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.


Journal Issue: Religion and Gender

Religion and Gender has just published its latest issue at We invite you to review the new issue Contents here and visit our web site to review articles and other items of interest.

Religion and Gender
Vol 8, No 1 (2018): Christianity, Gender, Sexuality and the Law in Latin America
Table of Contents
Editorial (1-3)
        Journal Editors
Guest Editorial
Introduction: Christianity, Gender, Sexuality and the Law in Latin America (4-13)
        Macarena Sáez,  José Manuel Morán Faúndes
Articles (special issue)
Sexuality, Law, and Religion in Latin America: Frameworks in Tension (14-31)
        Juan Marco Vaggione
The Crusade against Same-Sex Marriage in Colombia (32-49)
        Mauricio Albarracín,    Julieta Lemaitre
The Development of “Pro-Life” NGOs in Argentina: Three Strategic Movements (50-67)
        José Manuel Morán Faúndes
The Regulation of Abortion in Chile: The Failure of the Separation of Church and State (68-83)
        Macarena Sáez
Sexual rights, Religion and Post-Neoliberalism in Argentina (2003-2015) (84-101)
        Daniel Jones,   Lucía Ariza,    Mario Pecheny
Pentecostals and Human Rights Controversies in Brazil (102-119)
        Maria das Dores Campos Machado

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:

CFP: Religion and Urban Politics" as part of the ISSR Conference in Barcelona in July 2019

Julia Martínez-Ariño
University of Groningen

Abstract (English):
This panel addresses the general topic of the conference from an urban perspective. The panel will delve into the interaction(s) between religion and politics in city contexts, namely how religious discourses, practices, imaginaries, expectations and mobilisations affect or influence urban politics and how urban politics deal with, shape, regulate or ignore religion. Papers that analyse the intersection of and interaction between the two fields in different geographical and religious contexts are welcome. Some questions that the papers may address are: What are the channels of interaction between religion and politics in cities? How are these shaped, maintained, contested? Are religious actors present in governance networks and political structures? Does this involvement entail forms of co-optation of, and cooperation or competition between, religious and political actors? How do religious/spiritual groups and organisations get in contact with, influence or ignore urban political arenas? How are religion, spirituality and non-religion mobilised in identity claims and claims to the right to the city? How do religious actors articulate struggles over visibility and recognition in urban contexts? What is the scope of intervention of religious and spiritual leaders, groups, and advocates in urban politics? How do urban political processes and policies transform local religious groups? What are urban policy tools used to govern and regulate religion in urban contexts?

Abstract (French):
Ce panel aborde le sujet général de la conférence d’un point de vue urbain. Le panel explorera les interactions entre la religion et la politique dans les contextes urbains, à savoir comment les discours, les pratiques, les imaginaires, les attentes et les mobilisations religieux affectent ou influencent la politique urbaine et comment la politique urbaine traite, façonne, régule ou ignore la religion. Les articles qui analysent l’intersection et l’interaction des deux domaines dans différents contextes géographiques et religieux sont les bienvenus. Certaines questions que les contributions peuvent aborder sont : quels sont les canaux d’interaction entre la religion et la politique dans les villes ? Comment sont-ils façonnés, entretenus, contestés ? Les acteurs religieux sont-ils présents dans les réseaux de gouvernance et les structures politiques ? Cette participation implique-t-elle des formes de cooptation et de coopération ou de compétition entre les acteurs religieux et politiques ? Comment les groupes et organisations religieux / spirituels entrent-ils en contact, influencent-ils ou ignorent-ils les arènes politiques urbaines ? Comment la religion et la spiritualité sont-elles mobilisées dans les revendications identitaires et du droit à la ville ? Comment les acteurs religieux et non-religieux articulent les luttes sur la visibilité et la reconnaissance dans les contextes urbains ? Quel est le champ d’intervention des leaders et groupes religieux et spirituels dans la politique urbaine ? Comment les processus politiques et les politiques urbaines transforment-ils les groupes religieux locaux ? Quels sont les outils de l’action publique urbaine utilisés pour régir et réguler la religion ?


