Book release: Imams in Western Europe:

Dear friends and colleagues,
We are happy and proud to announce the publication of this new edited volume, which might be of interest to some of you. Apologies for cross-posting.
Hashas, Mohammed, Jan Jaap de Ruiter, and Niels Valdemar Vinding (eds), Imams in Western Europe: Developments, Transformations, and Institutional Challenges. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2018 doi: 10.5117/9789462983830/ch01

This book presents an omnibus academic inquiry into contemporary Islamic religious authority with a focus on imams and the imamate – on which, until now, not much has been written in English. Our ambition is to contribute deeper and more fruitful analyses of the changes and challenges experienced by this source of religious authority in the context of the secular-liberal societies of Western Europe since the Second World War and the subsequent migration and refugee flows. At the same time, this research also serves to highlight secular-liberal institutions and their adaptation, or lack thereof, to the multiculturalism that characterizes Western European states. The social facts of globalization, transnational migration, and various interpretations of secularism have challenged the visibility of religion in the public sphere in Western societies. This has most importantly and urgently required religious authorities to revisit their organization, governance, and internal hierarchy, and Islamic religious authority is no exception. Throughout the Muslim-majority countries and in Europe, Islamic religious authority is still struggling to negotiate its place among the institutions of the modern state in the ‘secular age’ in the words of Charles Taylor (2007). The imamate is one of the institutions that are currently experiencing a shift of roles and functions in society. Scholars and historians of religion in particular are attentive to this shift.
“This fascinating book on imams in Western Europe is well timed to respond to the European discourse on Islam and Muslims, coming at a time of remarkable developments in the imam as a concept, as a religious institution, and as an authority for the Muslims of Western Europe.” – Jørgen S. Nielsen, Professor, Universities of Birmingham and Copenhagen.

The book is the result of our conference on imams from 2014, held in Rome at LUISS Guido Carli University & John Cabot American University

Here is a link to the introduction, preface and list of contents:
On behalf of editors and contributors,
Niels Valdemar Vinding

Proceedings of the International Workshop on Halal Food Consumption in East and West

Institute for Asian Muslim Studies, Waseda University, Proceedings of the International Workshop on Halal Food Consumption in East and West (with Appendix of Survey Report), Institute for Asian Muslim Studies, Research Paper Series, Vol.5. Institute for Asian Muslim Studies, Waseda University, Tokyo, March 2018 (ISBN: 9784990740245).   This is downloadable from here:

Religion as Political Communication: A Symposium

Loughborough University’s Centre for Research in Communication and Culture is organising an event on Religion as Political Communication on 7th June 2018. There will be four speakers (see programme below). You are all welcome to attend. The event is free with refreshments provided, but please book your place in advance (via the link below) for catering purpose:

Religion as Political Communication: A Symposium

10:00 – 16:00, 7th June 2018

Religion is communicated politically in multiple ways: by religious institutions and individuals, by governments with different approaches to religion, via various artistic and cultural expressions, by secular news media, and via digital platforms and communities (Lundby 2017). The types and contents of politically communicated religion are diverse and complex, ranging from the Church of England’s conservative stance on marriage as reserved for heterosexual couples, French lawmakers interpreting religious symbols such as the veil as ‘too political’, the West-End musical success ‘The Book of Mormon’, terrorist acts of violence committed in the name of religion, to representations of ‘Muslims’ as a non-diversified group. Religion can communicate political stances in both direct and indirect ways, such as when drawings of the Prophet Mohammad are considered as unacceptably irreverent expressions of free speech, or when specific positions on abortion, creationism, stem-cell research and euthanasia are inferred when someone declares their stance as ‘religious’. In this symposium, internationally leading scholars on religion and politics are invited to address and debate religion as political communication.


10:00 Welcome and introductions

10:15 Dr Elizabeth Poole (Keele University): Contesting #stopislam: Political frictions and appropriation in online spaces

10:45 Professor Jolyon Mitchell ((University of Edinburg): The Ambivalent Role of Religion and the Media Arts as Political Communication in Israel /Palestine

11:15 Q & A session

11:45 Lunch and networking

13:00 Dr Jasjit Singh (University of Leeds): The construction of ‘Sikh radicalisation’ in Britain

13:30 Professor Mia Løvheim (Uppsala University, Sweden): Religion, mediatization and a changing political landscape

14:00 Q & A

14:30 Coffee break and networking

15:00 Roundtable discussion

15:45 End of programme

Symposium organisers: Dr Line Nyhagen (Social Sciences), Dr Alexandre Christoyannopoulos (Politics, History and International Relations), PhD student Xinan Li (Social Sciences), Loughborough University.

