PhD Workshop: Emergent Themes in the Study of Science & Belief in Society

Online workshop, 12-16 April 2021

The International Research Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society (INSBS) will be running an international PhD workshop online from 12-16 April 2021. The workshop is open to anyone currently enrolled on a PhD programme and conducting research on any social or cultural aspect of Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths or Medicine (STEMM) in relation to any religious, spiritual or non-religious tradition, position or worldview, including unbelief.
We welcome PhD candidates from all regions and countries worldwide and from a range of disciplines across the social sciences and humanities, including (but not limited to): sociology of religion, psychology of religion, science and technology studies, sociology of health/medicine, media and cultural studies, social anthropology, politics, the history and philosophy of science/religion and religious studies.

In keeping with the aim of INSBS, to support the growth of high-quality international research examining the relationship between science and belief in relation to cutting edge social issues and individuals’ lived experiences, the workshop seeks to introduce PhD candidates from a range of disciplines and geographical contexts to foundational readings on science and belief in society.

The PhD Workshop will focus on cutting-edge research in the study of science and belief in society, introducing PhD students to key themes including:
The challenges and benefits of incorporating multidisciplinary perspectives into your work

  • Internationalising perspectives beyond Western conceptions of science and belief
  • The difficulties of categorisation in both quantitative and qualitative approaches to studying science and belief in society

The workshop will take the form of a series of five daily workshops and reading groups. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss readings and content with the academic authors of the work. We will be running each session twice (at different times on the same day), to accommodate as best as possible those in different time zones. Participants will be expected to read/listen to a maximum of 10 pieces of academic work (articles, chapters, podcasts) in advance of the workshop – all of which will be provided by INSBS.

INSBS is based at the University of Birmingham, and led by team members from the Science, Knowledge and Belief in Society Research Group.

Honorariums: We have a limited number of small honorariums to help cover any costs associated with attending this online workshop. For example, these could be used to cover the cost of purchasing mobile data where wifi access is unreliable or the cost of additional childcare or dependent care.

To apply to participate in the workshop please send a short biography (maximum five hundred words) outlining your research interests and your interest in the workshop, along with a short Curriculum Vitae/Resume (maximum two pages). If you require an honorarium to help support your attendance at the workshop, please add a short statement (maximum two hundred and fifty words) outlining the reason for requiring an honorarium (internet access, childcare etc.) and the amount you are requesting (maximum £100 GBP).

Please note honorariums cannot be used to cover salaries or wages.

Please email applications to Paula Brikci (
The closing date for applications is Tuesday 9th February 2021.


The ASA Religion Section is teaming up with The Aggie Research Program (ARP) at Texas A&M University to create a research mentoring community. Through a series of three online workshops hosted by the ARP, participants will:

  • form a research-intensive community of their peers,
  • facilitate the creation of team-based research projects using their own research agenda,
  • recruit 3-5 undergraduate researchers,
  • learn mentoring and leadership strategies to help guide students engaging in authentic research experiences, and
  • collaborate with each other to overcome challenges and develop best practices for research mentoring.

These interactive workshops will guide participants through the process of creating, managing, and developing a research team while simultaneously fostering the development of the research-intensive community.

Any graduate student, any methodology, and any stage of research will benefit from the skills and community developed in this pilot program.

Please join us for Workshop #1—Building a Research-Intensive Community on Friday, December 11 @ 3-4:30pm CST.

To register, please RSVP using this link:

Upon submission, you will receive an email with the Zoom link for the workshop. If you do not receive a Zoom link, please contact Andrew McNeely (

Masterclass on ‘Critical Religion’

All Postgraduate, Honours and Undergraduate Students are invited to
A Masterclass on Critical Religion’ – How Theory that Deconstructs the Category of ‘Religion’ Can Lead to Better Research

With Visiting UoN Fellow
Prof Naomi Goldenberg, Professor of Classics and Religious Studies
University of Ottawa, Canada

10am -12.30pm (X301) NeW Space City Campus, University of Newcastle, December 4, 2019

This Masterclass is free to all students and is supported by the Centre for the Study of Violence, University of Newcastle.

Register by email to Dr Kathleen McPhillips (

Description of Masterclass
Over the last two decades, a growing number of academics who study ‘religion’ have noticed that the idea that is foundational for their scholarship is fiction. I mean fiction in the Latin sense of factus as signifying something that is made, built, or constructed.  This insight opposes notions of ‘religion’ as a thing or phenomenon that has always existed everywhere in one form or another and that continues to manifest itself in different traditions and configurations throughout the globe. Proponents of “critical religion” understand religion to be a somewhat incoherent, rather recent concept that is projected as an anachronism onto history.  According to this view, ‘religion’ is a modern, discursive product of differing, context-specific, dynamics of power with particular relation to the politics of colonialism and statecraft.  Attendant terms and ideas such as ‘secular’ and ‘sacred’ are looked at similarly.

