CFP: Islamic Legal Studies Conference


The IX Islamic Legal Studies Conference, convened by the International Society of Islamic Legal Studies (ISILS) under the auspices of the Universities of Helsinki and Tampere, Finland, June 6–9, 2018

ISILS invites paper proposals for its ninth Islamic Law and Society conference, to be held in Finland, June 6–9, 2018. Unlike previous conferences, the conference will be open topic—presentations on all aspects of Islamic law, from earliest to most recent times, are welcome.

The conference will be divided into two parts. In the first, which will take place in Helsinki, a keynote address and an invited panel of five speakers will present on “Islamic Law and the Relationship between Ruler and Ruled.” The keynote will be given by Frank Vogel (Cambridge, MA), who will explore Sharia doctrine regarding legal status of the governed. It will be followed by a panel made up of Lena Salaymeh (Tel Aviv), Christian Müller (Paris), Evgenia Kermeli (Ankara), Rob Gleave (Exeter), and Mulki al-Sharmani (Helsinki), who will each present case studies from different periods evidencing the shaping and reconstituting of subjecthood in legal practice.

The second part, which will take place in Tampere over two-and-a-half days, will consist of 20-minute presentations; preference is given to discussions based on primary text analysis or fieldwork. The conference language is English. Abstracts of up to 400 words, clearly presenting and contextualizing the argument, methodology, sources used, and historiographical importance, are due by July 31, 2017; please send to The abstracts, from which twenty will be chosen, will be read by an ISILS committee. Acceptance letters will be sent out by September 1, 2017. Speakers must be ISILS members.

Speakers are expected to attend the entirety of the conference. Lodging, meals, and transportation between Helsinki and Tampere will be covered by our Finnish hosts. Some assistance may be available for help with travel costs, but speakers should work on the assumption that funds for travel to and from the conference will be unavailable.

New Issue of Critical Research on Religion

We are pleased to announce the publication of the August 2017 issue of Critical Research on Religion (Volume: 5, Number: 2)

Below you will find the table of contents:

Special Section: Foucault and religion: Critical engagements:

  • “A genealogy of critique: From parrhesia to prophecy” Tom Boland, Paul Clogher
  • “Reexamining Foucault on confession and obedience: Peter Schaefer’s Radical Pietism as counter-conduct” Elisa Heinämäki
  • “Pastoral power, sovereignty and class: Church, tithe and simony in Quebec” Bruce Curtis


  • “Contextualizing “religion” of young Karl Marx: A preliminary analysis” Mitsutoshi Horii
  • “Nomad self-governance and disaffected power versus semiological state apparatus of capture: The case of Roma Pentecostalism” Cerasela Voiculescu

Response to April 2017 Editorial:

  • “On neither burying nor praising religion” Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi

Book Reviews:

  • “Donovan O. Schaefer, Religious Affects: Animality, Evolution, and Power” Lucas Scott Wright
  • “Carlin A Barton and Daniel Boyarin, Imagine No Religion: How Modern Abstractions Hide Ancient Realities” Nickolas P Roubekas
  • “Vincent L Wimbush (ed), Scripturalizing the Sacred: The Written as Political” Michael J Altman

Editorial Team: Warren S. Goldstein, Jonathan Boyarin, and Rebekka King
Critical Research on Religion Editorial Office

ISCOR Newsletter

Number 1, 2017

Editors: Katiuscia Carnà, Nicolamaria Coppola

January 2017

ICSOR, International Center for the Sociology of Religion, was founded in Rome in January 2017. On the 5th January 2017, ICSOR’s Board of Directors – convened via computer – made the following appointments:

  • Secretary and Delegate of the Board of Scientific Advisors: Cecilia Costa
  • Treasurer: Maria Mansi
  • President: Roberto Cipriani

Katiuscia Carnà and Nicolamaria Coppola were co-opted as members of the Board. Professor Franco Ferrarotti is Honorary President of ICSOR. Professor José Casanova chairs the International Board of Advisors.

