of their career, including early career researchers and final year PhD students. Please submit a title and abstract of no more than 300 words together with names and short biographies (150 words), institutional affiliation/s (if relevant), and contact details.
*         Deadline for abstracts: 5pm on Monday 13th January 2020
*         Notification of acceptance of paper: 30th January 2020
*         If accepted full papers will be due by 5pm Friday 31st April 2020
Manuscripts for both the main and special sections should be send to the editors, Ralph Hood (ralph-hood@utc.edu<mailto:ralph-hood@utc.edu>) & Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor (ac0967@coventry.ac.uk<mailto:ac0967@coventry.ac.uk>). For more information and submission guidelines please visit the Instructions for Authors document on brill.com/rssr, or contact the editor.
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Dr Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor
Assistant Professor | Research Group Lead | Faith and Peaceful Relations
Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University

Call for Papers: 3rd Annual Meeting of East Asian Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (EASSSR)

Religion and Peace in East Asia: Reconsideration of Roles of Religion in the Post-Secular Age

July 23-25, 2020
Jeju National University, Republic of Korea

Religion has always played an important role in promoting hope and vision for peace. Each religion present in both East and West emphasizes a religious importance of spiritual and ethical life based on justice, peace, brotherhood, and mercy. Religious beliefs and practices for the pursuit of a just and peaceful world should be considered more expansively at the political, social and national level as well as at the individual level, and further at the level of the entirety of humanity. The complex roles of religions in war and peace in modern times, especially in East Asian societies, should be examined more carefully and systematically.
With the global spread of political nationalism and economic protectionism, China, Japan, Korea, and other societies all face an internal conflict triggered by extreme oppositions and tensions within the established social order, while increasing the possibility of a clash between nations in the area. In this circumstance, both scholars of religion and peace need to pay more attention to social roles of religion through reflecting on a reconsideration of the revival of religion and, more specifically, the public roles of religion in the ‘Post-secular Age’ which needs a multi-layered dialogue beyond what “interreligious dialogue” has ever pursued.
Finding the spirit of religious tolerance and harmony inherent in East Asian religious traditions as well as religions introduced in modern times, papers based on various perspectives are welcome. In particular, priority will be given to papers that include the following topics and interests without any limitation to the geographical and cultural context and boundaries of East Asia.

  • Socio-historical studies on religion as an agent of peace or conflict
  • Relationship between religion and peace in the (post-) secular age.
  • Comparison of Eastern with Western religions in the quest for peace.
  • Case studies of peace building in East Asia.
  • Thoughts and practices of peace in traditional religions and/or newly-risen religions in East Asia.
  • Case studies of the transformations (or appropriation) of traditional religions.

However, any topic in the social scientific study of religion is welcome. In particular, any proposals of closed sessions organized by three or four papers are welcome, focusing on different perspectives within the same religious tradition. In the case of individual papers we will arrange them into each session in accordance with their topics.
Abstract Submission
Paper abstracts should be submitted from Dec 1, 2019 to Feb 15, 2020 by clicking below:

Submit Paper Abstracts for the 2020 EASSSR Annual Meeting

For more information about any fees of membership, registration, and accommodation, please visit the website http://www.easssr.org/ or send e-mail by easssr2020@gmail.com

[CfP] Religion and Cultural Change: Summer School in Åbo/Turku 8-10.6 2020

Call for Papers

Welcome to an interdisciplinary summer school and conference to be held in Åbo/Turku 8–10 June, 2020.

Religion and Cultural Change

Conference website: www.abo.fi/rcc

Keynote speakers:

  • Prof. Catharina Raudvere, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Prof. Anders Runesson, University of Oslo, Norway
  • Prof. Rebecca Catto, Kent State University, Ohio, USA

The aim of this summer school and conference is to bring together doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers from various academic fields that engage with the study of religion, such as theology, religious studies, history, philosophy, the arts, social and political sciences and other. We invite papers that engage with the theme Religion and Cultural Change from both historical and contemporary perspectives, also looking to the future where possible. We understand cultural change both as dramatic breaking points in history and as slowly evolving transformations and will address past, present and emerging trends and trajectories within culture, society and the scholarly community. The societal relevance and impact of our research is also an important theme.

The summer school will consist of working groups, tutored by the keynote presenters and other academic teachers, where doctoral candidates are given the opportunity to present and discuss their ongoing PhD work in a cross-disciplinary, international setting. Postdoc researchers will present their papers in sessions running parallel to the summer school. Thematic groups and working groups dealing with particular theories or methodologies may also be held. 

To apply, please send an abstract of approximately 150 words to cscc@utu.fi no later than 15 January, 2020. Letters of acceptance will be posted no later than 15 February, 2020. Upon acceptance to the summer school, doctoral candidates will furthermore be asked to submit a 500-word synopsis of their research theme no later than 1 May, 2020.

The summer school is arranged as a joint venture between three different research bodies in Åbo/Turku: the Centre for the Study of Christian Cultures(CSCC) at the University of Turku, the Polin Institute for Theological Research at Åbo Akademi University and the Donner Institute for Research in Religion and Culture (DI).

Notices from the Australian Association for the Study of Religion

Call for Papers:
Conferences

  • International Conference on Religious Tourism (ICRT), University of Punjab, Lahore Pakistan, 8-9 January 2020. Abstract deadline: 11 November 2019. More info.
  • “Mosques, power and politics”, Copenhagen, Denmark, 22-24 January 2020. Abstract deadline: 15 November 2019. More info.
  • The 25th Nordic Conference in the Sociology of Religion. 17-19 August 2020, Gothenburg, Sweden on ‘Religious Organisation(s): Challenges and changes in contemporary society’. Session proposal deadline: 15 November 2019. More info.
  • British Muslim Charitable Organisations: A Best Practice Forum, Birmingham, 15 January 2020. Abstract deadline: 22 November 2019. More info.
  • Rethinking​ ​Media, Religion and Secularities. Conference of the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture Conference location: Sigtuna Foundation, Sigtuna, Sweden. Conference dates: 4-7 of August 2020. Deadline for Paper proposals: 6 December 2019. More info.
  • International Communication Association Preconference on Intersectional Imaginaries in Media, Religion & Gender, Gold Coast, Australia, May 2020. Proposal deadline 15 December 2019. More info.
  • The XXII Quinquennial World Congress of the IAHR, hosted by the New Zealand Association for the Study of Religions, will take place at the University of Otago, in Dunedin, New Zealand from 23-29 August 2020. Submission deadline 31 December 2019. More info.
  • Navigating the non/confessional in university Islamic studies. University of Birmingham. 20-22 April 2020. Submission deadline 17 January 2020. More info.

  Publications

  • Call for Papers on Digital Visibilities of the Religious. Deadline 15 January 2020. More info.
  • Call for papers on Religion & Ecology for a special issue of Religions. Deadline 31 May 2020.

Postgrad/ECR Opportunities

Also if you’re on Facebook, we have a postgrad page so do join us 🙂

New Publications
Oosterbaan, M., van de Kamp, L. and Bahia, J. (2019), Global Trajectories of Brazilian Religion: Lusospheres, London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

CFP: “Religion and the urban, natural and virtual environments”

Biennial Conference of the ESA RN34- Sociology of Religion
Groningen (Netherlands), 26-28 August 2020

This conference wants to adopt a broad approach to the study of the relation between religion and different “environments”: the urban environment, the natural environment and the virtual environment. This threefold approach allows us to capture three areas of religious transformation and innovation, which are of high academic and societal relevance in contemporary European societies and beyond. By approaching these three topics, we aim to contribute both to the academic advancement of the sociology of religion in relation to its conceptual and methodological tools and to a broader societal reflection on the dynamic between religion and the urban, natural and virtual environments. Some of the questions we seek to address are the following:

  • How do religions and cities interact with one another and transform each other? How does the urban environment affect religious practices and, conversely, how do religious practices and groups transform the urban environment? How are religious and secular meanings negotiated in urban spaces? How do tourism, heritage industries and gentrification processes produce and transform urban religious heritage?
  • How do religious groups relate to the natural environment? How do religions see and interpret the ecological crisis and which alternatives do they suggest? How do religious groups conceptualise their role in relation to environmental concerns and claims? Which forms does faith-based environmentalism take? How do religions position themselves in relation to other social actors in environmental concerns?
  • How do the virtual environment and religion interact with and affect one another? How does the virtual environment influence how we understand the idea of “religious community” and community in general? How are religion and the concept of religion affected and challenged by the increasingly digitalized world? What challenges and inspirations for religion can the developments in artificial intelligence and virtual reality bring about? What conceptual, epistemological, methodological and ethical challenges are faced by scholars exploring “virtual religion”?

Papers addressing these and other questions and topics relevant to the sociology of religion are welcome. Besides individual papers, it is possible to propose a panel with a maximum of four papers per panel.

Additionally, MA and PhD students will have the opportunity to combine their participation in the conference with a summer school. See more information here

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

  • Dr. Giulia Evolvi, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Prof. Dr. Jens Koehrsen, University of Basel
  • Dr. Pooyan Tamimi Arab, Utrecht University

All interested should submit an abstract of 200 to 250 words, including a reference to the theoretical framework, research question, methodology and main findings. Panel proposals should include the title and a short description of the panel (200 to 250 words), the name and affiliation of the convener(s), and the title, author’s name and abstract (200 to 250 words) for each of the proposed papers. Proposals should be submitted to esarn34-groningen2020@rug.nl

Deadline: 31 January 2020 

Visit the conference website for more information: https://www.rug.nl/education/summer-winter-schools/religion-urban-natural-virtual-environments/

Call for Papers: Navigating the non/confessional in university Islamic studies

A three-day international conference funded and organised by the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham, in partnership with the Muslims in Britain Research Network

Dates: 20-22 April 2020

Across Europe there are numerous examples of recent linkages between universities and Islamic seminaries. In Germany the experiment, now over ten years old, of establishing departments of Islamic theology in five universities has now recruited close on 2000 students, many of whom will end up teaching confessional Islam RE in schools. At Vienna, in VU Amsterdam, and in UC Louvain there are programmes for Islamic leaders, teachers, and imams. In the UK, partnerships have been developed at under- and postgraduate level between e.g. Warwick, Birmingham and Middlesex universities and Islamic seminaries representing a range of Islamic traditions. Movement between confessional and non-confessional Islamic educational contexts by students and staff, both as a result of such formal links or informally, is now common.

The conference will explore the opportunities and challenges created by the emergence of bridges and permeable membranes between confessional and non-confessional Islamic educational contexts. It will bring together scholars from across Europe working in different policy and educational settings to look at how Islamic education operates, and the implications of this for the transmission and representation of the Islamic tradition, as well as the teaching of Islam in universities. The conference’s remit will be any arena where Islam is included as a part of higher-level study, from the confessional teaching of Islam, to theology and religious studies, history, politics and the social sciences. We have invited six main speakers to help us move the discussions along:

  • Prof. Bekim Agai, Dept. of Islamic Studies, University of Frankfurt
  • Prof. Ednan Aslan, Depts. of Teacher Education and Islamic Theology, University of Vienna
  • Prof. Sophie Gilliat-Ray, Professor in Religious and Theological Studies, Director for the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK, Cardiff University
  • Prof. Birgitte Schepelern Johansen, Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen
  • Dr Walaa Quisay, Teaching Fellow, University of Birmingham
  • Prof. Alison Scott-Baumann, Professor of Society & Belief, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Abstracts are now invited for papers that address any of the conference themes:

  • How students and staff navigate between confessional and non-confessional Islamic educational contexts
  • How policy contexts affect the development of linkages between seminaries and mainstream higher education institutions;
  • Teaching about Islam beyond Islamic and religious studies (for example, in history, politics and the social sciences);
  • ‘Insider’ and ‘outsider’ dynamics in the teaching of Islam in European contexts
  • Complementarities and tensions between confessional and non-confessional approaches to the study of Muslims and Islam
  • Securing the study of Islam within and beyond higher education institutions

The organisers will cover the costs of accommodation and scheduled meals for accepted paper authors, but they will need to cover their own travel costs.
If you are interested in presenting at this conference,  please send a 250 word abstract to the email address below by 17 January along with a biographical note of no more than 50 words. We intend to invite selected speakers to develop their contribution into an article for publication in a thematic volume.

Abstract submissions and any general questions should be sent to the conference organisers at MuslimsinBritainRN@gmail.com.

News & Opportunities from the Australian Association for the Study of Religion

The AASR 2019 Conference on ‘Religion and Violence’ is open for registration. Presenters: please ensure you register by 4 November 2019 to be included in the program. A conference schedule is nowavailable with exciting pre-conference workshops on 4 December that include:

The Journal for the Academic Study of Religion has a new list of books up for review. More info.

Call for Papers:
Conferences

  • Artificial Intelligence and Religion – AIR2020, 3 – 5 March 2020, Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), Trento. Abstract deadline: 21 October 2019. More info.
  • What’s God got to do with it? Debating religion and forced migration entanglements, July 27-30, 2020, Accra, Ghana. Abstract deadline: 25 October 2019. More info.
  • The 25th Nordic Conference in the Sociology of Religion. 17-19 August 2020, Gothenburg, Sweden on ‘Religious Organisation(s): Challenges and changes in contemporary society’. Session proposal deadline: 15 November 2019. More info.
  • Rethinking​ ​Media, Religion and Secularities. Conference of the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture Conference location: Sigtuna Foundation, Sigtuna, Sweden. Conference dates: 4-7 of August 2020. Deadline for Paper proposals: 6 December 2019. More info.
  • The XXII Quinquennial World Congress of the IAHR, hosted by the New Zealand Association for the Study of Religions, will take place at the University of Otago, in Dunedin, New Zealand from 23-29 August 2020. Submission deadline 31 December 2019. More info.

  Publications

  • Call for book proposals: Bloomsbury welcomes book proposals for Bloomsbury Studies in Material Religion, edited by Birgit Meyer (University of Utrecht, the Netherlands), David Morgan (Duke University, USA), Crispin Paine (UCL, UK), S. Brent Plate (Hamilton College, USA), and Amy Whitehead (Bath Spa University, UK). More info.
  • Book Proposals in East Asian Religions. More info.
  • Chapters: Religious Responses to Sex Work and Sex Trafficking – Routledge. Deadline for AASR members: 11 October 2019. More info.
  • Special Issue: Religion, Economy, and Class in Global Context. Abstract deadline 15 October 2019. More info.
  • Call for papers on Religion & Ecology for a special issue of Religions. Deadline 31 May 2020.

Events/Seminars

  • The 2019 Hans Mol Memorial Lecture: “Imagining Asian Australia: Constructions of ‘Asian Religion’ and Australian Federation” by Professor Marion Maddox, 18 October 2019. More info.
  • The 2019 Freilich Lecture of Bigotry and Tolerance: “An Australian Story: The Politics of Bigotry in a Tolerant Country” by David Marr. 31 October 2019. More info.
  • Religion in Contemporary Society – What do we need to know to manage complexity?
    31 October 2019, Turku/Åbo, Finland. More info.
  • Migrant Youth in Multicultural Cities: Comparative Perspectives on Culture, Religion and Identity. 31 October 2019, Deakin University. Panellists: Prof Lori Beaman, A/Prof Serena Hussain and Prof Fethi Mansouri. More info.

Job Opportunities

CFP: “What’s God got to do with it? Debating religion and forced migration entanglements”

Call for Contributions to a conference panel at the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) Accra, Ghana July 27-30, 2020

Violent conflicts, social unrest, and other humanitarian crises around the world have led to growing numbers of people seeking refuge both in the North and in the South. Migrating and seeking refuge have always been part and parcel of spiritual development. However, the current ‘refugee crisis’ in Europe and elsewhere in the world has brought to the fore fervent discussions regarding the role of religion in defining difference, linking the ‘refugee crisis’ with Islam, and fear of the ‘Other.’ Many religious institutions, spiritual leaders, and politicians invoke religious values and call for strict border controls to resolve the ‘refugee crisis.’ However, equally many humanitarian organizations and refugee advocates use religious values to inform their call to action to welcome refugees and migrants, provide them with assistance, and facilitate integration processes.

We are seeking panelists whose work fits a wide range of issues related to religion and forced migration, including, but not limited to, the examination of:

• re-politicization of religion and forced migration;
• religiously motivated violence as a root cause of forced migration;
• debates, policies, and activism based on values rooted in different religions;
• faith and the secular in realizing humanitarian values and principles;
• clashes between different religious values hindering immigrant integration;
• multi-religious responses to the ‘migration crisis;’
• engagement of religious institutions in providing assistance to refugees and migrants; • role of religion in populism;
• role of religion in coping with trauma of forced migration;
• methodological challenges involved in empirical studies of religion and forced migration;
• lived experiences of religion/s and forced migration.

The geographic focus of the panel is global. We welcome papers based on rigorous empirical research, policy analyses, and refugee narratives. We welcome submissions exploring issues from historical, philosophical, anthropological, theological, and interdisciplinary perspectives. If you are interested in participating, please send a title and a 250-word abstract to Elzbieta M. Gozdziak at emg27@georgetown.edu by October 25, 2019 at the latest.

The12th Annual International Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Conference (IRTP) 24-27 June 2020 in Braga, Portugal

All detailed information about the Conference can be found at our web site: www.irtp.co.uk

Please submit your abstract till 31st January 2020 and join us at the conference the next year.

Kind regards,
Organising Committee of IRTP conference
Razaq, Kevin, Carla and Carlos

PS :  our Journal is LIVE at : http://arrow.dit.ie/ijrtp/