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

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

https://isaconf.confex.com/isaconf/wc2018/webprogrampreliminary/Symposium459.html

XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology

Power, Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses and Responsibilities

Toronto, Canada, July 15-21, 2018

RESEARCH COMMITTEE 22: SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION

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.

https://isaconf.confex.com/isaconf/wc2018/webprogrampreliminary/Symposium459.html

Please address any questions to the Program Coordinators:

     Anna Halafoff: anna.halafoff@deakin.edu.au

     Sam Han: HanSam@ntu.edu.sg

     Caroline Starkey: C.Starkey@leeds.ac.uk

Sacred Journeys 5th Global Conference: Pilgrimage & Beyond; July 5-6, 2018

Indiana University (IU) Europe Gateway, Berlin, Germany
(https://global.iu.edu/global-gateways/europe/index.html)
Located in the Kreuzberg neighborhood in Berlin, the IU Europe Gateway is housed within the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) Global Institute.

Call for Papers
The latest research indicates that more than 400 million people embark annually on traditional pilgrimages in Saudi Arabia, India, Japan, and elsewhere, with the numbers steadily increasing. Pilgrimage is one of the most ancient practices of humankind and is associated with a great variety of religious and spiritual traditions, beliefs and sacred geographies. As a global phenomenon, pilgrimage facilitates interaction between and among diverse peoples from countless cultures, occupations, and walks of life. In the 5th Global Conference, we will continue to explore the many personal, interpersonal, intercultural, and international dimensions of these often profound events. This includes similarities and differences in the practice in Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Taoism, and other traditions, as well as secular pilgrimage. The impact of the internet and globalization, pilgrimage as protest, and pilgrimage and peace building, among others, are all topics of interest, as are the concepts of the internal pilgrimage and the journey of self-discovery.
Among the key issues that emerged from earlier Sacred Journeys conferences were:

  1. Definition of Pilgrimage: ‘Travel for transformation’ embraces the sacred journey as a potential turning point in one’s life. Questions arise as to how and when a journey becomes ‘sacred’. Does tourism merely observe the authentic in others, whereas pilgrimage seeks it for oneself? When is a tourist a pilgrim and vice versa?
  2. Reinforcing a Vision of the Unity of Humanity: While many pilgrimages have a political dimension and political leaders often manipulate pilgrims in ways detrimental to peace, how can the concept of pilgrimage lend itself to envisioning a world united in difference?

  3. Pilgrimage and Globalization: Technology is impacting pilgrims in innumerable ways. Infrastructural and support services are also improving, and journeys once thought to be too difficult are now within reach of vast numbers of pilgrims. Will modern conveniences alter the traditional experience of pilgrimage or create entirely new experiences?

  4. The Challenge of Modernity: What does pilgrimage offer that is not found in the routines of modern daily life? In the search for meaning, belonging or identity, some pilgrims will cling to the familiar and reaffirm what is believed ‘true’ at local levels. What kinds of trends along these lines might we forecast for the future?

  5. Secular Pilgrimage: Each year, large numbers of pilgrims visit secular pilgrimage sites, like those of pop culture heroes. What are the similarities and differences between sacred and secular pilgrimages? What does it mean to be an ‘authentic’ pilgrim?

Many other related themes can be considered for presentation. Among these are (1) pilgrimage and the marketplace; (2) the metaphor of the journey as explored by writers, artists, performers, and singers, including humanists, agnostics, atheists, and musicians; (3) pilgrimage and ‘miracles’ and the related topic of thanksgiving; and (4) ‘dark’ pilgrimages to sites of remembrance and commemoration.
Submitting Your Proposal
Proposals should be submitted no later than Wednesday, 28 February 2018 to:
Ian McIntosh, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI): imcintos@iupui.edu
Chadwick Co Sy Su, University of the Philippines Manila: ccsysu@up.edu.ph
E-Mail Subject Line: Sacred Journeys 5 Proposal Submission
File Format: Microsoft Word (DOC or DOCX)

Lecture: “Ignored Arab Christian Voices: Contextual Theology in the Era of Colonial Modernity”

The Von Hügel Institute for Critical Catholic Inquiry together with the Faculty of Divinity and the DAAD-University of Cambridge Research Hub for German Studies invite you to the public lecture:

Ignored Arab Christian Voices: Contextual Theology in the Era of Colonial Modernity by Professor Heidemarie Winkel (University of Bielefeld and DAAD Visiting German Scholar, Cambridge)

on Monday 25 September, 4pm.

VENUE: Runcie Room, Faculty of Divinity, West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9BS
ABSTRACT
Within Palestine, Arab Christians are publicly visible as providers of religiously based discourses on social solidarity and the common good, for example in the form of contextual theologies. The paper shortly reflects how far this has to be seen against the background of colonial history, both with British and with German roots, and to what extent Arab Christians construct their socio-political identity against the background of entangled histories as well as the ongoing reality of socio-political crisis today. A second concern is how contextual theologies relate to the European public and how Arab Christian subaltern voices are coming to the attention of a western-European public.
Heidemarie Winkel is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bielefeld (Germany). She will present some highlights from her research as DAAD Visiting German Scholar based at the VHI, St Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge. Professor Winkel specializes in sociology of religion, gender, and Arab societies. She is a board member of several sociological research networks and editorial boards, including the Council of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion (ISSR) and the Journal for Religion, Society and Politics. Recent publications: Multiple Religiosities, Entangled Modernities and Gender: What is Different about Gender Across Religious Cultures?, Journal for Religion, Society and Politics 1(1), 2017;  with K. Sammet (eds), Thinking Religion Sociologically: Reflections on Current Theoretical and Empirical Developments, Springer, 2017.

The event is free and open to all. Please find attached a poster for further circulation. For more information visit www.vhi.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk.
To learn more about the DAAD in Cambridge contact ingrid.hobbis@admin.cam.ac.uk

Funding Opportunity: Global Religion Research Initiative

Hi, I am writing to ask you to share this announcement and attached flyer about six major grant and fellowship opportunities worth over $2 million over the next two years with your faculty and graduate student colleagues. Could you please forward this email to them and anyone else you know who studies global religion or might possibly be interested in incorporating global religion into their current research and teaching?

Thank you,

Christian Smith
Center for the Study of Religion and Society
Department of Sociology, University of Notre Dame


Funding Opportunity: Global Religion Research Initiative

The Center for the Study of Religion and Society in the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame is pleased to announce the Global Religion Research Initiative (GRRI), directed by Christian Smith and funded by the Templeton Religion Trust of Nassau, Bahamas.

The GRRI will fund over 150 research proposals by distributing $3.1 million to scholars of global religion between 2017 and 2020.

The GRRI offers six distinct competitive research and writing grants and fellowships programs available to scholars at all levels of their careers that intend to significantly advance the social scientific study of religions around the world.

Find out which grant or fellowship fits your idea below.

Dissertation Fellowship Program

Postdoctoral Research Program

Curriculum Development Program

International Collaboration Program

Project Launch Program

Book Leave Program

The application deadline is October 16, 2017.
Apply online at grri.nd.edu.

Global Religion Research Initiative
Center for the Study of Religion and Society
University of Notre Dame
1(800) 434-8441

New from Springer: “Politics, Religion and Political Theology”

Allen Speight and Michael Zank (Eds.)

  • Wide range of disciplinary perspectives in the humanities, political theory, history, law and religious studies
  • One of the few volumes on political theology current with both a broad construal of the topic as a whole and specific discussions of key concepts such as conscience, secularism, and toleration
  • Contemporary investigation of political theology in light of thinkers influenced by the three major monotheistic traditions

This new volume gives discursive shape to several key facets of the relationship among politics, theology and religious thought. Powerfully relevant to a wealth of further academic disciplines including history, law and the humanities, it sharpens the contours of our understanding in a live and evolving field. It charts the mechanisms by which, contrary to the avowed secularism of many of today’s polities, theology and religion have often, and sometimes profoundly, shaped political discourse. By augmenting this broader analysis with a selection of authoritative papers focusing on the prominent sub-field of political theology, the anthology offsets a startling academic lacuna. Alongside focused analysis of subjects such as conscience, secularism and religious tolerance, the discussion of political theology examines the tradition’s critical moments, including developments during the post-World War I Weimar republic in Germany and the epistemological imprint the theory has left behind in works by political thinkers influenced by the three major monotheistic traditions.

Springer Publications co-sponsors the RC-22 Ivan Varga Prize for New Generation Scholars

New from Springer: “Discourses of Religion and Secularism in Religious Education Classrooms”

Author: Karin Kittelmann Flensner

  • Analyses discourses of religion that predominate in non-confessional Religious Education in Sweden
  • Discusses Religious Education based on empirical examples
  • Illustrates how secularism is expressed and becomes hegemonic in the classroom practice of Religious Education and discusses implications of this in a pluralistic society

This book answers the question on how students and teachers talk about religion when the mandatory and nonconfessional school subject of Religious Education is on the schedule in the “world’s most secular country” To do this, it analyses discourses of religion as they occur in the classroom practice. It is based on findings from participant observation of Religious Education lessons in several upper secondary schools in Sweden. The book discusses different aspects of the role and function of nonconfessional integrative Religious Education in an increasingly pluralistic, multireligious, yet also secularized society, at a general level. It looks at the religious landscape, different perspectives on school subjects, various models and the development of Religious Education, and discourses of religion of a secularist, spiritual and nationalistic nature.

Religious Education is a school subject that manoeuvres in the midst of a field that on the one hand concerns crucial knowledge in a pluralistic society, and on the other hand deals with highly contested questions in a society characterized by diversity and secularity. In the mandatory, integrative and non-confessional school subject of Religious Education in Sweden, all students are taught together regardless of religious or secular affiliation. The subject deals with major world religions, important non-religious worldviews and ethics, from a non-confessional perspective. Thus, in the classroom, individuals who identify with diverse religious and non-religious worldviews, with a different understanding of what religion could be and what it might mean to be religious, are brought together. The book examines questions raised in this pluralistic context: What discourses of religion become hegemonic in the classroom? How do these discourses affect the possibility of reaching the aim of Religious Education which concerns understanding and respect for different ways of thinking and living in a society characterized by diversity?

Springer Publications co-sponsors the RC-22 Ivan Varga Prize for New Generation Scholars

New from Springer: “New Religions and State’s Response to Religious Diversification in Contemporary Vietnam”

Authors: Hoang, Chung Van

  • Is the first work in English to comprehensively cover new and indigenous religious groups in post-Renovation Vietnam
  • Takes an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to study three distinct new religious groups
  • Gives a voice to religious minorities that are often the victim of stereotyping, misunderstanding, and punitive treatment
  • Brings together discussions of changing State-religion relations in Vietnam and in East and Southeast Asia in light of the thesis of multiple-modernities

This book approaches newly emerging religious groups through the interplay between religious and non-religious spheres in the specific context of Vietnam. It considers the new religious groups as a part of religious reconfiguration in Vietnam caused by intensified interactions among these spheres. It explores changes of relationship between religions, and changes between the religious sphere and the political, economic and public spheres in contemporary Vietnam. Specifically, it traces trajectories of religious development in relation to politico-economic changes in this rapidly modernising nation. It tests a hypothesis that at least some new yet unrecognized new religious groups have a positive/ active role in modernisation rather than a negative/reactive role.

To this end, the book draws on a number of research approaches and methodologies in an effort to provide readers with a multi-faceted understanding of Vietnam’s new religious groups. The research is interdisciplinary in orientation, drawing on sociology and anthropology. It is also comparative in that it bases its argument on a consideration of three distinct new religious groups in Vietnam. The research is also qualitative and ethnographic in that it drew on some of the techniques associated with participant observation during a sustained period of fieldwork amongst the three religious groups.

The concept of religious reconfiguration developed in this book provides a framework for the study of religion in Vietnam which opens the way to further analysis from a comparative perspective. Meanwhile, an emphasis upon religious reinvention which addresses processes of remaking, transforming, legitimating and accommodating can be useful for research into New Religious Movements elsewhere in Asia. A research in the challenges of new religions could act as a catalyst for interdisciplinary studies based on detailed empirical study of religious diversity and of religious freedom by other scholars. It is hoped that this research might help to give a voice to religious minorities that are often the victim of stereotyping, misunderstanding, and punitive treatment.

The book is suitable for post-graduate students and social researchers who are interested in religious revival, religious diversification, State-religion relationships, and State’s regulation of new religions. 

Springer Publications co-sponsors the RC-22 Ivan Varga Prize for New Generation Scholars