New Book: Religious Indifference

Religious Indifference:
New Perspectives From Studies on Secularization and Nonreligion

Quack, Johannes, Schuh, Cora (Eds.)

Springer: https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319484747

This book provides a conceptually and empirically rich introduction to religious indifference on the basis of original anthropological, historical and sociological research.

Religious indifference is a central category for understanding contemporary societies, and a controversial one. For some scholars, a growing religious indifference indicates a dramatic decline in religiosity and epitomizes the endpoint of secularization processes. Others view it as an indicator of moral apathy and philosophical nihilism, whilst yet others see it as paving the way for new forms of political tolerance and solidarity. 

This volume describes and analyses the symbolic power of religious indifference and the conceptual contestations surrounding it. Detailed case studies cover anthropological and qualitative data from the UK, Germany, Estonia, the USA, Canada, and India analyse large quantitative data sets, and provide philosophical-literary inquiries into the phenomenon. They highlight how, for different actors and agendas, religious indifference can constitute an objective or a challenge. Pursuing a relational approach to non-religion, the book conceptualizes religious indifference in its interrelatedness with religion as well as more avowed forms of non-religion.

https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319484747

New Book: Religion, Education and Human Rights

Religion, Education and Human Rights:
Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives

Sjöborg, Anders, Ziebertz, Hans-Georg (Eds.) | Springer: https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319540689

Volume 1 in Religion and Human Rights

This book examines the interconnectedness between religion, education, and human rights from an international perspective using an interdisciplinary approach. It deals with compulsory or secondary school education in different contexts, as well as higher education, and has as its common theme the multiplicity of secularisms in different national contexts. Presenting rich cases, the contributions include empirical and theoretical perspectives on how international trends of migration and cultural diversity, as well as judicialization of social and political processes, and rapid religious and social changes come into play as societies find their way in an increasingly diverse context.

  • The book contains chapters that present case studies on how confessional or non-confessional Religious Education (RE) at schools in different societal contexts is related to the concept of universal human rights.
  • It presents cases studies that display an intriguing array of problems that point to the role of religion in the public sphere and show that historical contexts play important and different roles.
  • Other contributions deal with higher education, where one questions how human rights as a concept and as discourse is taught and examines whether withdrawing from certain clinical training when in university education to become a medical doctor or a midwife on the grounds of conscientious objections can be claimed as a human right.
  • From a judicial point of view one chapter discerns the construction of the concept of religion in the Swedish Education Act, in relation to the Swedish constitution as well European legislation.
  • Finally, an empirical study comparing data from young people in six different countries in three continents investigates factors that explain attitudes towards human rights.

https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319540689

New Book: Religious Beliefs, Evolutionary Psychiatry, and Mental Health in America

Religious Beliefs, Evolutionary Psychiatry, and Mental Health in America:
Evolutionary Threat Assessment Systems Theory

Series: Religion, Spirituality and Health: A Social Scientific Approach, Vol. 1

Flannelly, Kevin J. 2017 | Springer: https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319524870

This book provides a new perspective on the association between religious beliefs and mental health.

The book is divided into five parts:

  1. Part I traces the development of theories of organic evolution in the cultural and religious context before Charles Darwin.
  2. Part II describes the major evolutionary theories that Darwin proposed in his three books on evolution, and the religious, sociological, and scientific reactions to his theories.
  3. Part III introduces the reader to the concept of evolutionary psychiatry. It discusses how different regions of the brain evolved over time, and explains that certain brain regions evolved to protect us from danger by assessing threats of harm in the environment, including other humans. Specifically, this part describes: how psychiatric symptoms that are commonly experienced by normal individuals during their everyday lives are the product of brain mechanisms that evolved to protect us from harm; the prevalence rate of psychiatric symptoms in the U.S. general population; how religious and other beliefs influence the brain mechanisms that underlie psychiatric symptoms; and the brain regions that are involved in different psychiatric disorders.
  4. Part IV presents the findings of U.S. studies demonstrating that positive beliefs about God and life-after-death, and belief in meaning-in-life and divine forgiveness have salutary associations with mental health, whereas negative beliefs about God and life-after-death, belief in the Devil and human evil, and doubts about one’s religious beliefs have pernicious associations with mental health.
  5. Part V summarizes each section and recommends research on the brain mechanism underlying psychiatric symptoms, and the relationships among these brain mechanisms, religious beliefs, and mental health in the context of ETAS Theory.

https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319524870

Call for Papers: Religion and the Rise of Populism: Migration, Radicalism and New Nationalisms

http://explore.tandfonline.com/cfp/pgas/crss-call-for-papers-religion-rise-populism

The editors of the journal Religion, State and Society are pleased to invite contributions to a special issue, slated for publication in early 2018. The special issue will investigate the roles of religion in recent trends towards populist politics, in particular as manifested in public reactions to migration, the rise of new nationalisms, and the increasing prominence of radicalism.

Growing evidence suggests that these developments are taking centre stage throughout the world, set in a wider context of global political and economic uncertainty. It can also be observed that religion plays an important role in each of these three issues, often in ways that interconnect them. For example, the actions of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have exacerbated an already worrisome global migration crisis, while also heightening concerns about violent radicalism.  From France to the Philippines, public anxieties surrounding ISIS and domestic ‘radicalisation’ have become frequent motifs in populist rhetoric that links them with increasing flows of migrants as representative of threats to social security and the economic wellbeing of local populations.

Other examples of contemporary issues in which religion is implicated in populist politics and linked to migration, new nationalisms, and radicalism include: the emphasis on ‘Hindu values’ in the politics of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in India; the Christian or anti-Muslim rhetoric of American presidential candidates; the UK Brexit campaigners’ use of the prospective membership of ‘Muslim’ Turkey in the EU; the deepening significance of ‘traditionalist’ and pro-Orthodox rhetoric in Russia’s domestic and international politics; and the increasing prominence of religion-based identity politics in Poland, Hungary, and Croatia.

This special issue will seek to probe the various roles of religion in these interlinked issues and across comparative cases. There is an urgent need for considered academic analysis to discern how the rise of populism is connected to religion and the issues of migration, radicalism, and new nationalisms, to elucidate the broader empirical and theoretical implications for our understandings of religion, state, and society.

Areas of investigation can include but are by no means limited to:

  • Religious dimensions of populism in national contexts, including comparative perspectives
  • The migration crisis and its implications for religion-based identity politics in European societies and beyond
  • The ‘crisis’ of the European Union following the Brexit referendum, and its broader implications with relevance to religion
  • Religious dimensions of radicalism: discourses, movements, and politics
  • Religiously-based conservative and traditionalist movements in Europe, the United States, India, Russia, or other parts of the world, including comparative studies
  • Fringe and far-right political and vigilante groups and movements, and their politics of religion
  • Religious dimensions of the securitisation of borders and the ‘othering’ of excluded groups
  • Theoretical, legal, or discourse-based work on the role of religious, such as ‘Christian’ or ‘Hindu’, affinities in constructions of national identity and the operation of national institutions

This special issue of Religion, State and Society is planned for publication in the first half of 2018. The editors have been invited by Routledge to also consider republication of the contributions as a book.

Application Process

Please send completed papers of 6,000-8,000 words by 15 August 2017. To submit a paper, please register for an account and follow the submission instructions at the journal’s online submission portal: http://www.edmgr.com/crss

Before submitting your manuscript please read carefully the journal’s submission instructions, available on the RSS main website under the ‘Instructions for Authors’ page (http://www.tandfonline.com/crss). All manuscripts will go through the normal peer review process.

Questions related to the theme and potential ideas for papers can be discussed with the editors:
Dr Daniel Nilsson DeHanas (daniel.dehanas@kcl.ac.uk)
Dr Marat Shterin (marat.shterin@kcl.ac.uk)

Conference CFP–last call: “Religion(s) and Power(s)” Oct 5-6, 2017, Kaunas, Lithuania

Religion(s) and Power(s)

Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania

October 5-6, 2017

The Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions in cooperation with Latvian Society for the Study of Religions and Estonian Society for the Study of Religions invites proposals for its upcoming international conference “Religion(s) and Power(s)”. To encourage new directions in the critical research of interrelations of religion(s) and power(s) from a broad range of approaches, we are seeking proposals on a wide range of topics including: 

•    Private and public religions;

•    Religions and politics;

•    Non-religion and power;

•    Religious inequalities and discrimination;

•    Religions, human rights and justice;

•    Powers of/within religions;

•    Religion and nationalism;

•    Mythology, divine kinship and power;

•    Religion and colonialism;

•    Religions and education.

Other topics related to the conference theme are also encouraged. 

Conference paper and session proposals must be sent by June 15, 2017. Please send your 250-300 word abstract and a 200-word personal bio to email: religiousstudieslt@gmail.com

Important conference dates:

June 15, 2017 – submission of conference papers and sessions proposals;

July 1, 2017 – notification of paper/session proposal acceptance;

July 1, 2017 – opening of registration for the conference;

August 15, 2017 – closing of registration for the conference;

September 1, 2017 – announcement of the conference program.

Conference Registration Fees: 

–    Members of national associations of Baltic States associations for the study of religions – 50 EUR;

–    Permanent/full-time faculty and non-affiliated participants – 80 EUR;

–    Graduate students and emeritus faculty – 50 EUR;

–    Late bird conference fee – 100 EUR.

*       *       *

Vytautas Magnus University (hereinafter – VMU) has 10 faculties (Arts, Catholic Theology, Economics and Management, Humanities, Informatics, Law, Natural Sciences, Political Science and Diplomacy, Social Sciences, Music Academy), including 40 departments, 22 study and research centers, 3 laboratories and Psychology Clinic, Kaunas Botanical Garden, and other non-academic divisions. Main buildings of VMU are located in the center of Kaunas, the second biggest city of Lithuania. 