The deadline for submitting your abstracts is 16 December 2018

Call for papers: The 2nd Annual Conference of the East Asian Society for the Scientific Study of Religion

Theme: “East-West Encounters and Religious Change in Modernizing East Asia”

Dates: July 27-28, 2019

Place:  Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

East Asia has undergone globalization and modernization in the last five hundred years. The first encounter between East Asia and the modernizing West was with the Jesuit missionaries in the late 16th century in China, Korea, and Japan, where their inculturation strategy succeeded in attracting some converts in certain social circles. The cultural and political elites in these countries began to realize the uniqueness of the institutional religion of Catholicism in contrast to the local customary religiosities originated from Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. In response, Christianity was suppressed in East Asia until the mid-19th century, when the second encounter between the East and the West brought about waves of modernization to East Asian countries. Under the Western-hegemony, Asian countries were coerced to modernize or Westernize, adopting a modern system of law, bureaucracy, education system, and abolishing many of their own traditions. The concept of religion and the relationship between religion and the state have been constructed and reconstructed in the process of this East-West encounter in the process of modernization. Along with the introduction of science and technology, theory of evolution, atheism, and various ideologies, East Asian societies became rapidly secularized. In the first half of the 20th century, most states in East Asia enforced administrative control over religions.

Since the end of World War II in 1945, East Asian societies have diverged in their paths of social development and religious change. In mainland China, following a period of eradication of religion in the 1960s and 1970s, some religions have revived in spite of strong state control. In Taiwan, institutional Buddhism and other Chinese religions have undergone modernization and many religions have thrived since the end of martial law. South Korea has experienced the rapid rise of Christianity, with nearly 30% of the population identifying as either Protestant or Catholic. Japan retained traditional religions and added many new religions in the free market religious economy, but today organized religions are in steady decline due to aging and secularization. Why are these societies so different even though they shared similar traditional religiosities and experiences of modernization in response to the West? 

At present, East Asian countries have strengthened their economic and cultural exchanges despite occasional political tension among them. Religious exchange has also accelerated with the growth of missionaries and migrant populations. Religious diversity has increased and nationalism has risen in response to the perceived foreign religions. Meanwhile, religions or religiosities originating in East Asia have spread to the West and other parts of the world. How do the various states in the region manage religious pluralism and provide social space for migrants and missionary religions? How do individuals and communities of the Global East practice religion in late modernity?

In short, East Asia has varieties of religious institutions and communities, folk religions and new religions, and atheism and other secularisms. The research on religion in East Asia needs historical, sociological, political, and other perspectives. While all topics on religion are welcome at the conference, we especially invite papers that address one or more of the following research questions:

· How did religions and their practitioners in the Global East encounter and respond to Christianity backed by western modernity and hegemonic power in recent centuries?

· How were the concepts of the boundary between religion and secularity, administrative control of religions in authoritative regimes and the policy of religious pluralism formed in the Global East?

· What kind of similarity and difference in traditional and new religions are there in the Global East?

· How has secularization proceeded in the Global East and manifested in the growth of religious “nones” and in the new forms of “believing without belonging” and “belonging without believing”?

Beyond addressing these questions, we seek a range of papers that draw on different geographical contexts and religious traditions. We particularly encourage proposals of organized sessions with 3-4 papers addressing the same religion or topic. For individual papers we will arrange them in the session of similar topics.


  • Presentation proposals are due by January 31, 2019.  Please submit your paper’s title, abstract (200 to 500 words), author’s information by clicking here: Submit Paper Presentation Proposal for EASSSR 2019 Conference. For submission-related questions, please email: Lily C Szeto, .
  • Notification of acceptance of presentation proposals will be sent out by February 28, 2019.
  • Meeting Registration will be open between March 1 and 31, 2019.
  • Participants need to make their own hotel reservations (see information below).

CFP: “Approaching esotericism and mysticism: Cultural influences”

Call for Papers

The Donner Institute will arrange a symposium 5–7 June 2019 in Åbo/Turku, Finland

Approaching esotericism and mysticism: Cultural influences

Conference website:

Hashtag: #esomyst2019

Facebook event:

This multidisciplinary conference approaches the traditions of Western esotericism and mysticism from a cultural-historical perspective. The aim is to analyse the diverse influences of esoteric ideas and practices and the various forms of mysticism in their cultural-historical surroundings. We promote approaches that focus on individuals, groups and networks, and various archival source materials, but we also welcome papers dealing with esoteric or mystical textual traditions.

The conference will consist of keynote lectures and sessions that can be either traditional paper sessions or roundtable talks, panels and/or artistic performances. The social program of the conference will consist of e.g. esoteric and occult walking tours in Turku and artistic performances (plans for an event together with Art Teatro Circus -group). An excursion to the exhibition on Finnish art and clairvoyance at the Gallen-Kallela Museum (Espoo/Esbo, 11.5.–8.9.2019) is also being planned. The exhibition is part of the research project Seekers of the New and is curated by Nina Kokkinen.

Keynote speakers:

  • Per Faxneld, senior lecturer/associate professor at Södertörn University, Stockholm
  • Christine Ferguson, professor in English Literature at the University of Stirling

  • Olav Hammer, professor in the Department of History, Study of Religions at The University of Southern Denmark

  • Maarit Leskelä-Kärki (PhD, Adjunct Professor), University Lecturer at the Department of Cultural History at the University of Turku

The expert symposium is arranged jointly by the Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural history and the research project Seekers of the New: Esotericism and the transformation of religiosity in the modernising Finland at the University of Turku. The project is funded by the Kone Foundation.

To apply, please send an abstract (or panel proposal with abstracts) of approximately 150 words to the Donner Institute,, no later than 31 December 2018. Letters of acceptance will be posted no later than 31 January, 2019.

CFL: The Sixth Annual Conference of the British Association for Islamic Studies

*The deadline for abstracts (individual papers and panels) has been extended until 6 January 2019*

15 April – 16 April 2019 (Arrival and Registration from 14 April)
University of Nottingham

Following BRAIS’s successful conferences in Edinburgh (2014), London (2015 and 2016), Chester (2017) and Exeter (2018), the organisers invite proposals for whole panels or individual papers for the Sixth Annual Conference of BRAIS. Islamic Studies is broadly understood to include all disciplinary approaches to the study of Islam and Muslim societies (majority and minority), modern and premodern.

Plenary sessions at the conference

  • – Maribel Fierro (CSIC, Madrid) on ‘Rulers as Authors in the Medieval Islamic West’
  • – Khaled Fahmy (University of Cambridge) on ‘Implementing Shari’a in Modern Egypt: A Medical Perspective’
  • – Alison Scott-Baumann (SOAS, London) and the ‘Re/presenting Islam on Campus’ team

Abstract Deadline: Sunday 6 January 2019

For details on how to submit an abstract, see here <>

Job Opening: Research Assistant for a project on British Islam

Research Assistant
Full details of how to apply at:
Are you interested in British Islam and its interactions with UK state and society? Do you have experience of working with Muslim organisations, editing reports and websites, as well as organising events, promoting research and gathering feedback? Would you like to work on a collaborative project which aims to have a positive impact on the UK Hajj pilgrimage sector?

You will provide flexible research assistance to Professor Seán McLoughlin, who is working with the Council of British Hajjis to consult pilgrims, Hajj organisers and UK governance authorities as part of the process of writing the first independent report on the Hajj pilgrimage sector in the UK. This effort to develop impact from Prof. McLoughlin’s research is supported by the Leeds Social Sciences Institute (LSSI) with funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

You will hold an honours degree in the social sciences or arts and humanities or a comparable subject. A higher degree with a research component is also desirable. You will have first-hand research or other related experience of engaging with British Muslim communities and organisations, as well as a sound understanding of their relations to UK state and society. You will have strong communication skills, both verbally and in writing, and have the capacity to judge/vary what is required to connect with different audiences and influencers. Strong interpersonal skills and self-motivation are also essential, together with the ability to work independently and flexibly to deadlines as part of a small team. Competence in a community language (e.g. Urdu, Panjabi, etc) is also desirable.

You will need to have the flexibility to work more/less intensively at times but will be able to negotiate working patterns with Prof. McLoughlin. Working from home will sometimes be appropriate. Some limited, fully-funded travelling out of office hours and at weekends e.g. to meet community partners and/or to help at events in the North of England and the English Midlands will also be necessary, as will two overnight stays in London. The position is available immediately.
To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact:

Seán McLoughlin, Professor of the Anthropology of Islam (Muslim Diasporas)

Location:       Leeds – Main Campus
Faculty/Service:        Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Cultures
School/Institute:       School of Philosophy, Religion & History of Science
Category:       Research
Grade:  Grade 6
Salary:         £27,025 to £32,236 p.a. pro rata
Working Time:   30% of full time
Post Type:      Part Time
Contract Type:  Fixed Term (until 31 July 2019)
Closing Date:   Thursday 13 December 2018
Reference:      AHCPR1021

Call for Papers: Gender and Religion: Correlates and Causes

Please submit here :

ISSR 2019 Conference,

International Society for the Sociology of Religion (Barcelona, Spain, 9-12 July 2019)

Dr Yaghoob Foroutan,
Associate Professor at The University of Mazandaran

Abstract (English):
This panel focuses on the place of religion in gender dynamics and women’s status. The term ‘religion’ here refers to all religions around the world (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, etc.), focusing either on a specific religion or on varying religions in order to highlight their role on women’s status from a comparative perspective. In particular, this panel explains the association between religion and gender in terms of a wide range of issues such as family formation patterns including marriage, childbearing and fertility, separation and divorce, new and emerging forms of family formation (like cohabitation etc.), religiosity, labour force participation and employment status, migration, intergenerational gaps related to the impact of religion on gender and women’s status. This panel addresses such key questions as, but limited to, how gender and religion are correlated? Whether and how women’s status is associated with their religion? What does happen to the association between religion and gender upon migration? Whether and how significantly do intergenerational variations exist in terms of the effect of religion on women’s status? Does the effect of a specific religion on women’s status vary in different settings? From a comparative perspective, what are the effects of varying religions (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, etc.) on gender dynamics and women’s status? What are more important determinants than religion on women’s status? We welcome both quantitative and qualitative papers with central focus on the association between religion and gender from cultural, economic, demographic and sociological perspectives.

Call for Papers: Religious Minorities: Muslims in the West and Minorities in the Islamic Societies

ISSR 2019 Conference,

International Society for the Sociology of Religion (Barcelona, 9-12 July 2019)

Please submit here :

Dr Yaghoob Foroutan,
Associate Professor at The University of Mazandaran

Abstract :
This panel provides an avenue to consider religious minorities with specific attention to the world’s fastest growing religion. It includes two interconnected parts: while the first part focuses on the status of Muslim minorities in the western societies, the second part looks at the status of religious minorities in the Islamic societies. In these varying contexts, this panel addresses such key questions as, but limited to, whether and to what extent do these religious minorities differ in terms of socio-economic and demographic experiences and religiosity in their residing society? In particular, do Muslim minorities differ from other religious groups in terms of these experiences? Are such experiences different within Muslim minorities by ethnicity and compositional characteristics? Whether and how significantly are such experiences influenced by the religiosity of Muslim minorities? Such particular questions can be also referred to religious minorities in the Islamic contexts. Accordingly, this panel primarily aims to explore the dimensions, determinants and differentials associated with socio-economic and demographic experiences and religiosity among Muslim minorities in the western societies and religious minorities in the Islamic societies. The contrasts designed in this panel will also provide evidence to examine Huntington’s theory asserting that Western ethno-religious minorities in the Islamic states are more discriminated against than Islamic minorities in Western states. The panel welcomes both quantitative and qualitative papers which address each of these two parts of this panel outlined above from cultural, economic, demographic and sociological perspectives.