Category Archives: Conferences

Call for Papers: Brokerage in a diverse Europe: intermediaries, go-betweens and bridges

A workshop will be held on the 12-13 Jan 2018 in London, UK

As contemporary Europe has become ever more diverse due to globalization and international migration, processes of mediation and brokerage have become increasingly central to communication, cooperation, and conflict resolution in a range of political, institutional, and social domains. Whether as religious mediators, ethnic community leaders, diaspora experts or so-called migrant smugglers, middlemen and go-betweens bring together disparate communities and translate across different social fields.

To describe their role, the concept of brokerage is used across a variety of disciplines, including political science, sociology, anthropology, economics, linguistics, development studies and subfields of each discipline, such as social movement studies, network studies, religious studies, and organizational studies. However, disciplinary boundaries have meant that disparate conceptions of brokerage coexist with limited exchange across research fields.

This two-day multi-disciplinary workshop aims to bring together scholars working on brokerage in different social and political domains with the aim of identifying trends and divergences across various fields. We also seek to share and develop conceptual and methodological frameworks for studying brokerage in a diversifying Europe. We invite paper presentations on the following topics, but are open to any paper addressing brokerage in a diverse Europe: 

  • What are typical characteristics of brokers? Are certain groups or individuals more likely to act as brokers, and if so, why? 
  • What are the conditions of success of brokerage and what leads to its failure? 
  • How do brokers negotiate loyalty and conflicting interests between different social groups? 
  • How does brokerage reinforce or challenge static conceptions of ‘culture’, ‘communities’, ‘borders’? 
  • How can we understand brokers as gendered, racialized and classed subjects? 
  • What is the role of brokerage in the governance of diversity? 
  • What distinguishes brokers from related figures, such as native informants and mediators?

Please submit abstracts between 250 and 400 words by the 15 th of November to

The workshop will be held on the 12-13 Jan 2018 in London, UK and is organised by Avi Astor (Autonomous University of Barcelona) and Sara de Jong (The Open University/Göttingen University). The workshop is sponsored by the Council for European Studies (CES). There is no registration fee, but participants have to fund their own travel and accommodation.

We seek to develop concrete plans for the publication of a special issue or edited volume on the basis of selected papers presented at the workshop.

CFP for a series of panels being organised by the Christians in the Middle East Research Workshop for WOCMES 2018.

WOCMES 2018 Seville, August 2018

Christians in the Middle East Research Network Call for Papers

After the success of the Christians in the Middle East (CME) Research Network organised panels at previous WOCMES conference in Barcelona, 2010 and Ankara, 2014, we are arranging another set of panels for WOCMES-5 in Seville in July 2018. The theme of the panels will be ‘Power, Agency and Christians in the Middle East: Historical and contemporary perspectives’.

In June 2011, Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams described Christians in Bethlehem as a “marginalised minority”, echoing countless other voices which assert the relative powerlessness of Christians throughout the Middle East. Williams assertion illuminated the experiences of some Christians who face discrimination, marginalisation and persecution. However, this is only part of the story, as other Christians, including some in Bethlehem, enjoy certain structural privileges that nuance the idea of a marginalised minority. Furthermore, the term ‘minority’ is often rejected by Middle Eastern Christian communities themselves.

We invite papers to explore the concepts of “power” and “agency” as experienced by Christians in the Middle East, historically (from 1800) and presently. Papers can employ diverse disciplinary perspectives to analyze the complex way that Christians navigated the various manifestations of power, ranging from familial, local, regional, national, and international structures. We seek papers that move the discussion beyond binary framings to illuminate the complex web of entanglement of power and agency. Topics may include, but are not limited those listed below. We encourage submissions from an interdisciplinary perspective as well any relevant discipline.