There are two possibilities to reach Kaunas. One way is to go by plane to Kaunas airport. Ryanair and Airbaltic companies operate flights to Kaunas airport that is connected with city by bus line. Another possibility is to fly to Vilnius airport and to go to Kaunas by train from Vilnius train station. The journey takes approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. There are also frequent buses from Vilnius bus station from Vilnius to Kaunas and return. Journey usually takes one hour and a half. 

There is wide variety of accommodation possibilities in Kaunas from four-three star hotels to B&B’s. 

*       *       *

Organising Committee of the conference: Anita Stasulane, Atko Remmel, Milda Alisauskiene, Rasa Pranskeviciute, Egle Aleknaite, David Tjurfell.

Announcement: Outstanding Director of the HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Tala

Director of the HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World 
Vacancy Ref: :  039922
 
The University of Edinburgh is seeking to appoint an outstanding Director of the HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World.
 
The HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World (www.alwaleed.ed.ac.uk) is a Centre within the University of Edinburgh, established in 2010, devoted to research, outreach and knowledge transfer, in the field of Islamic Studies. It is part of a network of Centres established by the HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Foundation, currently two in the United States (Harvard and Georgetown), two in the United Kingdom (Edinburgh and Cambridge), and two in the Middle East (the American University of Beirut and the American University in Cairo), which are devoted to the improvement of mutual understanding between the Muslim World and the West. Further details of the Objectives, Staff, and activities of the Edinburgh Alwaleed Centre can be found at www.alwaleed.ed.ac.uk.
 
As Director, and in consultation with Head of College and Head of School and other stakeholders, you will set a strategic vision for the Centre’s development covering research, outreach and impact to raise the Centre’s international profile, build research and teaching partnerships across the University, and creatively engage with a broad range of external individuals and organisations.
 
A successful track record of leadership, strong intellectual credentials, and the ability to command credibility amongst senior figures in academia and beyond is essential. A successful candidate for this position will be appointed, if suitably qualified and as appropriate, to a Chair at the University at the same time.
 
For a confidential discussion, please contact Professor Jeremy Robbins, Head of School, Literatures, Languages and Cultures – Tel: +44 (0)131 650 3638.
 
This is a full time, open ended position based on 35 hours each week. Salary will be negotiable depending on track record and experience.
 
Closing date: 5pm (GMT) Wednesday 14th June 2017.
 
Further information and details on how to apply can be found at the following link:https://www.vacancies.ed.ac.uk/pls/corehrrecruit/erq_jobspec_version_4.jobspec?p_id=039922

Call for Papers: Strong Religion and Mainstream Culture Youth, Education, and Technology

Umeå University, Sweden
9–10 November 2017
Historically, the relationship between strong, conservative religion and modern society has been a complex one. Various means of inclusion and exclusion have been employed by mainstream society, and the religious groups themselves have applied both world-fleeing and world-mastering strategies. In contemporary Europe, the liberal multicultural society is being challenged by polarized religious fundamentalism of both Christian and Islamic foundation. This conference wants to highlight the past and present encounters between strong religion and mainstream society in general, but preferably with respect to youth, education, and technology. Special interest will be paid to young people and their ways of relating to both strong religion and the ideologies and attributes of modernity.

The organizers invite papers that address the theme in various ways. Papers can focus on either general aspects of the main theme or any of the subthemes, and develop both internal and external perspectives on religious communities, in history as well as contemporary culture. Possible aspects include approaches to and use of technology at individual and group levels; ideas and mechanisms of upbringing, socialization and educa-tion; sites of separation and integration such as schools, including attempts at interreligious education and reli-gious dialogue, etc. Empirical cases are encouraged, but theoretical contributions are also welcome.

Keynotes

Dr Wolfram Weisse, Professor of Religious Education at University of Hamburg, Germany
Dr Pauline Cheong, Professor of Communication at Arizona State University, USA

Abstracts

Proposals for papers to be presented at the conference must be submitted no later than 15 June 2017. The requested information includes name, title and institutional affiliation of presenter(s), title of paper, and an ab-stract of the proposed paper of maximum 300 words. Please upload your abstract here.

Important Dates

15 June 2017 Deadline for submission of abstracts
1 July 2017 Notification of acceptance
30 September 2017 Deadline for registration and payment of conference fee

Organizers

The conference is an activity of the European Bible Belt project, funded by the Dutch research council NWO and directed by Professor Fred van Lieburg, Free University, Amsterdam. It will be co-hosted by the Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, and Humlab, Umeå University.

More information

Contact persons: Prof. Daniel Lindmark +46 (0)90 786 6250 daniel.lindmark@umu.seAssoc. Prof. Stefan Gelfgren +46 (0)90 786 5087 stefan.gelfgren@umu.se

Website: http://www.trippus.net/Strongreligion2017