Hope Optimism Initiative

Hope and Optimism: Conceptual and Empirical Investigations

Request for Proposals: “The Science of Hope and Optimism”

Award Announcement

The University of Notre Dame and Cornell University, with generous support from The John Templeton Foundation, invite proposals for “The Science of Hope and Optimism” funding initiative. We seek to encourage empirical research from new and established scientists and scholars on hope and optimism. A primary goal of this initiative is to clarify which definitions, concepts and measures of hope and optimism are the most theoretically and practically fruitful. We welcome applications from researchers in cognitive, developmental, personality, and social psychology, as well as sociology. Interdisciplinary teams that include members from cognate areas – e.g. cognitive science, anthropology, and philosophy – are encouraged though not required.

Award Description

Hope and Optimism Directors: Samuel Newlands, University of Notre Dame; Andrew Chignell, Cornell University.

This $1.4 million dollar RFP is intended to support empirical work in psychology and sociology on the nature, measurement, benefits, and costs of hope and/or optimism. Requests are invited for between $50,000 and $250,000 for projects not to exceed two years in duration. We intend to make up to 10 awards.

The Concepts of Hope and Optimism

Social scientists have defined the terms “hope” and “optimism” in many different ways. Researchers often begin with the commonsense notion of dispositional optimism, which is the relatively stable expectation that good things rather than bad things will generally happen. They then go on to use or make reference to concepts such as the optimism of everyday life, big optimism, little optimism, private optimism, public optimism, explanatory style optimism, here-and-now optimism, and end-of-the-story optimism, among others. One goal of the present project is to clarify which definitions, constructs, and measures related to these and other terms are the most theoretically and practically fruitful.

Optimism has received more attention in scientific studies than has hope, and therefore a wider range of measures and characterizations have been proposed, validated, and applied for optimism than for hope. As a result of this imbalance, different evaluative procedures will be used for proposals addressing optimism as opposed to those addressing hope. For proposals addressing optimism, preference will be given to those that clarify and utilize one of the many existing optimism constructs or measures to make progress in the areas outlined in the Key Questions below. With respect to hope, preference will be given to those that utilize characterizations and measures that go beyond the extant psychological literature to address some of the Key Questions.


1. Psychology

For most of the 20th century, psychology emphasized what might be called “negative” disorders and their treatment. Researchers and clinicians seemed to assume that positive inaccuracies, such as optimistically-biased assessments of one’s chances, were undesirable. The neutral and accurate perception of reality was a hallmark of mental health.

Interest in optimism increased in the 1980s when various measures were developed by Michael Scheier, Charles Carver, Neil Weinstein, Shelley Taylor, Martin Seligman, and others. There is now a substantial and growing body of evidence on the correlations between biased optimism and well-being, evidence that challenges the assumption that unbiased accuracy in one’s predictions and assessments is most strongly correlated with health and well-being.

Despite these advances, numerous questions for the psychological study of optimism remain unanswered. For example, it remains unclear whether the correlations between optimism and physical health are due primarily to the benefits of optimism, the harms of pessimism, or both. Prospective and longitudinal studies, together with new meta-analyses of the existing data are needed to clarify the causal and explanatory relations underlying optimism-related phenomena.

Second, comparatively little attention has been paid to the social-psychological dimension of optimism. Similarly, there have been only a few investigations into the genetic, neuropsychological, and environmental roots of optimism. Some studies, such as those on the genetic determinants of optimism, would require substantial resources and large samples; these obstacles have proven difficult to overcome.

The positive effects of hope have received even less attention by psychological researchers. With a few notable exceptions, the extant empirical literature on hope focuses primarily on coping strategies for patients who are in danger of losing hope. Relatively little is known about how hope functions in ordinary contexts and in well-adjusted subjects. In addition, insufficient attention has been given to the psychological and neurological mechanisms underlying hope and hopefulness. Part of the problem is that, unlike in optimism studies, there is not a widely accepted definition and measure for hope. Though C. R. Snyder’s Hope Scales do provide a measure that emphasizes goal-related factors, it is unclear whether these factors are as central to the psychology of hope as his theory predicts. Developmental and social-psychological aspects of hope are also underexplored.

2. Sociology

Strikingly little research on hope and optimism has been done in sociology. Two broad areas have received attention in sociology: optimism and culture; and optimism and religion. Over the last decade, sociologists have explored a number of issues at the intersection of optimism and culture, including apparent cultural differences in levels of optimism, the importance of optimism to the existence of cohesive, flourishing cultures, and the means by which cultural structures and institutions cultivate optimism. Further work needs to be done, however, on the underlying neurological, biological, psychological, religious, and socio-cultural mechanisms that account for the small variations in levels of optimism across cultures. In addition, more studies are needed in order to discover the role of optimism in sustaining cultures, and the precise features of the implicit cultural policies that promote and mediate optimism in a culture.

Over the past few decades, most research on the connection between religion and optimism has been on individual religiosity and how one’s level of religiosity relates to and promotes psychological well-being and life satisfaction. Much less work has been done on religion as a social institution and how it relates to optimism. Further research is needed on how religion—as a complex, multidimensional domain consisting of organizational practices, social relationships, support mechanisms, non-organizational practices, identities, beliefs and experiences, and more—promotes (or deters) optimism. Finally, since the few empirical studies on religion and optimism have been conducted in the U.S. or other western societies that are, for the most part, Judeo-Christian (or post-Christian), further research is needed in non-Judeo-Christian, non-Western contexts.

Key Questions

With the above considerations in mind, we invite proposals for research addressing at least one of the following Key Questions:

A. Psychology

1. What are the correlations, causal relations, and/or explanatory relationships that hold between optimism, pessimism, and their correlates? For example, is optimism beneficial, or is pessimism toxic, or both? What aspects of optimism and pessimism account for their beneficial or toxic effects?

2. What is hope? To what other traits or states is it importantly related? How might hope be reliably measured in individuals?

3. How central are hope and optimism to human physical and mental health? Can individuals flourish without them?

4. Is optimism bias irrational? If so, in what sense?

5. Which psychological mechanisms underlie hope and optimism? For example, how do affective, motivational, and cognitive processes differentially contribute to optimism and influence one another? Does hope have positive or negative affective components, both, or neither? Are dual- (or multi-) process models of hope and optimism empirically plausible, and, if so, what is handled by System-1, System-2, etc.?

6. How do hope and optimism develop? What are their genetic and environmental influences?

7. Can hope and optimism be taught? What pedagogical methods are most effective for instilling hope and optimism among those who might benefit from them?

B. Sociology

1. What is hope? How might hope be reliably measured across cultures and social institutions?

2. What are the social dynamics related to hope and/or optimism? Is hope contagious; if so, what facilitates its transmission? Does optimism have social functions; if so, what are they?

3. What are the underlying societal, cultural, institutional, familial, and environmental mechanisms that promote optimism?

4. What accounts for the small yet significant differences in levels of optimism across cultures? How do the causes, effects, mechanisms, and expressions of hope and optimism differ across circumstances, cultures, and other domains?