  • ● Transnational powers
  • ■ Mission institutions
  • ■ Humanitarian relief organizations
  • ■ Jobs: Banking/educational/oil
  • ■ Diaspora organisations
  • ■ Churches
  • ● Global/regional order
  • ■ Arab League
  • ■ United Nations
  • ■ Western states
  • ● The State in the Middle East
  • ■ Ottoman/Qajar (shifting position; institutionalization of identity)
  • ■ Mandate states (role within; minorization; opportunities for migration)
  • ■ Independent states (role within; nationalism, activism)
  • ■ Authoritarian regimes (C.f. retrenchment in contemporary Egypt and Syria)
  • ■ Weak/failing states (responses to challenges/collapse of state authority e.g Lebanon, Iraq, Syria)
  • ● Within religious communities
  • ■ C.f. neutrality/cooption v-a-v state,
  • ■ Religious legal structures (millet; personal status; waqf)
  • ■ Clergy-lay relations
  • ■ Hierarchies and roles within church/community (patriarchal roles, gender, generation, migrants)
  • ● Social institutions
  • ■ Sports
  • ■ Cultural institutions
  • ■ NGO
  • ■ schools
  • ● Personal/Familial
  • ■ Family networks and migration
  • ■ Personal Status Laws

Please send an abstract of 250-300 words for a paper of 15-20 minutes, as well as brief biographical details, to Dr. Fiona McCallum by 10th November 2017.

Submissions will be reviewed by the Panel Convenors Dr Christine Lindner, Dr Mark Calder and Dr Fiona McCallum and successful panellists will be notified within two weeks of the deadline.

Further information on WOCMES-5 is available on the WOCMES-5 website (

Dr Fiona McCallum

School of International Relations

Arts Faculty Building

University of St Andrews

St Andrews

KY16 9AX

Tel: +44(0)1334 462940

Call for Sessions: The 24th Nordic Conference in the Sociology of Religion – Oslo, Norway.

Growing religious diversity characterizes most countries across the world, often linked to the globalization of migration, politics, economies, and the media. The diversity offers new challenges of managing religion in countries that previously were more religiously homogenous. The 24th Nordic Conference for Sociology of Religion seeks a more thorough understanding, theoretically as well as empirically, of religion, politics, and boundaries. While sociologists often have attempted to understand these developments in terms of single dimension theories, we would like to find out how this complexity is part of processes of change and continuity in contemporary society.

We invite sessions that focus on these and other topics in the sociology of religion.

Session proposals are due on December 1. 2017

Decision Notification: January 31. 2018.

CONFERENCE DATES: August 1 – 3, 2018.



  1. Mark Juergensmeyer, University of California at Santa Barbara, USA The Global Rise of Religious Violence.
  2. Line Nyhagen, Reader in sociology, Loughborough University, UK Contestations of Feminism, Secularism and Religion.
  3. Lorne Dawson, University of Waterloo, Canada Understanding the Role of Religion in the Radicalization of Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq.


Conference "Urban Risk and Religion: Economy, Health and Security"

Conveners: Linda van de Kamp, Marian Burchardt and Martijn Oosterbaan

17 November, 2017.

Location: B/C, Common Room 5th floor
Roeterseilandcampus – building B/C/D (entrance B/C)
Nieuwe Achtergracht 166 | 1018 WV Amsterdam
Building B: +31 (0)20 525 5340 | Building C: +31 (0)20 525 5470

You are welcome to join, please send an email to
see also:


Religion is often portrayed as a source of protection against risk, offering solace, care, and prosperity, or conversely, as exacerbating violence and risk. This symposium explores how relationships between religion and risk play out in urban space in the fields of health, economy and security.

We propose the concept of urban risk as a starting point to explore a range of religious practices that do not neatly fit into functionalist descriptions and theoretical frameworks. Construing urban risk as objective and material adversities that affect people’s lives in urban space we are interested in the religious ideas and practices that contribute to configuring this field of adversities.  Going beyond causal approaches, we look at how religion and risk overlap in the different domains. After introducing and discussing three new books on these topics, different case studies will be presented. Covering cities around the world, the presentations range from discussions about the intersections between religious groups, gangs and security forces to the role of religious business courses and health programs that stimulate particular entrepreneurial techniques and risk behaviors.

The workshop and books launch is a collaboration between the Center for Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam, the Department of Anthropology at Utrecht University and University of Leipzig, involving researchers working in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia.


9.00: Coffee/Tea

9.15-9.30: Welcome and Introduction

9.30-11.00: Session 1 – Books launch: A discussion on the basis of three books by Birgit Meyer (Utrecht University) and Rijk van Dijk (African Studies Centre, Leiden University) The books:

  • Marian Burchardt (2015) Faith in the Time of AIDS: Religion, Biopolitics and Modernity in South Africa. Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Linda van de Kamp (2016) Violent Conversion: Brazilian Pentecostalism and Urban Women in Mozambique. Suffolk, UK: James Currey, Religion in Transforming Africa Series.
  • Martijn Oosterbaan (2017) Transmitting the Spirit: Religious Conversion, Media and Urban Violence in Brazil. University Park: Penn State University Press.

11.00-11.15: Break

11.15-13.00: Session 2 – Religion, Risk and Health
Chair: Linda van de Kamp (Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam)
Discussant: Kim Knibbe (University of Groningen)

  • Pamela Pricket (University of Amsterdam) Managing Madness at the Mosque: Informal Social Control in an Urban Community
  • Ajay Gandhi (Leiden University/University of Amsterdam) Endurance: Lessons from Precariousness and Misfortune in Delhi
  • Kristine Krause (University of Amsterdam) Spiritual securitization and hodological care in urban Pentecostal practices

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-15.45: Session 3 – Religion, Risk and Security Chair: Martijn Oosterbaan (Utrecht University) Discussant: Rivke Jaffe (Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam)

  • Carly Machado (Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) “Therapeutic Communities” and Drug Policies in Brazil: Religion, Justice, Health and the Production of Salvation and Condemnation in Urban Territories
  • Laurens Bakker (University of Amsterdam) Public Extremism and Protection in Indonesia. What are the Risks?
  • Matthew Wilhelm Solomon (The African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand) Urban insecurity and ontological orientations in inner-city Johannesburg

15.45-16.00: Break

16.00-17.45: Session 4 – Religion, Risk and Economy: Chair: Marian Burchardt (University of Leipzig) Discussant: Leilah Vevaina (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity)

  • Azonseh Ukah (University of Cape Town) The Economy of Sacred Estates: Urban Risks and the ‘Real-Estate Churches’ in Lagos, Nigeria
  • José Mapril (Centre for Research in Anthropology (CRIA) / New University of Lisbon) A Tale of a Mosque: Urban Regeneration, Risks and Place Making in Lisbon
  • John Boy (Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam) Faith, Work and the City: Religious Entrepreneurship and Urban Space in Evangelical Church Planting

17.45-18.15 Concluding Remarks

18.15 Drinks

Conference CFP: “The Impact of Religion”

Invitation and Call for papers!

The Second International Conference on: The Impact of Religion: Challenges for Society, Law and Democracy

Uppsala University, Sweden, April 24-26th 2018

(Workshop for doctoral students April 23-24th)

Abstracts for paper presentations are invited on the following themes:                                         

  • Religion and migration
  • Religion in the public sphere, media and politics
  • Religious diversity, non-religion, secularism  
  • Religious freedom versus other human rights
  • Religion and youth, family, gender, sexuality
  • Religion and racism, discrimination, segregation
  • Religion and violence, terror and the security state
  • Faith based organisations as welfare providers, civil society, social capital
  • Existential health and well-being
  • Science and religion, relativism and absolutism
  • and other related  themes….
  • Additional special paper sessions are announced on the website

Comparative papers are particularly welcome. Theoretical, methodological and substantive issues will be given equal consideration. Thematic sessions will be organised out of the accepted abstracts. The conference language is English. Selected papers will be published!

Ø Deadline for the submission of abstracts (max 200 words): October 31st 2017

The conference is hosted by The Impact of Religion Programme and Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre at Uppsala University.

For abstract submission, programme, registration, practical information etc. see conference website:


Application Procedures for the 2018 Varga Prize

This award has been set in memory of Ivan Varga (1931-2012) and recognizes an outstanding new paper by a scholar who is at most three years beyond the PhD. The recipient is expected to present the paper at the next International Sociological Association (ISA) World Congress.

The prize consists of the registration fee for the ISA World Congress and a sum of 1000 Euro intended to cover part of the recipient expenses to attend the World Congress.


  • Candidates do not need to be members of ISA or members of ISA Research Committee for the Sociology of Religion (RC22)
  • All areas and topics of the sociology of religion are eligible for the Varga Prize.
  • Papers should be original and written in any of the three ISA official languages (English, Spanish or French).
  • There is no set length of the paper, but as a recommendation, a journal article length is appropriate. Authors could choose any bibliographic/citation format, as long as it is scholarly and the chosen format is kept coherently through the text

Evaluation of papers

An Evaluation Committee, appointed by the President of RC22, will be made up of members of the RC22 Board plus a few other scholars. The Committee will base its judgment on the papers scholarly quality, originality, and significance for furthering the sociological study of religion.

The Committee will choose the prize winner plus a runner-up, in case the winner is unable to accept the award due to an inability to attend the World Congress. The runner-up will also receive a monetary award. The winner and runner-up will be announced by February 1st 2018.

Application Procedure:

  1. Submit your paper proposal to one of the RC-22 sessions at the ISA website
    • Deadline is September 30th 2017, 24:00 GMT
  2. Send a copy of your abstract and the full finished paper to the President and the Secretary of the RC 22, along with a curriculum vitae and a letter describing your research and its significance. The paper and other documents should preferably be sent in PDF format.

FINAL REMINDER – Call for Papers/Abstracts: ISA Research Committee on the Sociology of Religion (RC22)

Abstracts due by 30 September, 2017 24:00 GMT.

XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology

Power, Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses and Responsibilities

Toronto, Canada, July 15-21, 2018


Religion, Power, and Resistance: New Ideas for a Divided World

Current environmental, economic, social, and political challenges indicate that people are losing faith in existing power structures and mechanisms for coping with crises. This creates increasingly divided societies, riven by ideological battles for the future of the human and the more than human world. Religion has a place in this picture. Not only is it often a source of divisions; it can also be a source for alternative means of addressing them.

These divisions take new and as yet unclear shapes, which sociologists are only now beginning to comprehend. It is not enough to refer to the struggle between ‘tradition’ and ‘modernity’, terms that dominated sociology through the 1970s. Nor do the tropes ‘colonialism vs. anti-colonialism’ and the ‘clash of civilizations’ adequately explain what is going on. Nor, arguably, does ‘populism vs neo-liberalism’ fully capture such things as the recent clashes between cosmopolitan and anticosmopolitan actors in the major Western democracies. Each of these has a piece of the picture; none of them captures it all.

What is religion’s role in this situation: as a creator of divisions, as a locus of power, and as a ground of resistance?  How does religion influence our divided societies? How is religion influenced in turn?

We invite paper abstract submissions for the following RC22 sessions:

  • Religion and National Identity
  • Religion and Secularity
  • Religion and Non-Violent Social Movements
  • Religion, Gender and Family Violence
  • Religion in the East Asian Public Sphere
  • Religion in the Public Square
  • Social Theory and Religion
  • Religion and Migration: Contrasting First and Second Generations
  • Dynamics of Gender, Religion and Intersectionality
  • Prejudice, Exclusion and Violence in a Transnational World
  • Media and Religious Radicalization: Gatekeeping and the Construction of Extremism
  • Gender, Feminism, and Islam and the West
  • Religious Texts of Diversity Vs Exclusion

We will also be including the following invited sessions in our RC22 program:

  • Presidential Address: The Sociology of Religion in a Post-Colonial Era (Invited Session) Session Organizer: James SPICKARD, University of Redlands, USA
  • Religion and Diversity: An International Study (Invited Session) Session Organizer: Lori BEAMAN, University of Ottawa, Canada
  • Diffused Religion. Beyond Secularization – Author Meets Critic Session (Invited Session) Session Organizer: Roberto CIPRIANI, University Roma Tre, Italy
  • The Case for an Indeterminate Sociological Theory of Religion (Invited Session) Session Organizer: Tak-ling WOO, York University, Canada

The ISA CONFEX website site is now accepting paper abstracts between 25 April and 30 September, 2017 24:00 GMT.

Please address any questions to the Program Coordinators:

     Anna Halafoff:

     Sam Han:

     Caroline Starkey: