Category Archives: Conferences

CFP: “Church-State Relations: Religion in the Public Square”

International Conference in Manilla, July 26-27, 2019

We are pleased to announce the International Conference in Theology and Religious Studies, jointly organized by Liverpool Hope University (LHU) through the Andrew Walls Center for the Study of African and Asian Christianity and the Theology and Religious Education Department of De la Salle University (DLSU), Manila, Philippines. The Conference shall take place on July 26 – 27, 2019 in De La Salle University Manila, Philippines under the theme, “Church-State Relations: Religion in the Public Square”. The Conference shall bring together scholars engaged in the academic study of Theology/ Religion in public life in Asia and other regions. The conference will have paper presentations from notable scholars from Europe, Asia and the Philippines.

The “separation of Church and State” is a modern development that ensures freedom of religious expression. At the same time, it prevents governments from imposing particular religious doctrines on everyone. While modern states have upheld the separation between Church and State, the Church, in particular, has supported particular political interventions, movements, and advocacies pertaining to moral issues (e.g. on dictatorships and other human rights violations, legislations on reproductive health issues, divorce, LGBTQ rights, etc.).

This conference therefore explores the varied ways of living out and interpreting the separation and interaction between Church and State. It seeks to respond to the questions: What have been the various models of relations between Church and State? How has religion informed public advocacy? What were the extra and intra-ecclesial factors that shaped religious intervention? What were the consequences of such relations? What can scholarship learn from the experiences that is useful for facing issues today?

We invite scholars from other regions to join in the interdisciplinary conversations to understand the challenges Church-State relations pose for theological reflection and religious studies.

Follow this link for online registration:

  • Please send your abstracts (250 words) with 5 keywords (and brief author background) to by December 15, 2018
  • Payment Schemes for the Conference Registration (Inclusive of Simple Conference Kit, 2 Lunches, 4 snacks and certificates):

Local Participants Regular Registration – Php 1,500

Foreign Participants – US $ 50.00 – UCPB P. Ocampo Branch Savings Account 01-120-300035-8 Swift Code: UCPBPHMM

For other conference-related inquiries, kindly email:

thank you.

Dr. Rito Baring


Theology and Religious Education Department

De La Salle University


Call for Papers: Methodological Challenges in Studying Digital Religion (Open Session)

EASR 2019: Religion – Continuations and Disruptions

(Chairs: Frederik Elwert and Maren Freudenberg, Ruhr University Bochum)

Changes and disruptions in the religious field challenge the methodological approaches of scholars studying the field, as new phenomena might require modification to traditional methods or require new methods altogether. This holds particularly true for the rapid changes due to the digitization of society and the emergence of digital religious forms. Scholars face difficulties applying traditional qualitative and quantitative methods to the Internet and other digital spaces, which only partly mirror offline phenomena.

For example, when it comes to webpages, traditional methods of visual and textual analysis are of limited help, given the multi-modality and non-linearity of visual, textual, and audio components and the discrepancies between the user paths intended by the web design and the actual paths taken by users. There are, indeed, many aspects of digital spaces that can inform the study of digital religion, including networks of actions and platforms, interconnections between users, and non-traditional forms of expression. Therefore, there are some questions that need to be explored: In which ways can we, as scholars, approach digital venues? What is the impact of the chosen methodology on the object of study?

Thus we invite scholars to discuss the methodological challenges they face when studying digital religion.

These might include but are not limited to

  • * multi-mediality of websites, e.g. text and image and video,
  • * interactivity and usage studies,
  • * non-linearity and network structures of web pages,
  • * availability of large-scale data, e.g. web forums, YouTube comments,
  • * multi-method studies (ex. textual analysis combined with interviews),
  • * social network analysis of social media data, e.g. Twitter.
  • While some of the challenges can be discussed from an abstract methodological perspective, many of them become apparent through concrete experiences in studying digital religion. The panel puts emphasis on the reflection of methodological approaches and challenges rooted in empirical studies that deal with specific cases of digital religion. However, more theoretical contributions are also invited.
  • Case studies can include (but are by no means limited to)
  • * the online self-representation of minority religions,
  • * the appropriation of digital media by majority religions,
  • * digital media beyond the web, e.g. mobile apps,
  • * networks of religious media,
  • * examples of religious contact and material forms of religion on the Internet,
  • * hashtags as a frame for religious communication in the web (for example to foster critical discourses of religion).

We welcome innovative and interdisciplinary contributions that bring together new empirical and methodological perspectives, especially if they focus on under-researched phenomena. A possible outcome of the session is a special journal issue on methods for the study of digital religion.

If you are interested in submitting an abstract to this open session, please do so by December 15, 2018 on the conference website:

We look forward to receiving your proposals!

Dr. Maren Freudenberg

CFP: “Religion – Continuations and Disruptions”

We are happy to inform you that the call for individual papers of the 17th European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR) conference conference “Religion – Continuations and Disruptions” is now open! The deadline for individual papers is December 15, 2018. The conference is organized by the Estonian Society for the Study of Religions and will take place from from June 25 to June 29, 2019 in Tartu, Estonia. For more information about the call for papers please see:

You can find the full list of all the approved open and closed sessions here: It is of course also possible to submit independent papers that are not intended specifically for any of these sessions.

We look forward to seeing your abstracts!
Best regards,
EASR 2019 Organizing Team

Call for Papers: Religious authority, political participation, and the Internet

SISR/ISSR Conference, Bardelona, July 9-12, 2019: The Politics of Religion and Spirituality

Giulia Evolvi, Ruhr University Bochum
Maren Freudenberg, Ruhr University Bochum

Abstract (English):
The Internet holds an important role in people’s everyday lives because it provides venues to exchange opinions, consume news, and discuss politics and society. The influence of the Internet also extends to religion, as websites and social network accounts dedicated to faith and spirituality increasingly offer spaces to discuss religious practices and beliefs. Additionally, the Internet helps negotiate religious authority and its role in political decisions. New technologies not only allow religious organizations to intervene in public debates, but can also frame religious leaders’ influence on social and political matters. This panel aims at answering the following research questions: how is religious authority negotiated online? Which are the effects of religious authority on politics and society? Contributions that explore Internet-based religious authority are welcome, including but not being limited to: 1) Digital spaces that help believers to negotiate the role of religious leaders as sources of authority 2) Religious groups that employ the Internet to adapt to different socio-political contexts, fostering religious discussions between various religious traditions 3) Religious leaders who use the Internet as a way to establish a voice in political debates and create a religious-based political participation Interdisciplinary presentations that propose innovative theoretical and methodological approaches are welcome.

Abstract (French):
L’internet joue un rôle important dans la vie quotidienne, car il fournit des espaces pour échanger des opinions, consommer des informations et discuter de politique et société. L’influence de l’internet s’étend également à la religion, car les sites Web et les comptes de réseaux sociaux consacrés à la foi et à la spiritualité offrent de plus en plus d’espaces pour discuter des pratiques et des croyances religieuses. De plus, l’internet aide à négocier l’autorité religieuse et son rôle dans les décisions politiques. Les nouvelles technologies permettent non seulement aux organisations religieuses d’intervenir dans les débats publics, mais peuvent aussi influencer le rôle des chefs religieux par rapport aux questions sociales et politiques. Ce panel vise à répondre à deux questions de recherche : comment l’autorité religieuse est-elle négociée en ligne ? Quels sont les effets de l’autorité religieuse sur la politique et la société ? Nous sommes intéressés par des contributions qui explorent l’autorité religieuse sur internet, y compris, mais sans s’y limiter : 1) Des espaces internet qui aident les croyants à négocier le rôle des chefs religieux en tant que sources d’autorité 2) Les groupes religieux qui utilisent l’internet pour s’adapter à différents contextes sociopolitiques, favorisant les discussions religieuses entre diverses traditions religieuses 3) Les chefs religieux qui utilisent l’internet pour se faire entendre dans les débats politiques et créer une participation politique basée sur la religion. Nous sommes intéressés en particulier par des présentations interdisciplinaires proposant des approches théoriques et méthodologiques innovantes.

