CFP: International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society

Sixth International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society

23-24 May 2016

The Catholic University of America


Washington D.C., USA

Current Submission Deadline*:
 18 March 2015

PLEASE NOTE: The Fifth International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society is taking place at the University of California at Berkley, 16-17 April 2015. Proposals are still being accepted for a short time. Click here for more details.

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CFP: Pilgrimage to the Heart of the Sacred The Sacred Journeys: Pilgrimage and Beyond Project

Call for Presentations

The Sacred Journeys: Pilgrimage and Beyond Project: 2nd Global Meeting

Friday 3rd July – Sunday 5th July 2015
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom


Call for Presentations:
Pilgrimage is a cross-cultural phenomenon that facilitates interaction between and among diverse peoples from countless cultures and walks of life. In the 2nd Global Conference, we will continue to explore the many personal, interpersonal, intercultural, and international dimensions of this profound phenomenon.

Among the key issues that emerged from Sacred Journeys I: Pilgrimage and Beyond, were:

1. Definition of Pilgrimage:
‘Travel for transformation’ embraces the sacred journey as a potential turning point in one’s life. Witness the avalanche of books by pilgrims who have experienced the Camino, or those who have been influenced by the transformation of others, like Malcolm X.  After his experience of the Hajj pilgrimage, the activist was stirred to reevaluate his lifelong journey in search of justice and reconciliation as well as his thinking regarding race relations in the United States. Questions arise as to how and when a journey becomes ‘sacred’ and how and when pilgrimage devolves into a mere tourist endeavor.  Does tourism merely observe the authentic in others, whereas pilgrimage seeks it for oneself?

2. Reinforcing the Vision of the Ultimate Unity of Humanity:
Pilgrimage scholar George Greenia’s insight that ‘pilgrimages generate the least violent mass public gatherings [that] humankind has designed for itself’ inspires the question: In what ways can the concept of the sacred journey lend itself to envisioning a world united in difference?  We can reflect, for instance, on the sacred journey to Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka, a site of interfaith and intercultural pilgrimage interpreted differently by various pilgrim sects. For Buddhists, a sacred footprint in a rock formation is said to belong to Buddha, whereas for Hindus, it is deemed to be Shiva’s footprint, and for Muslims and Christians, it is thought to be Adam’s. This pilgrimage site provides a powerful example of interfaith cooperation.

3. Pilgrimage and Globalization:
The global playing field is leveling and technology is impacting pilgrims in innumerable ways. In Mecca, for instance, telephone ‘apps’ assist Hajj pilgrims searching for animals for sacrifice; in Lourdes, another ‘app’ provides details on miraculous healings, proudly declaring, ‘A miracle could happen’ during the pilgrim’s visit. Infrastructural and support services are also improving, and jour­neys once thought to be too diffi­cult or challenging, such as that to Amarnath in India, are now within reach of vast numbers of pilgrims. Will modern conveniences alter traditional experiences, create entirely new ones, or both?

4. Modernization and the Global Trend Towards the Dissolution of Traditional Ways:
Pilgrims cling to what they ascertain as familiar and reaffirm what they believe to be ‘true’ at local levels. There may be a growing awareness that ‘the world is one’ and that we must work together to deal with our common ecological, political, and security problems, but in the interest of cultural survival, primordial standard-bearers like nation, tribe, and race have been reified and re-energized; for instance, journeys of all persuasions are now being undertaken along ancient pathways that have been rediscovered and/or redeveloped. What kinds of trends along these lines might we forecast for the future?

5. Secular Pilgrimage:
Major secular pilgrimage sites, such as to Abbey Road in London, or to Elvis Presley’s home ‘Graceland’, or Jim Morrison’s (The Doors) grave site in Paris, attract astonishing numbers of ‘pilgrims’. What are the similarities and differences between sacred and secular pilgrimages? More and more we are living in a ‘global village’ and the ‘pilgrimage in my front room’ phenomenon is facilitated by video and satellite links. These changes raise the question: must pilgrimages, whether sacred or secular, always involve a physical journey ‘in league’ with others? Virtual or alternative pilgrimages are important topics for consideration; so, too, are related online experiences that recreate the pilgrimage or tourism experience in a virtual world.

In light of our broad exploration, and these new directions, we would also welcome proposals that might take into consideration the following:

* New definitions of sacred and secular pilgrimage, and the question of authenticity.
* How historical perspectives on the meaning(s) of pilgrimages and motives for travel are changing over time.
* The metaphor of ‘the journey’ as explored by writers, artists, performers and singers, including humanists, agnostics, atheists and musicians.
* The notion of journeying toward ‘salvation’.
* Pilgrimage and ‘miracles’ and the related topic of thanksgiving.
* The post-pilgrimage experience (which can be non-religious and/or secular, involving, for instance devotional exercises, meditation practices, mental journeys, etc).
* ‘Dark’ pilgrimages to sites of remembrance and commemoration (i.e., the Hiroshima Peace Museum, the Irish National Famine Museum, Rwanda genocide memorials, etc.).

The Steering Group welcomes the submission of proposals for short workshops, practitioner-based activities, performances, and pre-formed panels. We particularly welcome short film screenings; photographic essays; installations; interactive talks and alternative presentation styles that encourage engagement.

What to Send:
Proposals will also be considered on any related theme. 300 word proposals should be submitted by Friday 13th March 2015. If a proposal is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper of no more than 3000 words should be submitted by Friday 22nd May 2015. Proposals should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; proposals may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Sacred Journeys 2 Proposal Submission.

All abstracts will be at least double blind peer reviewed. Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:
Ian McIntosh: imcintos@iupui.edu
Eileen Moore Quinn: quinne@cofc.edu
Rob Fisher: sj2@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the Persons series of ongoing research and publications projects conferences, run within the Probing the Boundaries domain which aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore innovative and challenging routes of intellectual and academic exploration. All proposals accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook.  Selected proposals may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.

Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

CFP: Unchurched Religion in Central and Eastern Europe

The Journal for Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe (RASCEE) invites the submission of original research articles dealing with the topic of Unchurched Religion in Central and Eastern Europe.

There is an ongoing debate in sociology of religion whether new forms of religious beliefs supplement or substitute conventional forms of religiosity or not. Most of the evidence for the proliferation of alternative beliefs stems from Western countries. Although some important contributions about unchurched religion in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) exist, more research is needed about the emergence and proliferation of alternative beliefs.

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CFP: Atheism: Psychological Perspectives – Secularism & Nonreligion Journal Symposia

The journal Secularism & Nonreligion is planning to propose a symposium of 3-4 individual papers for the upcoming 2015 International Association for the Psychology of Religion (IAPR) World Congress. We invite you to submit proposals falling under the broad theme of psychological perspectives on atheism for consideration as part of the proposed symposia. Some topics and perspectives include, but are not limited to: cognitive science, qualitative/quantitative methods, psychological-anthropology, phenomenology, ethnography, cultural psychology, and philosophy of science. We are particularly interested in papers covering atheism outside of the Western context. Continue reading

CFP: Sociology of Religion Study Group (Socrel) Annual Conference 2015

Sociology of Religion: Foundations and Futures

Sociology of Religion Study Group (Socrel) Annual Conference www.socrel.org.uk

Date of Conference: Tuesday 7 – Thursday 9 July 2015 hosted by Kingston University London High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, UK http://www.cct.org.uk/high-leigh/introduction 

Deadline for abstracts and panel proposals: December 1, 2014.

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Nancy T. Ammerman (Boston University)

Professor James Beckford (University of Warwick)

Professor Grace Davie (University of Exeter)

Professor David Martin (London School of Economics)

Professor Linda Woodhead (Lancaster University)

Since its foundation in 1975, the Sociology of Religion Study Group has become one of the largest in the British Sociological Association (BSA). Its membership includes educators and researchers from across the UK and internationally, and in 2015 the Sociology of Religion Study Group will be celebrating 40 years!

Given this occasion, it is an opportune moment to reflect on religion in society, and religion in sociology. From its foundation, Socrel has foregrounded research on secularisation, gender, spiritualities, embodied and lived accounts, materiality, generational innovations, atheism, social difference, migration, institutions, politicised expressions and methodologies in the study of religion. While this list does not account for all the many ways scholars have been investigating religion in social life – its various forms, intersections and spaces – it does speak to how religions continue to be important subjective and collective experiences that are stable and continuous, resistant and shifting. This conference will bring together scholars who have shaped and are shaping the discipline. It will be an opportunity to pay heed, not only to the Study Group’s and discipline’s accomplishments, but also an opportunity to address questions that still need answering, and questions that are emerging to inform future agendas and areas of concern and study, such as:
 
– What are the key points of continuity and innovation in theorising religion? 
– How are methodologies emerging and informing research on religion? 
– How are new approaches adapting and transforming old practices? 
– What are the key controversies that will occupy sociologists of religion? 
– What are the pedagogical challenges and innovations in teaching the sociology of religion? 

We invite you to celebrate with us by engaging in the conference questions from your particular area of research in the Sociology of Religion. 

Abstracts for individual papers (250 words max.) and panel proposals (500 words max.) are invited by 1 December 2014. Panels may take a standard 20-minute paper format or take alternative modes such as pre-circulated papers/work in progress/or ‘points of view’ that are 10-minutes long. Submissions should be made in Word format and include in the following order: Name, institutional affiliation, email address and paper title.

**All presenters must be members of Socrel.
Abstracts will be subject to peer review. Please note, presenters will be limited to one paper per person at the conference, but you may also organise a panel. 

-Abstract submissions open: 1 September 2014 -Early bird registration opens: 1 September 2014 -Abstract submissions close: 1 December 2014 -Decision notification: 15 January 2015 -Presenter registration closes: 16 March 2015 -Draft programme online: 16 April 2015 -Early bird registration closes:  11 May 2015 -Registration closes: 15 June 2015 

Please send abstracts to the attention of the conference organisers:
Dr Sylvie Collins-Mayo (Kingston University London) and Dr Sonya Sharma (Kingston University London) at: socrel2015@gmail.com  

Should you have other questions about the conference please also contact the conference organisers at the above email address.

Online Registration: http://portal.britsoc.co.uk/public/event/eventBooking.aspx?id=EVT10391 

A limited number of bursaries are available to support postgraduate, early career, low income or unwaged Socrel members to present at the conference. Please visit www.socrel.org.uk for instructions, and to download an application form, and submit your bursary application along with your abstract by 1 December 2014.

Socrel is the British Sociological Association’s study group on Religion. For more details about the study group and conference please visit www.socrel.org.uk.

CFP: Religion and Realism

The American University of Rome are pleased to announce a CALL FOR PAPERS for an International Conference on RELIGION AND REALISM

Date of the conference: November 28, 2014

Deadline for paper proposals: September 1, 2014

Rome, The American University of Rome.

Religion remains one of the most significant social forces and cultural constituencies. It can be said that religion and religious truths are becoming increasingly important in the so called “post-secular” times, when the sphere of the (secular) social/political and the sphere of the religious have to be re-thought again. The relevancy of religious truths and the way they structure our understanding of “reality” overcomes the sphere of theology and particular religious practices. Religion, truth, and reality, and the way these concepts are approached and understood, continue to be vital for a broader cultural discourse as well, from philosophy and science, to politics, mass media and show business.

“Realism,” on the other hand, is usually understood as a position and method, which is opposite to “idealism” and the “imaginary.” “Realism” implies a certain way of approaching the reality and truth. Looking from a positivistic perspective, many would find it difficult to associate concepts of “realism” or “truth” with phenomena such as religion. However, the experience of the post-modern times has taught us that relations between the “reality,” “truth,” “knowledge” and “interpretation” are far more complex, and that even the purest “fiction” is sometimes capable of being more effective (and therefore more “real”) in influencing our lives and in structuring the world in which we live, than most of the things that are directly exposed to our sensuous experience and rational reflection. On the other hand, we have also learned from the experience of modernity that certain metaphysical narratives, and their claims for “absolute truth” and “absolute reality,” could be very dangerous in their practical, social and political manifestations.

The conference seeks to explore philosophical, social, political, and theological dimensions of religion and realism. The themes and subjects for paper proposals include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Secularism, post-secularism, new religiosity
  • Religion and reality
  • Religion and truth
  • Religion and subversion
  • Religion and political reality
  • Religion and economic “realisms”
  • Absolute “truths” and social/political freedom
  • Ultimate truth: tyranny or liberation?
  • Realism as epistemology
  • Realism – the political dimension
  • Realism – the aesthetic dimension
  • Realism – the religious/theological
  • Realism and the “New Realism”
  • Understanding metaphysical, physical and social “reality”
  • Reality and creativity
  • Reality and religion: the need for interpretation or for a social change?
  • Power, reality and knowledge

Submitting proposals: English will be the working language of the conference. Paper proposals (abstracts) should contain no more than 250 words.

There will be no conference fee for speakers. All presented papers will be published in the conference proceedings.

Abstracts, together with a short CV (not to exceed 1800 characters) should be sent no later than September 1, 2014 to: religionrealism@gmail.com

 

Call for Papers: Atheism, Secularism, and Science

Announcing CFP: Atheism, Secularity, and Science, a special journal issue in Science, Religion & Culture
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Guest edited by: John R. Shook Ph.D., Ralph W. Hocfpod Jr.
Ph.D., and Thomas J. Coleman III.
Over the past 10 years research and scholarship on secularity in general, and atheism in particular, has increased significantly. Moreover, these phenomena have been researched, studied and documented by multiple
disciplines ranging from cognitive science to religious studies, and from anthropology to sociology. The study of atheism and secularity is of high interest to not only scholars, but also the public in general.
Atheism and secularity are often seen as two constructs that are intimately related with a third, that of ‘science’. Where one finds the scientific method, positivist epistemology and naturalism in general, one typically finds atheism and secularism. Continue reading