Call for Papers: NSRN 2016 Conference, “Approaching Nonreligion”

The NSRN are delighted to announce their 2016 conference, which will be co-hosted with the ‘Diversity of Nonreligion’ Research Project at the University of Zürich, Switzerland, 7-9 July 2016.

See below for the Call for Papers (deadline 15 January 2016) which can also be downloaded as a PDF. Please share widely.

There is also a dedicated conference webpage that will be updated with information about the conference as and when we have new information:


2016 Conference

Call for Papers

Approaching Nonreligion: Conceptual, methodical, and empirical approaches in a new research field

“The Diversity of Nonreligion” & NSRN Conference 2016

7-9 July 2016, University of Zürich, Switzerland

For some years now, nonreligious phenomena have not only sparked public, but also scholarly attention. A rising number of scholars have begun to engage with both organized and non-organized forms of nonreligion. We want to use this conference to go beyond the discussion of terms and individual findings to facilitate exchange over different approaches, and engage with the following broader questions:

  • What phenomena are approached in research projects on nonreligion and how is nonreligion construed in different studies?
  • What are central theoretical references for studies on nonreligion, and in what way do scholars engage with related broader debates on religion and secularity?
  • What are methodic and methodological challenges and approaches in concrete empirical research?
  • What scientific traditions and sources of inspiration motivate and guide researchers in the field of nonreligion?
  • In what ways is research on nonreligion entangled with religious-nonreligious contestations?

The conference brings together empirical research with conceptual and methodological reflection, as well as a self-reflexive perspective on the research field itself.

There will be room for both individual papers as well as prepared panels. We welcome scholarly contributions from different scientific fields. Please apply with either an abstract for an individual paper or a proposal for a thematic session (2-4 individual papers). Please name your institutional affiliation if possible. Please send your proposal (200-300 words) to:

Deadline for proposals: January 15th 2016, Notification of acceptance: January 30th 2016

Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies (ISEK), University of Zürich, Switzerland (

The Diversity of Nonreligion: Religious-Nonreligious Dynamics in the Contemporary World (

Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network (

NSRN Recruiting Website Editor

As part of our ongoing development of the NSRN and our online presence, we are seeking a new member of our online team. This individual will take on the role of Managing Editor, and will be responsible for the general overseeing and maintenance of website, co-ordinating of the NSRN Online team, and undertaking a refurbishment/redevelopment of the existing website.

The successful applicant should:

  • Be involved – whether as a student (of any level), a professional academic, or independent researcher – within the academic study of nonreligion and secularity (broadly conceived)
  • Have a working knowledge of WordPress, in addition to general computing and social media skills.
  • Be a reliable and independent worker, able to both delegate tasks and work as part of a team.

All roles within the NSRN are unpaid; however, we hope that the chance to be involved in a major international hub for the study of nonreligion, secularity and related concepts, the opportunities which accompany this, and the chance to creatively make their mark on our web presence will be acceptable compensation for the efforts of the successful applicant.

If you are interested in this position, please send an academic CV accompanied by a brief note of interest of no more than 500 words detailing your suitability for the role, relevant experience, and any suggestions you may have for further developments of the NSRN’s website and online presence and how you might implement these. These materials, and any questions relating to the position, should be directed to NSRN Co-Director Christopher R. Cotter at by 6 November 2015.

Please feel free to circulate this advert to relevant colleagues and networks. A PDF can be downloaded below.

NSRN Managing Editor Advert (PDF)

NSRN Annual Lecture

NSRN Annual Lecture 2015: Outline of a Theory of Religious-Secular Competition

We are delighted to announce our 2015 Annual Lecture, presented in cooperation with the Department of Social Anthropology & Cultural Studies (ISEK) at the University of Zurich, and the Emmy Noether-project “The Diversity of Nonreligion.”

Outline of a Theory of Religious-Secular Competition

Prof. Dr. Jörg Stolz (University of Lausanne)

Thursday, November 12, 2015, 6pm

Venue: University of Zurich (UZH) Oerlikon Campus Andreasstr. 15, 8050 Zurich Room: AND 3.02/06 (3rd floor)

A flyer can be downloaded here (pdf).

NSRN Annual Lecture

Publication of special journal issue on “Atheism, Secularity, and Science.”

Announcing the publication of “Atheism, Secularity, and Science,” a special issue of the journal Science, Religion & Culture, guest edited by John R. Shook, Ralph W. Hood Jr., and Thomas J. Coleman III. The journal issue contains theoretical and empirical articles covering a wide range of topics related to atheism and secularity. It begins with an introduction by the editors discussing key areas in the field, within which they situate this issue’s articles on topics such as definitions and discourse, measurement, mental wellbeing, organized nonbelief and humanism, growth of the “nones,” secularity of academics, hypothetical god image, and deconversion narratives in Rabbis. The issue concludes with three book reviews on The Problem of Animal Pain, The New Atheist Novel, and Living the Secular Life.

Science, Religion & Culture is an open access peer reviewed journal and the special issue, “Atheism, Secularity, and Science” can be viewed here:

NSRN Series 2

New Books in NSRN Book Series

The NSRN and De Gruyter are pleased to announce the first three publications in their book seriesReligion and its Others: Studies in Religion, Nonreligion, and Secularity:

For more on the series, see here:

Download Flyer

NSRN Series 2

Call for papers: Special Issue of Secularism & Nonreligion: Intersectionality and Power

The NSRN co-sponsored Journal Secularism & Nonreligion is seeking submissions for a special issue on “Intersectionality and Power”, Guest Editors: Penny Edgell, Evan Stewart, and Jacqui Frost, University of Minnesota.

The deadline for submission has been extended to 18 September 2015.

See here for more information.

289 new additions to our bibliography of relevant publications

After a long hiatus, 289 new items have been added to the NSRN bibliography. These new items can be viewed here:

The bibliography can also be viewed in a list organised by author surname or publication date.

As ever, the bibliography is a collaborative enterprise and we cannot claim that it is comprehensive of all relevant NSRN related publications. If you spot any gaps, at any point, you can let us know via this comment form on the website and we will add the publication at our next update.