5. Is the hope offered by religious doctrine and praxis different in kind or in degree from non-religious sources? How do levels of hope and/or optimism compare in non-Judeo-Christian, non-Western religious contexts? What feature(s) of such religious contexts contribute to higher or lower levels of hope and/or optimism?

Application Instructions

Letters of Intent are due by November 1st, 2014. Invitations for full proposals will be made by December 1st, 2014. Full proposals will be due by February 1st, 2015, with final award decisions issued by March 15th, 2015 for research to begin between July 1st, 2015 and September 1st, 2015.

Letter of Intent (LOI) Stage – all materials must be received by November 1st, 2014

Applicants are required to submit:

1. A letter of intent that includes the central questions of the project, the background and significance of the questions, the way in which the project addresses the goals and at least one of the Key Questions of this RFP, and a summary of the methodology. The letter cannot exceed 1,000 words (excluding references).

2. The amount of funding requested (one sentence is fine for this). No budget narrative or justification is needed at this stage. The amount can be revised at the full proposal stage.

3. A complete curriculum vitae for the PI and for all major team members (if applicable).

Application materials should be submitted by e-mail attachment as a single document to: hope-optimism[at]nd[dot]edu, with the words “Social Science letter of intent” in the subject line. The required documents should be compiled in a single PDF file in the order listed above. The only acceptable file format is PDF. An acknowledgment email will be sent within seven days of receiving your proposal.

Full Proposal Stage – all materials must be received by February 1st, 2015

Full Proposals are due by February 1st, 2015, with award decisions issued by March 15th, 2015, for research to begin between July 1st, 2015 and September 1st, 2015.

Those applicants who are invited to submit full proposals must include:

1. A cover letter of no more than 1 page with the title, amount requested, duration of the project (not to exceed two years), and team members (if applicable).

2. A complete curriculum vitae for the PI and for all major team members (if applicable).

3. A brief abstract of the proposed work of no more than 150 words.

4. A narrative description of the work to be carried out, not to exceed 5,000 words (excluding references). The description should explain the central questions of the project, the background and significance of the questions, the way in which the project addresses the goals and at least one of the Key Questions of this RFP, the methodology, the researchers’ qualifications to conduct the research, and plans for the dissemination of research outputs. If the proposed work requires access to particular equipment or populations (e.g., school children), the researcher(s) should indicate how they will access these resources during the proposed funding period.

5. A project summary of up to 500 words which explains the project and its significance to non-academics, and which would be published on the Hope and Optimism website and possibly in Templeton materials, and included in publicity materials if the proposal is funded.

6. A timeline for the proposed work.

7. A detailed budget with accompanying narrative explaining line items, totaling between $50,000 and $250,000 in direct + indirect costs. Overhead is limited to 15%, and funds cannot be used for major equipment purchases.

8. Written approval of the department chair and university signing officials.

Proposals should be submitted by e-mail attachment as a single document to: hope-optimism[at]nd[dot]edu. The words “Social Science Full Proposal” should appear in the subject line. The required documents should be compiled in a single PDF file in the order listed above. The only acceptable file format is PDF. Full proposals will be accepted only from applicants who have been invited to submit by the Project Directors, on the basis of the LOI phase. An acknowledgment email will be sent within seven days of receiving your proposal.

All questions about the application process should be directed to: hope-optimism[at]nd[dot]edu.

Review and Selection Process

Letters of Intent and Full Proposals will be reviewed by the Project Directors, in consultation with a panel of external expert referee. If an LOI or full proposal involves content or methods that require further expertise, additional ad hoc reviewers may be sought.

Selection criteria will include: (1) feasibility of the project within the specified timeframe, (2) prior research accomplishments of the applicant (and other team members, if any), (3) relevance of the project to the key topics and themes, (4) originality and chance of success of the intended project, (5) quality of the budget justification, and (6) coherence of the intended research plan. Strong preference will be given to proposals that are especially innovative and novel relative to current scientific work in these areas.

Grant Eligibility and Requirements

The PI must have a Ph.D. and be in or contracted to a faculty position at an accredited college or university before the Letter of Intent deadline (November 1st, 2014). For projects involving human subjects or non-human animals, appropriate approval for the proposed research must be obtained from an Internal Review Board before the start date of the research.

All applications must be submitted in English and all payments will be made in US dollars.

PIs of funded projects must commit to the following:

1. Submit interim and final progress reports, as well as interim and final expenditure reports. The interim and final progress reports should not exceed 5 pages, and should detail the outcomes of the funded project. Reports must be submitted at the end of Year 1 and at the conclusion of the project if the project is for more than one year. For projects of one year, reports should be submitted at the end of six months and at the conclusion of the project.

2. Attend and present findings (initial or final) at the 5-day midpoint interdisciplinary workshop in July 2016 (expenses covered).

3. Consent to have presentation at the midpoint workshop videotaped for the Hope and Optimism Project website.

4. Notify the project at: hope-optimism[at]nd[dot]edu of all conference presentations, papers, and books that arise from the funded research, including presentations and publications occurring after the conclusion of the grant.

5. Follow stipulations of grant award as communicated by Templeton either to the University of Notre Dame or to the recipients directly, and as determined by Notre Dame. This includes complying with all relevant regulations and procedures for human subjects research.

Direct all questions to:



Hope and Optimism: Conceptual and Empirical Investigations

Center for Philosophy of Religion

223 Malloy Hall

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN 46556

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A Special Issue on the Gülen Movement: Sociology of Islam Journal (Edited by Joshua Hendr ick) Volume 1, Issue 3-4, 2014 (Brill)

Sociology of Islam explores modern social, political and economic transformations in Muslim Societies through the lens of sociological analysis, social theory, industrialization, modernity, social movements, secularism and political economy. It provides a unique sociological approach in addition to a multi-disciplinary approach.

Sociology of Islam Journal

A Special Issue on the Gülen Movement

Volume 1, Issue 3-4, 2014


Perspectives on the Gülen Movement
Approaching a Sociology of Fethullah Gülen
“Is Hizmet Liberal?” Mediations and Disciplines of Islam and Liberalism among Gülen Organizations in Istanbul
The Netherlands and the Gülen movement
The Sohbet: Talking Islam in Turkey
Said Nursi’s Notion of ‘Sacred Science’: Its Function and Application in Hizmet High School Education
Translocal Ethics: Hizmet Teachers and the Formation of Gülen-inspired Schools in Urban Tanzania
What is the Hizmet Movement? Contending Approaches to the Analysis of Religious Activists In World Politics
  • Author: Sabine Dreher
  • Source: Volume 1, Issue 3-4, pp 257 –275
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Post-doc position at the University of Tuebingen

*** Thanks for distributing / Sorry for cross-posting ***

The Department of Sociology at the University of Tuebingen welcomes applications for a full-time

Junior faculty position (Sociology / Empirical social research)

to be filled as of 01 October 2014.

The position entails responsibilities in teaching and research. A completed Ph.D. in sociology or related fields is required. We expect advanced competencies in research methods and data analysis as well as cooperation with ongoing research activities in the Department’s working group on social stratification, education and the life course (Professor Steffen Hillmert).

Recruitment will be for an initial period of three years and can be extended for another three years. The University of Tuebingen is an equal opportunity employer.

The deadline for applications is 15 July 2014

Please submit applications to

Karin Schlotterer

University of Tuebingen

Department of Sociology

Wilhelmstr. 36

72074 Tuebingen


or via email to: karin.schlotterer

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Ph.d. and post-doc fellowships at the University of Oslo, Norway

Ph.d. and post-doc fellowships at the University of Oslo, Norway:

1. Two Doctoral research fellowships in Politics and Society in the Middle East http://uio.easycruit.com/vacancy/1207849/62042?iso=no

2. Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship – Ideological and cultural development in the Middle East after ca 1850 http://uio.easycruit.com/vacancy/1207979/62042?iso=no

3. Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in the study of central aspects of the development of Islam as a religious tradition http://uio.easycruit.com/vacancy/1207991/62042?iso=no

4. Doctoral research fellowship in Semitic Studies with emphasis on language, religion and societal changes http://uio.easycruit.com/vacancy/1207899/62042?iso=no

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New Voices in Greek Orthodox Thought: Untying the Bond between Nation and Religion

New Voices in Greek Orthodox Thought:
Untying the Bond between Nation and Religion Trine Stauning Willert, University of Copenhagen, Denmark Ashgate, 2014


New Voices in Greek Orthodox Thought brings to the light and discusses a strand in contemporary Greek public debate that is often overlooked, namely progressive religious actors of a western orientation.
International – and Greek – media tend to focus on the extreme views and to categorise positions in the public debate along well known dichotomies such as traditionalists vs. modernsers.

Demonstrating that in late modernity, parallel to rising nationalisms, there is a shift towards religious communities becoming the central axis for cultural organization and progressive thinking, the book presents Greece as a case study based on empirical field data from contemporary theology and religious education, and makes a unique contribution to ongoing debates about the public role of religion in contemporary Europe.

New Voices in Greek Orthodoc Thought June 2014.pdf

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CALL FOR PAPERS: 4th International Buddhism & Australia Conference

The International Conference Buddhism & Australia 2015 will be held on 26-28 February, 2015 in Perth, Western Australia. This conference investigates the history, current and future directions for Buddhism in Australasian region; theme for Buddhism & Australia 2015 will be Buddhist Symbols and Symbolism

The organizers are open to proposals for contributions on Buddhism history, philosophy, texts as well for proposals on any related theme All Buddhists, scholars and members of the general public interested in Buddhism are invited to present their papers in this coming conference. Researchers across a broad range of disciplines are welcomed as well the submission of pre-formed panel proposals.

What to Send
Proposals may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information:

  • author(s);
  • affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme
  • email address,
  • title of proposal,
  • body of proposal; no more than 300 words,
  • up to 10 keywords.
  • CV max 2 pages

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline).

Proposals should be submitted by November 25, 2014 by the following email: info@buddhismandaustralia.com If a proposal is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by January 20, 2015. We acknowledge receipt and answer to all proposals submitted For further details of the conference, please visit: www.buddhismandaustralia.com

Organizing Chair
Marju Broder: info@buddhismandaustralia.com

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contributions for edited volume needed – religious movements and global capitalism

Edited Book project – contributions needed for specific chapters:

Resistance versus promotion of globalization: contrasting roles of religious activism in the global economy

The study of religion in international relations has focused on the relationship between religion and modernity, the impact of religion on the secular state system, on both religious and secular violence, and on the role of religious actors in world politics. There is however an absence of inquiry into how religious social movements relate to global capitalism. This is surprising given that politics of austerity, flexibility and economic liberalisation have spread throughout the world further entrenching a global economy. The book will discuss the relationship of religion to global capitalism by taking a novel approach to the study of religious actors. Instead of taking an essentialist definition of religion as its starting point, the authors in the book utilise the close study of specific religious movements and investigate how they see neoliberal globalization. The book will thus show that religion is not an explanatory variable since there are religious social movements that promote and resist neoliberal globalization. Instead the book promotes a constructivist approach to the study of religion and employs concepts from the study of global social movements to study how religious activists frame global political economy questions.

For this book project to be more representative – I need a chapter on prosperity religion, if possible on the African continent, a study of the Hindutva movement, specifically its economic success in Gujarat (alongside its authoritarianism), and a study of indigenous thought developing on the American continent with notions such as buen vivir and a completely different conceptualisation of the role of an ‘economy’.

So far we have covered the Gülen movement, Ennahda in Tunisia, AKP in Turkey, the Interfaith initiative in Tanzania against mining regulations, US evangelical groups activism to prevent global climate change, religious groups in the occupy movement and World Social Forum. Interestingly enough, the Christian movements we covered are all opposing neoliberal globalization whereas the Islamic activists are promoting further integration into the global economy. But I do not want to have another chapter on the anti-capitalist Muslims in Turkey, they will be integrated in the general discussion of the Turkey/AKP chapter. The list also shows that we utilize a broad understanding of social movements.

We have received an informal expression of interest from a publisher but need a stronger proposal to actually submit this to a preliminary review. Your commitment would only be finalised once we have a positive feedback from the publisher. If this works out, a first, rough, draft of the chapter would have to be submitted within 9 months.

Please contact Sabine Dreher, Department of International Studies, Glendon College, sdreher if you are interested in contributing to this project.

[Call for Papers]

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Religion and Society PhD Research Scholarship


The Religion and Society Research Centre / School of Social Sciences and Psychology at the University of Western Sydney is seeking an excellent candidate to undertake a doctoral project as part of an Australian Research Council funded Future Fellowship.

Dr Cristina Rocha’s Future Fellowship investigates the rise of global Pentecostalism by exploring a Pentecostal transnational religious field between Australia and Brazil. In particular, it aims to investigate the role of Pentecostalism in the social welfare of migrants in Australia.
Broadly speaking, this research intends to contribute significant new knowledge to the ways in which religion is globalised and localised in everyday life, the role of religion in assisting migrants, and the continuing vitality and renewed public role of religion in late modernity.

The doctoral project will be developed by the student and has been conceived to add an important dimension to the Future Fellowship study.
The project will involve an in-depth case study of a Brazilian mega-church in Australia, with fieldwork conducted in Sydney, Melbourne and Brazil.

- Bachelor Honours degree (First Class) and/or a research Master degree in anthropology, sociology or cultural study of contemporary religion. – Be highly motivated to undertake multi-disciplinary research.
- Applicants must also demonstrate a high level of English and Brazilian Portuguese proficiency. International applicants should refer to the following webpage regarding English Language requirements: http://www.uws.edu.au/international/admissions/english_language_requirement – Evidence of Honours/Masters thesis or other publication

What does the scholarship provide?
- The scholarship will provide an index-linked, tax free stipend of $25,392 p.a. for up to 3 years
- $2000 p.a. for project costs and conference travel, as well as $5000 towards three months fieldwork in Brazil in the second year of candidature
- International applicants may apply to have tuition fees waived for up to 3 years.

Need more information?
- Contact the Principal Supervisor Dr Cristina Rocha c.rocha@uws.edu.au; +61 2 9772 6368 to discuss the project in more detail
- Contact the Research Scholarships Development Officer to discuss the scholarships application process: Ms Tracy Mills: t.mills@uws.edu.au

Applicants should submit the Application Form (Section C, and International Student if relevant) including contact details for two (2) academic referees, a covering letter and current CV by email to hdrscholarships@uws.edu.au or by mail to Office of Research Services, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith NSW 2751. Applications close AUGUST 15 2014.

Detailed instructions and Application forms are available at http://www.uws.edu.au/research/scholarships

Dr Cristina Rocha
ARC Future Fellow
Religion and Society Research Centre
University of Western Sydney
Editor: Journal of Global Buddhism
Editor: Religion in the Americas series, Brill http://www.uws.edu.au/religion_and_society/people/researchers/dr_cristina_rocha


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Call for Papers – International Conference on Organ Transplantation in Islam

Call for Papers

An International Conference on Organ Transplantation in Islam

Date: Friday, 21st November, 2014 – Saturday, 22nd November, 2014

Venue: Religion and Society Research Centre, University of Western Sydney, Bankstown Campus, Sydney, Australia

Abstract Deadline: Friday, 5th September, 2014

Abstract Confirmation: Monday 22nd September, 2014


Organ transplantation in Islam is one of the most under-researched areas in social sciences particularly sociology and anthropology. In Islam, organ transplantation and donation are not specifically discussed in the scriptures, namely the Qur’an and Hadith. Given organ transplantations are modern medical developments born out of new scientific accomplishments, both two great texts of Islam, in fact, are silent on the issue of organ transplantation and donation. As such organ transplantation and donation have only recently begun to receive attention in Islamic scholarship.

Organ transplantations are carried out to remove the non-functional or diseased organs and replace them with functioning ones in an attempt to cure patients. There are, in essence, two types of organ transplantations. One is when the organ or organs are harvested from a live body and transplanted in another live but non-functional or diseased body. The other is when the organ or organs are removed from a cadaveric body and transplanted into a live body to cure the patient. Similar to other medical procedures, organ transplantation is generally viewed as permissible in Islam for the simple fact that it is a form of treatment for a medical illness. Many Islamic scholars consent to organ transplantation and donation as they see it consistent with the objectives of the maqasid al-shar’iah (objectives of the Islamic law)that privileges human welfare, interest, and the preservation of human life. Qur’anic verse such as the following is used to make reference to this: “[U]nless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people” (Al-Ma’idah, Verse 32). Organ transplantation, according to this verse, therefore, is in the same category as saving a life.

However, not all Islamic scholars and jurists are necessarily unanimous on the issue of organ transplantation and donation. Although a vast majority of them consent to the permissibility of organ transplantation and donation, there is a school of thought that considers organ transplantation and donation to be prohibited in Islam, particularly the removal of the organ or organs from a cadaveric body and transplanting them in a live body. This lack of unanimity is not so much over the question of whether organ transplantation and donation is permissible in Islam or not but rather the issue of removing an organ or organs from a cadaveric body and transplanting them in live body or bodies.

The latter group of Islamic scholars and jurists view the human body as a unique gift from Allah. It is The Trust which human beings must take great care of and over which have great moral responsibility. The human body is a consecrated entity and the view here is that any process of transplanting organs from the cadaver violates the sanctity of it. The violation of the sanctity of the cadaveric body, according to this school of thought, is forbidden in Islam. In this regard a Prophetic Tradition is often referred to which says: “Breaking the bones of a corpse is similar to breaking the bones of someone who is alive” (Hadith narrated by Abu Dawood: 3207; Ibn Maajah: 1617).

Based on this Hadith, one can infer that the same level of sanctity is accorded to the cadaveric body as is to the live body, and that breaking the bone in the cadaveric body is not permissible just as it is not permissible in the case of a live body. Removing the organ or organs from a cadaveric body and transplanting them in live body involves a loss of dignity and the violation of the sanctity of the body in general and, therefore, from this viewpoint, is prohibited.

Given the fact that the two great texts of Islam – Qur’an and Hadith – are silent on the issue of organ transplantation and donation, how then Islam reconciles itself with the progress and advancements made by humanity in time and space, i.e., in modernity? This is an important sociological question. It is important to note that organ transplantation and donation in their current forms are modern medical developments born out of new scientific accomplishments not within Islam but outside it; mainly in the West. Muslims who have to face the possibility of having organ transplantations or making organ donations not only have to pay heed to Islamic theology but also have to deal with the deep and extensive effects of organ transplantation involving donors, recipients, families, and medical professionals. Organ transplantation and donation, therefore, is not only a “private transaction” between the donor and recipient but one that occurs within the context of an intricate nexus of relationships extending to incorporate, families, friends, professionals, and members of Muslim community. Often seen as a very generous way of saving a life, organ donation through transplantation is also a very powerful gesture of “gift exchange” embodying strong social and cultural meanings.

Organ transplantation and donation in Islam needs to be explored and understood in these broad theological and sociological contexts. Several positions on the issue exist and the phenomenon itself is very complex. A sociological analysis of organ transplantation and donation in Islam will, therefore, yield some meaningful and clear insights.


All these have sparked a number of questions. Does the removal of the organ or organs from the cadaveric body really violate the sanctity of the human body? Isn’t the body just entrusted to us but in reality belongs to Allah and, therefore, the removal of the organ or organs impinges on this Divine Right? A vast majority of Muslims believe in the torment and pleasure of the grave according to the status of the dead and the life in al-barzakh (the interval between death and the Day of Resurrection). The evidence of this is found in the Qur’an which says, “The Fire, they are exposed to it, morning and afternoon. And on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): ‘Cause Fir‘awn’s (Pharaoh) people to enter the severest torment!’”(Ghaafir 40:46). Here, we learn that the people of Pharaoh are exposed to torment morning and afternoon even though they are dead and this affirms the torment of the grave. There is also evidence from early Islam that ‘Aa’ishah, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad, narrated as follows: “O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the torment of the grave, I seek refuge in You from the tribulation of the Dajjaal, I seek refuge in You from the trials of life and death, O Allah, I seek refuge in You from sin and loss”, (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 798; Muslim, 589). If this is the case then wouldn’t the removal of the organ or organs have major ramifications for the body in the grave? How would the body function with organs missing from it?

Despite these there are many Muslims who have donated organs and many who have received them. This demonstrates that at a sociological level, many Muslims who subscribe to organ transplantation and donation base their decisions not just on one single source or factor but multiple. Several processes and the role of key institutions such as family and medical fraternity play an important part in donor-receiver decision. Hence, what ethical and legal issues organ transplantation and donation raise for Muslims? Since organ transplantation and donation are modern medical developments, what are some of the sociological implications of these processes? How can sociological studies of organ transplantation and donation help us not only understand about these processes but provide important insights into ways in which Islam negotiates its place in modernity and maintain its importance and relevance?