If you are interested in submitting an abstract to this open session, please do so by December 16, 2018 on the conference website:

We look forward to receiving your proposals!

Dr. Maren Freudenberg

CFP: Religion(s) in Europe and Beyond –Global, national and local dynamics

14th ESA Conference in Manchester (2019)

Coordinators:Roberta Ricucci, University of Turin, Italy, Roberta.ricucci[at], & Siniša Zrinščak, University of Zagreb, Croatia, sinisa.zrinscak[at]

Religion(s) in Europe and Beyond –Global, national and local dynamics

Rapid, (un)expected, (un)certain and above all contradictory social changes, put identity/ies at the core of social debates, occurring at the same time at local, regional, national, European, and global levels. Defining oneself, usually by belonging to specific social groups and increasingly by not belonging to other social groups, becomes not only a difficult task, but a task which is very differently interpreted and misused by social groups, political parties, and social movements. Like other markers of identities, religion becomes a contested issue, particularly regarding its ability to play around ethnic, regional, gender, and linguistic markers. Thus, the issue of how religion, ethnicity and acculturation relate to one another is highly relevant today, intertwining with human rights, boundaries, diversity management and social cohesion. For sociology, the issue is how to conceptualize, research and understand such social processes. How important is to overcome theoretical and disciplinary barriers, to use different and innovative research methods, and to employ different lenses, such as gender, generation, or class? Against this background, we call for papers which make empirical, comparative and theoretical contributions to the social study of religion and its relation to identity formation, diversity management, recognition of religious rights and religious persecutions, and transnational practices, including on-line religious activities. In particular, papers should contribute to debates on:•how religion supports or undermines barriers within social groups, cities, and countries; •how religion influences social cohesion and civic and social rights;•relationships between religious conflicts, religious barriers, and social inequalities;•how increasingly diverse religious landscapes influence social and political debates. While we are particularly interested in papers that relate to European societies, we also welcome cases from other parts of the world. Graduate students are especially encouraged to apply, and we will organise a special graduate student networking session.

Joint Sessions

JS_RN16_RN34: “Overcoming invisible barriers: managing religious diversity in health-care organisations” (Joint session with RN16 Sociology of Health and Illness)

JS_RN32_RN34:“Setting up barriers, and drawing up new borders between ‘us’ and ‘other” (Joint session with RN32 Political Sociology)

We invite you to submit abstracts to the RN34 Sessions and hope to see you in Manchester!

The deadline for abstract submission is February 1st, 2019.

Conference information can be found at:

CFP: The Growth of Christian Philo-Semitism and Christian Zionism in the Global South and in Europe

SISR conference, Barcelona, 9-12 July 2019:

La croissance du philosémitisme chrétien et du sionisme chrétien dans les pays du Sud et en Europe

Thematic session / Session thématique

Paul Freston
Wilfrid Laurier University
Manoela Carpenedo
University of Kent

Abstract (English):
Two closely-related but not identical phenomena have grown lately in the Christian world: Philo-Semitism and Christian Zionism. Most growth has been among the evangelical and Pentecostal forms of Christianity mushrooming in much of the global south and which also play a growing role in otherwise struggling European Christianity. Philo-Semitism is “support or admiration for the Jewish people by non-Jews” (Rubinstein and Rubinstein). Christian Philo-Semitism can take many forms: a diffuse fascination with Jews and Israel; adoption of Jewish rituals and vestments, often associated with recovering the Jewish origins of Christianity; sometimes even adherence to laws of the Hebrew scriptures or cultivation of a presumed Jewish descent. Christian Zionism means geopolitical activism in favour of the state of Israel and its territorial expansion, including attempts to influence the foreign policy of one’s own nation-state. Christian Philo-Semitism and Christian Zionism appear to have diverse motivations, especially when straddling global north and south. While studies in the United States have been numerous, it has become increasingly obvious that these phenomena are much more widespread and diverse, and cannot be interpreted purely in American terms. To this end, we welcome proposals focusing on Christian Philo-Semitic or Christian Zionist attitudes and activities in the Global South and/or in Europe. Papers might address, although they are not limited to: analytical approaches; ethnographies and case studies; transformations in Christian Philo-Semitic religious identities; Christian Zionism, international relations and the geopolitics of faith.

Abstract (French):
Deux phénomènes liés mais non identiques se sont développés récemment dans le monde chrétien : le philosémitisme et le sionisme chrétien. La plus grande partie de leur croissance s’est déroulée au sein des formes évangéliques et pentecôtistes du christianisme qui se sont multipliées dans les pays du Sud et qui jouent également un rôle croissant dans le christianisme européen, par ailleurs en difficulté. Le philo-sémitisme est « un soutien ou une admiration pour le peuple juif par les non-juifs ». Le philo-sémitisme chrétien peut prendre plusieurs formes : une fascination pour les juifs et pour Israël ; l’adoption de rituels et vêtements juifs, souvent associés à la récupération des origines juives du christianisme ; parfois l’adhésion aux lois des écritures hébraïques ou la quête d’une descendance juive présumée. Le sionisme chrétien signifie un activisme géopolitique en faveur de l’État d’Israël et de son expansion territoriale. Le philo-sémitisme chrétien et le sionisme chrétien semblent avoir des motivations diverses, lorsqu’ils englobent les pays du Nord et du Sud. Bien que les études aux États-Unis aient été nombreuses, il est devenu de plus en plus évident que ces phénomènes sont beaucoup plus répandus et diversifiés et ne peuvent être interprétés uniquement en termes américains. Nous accueillons les propositions centrées sur les attitudes et activités philo-sémitiques chrétiennes ou sionistes chrétiennes dans les pays du Sud et/ou en Europe. Les articles peuvent aborder, bien qu’ils ne soient pas limités à : des approches analytiques ; des études de cas ; les transformations des identités religieuses chrétiennes philosémites ; Sionisme chrétien, relations internationales et géopolitique de la foi.

You can access the list of sessions here.

The call for papers will run until 16 December 2018.

You may propose a paper by using this link. Before doing that, have a look at the list of sessions, names of convener(s), and abstracts for each of the sessions, and decide to which one you would like to submit your paper.

The proposal (title and abstract up to 250 words) should be only in one language– English or French – in which you would like to present your paper.


You need to be an ISSR member, or renew your membership to submit a proposal, otherwise you will not be able to access the submission page (see Note on Membership,

Sociology of Religion Study Group (SocRel) Annual Conference 2019: “Communicating Religion”

9-11 July 2019, Cardiff University

Charles Hirschkind (University of California-Berkeley)

Mia Lövheim (Uppsala University)

Jolyon Mitchell (University of Edinburgh)

As scholars of religion, we are all tasked with communicating religion in one way or another – to students, to the public, and to our research community. Moreover, what we study is itself a message: participants in our studies and creators of the documents we analyse are communicating religion, and what we receive as data is what Giddens referred to as the ‘double hermeneutic,’ or ideas and experiences that have already been mediated. What is the religion communicated to us? How do we communicate religion, and what is it that we communicate when we’re doing it?

Our focus is on “communicating” as a verb-like gerund rather than “communication” as a static, abstract noun. Scholars from different strands of the sociology of religion can imagine their work in it, and our topic engages the interests of colleagues in journalism, media and cultural studies; geography; music; English, communications and philosophy; social psychology; and law and politics.

The substance of communication can include evangelistic and apologistic discourse, education, media, and public policy interventions. We welcome diverse methodological approaches, including multi-modal and multi-sensory approaches to communicating religion. We understand communicating in multiple contexts, including academia, politics, education, social media and mass media. We imagine multiple frameworks that contour how we imagine communicating religion, encompassing the secular and the digital, the individual and the collective, the implicit and the explicit, the theoretical and the empirical.

To deliver a paper, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words, alongside a biographical note of no more than 50 words. We will also be accepting a limited number of panel proposals. To deliver a panel, please send an abstract of no more than 500 words alongside a biographical note of no more than 50 words for each contributor.

Please submit your abstracts online, before midnight Friday 1 February 2019, at:

CFP: “Post-global Religion”

We are welcoming submission for the open session “post-global religion” for the European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR) conference “Religion – Continuations and Disruptions” from June 25 to June 29, 2019 in Tartu, Estonia. The deadline for individual papers is December 15, 2018.

OPEN SESSION (J. BORUP): Post-global Religion

Just like globalisation has been challenged by new political realities (walls, borders, boundaries, diversifications, enclavisations) in a post-global world, critical responses to globalisation also affects religious worlds. Reports from Pew Forum show more religious intolerance and less freedom of belief, and also religious voices applaud discourses of contraction. What could be termed ‘post-global religion’ is characterised by the strategic disruption of existing orders, and the articulation of a particularity re-enchantment. Just like post-colonial voices were critical responses to Western hegemony, post-global discourses and practices at both individual, institutional and national levels are critical reactions to globalisation, favouring the forces of centrifugal dispersion. This can be represented by anti-global religious re-nationalisation, re-ethnification, re-culturalisation, re-traditionalisation, re-racialisation, re-tribalism, re-territorialisation and re-configuration of the codes appropriating religious diversity. It can be seen in discourses and practices favouring monolithic cultural/national narratives, minority suppression, fractionalisation, downscaling of religious freedom. And it has increasingly been articulated in ‘culture wars’ with challenges of cultural appropriation and religionisation of political, cultural, ethnic or gender-related identity politics being turned into sacred authenticity claims.

This open session investigates disruptive responses to globalisation and articulations of strategic particularity in (the study of) religions. The session is explorative and invites scholars of religion to think with the term ‘post-global religion’ through both theoretical perspectives as well as empirical cases from around the world. Especially papers related to religious or cultural appropriation and identity politics (and their challenges to the study of religion) will be welcomed.

Deadline: 15th Dec 2018
For more information about the call for papers please see:

Call for papers: New Developments in the Study of Culturalized Religion / Nouveaux développements dans l’étude de la religion culturalisée

ISSR/SISR conference, Barcelona, 9-12 July 2019:

Thematic session / Session thématique

Avi Astor
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Abstract (English):
This session addresses the topic of “culturalized religion”, a term which refers to the recasting of traditionally religious identifications, orientations, symbols, and practices as cultural through their decoupling from religious belief and ritual. Interest in this topic derives, in large part, from developments that have underscored the ongoing salience of religion as a signpost of cultural and national identity – even among the non-religious – and the continued prominence of religious symbols and traditions in secularizing societies. In Europe and North America, controversies over Islam and its perceived (in)compatibility with Judeo-Christian norms and values have led to the re-emergence of religion as a central aspect of nationalist rhetoric and mobilization. Discourses that frame religion as a core element of national cultural heritage have played a pivotal role in several recent judicial rulings on the presence of religious symbols such as the crucifix in secular public institutions and spaces. In a number of post-socialist societies, formerly suppressed religious traditions have resurfaced as a cornerstone of citizenship and national belonging. This session welcomes papers that engage with these issues in new and innovative ways. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, religion and national identity, religion and the production of group boundaries, religious identifications among “nones”, religion and cultural heritage, and the presence of religious symbols in secular public institutions and spaces.

Abstract (French):
Cette session aborde le thème de la « religion culturalisée », un terme qui fait référence à la refonte des identifications, orientations et symboles traditionnellement religieux en tant que culture en les dissociant des croyances et rituels religieux. L’intérêt pour ce sujet découle, en grande partie, des analyses qui ont mis en évidence le fait que la religion continue d’être un signe d’identité culturelle et nationale – même parmi les non-religieux – dans les sociétés modernes et laïques. En Europe et en Amérique du Nord, les controverses sur l’islam ont conduit à la résurgence de la religion en tant qu’élément central de la rhétorique et de la mobilisation nationalistes. Les discours qui encadrent la religion en tant qu’élément essentiel du patrimoine culturel national ont joué un rôle central dans plusieurs décisions judiciaires récentes concernant la présence de symboles religieux tels que le crucifix dans les institutions et les espaces publics laïques. Dans un certain nombre de sociétés post-socialistes, les traditions religieuses précédemment supprimées ont refait surface en tant que pierre angulaire de la citoyenneté et de l’appartenance nationale. Cette session accueille des articles qui abordent ces questions de manière originale et innovante. Les sujets d’intérêt incluent, mais ne sont pas limités à, la religion et l’identité nationale, la religion et la production de frontières de groupe, les identifications religieuses parmi les individus non religieux, la religion et le patrimoine culturel, et la présence de symboles religieux dans les institutions et espaces publics séculiers.


Call for papers: Continuations and Disruptions in Muslim Religious Leadership in Europe

EASR conference in Tartu, 25–29 June 2019

Chairs: Simon Stjernholm (University of Copenhagen) and Kasper Ly Netterstrøm (University of Copenhagen)

Muslim authority structures are changing globally. In many European contexts, an older generation of religious leaders, active within largely ethnically defined communities and institutions, have had difficulties reaching younger generations of Muslims. The generation gap is at once linguistic, cultural and religious. While youths born in post-migration contexts primarily speak the local language, members of older and migrating generations often prefer languages of their countries of origin. Generations are also differently culturally habituated due to varying experiences and identifications, e.g. in terms of what is perceived as ‘home’. Moreover, differences are framed in religious terms: a search for ‘deculturised’ Islam, ostensibly purified from the varied local Muslim practices around the world, is prioritised among many reform-oriented young Muslim activists.

At the same time, advocates of global Islamic discourses compete for influence among these young Muslims, not least by establishing Islamic universities with attractive stipends aiming at international students. Moreover, non-Muslim audiences and societal institutions – for example, hospitals, schools, and prisons – require responses, engagements and task fulfilment from Muslim leaders. The necessary cultural translation of global Islamic discourses to locally situated audiences therefore requires skilled individuals with competencies in all levels of this transmission and communication: it requires a new generation of Muslim religious leaders.

The ‘new generation’ of religious leaders entails not only a change in personnel, but important new types of Muslim religious leaders that go beyond and mix traditionally separate roles. This involves being fluent in and habituated to the local language and culture, as well as ability to combine knowledge of Western intellectual concepts with traditional Islamic learning. It might mean being a social role model in streets and university campuses as well as leading worship, preaching, teaching, and giving personal religious advice in and outside mosques. In order to investigate the issues outlined above, the session encourages invites to consider the following questions:

  • How do Muslim preachers and teachers in European contexts articulate and embody Islam with local audiences in mind, how can their religious discourse be interpreted, and how is it received?
  • Why do young European Muslims pursue Islamic education abroad, what kind of universities and schools are they attending, and what impact does this have upon their return?

  • How does the public sector accommodate and use European Muslim religious functionaries, how do these functionaries fulfil their roles, and what are the consequences of this accommodation?

Scholars are invited to contribute with both empirically and theoretically oriented papers engaging with the topics covered in this description. If you would like to contribute to this panel, please submit an abstract via the conference website by 15 December 2018: