CFP: Religion and Belief in the Public Sphere of Eastern Europe

Culture and Society: Journal of Social Research
Call for Papers for Special Issue on:
Religion and Belief in the Public Sphere of Eastern Europe

Guest Editors:
Milda Alisauskiene, Department of Sociology, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania
Email: m.alisauskiene@smf.vdu.lt
Panagiotis Pentaris, Faiths & Civil Society Unit, Department of Social, Therapeutic & Community Studies, Goldsmiths University of London, UK
Email: p.pentaris@gold.ac.uk

Summary
The role of religion in Eastern Europe has seen recent and most significant changes. The atheist doctrine of the socialist period was overcome between the years 1989 and 1991 (Gerlach & Töpfer 2015). Such change interplayed with public life, while religion and belief found various and different roles in society, usually more apparent. This period enhanced the notion of ‘freedom of religion and belief’ (Gerlach & Töpfer 2015). Nonetheless, contemporary societies in Eastern Europe experience a heterogeneous religious landscape. The population’s religious and belief identities grow diverse as we move on in the 21st century. The current makeup of the society also depicts new challenges and controversies in different spheres of public life. The role of religion and belief has also changed while non-belief and the contested notions of secularity have gained much attention in discourse and personal belief, both.
In light of the changes mentioned above, legislation should be addressing these exigent issues and provide appropriate frameworks to accommodate the religious difference in the public sphere. Nonetheless, social policy need be informed by current and ever-changing demographics, as well as how the current religious landscape is playing out in different spheres of public life (also see, Dinham & Francis 2015).
The present special issue draws attention to the growing religious diversity in Eastern Europe and its implications in public life. The collection of the articles calls for enhancement of the discourse in the sociology of religion and study of religions in Eastern Europe.
The aim of this special issue is dual; to further explore the changing religious landscape in Eastern Europe. Also, it seeks to unpack the role of religion and belief in public life, and how that plays out in politics, policy, and everyday practices. Therefore, the guest-editors are inviting papers that will address these issues, and will add to the discourses of the sociology of religion in Eastern Europe.

Please express your interest by submitting a 300-word abstract of your proposed work to the guest editors (contact details provided above), by the 28th of February 2016. With your submission, please include your affiliation and contact details. Notifications of acceptance and invitations to submit the first draft will follow in March 2016.

Timeline:
25/01/16: CFPs is disseminated/published.
28/02/16: Expression of interest from potential contributors & submission of 300 word abstracts to guest editors.
March 2016: Notification of acceptance & invitations to submit first draft.
30/06/16: 1st draft submission for internal reviews.
31/07/16: notifications of reviewers’ comments to authors.
30/09/16: Submission of final version of manuscripts for publication.
30/11/16: Final special issue manuscript submission to Culture and Society.
Spring 2017: Publication of the special issue.

For more information about the journal, see: http://culturesociety.vdu.lt.