To develop some critical insights into this very important topic and attempt to address some of these and other important questions, the Religion and Society Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney is convening an international conference around the following themes:

i. Organ Transplantation in Modern Medicine,

ii. Islamic Theological Perspective on Organ Transplantation and Donation, and

iii. Social Scientific and Comparative Analysis of Organ Transplantation and Donation.

By investigating how Islam grapples with the question of Organ Transplantation and Donation in the modern world, this conference aims to enhance our understanding of various issues and debates surrounding these processes and different ways through which Muslims deal with organ transplantation and donation. For this, we would like to invite religious scholars, medical experts, and social scientists to submit papers that deal with one of the three themes mentioned above. We are particularly interested in papers that address ethical and theological questions of organ transplantation in Islam as well as those that are informed by sociological and ethnographic studies or enriched by case studies from different Muslim communities.

To this end presenters may deliver papers that may specifically address any issues related to organ transplantation that include, but are not limited to, critical and comparative discussions on:

1. Recent medical technological inventions and processes of organ transplantation.

2. Ethical and religious issues and dilemmas in medical practice of organ transplantation and donation.

3. Theological analysis of organ transplantation and donation.

4. Islamic legal and jurisprudential rulings on organ transplantation and donation.

5. Socio-economic factors of organ transplantation and donation.

6. Ethnographic studies and life stories about organ transplantation and donation.


Dr Jan A. Ali (Jan.Ali) and Dr Arskal Salim (A.Salim) – Religion and Society Research Centre, University of Western Sydney.


It is envisaged that the final outcome of the conference will be the publication of papers in an edited volume.

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Call for Papers – Religious Cultures & Gender Cultures – What is differenz about gender across religious cultures?

Journal of Contemporary Religion

Call for Papers

for Special Issue on

Religious Cultures and Gender Cultures

What is different about gender across religious cultures?

In social scientific approaches, religion is predominantly examined as an important source of hegemonic cultural beliefs: religion is conceived as a key factor in shaping gender arrangements and beliefs, for example, religious doctrines that legitimate the unequal treatment of women and the control of women’s sexuality or women’s access to the public domain. This focus dominates particularly the analysis of religions that include a particular body of law, such as halacha in Judaism or shari’a in Islam; religion is envisioned here as a cultural frame that prefigures the whole conduct and purpose of life as an asymmetric, gendered institution.

While religion is exclusively understood as a kind of cultural factor in these approaches, bound to traditional gender images, often viewed as ‘anti-modern’ and ‘backward’, we introduce religion in this call for papers instead as a variable that is contingent on culture itself. We suggest that religion be understood as a social sphere that mirrors cultural beliefs and (gender) codes like any other social field. In other words, we suppose that religion(s), gender beliefs in religion(s) and the social practices of religious actors vary according to social context, time and place. Consequently, the focus of this call is on the effects of the cultural construction of gender within the religious sphere in different societies and regions at various times—so that the analytical focus is on multiple religious settings, their cultural frames and how they shape gendered action and thinking in the religious field.

Following Ann Swidler’s understanding, we assume culture to be a structured set of symbolic representations and basic codes of meaning that shape social orientation, action and experience. In other words, culture is defined as the publicly available set of symbolic forms through which people express and experience meaning and through which modes of behavior and outlook within a community are shared. This includes the religious field and its various forms of social organization. As a result, religion mirrors the prior symbolic horizon of culture and its institutional crystallization, for example, notions of justice, equality or community. Through this approach, it will be possible to narrow down culture’s causal significance for gender inequality in multiple religious contexts and societies, including the directions into which religious gender relations are shifting in times of transition and crises or as a result of globalization and transnationalization. Besides, it will also be possible to explore religion’s emancipatory potential.

Against this background, we invite colleagues from the sociology of religion and other social sciences to submit abstracts for theoretical and empirically based articles, with individual case studies that focus on the intersection of gender, religion and culture and deal with the question: what is different about gender relations across religious cultures?

Articles on the following topics are particularly welcome:

● the relevance of culture for gender relations and beliefs in varying religious traditions such as Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. and against different societal backgrounds (including migrant contexts);

● the way gender cultures and institutions structure beliefs and practices in the religious sphere and its forms of social organization, and the way these are negotiated, debated and re-organized in different cultural contexts, not only in Western-European societies, but also in Asia, Africa, Latin America etc.;

● the relevance of cultural constraints in regards to questions of women’s participation and leadership in religion at various societal levels (local, regional, national, transnational, global);

● the influence of socio-cultural change on gender relations in the religious sphere within the context of crisis and conflict or against the background of socio-historical, political, economic and other forms of transformation.

Instructions to authors and deadlines:

Please submit an outline abstract of about 500 words (plus bibliographical references; in .doc and .pdf format) by 15 October 2014 to both heidemarie.winkel and elisabeth.arweck, outlining the following:

• Title of proposed paper

• Contributing author/s and contact details

• Significance and importance of the research question

• Key concepts, research framework, aim and methodology

If provisionally accepted, full papers are to be submitted by April 2015 for review in line with JCRguidelines. Submission of an abstract does not guarantee publication. Submitted papers will go through the journal’s usual peer-review process. Authors will not receive any payment upon publication.

Call for Articles – Religious Cultues & Gender Cultures.pdf

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Call for Chapters for the book Gender and Diversity Issues in Religious-Based Institutions and Organizations

Proposal Submission Deadline: July 15, 2014 Gender and Diversity Issues in Religious-Based Institutions and Organizations

A book edited by
Blanche Jackson Glimps (Tennessee State University, USA) Theron N. Ford (John Carroll University, USA)

To be published by IGI Global: http://bit.ly/1o7cgdu

For release in the Advances in Religious and Cultural Studies (ARCS) Book Series

ISSN: Pending
Propose a chapter for this book

The Advances in Religious and Cultural Studies (ARCS) book series brings together a collection of scholarly publications on topics pertaining to religious beliefs, culture, population studies, and sociology. Books published within this series are ideal for professionals, theorists, researchers, and students seeking the latest research on collective human behavior in terms of religion, social structure, and cultural identity and practice.

Increasing, religious institutions and organizations have become highly visible nationally and internationally. With the increased visibility has come an awareness of the socio-cultural issues surrounding gender identity and females of color. Females of color at religious institutions and organizations are faced with multiple instances of marginality in their attempts to access the rewards and powers typically available to males or females from numerically dominant racial group. Religious institutions and organizations, whether predominately European or another race, would seem to offer an inclusive environment that manifest espoused Christian tenets. In such an environment all members would have an equal opportunity to belong and become self-actualized. Within predominately European based religious setting, males and sometimes females of European ancestry consistently find this to be true. Females of color face challenges at such institutions and organizations that are frequently unexpected and discouraging. Similarly, females of color who also are part of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (GLBTQ) community have additional barriers to negotiate in religious institutions and organizations. This reality compounds the normally arduous professional journey and contributes to the scarcity of females of color in such settings and may cause members of the GLBTQ community to hide in plain sight.

This book looks to discuss and address the difficulties and challenges that females of color have faced in religious institutions and organizations. The editors seek chapters that address different aspects of professional life ranging from a sense of belonging, visibility, and the intersecting of multiple identities. Additionally, the book will explore authors’ experience including strategies employed to sustain them in what is often a hostile and alien environment. The editors seek recommendations intended to increase the presence of females of color in religious -based institutions and organizations.

Objective of the Book
This proposed publication intends to elucidate the impact of gender identity and “race” within religious-based institutions and organizations. Such an awareness; is timely given the 21st century attention to diversity and the important role religious institutions and organizations hold within local and global communities. Of equal importance, the book will serve as an essential reference source, building on the available literature on gender and diversity issues in religious-based settings and contexts in order to examine how females of color, including those who are GLBTQ, can be most effective and successful when employed at religious-based institutions and organizations. The fulfillment of these objectives by member of the GLBTQ community and women of color should also enable religious institutions and organizations to move from mere diversity to achieve equity.

Target Audience
The content of this book will be of interest to varied audiences. Policy makers, practitioners, academicians, researchers, government officials, and religious-based representatives should find this text useful in furthering their research related to gender and diversity issues in religious-based institutions and organizations. Advanced-level graduate students could use this book as a guide if it is their desire to enter the professoriate.

Institutions and organizations with offices devoted to diversity and equity could use this book to educate themselves, administrators, faculty, clients, and community partners about the importance, to effective organizational performance, of gender and diversity issues.

Women’s Studies courses at higher education institutions would find the text highly useful as a teaching tool as would courses on Educational Studies, Social Foundations of Education, and Sociology. The text would make a good guide for administrators in their deliberations on hiring, promoting, and mentoring females of color.

Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
* Historical role of religious-based institutions/organizations, females of color and the GLBTQ community
* Changing demographic presence of females of color as members of religious-based organizations and institutions
* Minority populations (including GLBTQ-females of color) and religious-based institutions and organizational functioning * Value in gender and diversity issues
* Tracking religious-based business outcomes for females of color including those who are GLBTQ
* Intersection of Race/Ethnicity and Gender Identity in religious institutions and organizations
* Cost and benefits of inclusion of females of color including those who are GLBTQ * Reality of the context vs. the Christian Tenets
* The impact of homophobia within religious institutions and organizations * Sustaining Forces for females of color
* Gender nonconforming females of color
* Relational difficulties as a result of gender and diversity * Institutional discrimination and barriers
* Religiosity and discrimination
* Missionary mentality and the context
* Gender, Diversity, and inclusion
* Changes in the workforce and changes in culture and practice * From exclusion to inclusion
* Masculine norms, paternalistic culture, and marginalization * Societal dynamics and gender roles
* Gender and diversity as compelling issues of justice and equality * Technology access and information sharing
* Clash of Religious Values and Tenets

Submission Procedure
Researchers and practitioners are invited to electronically submit on or before July 15, 2014, a 2-3 page chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of the proposed chapter. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by August 15, 2014 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted; by October 15, 2014. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

All proposals should be submitted through the link at the bottom of this page.

This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the Information Science Reference (formerly Idea Group Reference), Medical Information Science Reference, Business Science Reference, and Engineering Science Reference imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit www.igi-global.com. This book is anticipated to be released in 2015.

Important Dates
July 15, 2014: Proposal Submission Deadline August 15, 2014: Notification of Acceptance October 15, 2014: Full Chapter Submission December 15, 2014: Review Results Returned January 30, 2015: Revised Chapter Submission February 15, 2015: Final Acceptance Notification February 28, 2015: Final Chapter Submission

Inquiries can be forwarded to
Dr. Blanche Jackson Glimps
Professor, Teaching and Learning, Tennessee State University 211D Clay Hall, 3500 John Merritt Blvd., Nashville, TN 372099 Tel.: (615) 963-1346


Dr. Theron N. Ford
312 Administration Building, 1 John Carroll Blvd., University Ht. OH 44118 Tel.: (216) 397-4694

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Spam: Islam, Democracy,and Cosmopolitanism: At Home and in the World

Islam, Democracy, and Cosmopolitanism:
At Home and in the World

Ali Mirsepassi, New York University
Tadd Graham Fernée

Cambridge University Press
May 2014

This book presents a critical study of citizenship, state and globalization in societies that have been historically influenced by Islamic traditions and institutions. Interrogating the work of contemporary theorists of Islamic modernity such as Mohammed Arkoun, Abdul an-Na’im, Fatima Mernissi, Talal Asad, Saba Mahmood and Aziz Al-Azmeh, this book explores the debate on Islam, democracy and modernity, contextualized within contemporary Muslim lifeworlds. These include contemporary Turkey (following the 9/11 attacks and the onset of war in Afghanistan), multicultural France (2009-10 French burqa debate), Egypt (the 2011 Tahrir Square mass mobilizations), and India. Ali Mirsepassi and Tadd Graham Fernée critique particular counterproductive ideological conceptualizations, voicing an emerging global ethic of reconciliation. Rejecting the polarized conceptual ideals of the universal or the authentic, the authors critically reassess notions of the secular, the cosmopolitan and democracy. Raising questions that cut across the disciplines of history, anthropology, sociology and law, this study articulates a democratic politics of everyday life in modern Islamic societies.

Introduction: citizenship, state, and globalization 1. Ways of being in the world: religion and secularism 2. Islams and modernities: Al-Azmeh’s secular critique 3. Talal Asad’s romance with Islamism 4. Arkoun’s The Unthought in Islamic Thought 5. An-Na’im’s Islamic reformation: the reconciliation of equality of rights and the Shari’a 6. Fatima Mernissi: ‘locally’ rooted cosmopolitanism Conclusion.