On the 26th January 2017, beginning at 6 pm, at the ICSOR headquarters in Rome, viale delle Milizie 108, the Institute officially began its activities with a paper by Professor Emanuela C. Del Re, sociologist of religion, Professor of the Sociology of Middle-Eastern Political Phenomena and of the Sociology of Cultural Processes, expert in Geopolitics and National Coordinator of the Italian Association of Sociology, AIS’s National Section the Sociology of Religion. Her paper was entitled: “Yazidi e minoranze religiose in Medio Oriente” [Yazidi and religious minorities in the Middle East]. A documentary made by Professor Del Re in the KRG entitled La festa negata [The feast denied] was screened. This film is available on Youtube at

In October 2013, Professor Emanuela Del Re, President of the EPOS organisation, filmed one of the most important Yazidi festivity, Jazhna Jamaye (Feast of the Assembly), held at the temple in Lalish, in Iraqi Kurdistan. Last year the feast was cancelled and the motivation given was for “reasons of public safety”. In effect, in Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, in the month of September there had been an attack that heightened security awareness considerably. The Kurdistan authorities thought it would be better to avoid large-scale crowds like that which the Yazidi festival would have attracted therefore, they forbade its celebration. The temple was placed under imposing security measures with strict controls. Following the screening of the film all those present took part in a debate with Professor Del Re. Some light refreshment was then provided.

February 2017

On the 21st February 2017, beginning at 6 pm, at the ICSOR headquarters in Rome, viale delle Milizie 108, Nicolamaria Coppola, PhD Candidate in Applied Social Sciences at Rome’s La Sapienza University, Doctor in Multimedia Publishing and New Information Professions, General Secretary of the EPOS non-profit Organisation, presented his book Omosessualità in Medio Oriente. Identità gay tra religione, cultura e politica [Homosexuality in the Middle East. Gay identity amid religion, culture and politics], published by Aracne. The author was present and sociologist, Professor Massimiliano Ruzzeddu, acted as moderator.   . . .

[This interesting newsletter continues for two more pages.  The entire newsletter is attached as a PDF file]

Two PhD scholarships for dissertation projects related to Buddhism.

The Doctoral Program in Buddhist Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany offers two PhD scholarships for dissertation projects related to Buddhism.

  •   Deadline for applications:    22 October 2017
  •   Start of scholarship:         Summer or autumn 2018
  •   Duration of scholarship:      3 or 4 years
  • Scholarship amount:           EUR1000 per month + insurance + support for  rent + EUR460 per year + lump sums for travel
  • Scholarship donor:            German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

The Doctoral Program in Buddhist Studies at the Ludwigs-Maximilian-Universität in Munich is based on a cooperation between Asian Studies (Indology, Japanology, Sinology, Tibetology) and Religious Studies and promotes and supervises PhD theses related to Buddhism within a broad range of subjects and disciplines. To strengthen the disciplinary and communicative skills of the doctoral students, the research-oriented study program is complemented by workshops and teaching placements as well as by transferable skills training.

Intensive supervision by mentoring teams helps students to accomplish doctoral projects at the highest level. In addition, the integration of the doctoral candidates into interdisciplinary and international networks promotes their professional development as young scholars.

The selection process comprises two stages: Applications are sent to the Doctoral Program in Buddhist Studies in Munich. The program will select promising candidates, who then have to submit their materials to the DAAD. It is expected that the successful candidates will be chosen and informed by February 2018.

The prerequisites for application are:

  • non-German citizenship
  • a Master of Arts or Magister Artium degree or equivalent in a relevant field
  • excellent knowledge of at least one Buddhist source language
  • outstanding qualifications in the subject
  • and fluency in English.

A basic knowledge of German is also desirable, though not a prerequisite, but willingness to learn German/improve German language skills will be expected. Applicants should not have lived in Germany for more than fifteen months at the time of the submission of their materials to the DAAD (in December or January), and the last final examination should have taken place no more than six years before this date.

For details concerning the application, please visit our homepage:

Dr. Simone Heidegger
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Doctoral Program in Buddhist Studies
Oettingen-Str. 67
D-80538 München
Tel.: (+49)-89-2180-9809
Fax:  (+49)-89-2180-9801

Free Access: Journal of Muslims in Europe

The academic publisher Brill is making issue 3-1 of the Journal of Muslims in Europe freely available on line. For those who are not yet familiar with the Journal this issue gives a good representation of the journal’s geographical and topical breadth, and it includes a good selection of book reviews.

Please feel free to circulate an announcement among your colleagues and on any relevant mailing list that you can think of. Here’s the direct link to the issue:

There is no end date to the free access and no access code needed.


all for Papers

Exploring Contemporary Muslim Art, Culture and Heritage in Britain
14th September 2017, Birmingham

Art and culture provide a means of communication, an alternative platform to share stories, celebrate contributions to society and challenge misconceptions and stereotypes. In Britain, Muslim art and culture are in transition as we see interchange between artists inspired by the traditional Islamic arts and those who are finding new ways of weaving together their British and Muslim identities. A rising generation is using artistic forms such as music, film, literature, photography, poetry and comedy to express themselves. As well as celebrating the diversity of British Muslim identity, these artists and cultural producers explore difficult issues and help bridge divides between communities.

This new world creates exciting opportunities but also uneasy tensions as to where these practices can fit in the traditional canons of visual and performing arts, the heritage and museum sectors, in literature and even popular culture in Britain. British Muslims often find it difficult to present their work in mainstream arts and cultural establishments such as theatres, galleries and museums. Many upcoming Muslim artists work alone and often struggle to fund their work. Furthermore, the persistence of stereotypical representations of Muslims in popular media and cultural industries makes it harder for Muslims in the arts and cultural sectors to reach a wide audience.

This one-day Muslims in Britain Research Network conference will create space for critical dialogue and community exchange by bringing aspiring and established Muslim artists and cultural producers together with eminent scholars and researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs and arts funders. The conference will provide a space to discuss, inform, connect and engage through a program of lectures, presentations, panel discussions and workshops. Cultural experts will share insights into the key factors affecting Muslim arts and culture in Britain and will address the practical questions facing Muslim artists in the UK – from applying for their first grant to running an arts organisation, from creating social change to establishing and receiving commissions for national and international work.

We invite the submission of papers, presentations, talks, session proposals, panel discussions, lightning talks, short performances to be presented on Thursday 14th September 2017 at a Birmingham venue (to be confirmed). We welcome proposals from scholars, curators, artists, cultural producers and programmers, and students and independent researchers. Sessions that include a mixture of scholars/researchers and practitioners are particularly encouraged. Although all paper proposals should speak to the theme of Muslim art and culture, we welcome submissions from individuals from any faith background and none.

Themes we hope to cover in the conference include:

  • • How are Muslims in Britain exploring identity, belonging and social change through art, culture and heritage?
  • • How are Muslim art and culture represented in the cultural sector in Britain? Are the cultural industries responding to British Muslims’ demand for culture?
  • • What does contemporary ‘Muslim’ and ‘Islamic’ art mean?
  • • How does contemporary British Muslim cultural production compare/relate to the past and to other cultural contexts?
  • • How are Muslim arts in Britain developing?
  • • What strategies are needed to grow, fund, and sustain Muslim cultural production without compromising on beliefs and creativity?

Individual presentations/responses should last no longer than 10-12 mins, and a full panel session no longer than one hour including audience Q&A.

To participate please send a 200 word abstract to the email address below by Monday 31st July 2017 along with a biography of no more than 50 words (per speaker).

Abstract submissions and any general questions should be sent to the conference organisers at

Selected academic papers and practitioner responses will be considered for publishing in a conference report and/or recorded and placed online.

The Durham Conference on Ecclesiology and Ethnography

Conference update!

We are excited to announce an excellent line up for the 2017 conference with some great people presenting.  The deadline for the call for papers is 31st July, so if you’d like to present too, there’s still time. 
We have had some technical issues this year, so please email abstracts directly to Knut Tveitereid, with your name and contact details.  Abstracts should be no more than 200 words.  For more information, an outline timetable, and booking details, see the full conference page.  Conference places can be booked until 31st August.

If you have submitted an abstract already and have not heard from Knut, your original upload may not have arrived.  Please email him directly with your abstract and details.  We are really sorry if you have been waiting and have not been contacted.  With your help, we can get this straightened out very quickly. 

Looking forward to seeing you all in beautiful Durham!
Pete Ward, Sarah Dunlop and Knut Tveitereid
E+E conference team