Call for Papers: “Fleeting sentiment of the sacred. Between public space and religious territories”

33rd ISSR Conference: “Sensing Religion” Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), 2-5th July, 2015

STS05 “Fleeting sentiment of the sacred. Between public space and religious territories”

Globalization entails transformations of territories (deterritorialization, transnationalism, virtualization via ICT, aso.) and of the forms of spatiality (fluid and rhizomic,  or on the contrary becoming the essence) which compel to revise the models of understanding societies and cultures that human sciences can offer. Religions are of course affected by the changes in their physical and social layouts, which transform their moral and symbolic components. The movement transforming the space of religion, and the acceleration of these dynamic of transformation, brings to life new modes  of experimentation and identification, and new forms of temporality and solidarity, which contribute to the reinvention of the universe of religion. However, religion aims at duration whereas our time is one of transience, one of the succes of contextual performative utterances that value immediate experience over the duration of an institution. Flash mobs, impromptu demonstrations, virtual communities, are all examples of this new relationship to space and time, that can be also found in the spiritual.

This workshop aims at grasping how the religious can be experienced in the immediate, how it invests fleeting spaces and generates momentary (though not necessarily imprecise) sentiment. It will take into account one-time manifestations of religions in public space (from the unexpected appearance of a sacred without institution  – such as pareidolia or hierophany – to religious denominations organising street prayers). It will interrogate the nature and form of religion these instant displays exhibit, what kind of emotion, and  which forms of temporality and spatiality are created or encountered through these demonstrations. In conclusion, we will discuss the relevance of the approcach  of contemporary religion in  terms of fleeting but territorialized sentiment.

Please send your proposal (abstract around 300 words), with a short CV,  to Anne-Laure Zwilling ( and Lionel Obadia (, or via the ISSR website ( ), before December 15, 2014.