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CFP – Appel à contribution – Religion, droit et l’État

APPEL À CONTRIBUTION – « Religion, droit et l’État : interférence, intersection et interface »

La revue « Religiologiques »


Depuis plusieurs années, les rapports complexes et souvent tendus entre la religion, le droit et l’État n’ont cessé d’être propulsés à l’avant-scène de l’actualité politique (québécoise, canadienne, américaine, européenne et internationale), de défrayer les manchettes, et de soulever de nombreux et nouveaux défis au « vivre ensemble », ici comme ailleurs. Dans l’état actuel des choses, l’État ne peut ignorer le fait religieux (Koussens 2011). Cependant, comment l’État devrait-il s’en saisir sans que la liberté de conscience et de religion de ses citoyens et citoyennes soit entravée (Prélot 2013) ? Les tribunaux sont fréquemment interpellés et sommés de se prononcer sur diverses questions, certaines demeurant, à l’occasion, sans réponses : Peut-on permettre, au nom de principes religieux, le non-respect d’une entente contractuelle librement négociée ? Une compagnie de transport aérien peut-elle interdire le port de signes religieux visibles (ex. une croix) à ses employés ? Peut-on permettre à une adolescente d’aller à l’école avec un petit kirpan, fût-il inoffensif, mais investi d’une forte charge symbolique religieuse ? Peut-on interdire le port de signes ostentatoires (ex. kippa juive, turban sikhe, ou voile musulman) dans la fonction publique ou dans les écoles publiques financées par l’État, même si cela doit aller à l’encontre de droits individuels garantis par différentes chartes ? Comment aborder la question de la polygamie ou de l’arbitrage religieux (ex. dans les cas de divorce) ou encore la finance islamique ? Peut-on utiliser les deniers publics pour financer des écoles confessionnelles ou la construction de lieux de culte ou pour encadrer la formation de rabbins, d’imams ou de prêtres ? L’État doit-il octroyer des exemptions fiscales aux Églises et aux organisations et institutions religieuses ? (Messner 2012). Toutes ces questions soulèvent fort éloquemment la problématique des rapports complexes et tendus qu’entretiennent la religion, le droit et l’État. Demeurés encore fort trop peu étudiés, ces rapports interpellent pourtant les substrats culturels, sociaux, économiques et politiques dans lesquels s’inscrivent les systèmes normatifs que proposent le religieux et le droit contemporain avec leurs mécanismes respectifs de régulation sociale (constitutions, chartes, lois, jurisprudence ; valeurs et codes moraux, interdits et lois religieuses).

Pour ce numéro thématique, Religiologiques sollicite des contributions qui proposeront soit des réflexions sur la question de l’intersectionalité du religieux, du droit et de l’État, soit des études sur les défis et problématiques religio-légales émergentes, soit des analyses des tensions et conflits normatifs engendrés par les rapports de ces trois éléments (Ferrari et Cristofori 2010; Durham et al. 2012). Il est espéré que d’innovatrices réflexions interdisciplinaires sur les rapports complexes qu’entretiennent ces trois éléments permettront d’élucider de nombreuses interférences, intersections et interfaces, voire inter-normativités, du fait religieux, du droit et de l’État et des milieux culturels, sociaux, économiques et politiques dans lesquels ils s’inscrivent. À travers le prisme de ces études, un nouvel éclairage pourra être apporté à un certain nombre d’enjeux contemporains : statut juridique de la famille et des différents types d’unions, l’éducation, la sphère médicale, le travail, les soins de santé, l’alimentation, les calendriers, les tenues vestimentaires, les ententes contractuelles, les enjeux de fin de vie, etc.

Notons quelques axes (non exhaustives) de réflexion, d’exploration et d’analyse possibles des rapports entre religion, droit et l’État :

- Nouveaux interdits : mouvements contre le halal, la circoncision, le voile, la construction de lieux de culte, etc.

- Types de neutralité religieuse au sein de différents États

- Constitutions, chartes et droits individuels et/ou collectifs

- Liberté de religion et de croyance et espace publique

- Rapports entre différentes normes : religieuses, sociales, juridiques, etc.

- Voies de conciliation : pratiques d’harmonisation ou d’accommodements

- Institutions et organismes de soutien et de recours

Longueur des articles

Les articles devront être de 6,000 à 8,000 mots et soumis en format WORD (.doc) à l’adresse courriel suivante religiologiques@uqam.ca. Les consignes de présentation des textes se trouvent sous la rubrique « Soumission d’articles » sur le site internet de la revue (http://www.religiologiques.uqam.ca).


Vous êtes invités à nous faire parvenir titres et résumés de vos propositions. Les articles devront être soumis fin décembre 2014 pour une publication prévue à l’automne 2015.

Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez contacter

Direction du numéro thématique :

Roxanne D. Marcotte et Jean-René Milot Département de sciences des religions

Rachel Chagnon Département de sciences juridiques

Université du Québec à Montréal, UQAM

Courriel : marcotte.roxanne

* * * * * * *


RELIGIOLOGIQUES___est une revue de sciences humaines qui s’intéresse aux manifestations du sacré dans la culture ainsi qu’au phénomène religieux sous toutes ses formes. Elle s’intéresse également au domaine de l’éthique. Les articles qu’elle publie font l’objet d’une évaluation (à double insu ; minimum deux évaluateurs) des comités de lecture spécialisés, indépendants de son comité de rédaction.

RELIGIOLOGIQUES___est la revue phare de la recherche francophone en sciences des religions en Amérique du Nord publiée de 1990 à 2005 (plus de 31 numéros, dont plusieurs disponibles en ligne sur le site de la revue http://www.religiologiques.uqam.ca) et qui reprend, en 2014, sa longue tradition de publication de numéros thématiques, d’articles hors thèmes – acceptés en tout temps – et de numéros réguliers.

Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Département de sciences des religions
Montréal, QC, Canada
Courriel: religiologiques@uqam.ca

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Faith in Motion: Religion in the 21st century


Faith inMotion: Religion in the21stcentury

Conveners: Debra McDougall, Farida Fozdar, Samina Yasmeen and Mark Jennings

WHEN: Friday, August 15 2014

WHERE: University of Western Australia (UWA); WA Trustees Building Level 2, 133 St Georges Terrace Perth WA

The twenty-­‐first century is often characterized as an era of unprecedented mobility and interconnectivity, but it is also marked by efforts to reinforce national borders and curtail human movement. Paradoxes of mobility and immobility in our increasingly unequal world come into sharp focus when viewed through the lens of religion. Sociologists, anthropologists, and scholars of comparative religion have long called attention to the way that religion constitutes space and place, linking particular localities to encompassing cosmic schemes. The world’s major religious traditions emerged in the context of expanding empires and markets becoming, arguably, the first truly global social movements. In the current globalizing context, relocating individuals re-­‐establish religious communities, or transport portable, malleable beliefs and rituals. Some ‘lose their religion’ in increasingly secular contexts; others adopt

‘foreign’ religions. What is certain is that religion mutates and accommodates with movement.

With the support of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation Faith and Globalisation’ Initiative, the UWA Mobilities and Belonging research cluster, and the Centre for Muslim States and Societies, we welcome contributions that explore the role of religion in understanding and negotiating the possibilities and challenges of global mobility.

Topics may include:

Religion and migration

The transformation of religion in diaspora

Multiculturalism, religious pluralism, and secularization

Faith-­‐based responses to refugee policies and other issues of global social justice

Religious cosmopolitanism

Deterritorialized or individualized spiritualities

Transnational religious art, architecture, fashion, and material culture

Social media and religion

Religious tourism

Global transformations of indigenous religiosity

The geographic re-­‐orientation of world traditions

Missionary activities in the colonial and postcolonial era

Please email your paper title, abstract (200 words or less), and brief bio (50 words) or, to

attend without presenting, to mark.jennings no later than Friday, 25 July 2014.

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Assistant Professor in Religious Studies with Special Focus on East Asian Religions, Copenhagen University

Tenure-track assistant professorship in Religious Studies with Special Focus on East Asian Religions/The Religions of East Asia

The Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies (ToRS), Faculty of Humanities, Copenhagen University, Denmark, invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professorship in Religious Studies to be filled by 1 January 2015 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The position will link the Religious Studies programme at ToRS with Asian studies programmes in Japanese, Korean and Chinese Studies. It requires a command of a relevant East Asian language as well as a disciplinary foundation in Religious Studies including the theories, methods, and research history of Religious Studies.

The Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies works with languages, cultures, religion and society, primarily in the world outside Western Europe and the US. Cross-cultural competences
and knowledge of the complexity of the world are of vital importance in the globalised world – politically, economically, and culturally. Further information can be found at http://ccrs.ku.dk/

Job content

The tenure-track assistant professorship is offered in Religious Studies with focus on modern Asian religion(s).

In selecting an applicant, special emphasis will be placed on the scope of the applicant’s research, future research plans and the research’s solid and well-documented grounding in knowledge of a relevant Asian language and its cultural and social contexts.

The successful applicant must be able to teach and supervise at BA and MA levels and in relation to religion in the relevant Asian society, and, where necessary, he/she must be able to include materials in the relevant language in his/her teaching. He/she must be able to supervise at PhD level.

The successful candidate should be willing to undertake outreach activities and to communicate academic research to the general public.

The applicant must be able to document experience in research-based teaching at all levels in his/her disciplinary field.

The applicant should be willing to contribute to cross-disciplinary teaching and research within the department.

Applicants specializing in the religion(s) of any of the modern East Asian regions are encouraged to apply. The department expects that the applicant’s research on and teaching of the modern religion(s) of the region is based on good and well-documented historical knowledge and acquaintance with the relevant classic religious traditions. The applicant should demonstrate some experience in university administration.

A tenure-track assistant professorship is a six-year, fixed-term academic position involving research and teaching. The person appointed to the post will be obliged to complete a course in university teaching designed especially for assistant professors, and is expected to be able to take part in all the activities of the Department, including examinations and administration.
Approximately six months before the end of the six-year period as assistant professor, a committee set up by the Dean will assess if the assistant professor can be considered for promotion to a tenured position as associate professor.
Read more about the tenure-track program at the University of Copenhagen at this homepage: http://employment.ku.dk/tenure-track/

Qualification requirements

Applicants must have a PhD degree or its equivalent within the area advertised. Furthermore, it will be considered an advantage if applicants can demonstrate teaching experience at university level.

The duties of the position are evenly distributed on tasks related to teaching and tasks related to research (including relevant administration and knowledge-sharing). Documented competences in both of these main fields of activity, as well as the ability to reflect on them, will be weighted in the assessment process (see further below).

Furthermore, emphasis will be placed on the following academic and personal qualifications:

* Research qualifications, which will be assessed in relation to the period of active research, the degree of originality, and academic output.
* The applicant’s scientific record, academic breadth and depth, rigour, thoroughness, and accuracy * Teaching qualifications. See also our Educational Charter at http://www.humanities.ku.dk/about/vision_and_goals/educational_charter/
* Experience and qualifications with regard to dissemination of research, knowledge-sharing and engagement with the wider public, the media and the world of politics * Documentation of possible administrative qualifications

Tenure-track assistant professors must hold an academic record demonstrating internationally competitive research, and/or have internationally recognized potential to make a future impact.

Assessment of applicants will primarily consider their level of documented, internationally competitive research. Teaching qualifications are not mandatory, but documented teaching qualifications and teaching experience will be taken into account. Applicants’ outreach qualifications, including the ability to attract external funding, will also be considered.

Within a reasonable period of time (max. 2 years), non-Danish-speaking appointees are expected to acquire proficiency in Danish sufficient to teach in Danish as well as interact with colleagues and students.

For further details about the qualification requirements for assistant professorships, please refer to the job structure for academic staff http://ufm.dk/lovstof/gaeldende-love-og-regler/uddannelsesinstitutioner/job-structure-for-academic-staff-at-universities-2013.pdf

For further information about the position, please contact Head of Department, Ingolf Thuesen, e-mail: i-leder.tors@hum.ku.dk.

Applications must be submitted online in Adobe PDF or Word format. ZIP-files cannot be uploaded.

Please note that each field in the application form must contain a single file of max. 20Mb.

Please click on the “Apply online” icon at the bottom of the page.

The application must include the following enclosures:

Application letter/cover letter
Appendix 1: CV.
Appendix 2: Documentation of qualifications (examination certificates/PhD diploma, etc.).
Appendix 3: List of referees/reference letters Appendix 4: Complete and numbered list of publications. The enclosed publications must be marked with *.
Appendix 5: Research plan, including a short description of previous research and a plan for the coming years that includes an account of involvement in organising research, establishment of research seminars, symposia and congresses, etc.
Appendix 6: Documentation of teaching qualifications and research dissemination (organisation of classes, materials, courses and other forms of teaching).
Appendix 7: Publications. Applicants may choose a maximum of five publications for assessment, of which at least two must have been published within the five years immediately preceding the deadline for applications. At least two of these publications must have been published in internationally recognized, peer-reviewed journals or in comparable high-ranking series published with internationally recognized publishing houses. Publication dates must be clearly marked on the publication list. The publications selected must be uploaded as attachments and listed from 1 to 5.

Should any material submitted consist of work with named co-authors, or work that is otherwise the result of collective academic endeavours, the extent of the applicant’s contribution to the work must be clearly stipulated. The Faculty may ask for a signed statement from the co-authors stipulating the extent and nature of each individual’s contribution.

Only material in English, German, French, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish will be assessed.

All material will be shredded at the end of the appointment procedure.

Appointment procedure
After the application deadline, the Dean will set up an expert assessment committee to evaluate applicants in relation to the advertised position. The applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and will have the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment relating to themselves before the appointment is finalised.

Applicants will be continuously informed about the progress of the procedure by e-mail.

Further information about the application procedure is available from HR and Personnel Officer Mette Christensen, e-mail: VIPadmin@hum.ku.dk

Salary and conditions of employment
The post will be filled according to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Additional bonuses may be negotiated on an individual basis. Compensation packages comprising a relocation bonus for international scholars and a special tax scheme are offered to researchers recruited abroad. As for the latter, see www.movingtodenmark.ku.dk

As a tenure-track assistant professor at the Faculty of Humanities you are offered a Start-up Package. See more at http://humanities.ku.dk/about/tenuretrack/

If you consider applying from abroad, you may find useful information on what it is like working in Denmark before you apply for a position at University of Copenhagen. See: http://ism.ku.dk/, http://workingconditions.ku.dk/ and https://www.workindenmark.dk/

The University of Copenhagen wishes to encourage everyone interested in this post to apply, regardless of personal background.

The closing date for applications is 4 September 2014, 23:59 CEST.

Applications or supplementary material received thereafter will not be considered.

Please quote reference number 211-0118/14-4000 in your application.

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