And the winner is….’Non-Religion and Secularity’ from Journal of Contemporary Religion

We have received the news that the NSRN’s special issue of Journal of Contemporary Religion has topped the list of ‘most wanted’ of special issues published by Routledge! We are also pleased to note that the list in general shows and interest in the secular and the nonreligious. Thank you to everyone who voted!

Free Access to the Top 3 Most Wanted Special Issues

These issues are now available for you to read for free
online until 28th Febuary 2013.

In first place with the most overall votes.

‘Non-Religion and Secularity’ from Journal of Contemporary Religion

A close runner up in second place.

‘Mindfulness: diverse perspective on its meaning, origins and
multiple applications at the intersection of science and dharma’ from
Contemporary Buddhism

and finally, in third place.

‘Post-Secular Trends: Issues in Education and Faith’ from Journal of
Beliefs & Values: Studies in Religion and Education

Read these articles for free today at


CFP: Social relations and Human Security Conference

The Centre for Social Relations is Calling for papers on topics relevent to the network, including the role of belief and the impact of Secularism and Pluralism in local, national and international contexts.

Social relations and Human Security Conference

Friday 22nd – Saturday 23rd March
Centre for Social Relations (incorporating the Institute
of Community Cohesion), Coventry University

We live in an interconnected world that transports social issues across and between people, sectors, communities and societies. Tackling some of the drivers and misconceptions that underpin the most pressing problems for societies today –ethnicity, the environment, or socio-economics – requires continued multi-disciplinary dialogue between, governments, practitioners and publics.

The context of contemporary people-to-people relationships and the consequences of differences are both an opportunity and challenge for human security agendas. The question of how we interact, whether at work or at home, with people who we perceive as different to us is central to our sense of stability and security, not just for ourselves, but also for our families and communities. How do we challenge polarising narratives and negative representations through new models of engagement or dialogue? How can we develop communities where people interact in a meaningful way and experience true equality of opportunity? How can we help to equip people in the UK and globally to live engaged and peaceful lives in pluralistic societies?

In learning to understand how our social relations play out in communities both locally and globally, we can begin to address how to live together in peaceful relationships in a world of difference.
Keynote speakers include:
Professor Linda Woodhead, Professor in the sociology of religion in the Department of Politics, Philosophy & Religion at Lancaster University,
Prof. Salman Hameed, Director Centre for the study of Science in Muslim Societies, Hampshire College, US.
Registration Fees: Coventry University will be offering a subsidized rate for registration and accommodation for all delegates and a significantly subsidized rate for registration and accommodation to all postgraduate students, recently qualified postdoc’s or early career scholars who are not currently in full-time employment. Registration fees will be advertised shortly.
Publications: We are currently in discussion with publishers to produce an edited volume of selected papers from this conference. Further details will be available in due course and a call for submissions will be circulated to those who successfully submit a paper to the conference.
Abstract submission:

Our conference will explore the importance of work under the broad banner of social relations in policymaking, international inter-cultural dialogue/cross-community dialogue and academic research. Applied research, empirical studies and critical theoretical papers are welcomed on topics including, but not limited to:
• Agendas for social relations at a community level
• The role of belief, class or ethnicity in society, public space, or discourse
• New directions in intercultural dialogue/cross community dialogue
• The impact of top down vs. bottom up approaches on communities and policy
• Individuality vs. Individualism
• Secularism and Pluralism in local, national and international contexts
• Multiculturalism, Identity and Integration
• Inter-generational conflict/relations
• Do we need a new social contract for diversity?
Proposals are welcomed from researchers of all nationalities at all stages of their careers.
Session proposals should normally consist of three or four papers, with or without a commentator/chair. Sessions will be 90 minutes to 2 hours long. Proposals for alternative types of session (eg. round-table or witness seminar) are strongly encouraged. Please discuss this with us in advance of the Call for Papers deadline.
Proposals for individual papers should include an abstract of no more than 250 words. Abstracts should not contain footnotes and should be comprehensible to a non-specialist audience.
The deadline for submitting a session or abstract is 14th January 2013

Abstracts should be submitted to:
Any enquiries should be directed to: Dr Fern Elsdon-Baker
For further information and updates please go to:

Events: Forum on Religion Audra Mitchell and Stacey Gutkowski

Forum on Religion Seminar

Date: 23 January 2013
Time: 16.30-18.00
Venue: Seligman Library (OLD 6.05), Old Building, LSE

Audra Mitchell (University of York)
‘Bringing Secularity (Back) into International Relations: Immanence, Agency and Intervention’


Stacey Gutkowski (King’s College, London)
‘Secular Ways of War’

Event: Perspectives on Secularisation, Oxford Brookes University, January 2013

Annual Ecclesiastical History Colloquium 2013

Thursday 17 January 2013, 15:00 until 19:00

Location: Lecture Theatre, Harcourt Hill Campus

The subject for this year’s colloquium will be Perspectives on Secularisation with speakers including:

Professor JCD Clark, University of Kansas
Professor Callum Brown, Dundee University
David Nash, Professor of History, Oxford Brookes University


3.00pm: David Nash (Professor of History, Oxford Brookes University)
“Beyond Secularisation –pursuing the logic of narrative treatments of religion.”

4.00pm: Tea

4.30pm: Callum Brown (Professor of Religious and Cultural History, University of Dundee)
“What is Secularisation?”

J. C. D. Clark (Hall Distinguished Professor at University of Kansas)
“Secularization, positivism and physics”

Followed by a roundtable discussion
6.30pm: Buffet dinner

There is no charge for this event, but please confirm attendance by clicking on the online registration link below by Tuesday 8th January 2013.

Please contact Jo Middleton (Administrator of the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History –, 01865 488455) with enquiries.

CFP: Religion, Secularity, and the Public Sphere in East and Southeast Asia

Date: 07 Mar 2013 – 08 Mar 2013
Venue: Asia Research Institute Seminar Room
469A Tower Block, Level 10, Bukit Timah Road
National University of Singapore

Co-organised by the Asia Research Institute, NUS and the University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy Contemporary Philosophy in the Age of Globalization, Japan

The ongoing debate about the secular public sphere reaches to the core of the issue of the foundation of modern political power. Scholars upholding liberal democracy insist on a normative, privatized definition of religion in their efforts to sustain the secular, rational public sphere. Critiques of this approach call into question the viability of the distinction between the religious and the secular, and argue the public sphere, far from a free space for rational political discussions, is the very terrain where the public power of the state is deployed to ensure the proper formation of its national-citizens by shaping what they believe as truth. This debate reflects a primary concern with religion and the state as manifested in European and North American context. This conference is an attempt to engage the conversations on religion, secularity and the public sphere from the specific sites of East and Southeast Asia. The goals are to problematize social-political conditions and generate new ways to understand state-society relations in these regions.

Two anchoring points ground the more specific discussions of each paper. First, the “religious” and the “secular” are categories of performativity that have been instrumental in constructing distinctions of the private and public, belief and reason, distinctions central for the operation of the power of modern nation-state. We seek to examine these performativity moves of the categories of the religious and the secular through specific case studies of East and Southeast Asia. Second, the secular public sphere will be rethought. It operates upon the premise of exclusion of what is defined as religion. Questioning the “secular” nature of the public sphere requires interrogations into such notions as public good, citizenship, minority, ethnicity, freedom, and fundamentally the relation of the individual with the public authority of the state. Instead of the liberal democratic public sphere, we propose the possibility of envisioning an alternative one that is unbound, inclusive, and embodied. The conference seeks in the past and present of East and Southeast Asia alternative conceptions and practices of that which can be called a public realm.

We pursue these issues while addressing specific questions of:

  • In what ways are ongoing discussions on religion, secularity and the public sphere relevant to E/SE Asia?
  • How were these ideas shared, borrowed, understood and experienced in this part of the world?
  • How were/are the pre-modern or indigenous conceptions, such as gōnggòng/kōkyō 公共 (public) or maslaha (public good), transformed in modern nation-state building?
  • How did the diverse populations of Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and adherents of other religions in Asia pursue “public good”?
  • How did the definition of religion relate to constructions of nation-states and of modern scientific knowledge in Asia?
  • How did the secular become constitutive of modes of representations of the state in the diverse Asian contexts?
  • How were/are the principles of religion-state separation and religious freedom legally and politically instituted and practiced? What tensions and problems were generated in the process?
  • How and in what sense do the religious revivals in Asia challenge the very ideas of the public sphere and the nation-state, and why?

Papers from any field in the humanities or social sciences are welcome. We are particularly interested in theoretically informed empirical study of cases, issues and events pertaining to the conference themes.
Successful applicants will be notified by January, 2013 and will be required to send a draft paper (5,000-7,000 words) by February 15, 2013. Travel and accommodation support is available from the Asia Research Institute, depending on need and availability of funds.

Workshop Convenors:

Dr. Yijiang Zhong
Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

Assoc. Prof. Yongjia Liang
Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore


Mr Jonathan Lee
Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
Contact Person: Mr LEE Ming Yao, Jonathan

Call For Submission

The launch  of the NYUP’s book series on Secular Studies was announced earlier this year and is seeking submissions, details attached.

The Secular Studies series is meant to provide a home for works in the emerging field of secular studies. Rooted in a social science perspective, it will explore and illuminate various aspects of secular life, ranging from how secular people live their lives and how they construct their identities to the activities of secular social movements, from the demographics of secularism to the ways in which secularity intersects with other social processes, identities, patterns, and issues.