For speakers’ abstracts, please see:

Call for Papers Understanding urban religion

Call for Papers Understanding urban religion Heritage, public space and governance International Workshop Barcelona, 25-27 October 2018

While sociological research on religion in urban contexts has proliferated in recent years, the city has less frequently been taken explicitly as a relevant dimension in the study of religion. Historically, social scientists considered cities as the epitome of secularization, and predicted that processes of secularization would diminish the role of religion in urban life. However, dynamic and vibrant forms of urban religion have emerged in cities across the world in recent years (Becci, Burchardt and Casanova, 2013). Developments such as rising levels of transnational migration and the growth of new religious movements have contributed to the religious revitalization of contemporary cities.

The diversification of urban religious landscapes is documented by a variety of studies (Knott, Krech and Meyer, 2016; Lanz et al., 2016). All over the world, cities are witnessing a proliferation of non-traditional places of worship of several kinds (Martínez-Ariño et al., 2011; Stolz and Monnot, forthcoming). On the one hand, religious communities have begun to adapt to trends of urban change such as sub-urbanization and de-industrialization by establishing places of worship in shopping malls, former industrial warehouses, newly established industrial estates and other commercial zones. On the other hand, and especially in Europe, a rapidly increasing number of traditional church buildings are closed and repurposed as a consequence of dropping membership and resulting financial pressures. Churches are sometimes demolished, but more commonly they are put to new use: they are handed over to other faith communities, converted into lofts or other kinds of commercial property, or into public and civic facilities such as museums, libraries or art spaces. In many cities, the future and the management of religious heritage has been object of debate and controversy. In recent years, there has also been a proliferation of multi-faith and inter-faith places. These are either construed as unified places that remain architecturally neutral and open to believers and practitioners of all persuasions, or contain symbolic and architectural elements of different religious communities (often the so-called Abrahamic faiths, Christianity, Islam and Judaism).

At the same time, cities have turned into sites of religious innovation and have become stages for the performing of religious events and celebrations that are parts of urban consumer cultures and contribute to the construction of urban identities and city images. The density of religious actors in the city fosters processes of religious hybridization, transformation and crossfertilization. This vibrant dynamism becomes a fertile ground for cooperation and exchange, but also for conflict. In this context, the governance of religious diversity gains new saliency at the level of cities (Griera, 2012). Municipal authorities, including political as well as administrative actors, pay increasing attention to religious issues and a multiplicity of policy instruments are in place to govern them (Martínez-Ariño, 2017). In addition, urban religious affairs often become the object of public contestation, and generate media and civil society attention (Griera and Burchardt, 2016; Siemiatycki, 2005; Watson, 2005).

The aim of this workshop is to explore the conditions, forms and consequences of the ways urban religion is revitalized, spatialized and governed in contemporary cities. The general topic of the workshop is organized around three sub-themes: heritage, religious expressions in public space, and governance.

Workshop papers should address one or more of the following themes:

1. Religious heritage. The aim of this thematic focus is to discuss cultural, political and power dynamics associated with religious heritage, and explore its role in contemporary cities.
2. Urban religious expressions. This strand explores public religious expressions such as festivals, parades, public prayers and meditations and aims to understand processes of the eventization of urban religion as well as the challenges these presences pose to cities and their dwellers.
3. Governance. Contributions in this third thematic section will look at different articulations of state-religion regimes and political secularism at the urban level.

Abstracts of no more than 250-300 words should be submitted to* by 15 June 2018.

Organisers Paul Bramadat (University of Victoria, Canada) Marian Burchardt (University of Leipzig, Germany) Mar Griera (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain) Julia Martínez-Ariño (University of Groningen, Netherlands)

Call for papers: Worldviews in creating meaning and purpose for learning

Special Issue: Journal of Beliefs & Values

We are happy to invite scholars to contribute in our special issue in the Journal of Beliefs & Values. JBV has been among the most respected journals in our field for a long time. We believe that our peer-reviewed special issue can contribute in the high-level scholarly discussion of the journal with a viewpoint represented especially by the EARLI SIG19 Conference 2018 (

The Special Issue will be based on both the best papers of the EARLI SIG 19 conference 2018 and possible supplementing papers derived from this open call. We particularly welcome submissions that recognise the conference theme “Worldviews in creating meaning and purpose for learning”, and that address, for example, the following questions: How worldviews impact people’s motivation to learn, how worldviews guide people’s life choices and future orientation, and how worldviews and religions help people to find meaning and purpose in life.The articles can be empirical or philosophical. We anticipate not only methodological diversity but also wish the articles to reflect diverse interpretations and representations of worldviews, values and beliefs in education, cultural and national contexts.

We expect the authors to study the JBV homepage and familiarise oneself with the scope and format of the journal.

The deadline for the full papers with the length and format of the JBV guidelines by 1st of October 2018. After the blind review process, the revised final versions of the manuscripts are expected to be submitted by 15th of December 2018. The estimated publication of the special issue will be in 2019.

Please contact guest editors with queries concerning the topic and send your contribution to Laura Hirsto (

Thank you!

24th Nordic Conference Program is Posted

The 24th Nordic Conference in the Sociology of Religion (NCSR 2018) ~ 1-3. August 2018.

Dear all,
The conference program is now posted on the conference website. Here you will find information about the program and the paper sessions. The paper abstracts are also posted.
For those of you who have organized sessions, we ask that you chair the sessions as well. If there are more than one organizer, it is up to you to decide who will function as chair.
For those who chair sessions and/or present papers, please check that the information about you is correct. If you find any mistakes, let us know.
Click here to see the program.
Please note that there is a welcome reception on July 31st from 20:30-22:00 at Oslo City Hall! Welcome!
Finally, we would like to remind you that all paper presenters must register and pay the conference fee by June 15th, otherwise their right to present a paper is withdrawn.
In order to register and pay the conference fee, please click on this link:


Best wishes,
Netta Marie Rønningen and the NCSR Organizational Committee

Post-Doc Positions: Center for Islamic Studies (UK)

The Centre of Islamic Studies is looking for two Post-Docs to work as Research and Outreach Associates in the Centre of Islamic Studies, to begin in September 2018. The posts are two-year, fixed-term positions.

The successful candidates will each design and conduct independent and original research into themes relating to Islam in the global age. Proposals relating to Islam or Muslim life in Europe and the United Kingdom are particularly welcome. We are looking for applicants from across the world and can give advice on getting visas where these are applicable.

For more information and to apply for these great posts please see the university job site here:

The closing date for applications is 20th June and it is anticipated that interviews will be held by the end of July 2018.

Informal enquiries and requests for Further Particulars may be addressed to Dr Paul Anderson at the Centre of Islamic Studies:

Book release: Imams in Western Europe: Developments, Transformations, and Institutional Challenges. Hashas, de Ruiter, and Vinding (eds), Amsterdam University Press, 2018

Buddhism & Australia 2019: Call for Papers

The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia

’History, current presence and future directions for Buddhism in Austral-Asian region’

7-9 February, 2019

The IC Buddhism & Australia is pleased to invite abstracts for panel sessions and individual papers for the 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia that will be held on 7-9 February 2019 in Perth, Western Australia.

This conference investigates the history, current and future directions of Buddhism in Australasia and is a platform for scientists and Buddhists to present their latest researches on Buddhism. Researchers across a broad range of disciplines are welcomed as well the submission of pre-formed panel proposals.

The main themes of the Buddhism & Australia 2019 are

*Buddhism and its History in India

*Buddhism and its History in Sri Lanka

*Buddhism and Computers

*Buddhism in Our Days Tibet

What to Send

Proposals may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information:
*affiliation as you would like it to appear in program
*email address,
*title of proposal,
*body of proposal; no more than 300 words,
*up to 10 keywords.
*CV max 2 pages

Proposals should be submitted by October 20, 2018 by the following email:
If a proposal is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by December 20, 2018.  We acknowledge receipt and answer to all proposals submitted.


To participate in the 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia, please contact Marju Broder by the following email:

For more information:

Marju Broder
Organizing Chair
Mob + 610405549923

Registration for NCSR 2018 is now open!

The 24th Nordic Conference in the Sociology of Religion (NCSR 2018) ~ 1-3. August 2018.

Dear all,
Conference registration to the Nordic Conference in the Sociology of Religion 2018 is now open! Welcome!

The total conference fee is 1830 NOK. Please note that registration is divided into two separate payments and will take place in two steps. Step 1: Registration fee (900 NOK), Step 2: NJRS subscription (848 NOK). Both payments must be made before you are registered as a participant at the conference.

Accompanying persons, who would like to attend the reception, fjord cruise, and conference dinner, are warmly welcome. They only need to complete Registration Step 1 (900 NOK).

Please note that all paper presenters must register and pay their fee by June 15th, otherwise their right to present their paper is withdrawn.

The total conference fee includes:

  • Access to all scientific events at the conference
  • Welcoming reception hosted by the City of Oslo July 31st
  • Lunch and coffee/tea/fruit Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • Evening fjord cruise with shrimp buffet on Wednesday (drinks must be purchased individually)
  • Conference dinner on Thursday evening
  • A two-year subscription of Nordic Journal of Religion and Society (issue 2/2018-1/2020)

In order to register and pay your conference fee, please click on the link below:

Best wishes,
Netta Marie Rønningen and the NCSR Organizational Committee