“Critical religion” is sometimes dismissed as mere semantics and/or as irrelevant to ‘the real world’ in which religion is assumed to exist and is treated as a powerful force in law, culture and experience.  Professor Goldenberg disagrees and will argue that better thinking about government, public policy and scholarly research depends on recognizing the confusion adhering to ‘religion’ as a category of analysis and rejecting it in favor of more coherent concepts.

Prof Goldenberg will use her own work on government and feminism to demonstrate how critical religion can be productively applied.  To prepare for the masterclass, participants will be asked to read two of her papers and then during the Masterclass be invited to think about their own research projects in terms of this deconstructive approach.    

Pratiques religieuses dans l’espace urbain Approches géographiques et sociologiques

Atelier du programme PSL

« Agenda pour une sociologie critique des religions »

9 octobre 2019, 14h-18h30 ENS – Salle R2-02 48 bd. Jourdan, 75014 Paris


14h-14h50. Hugo Suarez (IIS-UNAM, IHEAL Sorbonne Nouvelle). La religion dans les rues : analyse des expressions religieuses dans un quartier populaire de Mexico City.

14h50-15h40. Julie Picard (Université de Bordeaux). Les territorialités religieuses des migrants africains chrétiens : entre dynamiques identitaires et recompositions urbaines discrètes


16h-16h50. David Garbin (University of Kent). Espace-temps de l’urbanisation religieuse et visions territoriales dans les mega-cities.

16h50-17h40. Irene Becci (Université de Lausanne). Les parcs publics comme hétérotopies religieuses.

17h40-18h30. Discussion générale.


Hugo Suarez. La religion dans les rues : analyse des expressions religieuses dans un quartier populaire de Mexico City.

Cet exposé présente les données ethnographiques issues d’une recherche menée dans le quartier populaire d’Ajusco, au sud de Mexico. Il montre la manière dont la religion s’exprime dans l’espace public dans deux situations distinctes : d’une part, les espaces officiels des entrepreneurs du salut (temples et églises) ; et d’autre part, les manifestations populaires qui ne relèvent pas des autorités ecclésiales mais plutôt de l’initiative des croyants (chapelles, croix). Je m’intéresserai en particulier au Monumento a la Piedra, un rocher devenu lieu de réunion pour plusieurs expressions religieuses populaires et un monument public qui a finalement disparu en l’espace de dix ans. J’expliquerai en quoi ce processus fait partie d’une resémantisation de l’espace par les croyances, qui construisent un environnement assignant de nouvelles significations au territoire. De même, j’évoquerai l’importance des images et des pèlerinages dans l’élaboration d’un réseau de significations religieuses ancrées territorialement.

Suarez, H., 2015. Creyentes urbanos. Sociologia de la experienca religiosa en una colonia popular de la ciudad de Mexico, Mexico, UNAM. Suarez, H., 2018. “Socioantropología de la religión en México. Historia y horizontes”, en Revista Cultura y Representaciones Sociales, 12, (24) : 9-16. Site Internet :

Julie Picard. Les territorialités religieuses des migrants africains chrétiens : entre dynamiques identitaires et recompositions urbaines discrètes

Cette intervention s’appuie sur nos travaux de recherche en géographie, réalisés au Caire et à Toulouse, et portant sur les processus d’ancrage urbain – temporaire ou durable – de migrants africains chrétiens (notamment protestants évangéliques). Elle propose d’interroger à la fois les liens entre géographie, pratiques, croyances et mobilités religieuses, ainsi que la place et le rôle des territoires religieux, matériels et symboliques, dans les parcours et la vie quotidienne de migrants de confession chrétienne, originaires du sud du Sahara. Nous tenterons de démontrer que ces Agenda pour une sociologie critique des religions (micro)territoires, qu’ils soient produits par les migrants eux-mêmes ou co-produits, peuvent servir de ressource, de leviers d’ancrage urbain afin de mieux vivre l’attente et d’affirmer, ou de réviser, leurs appartenances identitaires. Si l’espace urbain d’accueil peut participer à la redéfinition des identités des personnes en exil, ces dernières recomposent également, souvent de manière discrète et précaire, les territoires urbains qu’elles habitent (ce qui interroge par la même occasion la méthodologie du chercheur, soucieux de mieux saisir les liens entre migrations, religions et espaces urbains).

Bava S. et Capone S., 2010 – « Religions transnationales et migrations : regards croisés sur un champ en mouvement », Autrepart n°56, p. 3-15. Bava S. et Picard J., 2010. « Les nouvelles figures religieuses de la migration africaine au Caire », Autrepart 56(4) : 153-170. Dejean F., Endelstein L., 2013, « Approches spatiales des faits religieux. Jalons épistémologiques et orientations contemporaines », Carnets de Géographes n°6. Endelstein L., Fath S., Mathieu S. (dir.), 2010, Dieu change en ville. Religion, Espace et immigration, Paris, L’Harmattan. Picard J., 2016. « De lieu de passage au territoire d’ancrage : les Églises du Caire et les migrants africains chrétiens », Les Cahiers d’Outre-mer 2016/2 (274) : 133-160.

David Garbin. Espace-temps de l’urbanisation religieuse et visions territoriales dans les mega-cities.

Cette communication a pour objet d’examiner la relation entre l’urbain et le religieux en considérant les dynamiques liées à l’économie morale de la production des espaces, plus spécifiquement en relation avec les enjeux politiques de la pluralité, du développement et de l’aménagement urbain. On prendra pour exemples plusieurs terrains récents effectues dans des ‘villes globales’ (Londres, Atlanta, Lagos, Kinshasa) pour discuter des notions de ‘religion urbaine’ (urban religion, Robert Orsi) et ‘d’urbanisation religieuse’ (religious urbanisation) en utilisant de façon critique le concept de spatial fix développé par David Harvey. En focalisant plus particulièrement sur Lagos au Nigeria nous montrerons également comment une mise en lumière des espace-temps religieux (vision, projection, aspiration) peut nous permettre d’envisager les stratégies de territorialisation sous l’angle particulier des infrastructures matérielles et spirituelles, dans un contexte de ‘mega-urbanisation’ et de concurrence intense pour les ressources foncières.

Garbin, D., « Visibility and invisibility of migrant faith in the city: diaspora religion and the politics Agenda pour une sociologie critique des religions of emplacement of Afro-Christian churches », Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 39(5) : 677-696. Garbin D. et A. Sthran (eds.), Religion and the Global City, Londres, Bloomsbury. Harvey, D. (2001) Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press; New York: Routledge. Orsi, R. (1999), ‘Introduction: Crossing the City Line’, in R. Orsi (ed.), Gods of the City. Religion and the American Urban Landscape, 1–78, Bloomington: Indianapolis University Press.

Irene Becci. Les parcs publics comme hétérotopies religieuses

Les parcs publics des sociétés modernes sont souvent conceptualisés comme des espaces sociaux hétérotopiques (Gandy, 2015). À partir d’observations empiriques et de réflexions théoriques menées dans le cadre d’une étude sur le militantisme écologique en Suisse et d’une autre recherche sur la diversité religieuse en Allemagne, cette présentation porte sur les pratiques religieuses qui se déroulent dans des parcs publics urbains. Qu’il s’agisse de festivals, de réunions régulières ou de pratiques individuelles, des pratiques liées à la religion ou la spiritualité sont de fait présentes dans les parcs publics urbains. Je m’intéresserai à l’importance symbolique de ce type de lieux ainsi qu’aux discours qui accompagnent ces pratiques. Les références à la spiritualité ou à la nature varient considérablement. Les parcs publics urbains sont en effet pour les habitants des villes les réceptacles symboliques d’un imaginaire de la nature et des espaces contestés, exposés à différentes appropriations séculières ou religieuses.

Becci, I., Burchardt, M. et Casanova, J. (eds.), 2013. Topographies of Faith. Religion in Urban Spaces, Leiden, Brill. Becci, I., Fahramand, M. et Grandjean, A., (à paraître). « The (b)earth of a gendered eco-spirituality : globally connected ethnographies between Mexico and the European Alps », in A. Fedele et K. Knibbe (eds.), Secular Society, spiritual selves ? Gendering the overlaps and boundaries between religion, spirituality and secularity, Londres, Routledge. Gandy, M., 2015. Écologie queer. Nature, sexualité et hétérotopies, Paris, Eterotopia.

Voir :

Symposium: *Pentecostal Charismatic Christianities and Migration*

Please join us at the symposium *Pentecostal Charismatic Christianities and Migration* co-convened by the Religion and Society Research Cluster/SSAP, Western Sydney University, and Alphacrucis College.

Date: 2 August 2019

Venue: Level 9, Parramatta City campus, WSU

169 Macquarie St, Parramatta

Keynote Speaker: Associate Prof Richard Vokes, UWA

“‘The Spirit Really Moved Me’: Metaphors of Movement in African-Australian Conversion Narratives”

Symposium Conveners:

  • Prof Cristina Rocha, Religion and Society Research Cluster, WSU
  • Prof Mark Hutchinson, Alphacrucis College
  • Dr Kathleen Openshaw, Religion and Society Research Cluster, WSU
  • Mrs Ingrid Ryan, Alphacrucis College

Symposium Theme

Over the past few decades, Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity (PCC) has exploded in the Global South and grown considerably in the Global North. Much of this grow this fuelled by networks of megachurches, the mobility of community leaders across diasporic networks, migration and media. While traditionally missionaries would travel in a North-to- South direction, more recently megachurches from the Global South have moved horizontally, across to other developing countries, and also made inroads in to the Global North in efforts of reverse missionisation. Such attempts to missionise to locals in the Global North have been largely (though not wholly) unsuccessful and churches have turned their focus to migrants from the Global South. Many studies have shown that migrants, who were not attached to PCCs before migration, join churches in the diaspora as they offer them a home away from home. Meanwhile, diasporic churches also face difficulties keeping these (as well as second generation) migrants, since they may prefer local churches in an effort to integrate. This symposium will probe these themes, discussing the many connections between PCCs and migration.

Registration: This is a free event but registration needed for catering purposes. migration-symposium-tickets-64954862743

For more details see attached flyer and

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

Symposium/Masterclass on Research on Religion, Gender, and Sexuality

Saturday 29 June 2019
At The University Of Newcastle Sydney Cbd Campus
55 Elizabeth St

This one-day symposium brings together postgraduate students and early career researchers working in the interdisciplinary area of religion, gender and sexuality to explore specific issues pertaining to study in this area.

Masterclass 1 (9.30-1pm) Methodological and Ethical Issues in the Study of Religion, Gender and Sexuality
Leaders: Professor Emma Tomalin, University of Leeds; Dr Luke Gahan, La Trobe University

  • This masterclass will explore interdisciplinary approaches to and methodologies in the study of religion, gender and sexuality. The first session will look at the theory of intersectionality when applied to the research and analysis of religion, gender and sexuality in non-western societies. The second session will look at methods and ethics in researching LGBTQI cohorts and issues. Participants will be encouraged to draw on insights from their own research in order to contribute to the discussion, and there will be a pre-symposium reading requirement.

Masterclass 2 (2.00-3.30) Safety in the Research Process
Leader: Dr Kathleen McPhillips, University of Newcastle

  • Researching across gender issues in the study of religion can expose us to challenging and difficult literature and field sites for which understanding and preparation is essential. This Masterclass will explore some of the pitfalls in the research process, the importance of setting up a safe research environment for participants and researchers and the importance of self-care. The class will introduce a trauma informed model of research practice and will draw upon the expertise of a number of experienced researchers, early career researchers and current HDR students who have worked in challenging research areas. Participants will be invited to share their experiences and there will be a pre-symposium reading requirement.

Discussion (4-5pm)

  • A final session will address the importance of mentoring for HDR and early career researchers as well as helpful tips about the move from post graduate student to researcher and academic.
    This event is fully catered for and morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea is provided.

Registration Costs:

  • HDR Students $40
  • Early Career Researchers and part-time academics $50
  • Full time Academics $100

To Register and pay, go to

Sponsored By:

  • The Women’s Caucus Of The Australian Association For The Study Of Religion
  • The School Of Humanities And Social Sciences, University Of Newcastle
  • Religion And Society Research Cluster, Western Sydney University
  • Institute For Ethics And Society, Notre Dame University, Sydney
  • Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin University, Melbourne

Apply for Generations in Dialogue about the Sociology of Religion

The Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California (USC) is seeking applications for its Generations in Dialogue (GID) program about the Sociology of Religion.

The GID program involves a widely-recognized senior Catholic scholar sharing his or her time, expertise, and wisdom with several junior scholars in the same or related disciplines. Over a two-year period these scholars convene for four weekend dialogues that include discipline-specific discussions, personal reflection, shared prayer, and presentations from distinguished scholars and public intellectuals.  Besides benefitting from two years of mentorship, junior scholars will establish relationships with other dedicated scholars in their field.

A generous stipend is included. Early-career (pre-tenure and dissertation stage) social scientists are eligible. Applications are welcome from anyone interested in a substantive and critical engagement with Catholicism’s multiple intellectual traditions

For more information and an application:

Call for Papers: “Mosques, families and Islamic Law”

‘Danish Mosques – Significance, Use and Influence’ together with the ‘Nordic Mosques Research network’ invites papers and applications for participation. This will be the first workshop as part of the HS-NOS funding and the mid-term conference in the Danish Mosques research project.

The workshop will take place at in Göteborg in Sweden at the Hotel Panorama from 21st to 23rd August 2019.

The deadline for the call for papers is May 1st, 2019.

All contact should be addressed to Niels Valdemar Vinding,

Call for Papers

For this workshop, we invite scholars and researchers in the Nordic countries (and beyond) that work in the intersection of mosques, family and Islamic law. Mosques are widely understood as Muslim institutions in the discursivity of Islam. Similarly, Islamic law is widely defined as Islamic ethics, norms and practice. In our view and in legal terms, the biggest challenge for mosques and Muslims in the Nordic countries is building authentic and responsive legal institutions that may help Muslims in their ethnic, social and legal dilemmas and problems, where Western society seems to disappoint. There is a significant degree of experimentation and different attempts at articulating a religious legal identity and institutions amongst Muslims in the Nordic countries. This has been going on for a number of years, but now seems to be quasi-institutionalised to point where we are able to find legal documents, interview people and observe the process of legal institutionalization.

However, currently Muslim legal institutions are reaching out to governments and courts to better regulate and establish their practices to mitigate the significant risk of having their work deemed illegitimate and even illegal. The most significant legal concern by far is Muslim family law with the fear of parallel legal orders and subversive counter-normativity.

The operable questions for the workshop are; how are Muslims in mosques (and beyond) articulating their legal, ethical and normative identities? What kind of institutions are being build? How many so-called Islamic councils are there in the Nordic countries? How are they seen and used by Muslims? What kind of Islamic law and ethics issues are seen by the courts and quasi-courts in the Nordic countries, such as family matters, divorce, mediation, inherence, honour, polygamy? How do the courts and the legal systems in general approach and address these issues?

We are inviting submissions for papers as well as for participation in the workshop. We will give preference to papers to be presented during the workshop. For paper presentations, we are expecting written contributions to either an upcoming special issue of a leading journal or to a concluding anthology on Nordic Mosques in Context.

Paper abstracts of 300 words or expressions of interest in participation and a short CV to be submitted to Niels Valdemar Vinding,, on May 1st 2019 at the latest.

Workshop Series Theme

This is the first in a series of three workshops on Nordic Mosques in Context – On the institutional embeddedness of Islam in the Nordic countries sponsored by a NOS-HS Workshop Grant. The second is on ”Mosques, power and politics,” in Copenhagen, Denmark, in January 2020, and the third is on ”Mosques, communities and finance,” in Oslo, Norway, August 2020. The purpose of the workshops is to investigate the dimensions of institutional embeddedness of Islam in the Nordic countries as mosques seek to be responsive institutions for the needs of Muslims, challenged by economic, legal and political alternatives. We are considering mosques as the focal point of Islam in economic, legal and political terms, the primary objective of this research project is to study the institutional strategies of mosques and Muslims in embedding Islam in the Nordic wider societies. The key here is to see to what extend mosques are responsive institutions for the needs of Muslim in soliciting the wider public, or if Muslims go beyond the mosque in the pursuit of other more apt forms of institutionalised religious life such as invoking Islamic economic, legal and political responses. We argue that the entire future of mosques depends on whether they can give and refine responsive and meaningful answers and make them coherent with the economic, legal and politics questions that Muslims seek the answers to. As such, this may result in the secularisation of mosques as they negotiate and find their place in society. Will these new or re-interpreted institutional expressions clash with the general public, will they fail Muslims or will they be viable alternatives for embedding Islam in the Nordic countries?

Workshop structure

We are aiming to conduct this workshop from the afternoon on Wednesday 21st August and finish with lunch on Friday 23rd August. All accepted participants will have flights, trains and other public transportation and hotel costs covered. We are organising a programme with keynotes, paper sessions with 20 minutes presentation and 10 minutes Q&A, as well as an afternoon open to the public and local stakeholders.


Brian Arly Jacobsen, assoc. professor, Sociology of Religion, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Torkel Brekke, Research Professor, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway

Göran Larsson, Professor in Religious Studies, Göteborg University, Sweden

Niels Valdemar Vinding, post.doc., Islamic Studies, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

News and Events Reposted from AASR (May/June, 2018)

Here is a set of events, updates, and conferences/calls-for-papers reposted from the website of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion (



Conferences / call for papers: