CFP: Rethinking Boundaries in the Study of Religion and Politics

Postgraduate Conference: Rethinking Boundaries in the Study of Religion and Politics

11-12 September 2015

University of Aberdeen

Submission Deadline: 19 June 2015

A common approach to the study of religion and politics frames the inquiry using boundaries. Such boundaries include religion/secular, private/public, belief/practice and theism/atheism, to name just a few. It may be argued that these categorisations are analytically useful in understanding social phenomena because, for example, what is ‘religious’ should be analysed in relation to what is ‘secular.’ Another approach may instead point to the problem with the construction of such binaries in that empirically these distinctions become blurred, so that framing an action, for example as ‘public’ or ‘private’, does not reflect the diversity of human experience. Continue reading

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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.

Continue reading

CFP: Kongress “Rethinking Europe with(out) Religion” nächsten Februar in Wien

International Congress: Rethinking Europe with(out) religion. Deadline for abstracts 30 September 2012

Full details as PDF can be found here CFP_Rethinking Europe with(out) Religion

Sehr geehrte Interessierte an der Forschungsplattform RaT! Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen!

Die Forschungsplattform „Religion and Transformation in Contemporary European Society“ (RaT) möchte Sie hiermit auf den im Februar 2013 stattfindenden Kongress „Rethinking Europe with(out) Religion“ aufmerksam machen.
Details sowie ein Anmeldeformular finden Sie auf der Kongress-Homepage: http://www.rethinkingeurope.at

Die Kolleginnen und Kollegen an Universitäten und Bildungseinrichtungen bitte ich, diese Information im Rahmen der Ihnen zur Verfügung stehenden Möglichkeiten weiterzuleiten. Bitte machen Sie Studierende auf diesen Kongress aufmerksam! Für alle Fälle hänge ich den CfP an.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen und allen guten Wünschen für einen erholsamen Sommer!

Angelika Walser

Dr. Angelika Walser
Plattformmanagerin
RaT (Religion and Transformation
In Contemporary European Society)
Schenkenstr. 8-10
1010 Wien
T.: 0664-60277-23803

Beschreibung: RaT_Logo

Podcast with Tariq Modood on the Crisis of European Secularism

The Religious Studies Project have published a half hour podcast with Professor Tariq Modood on the Crisis of European Secularism, recorded at this year’s SOCREL Conference in Chester:

http://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/2012/05/28/podcast-tariq-modood-on-the-crisis-of-european-secularism/

You can download this interview on iTunes.

Tariq Modood is Professor of Sociology, Politics and Public Policy at the University of Bristol. He is founding Director of the University Research Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, and co-founding editor of the international journal, Ethnicities. As a regular contributor to the media and policy debates in Britain, he was awarded a MBE for services to social sciences and ethnic relations in 2001 and elected a member of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2004. He also served on the Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, the IPPR Commission on National Security and on the National Equality Panel, which reported to the UK Deputy Prime Minister in 2010.

His recent publications include Multicultural Politics: Racism, Ethnicity and Muslims in Britain (Edinburgh University Press, 2005), Multiculturalism: A Civic Idea (Polity, 2007) and Still Not Easy Being British: Struggles for a Multicultural Citizenship (Trentham Books, 2010); and as co-editor, Secularism, Religion and Multicultural Citizenship (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Is There a Crisis of Secularism in Western Europe?, which expands considerably upon the issues in this interview, is now available at http://www.bris.ac.uk/ethnicity/news/2012/36.html.

NSRN subscribers might also be interested in Linda Woodhead’s podcast on the Secularisation Thesis, and Bjoern Mastiaux’s essay on the same topic.

Publication: Is There a Crisis of Secularism in Western Europe?

Please see below for details of an electronic advance publication of Tariq Modood’s talk at the the annual conference at Chester SocRel.  On a personal note I can attest to how thought provoking and insightful I found this lecture, Modood invites comments and it would be interesting to hear people’s thoughts via the NSRN-Discuss.

2011 Paul Hanly Furfey Lecture

Is There a Crisis of Secularism in Western Europe?

Tariq Modood
Sociology of Religion 2012

Submission of abstracts and online registration has started: Transformations of the Sacred in Europe and Beyond

ESA Mid-term Conference: Research Network 34 – Sociology of Religion

University of Potsdam, Germany, 3-5 September 2012
in cooperation with the German Section for the Sociology of Religon in the DGSYou will find the registration form on: http://www.uni-potsdam.de/esa-religion/abstractsandregistration.html

Plenary Speakers:

Schirin Amir-Moazami, Institute for Islamic Studies, Free University of Berlin
Hubert Knoblauch, Institute for Sociology, Technical University of Berlin
Gordon Lynch, Religious Studies School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent

Eva-Maria Schrage, Graduate School “Religion and Politics in the Cultures of Pre-modernity and Modernity”, University of Münster

Panel: Religions on the Move/Changes in Religious Cultures
Inger Furseth, Director of the Nordic Research Program NOREL, Oslo
Dorota Hall, Ass. Professor at the Dep. of Religious Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw
Volkhard Krech, Director of the Käte Hamburger Kolleg Dynamics in the History of Religions and speaker of the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) at the University of Bochum
Siniša Zrinščak, Department of Social Work, University of Zagreb

Forthcoming publications

Please see details below of a number of forthcoming publications in 2012

Natural Burial: Traditional-Secular Spiritualities and Funeral Innovation

Hannah Rumble and Douglas Davies

26th July 2012

“Co-authored with Prof Douglas Davies in the Dept. for Theology and Religion, University of Durham.
From the 1990s the British developed an interest in natural burial, also known as woodland, green, or eco-logical burial. This continued a stream of British interest in funeral innovation from Victorian cemetery monuments through the birth and rise of cremation to the many things done with cremated remains. The book sets natural burial in the context of creative dealing with death, grief, mourning and the celebration of life. Ideas from sociology and anthropology combine with psychological issues and theological ideas to show how human emotions take shape and help people think of their own death as well as dealing with death of those they love.

Douglas Davies and Hannah Rumble explore the variety of motivations for the appeal of natural burial, and use interviews with people using a special natural burial site created by the Church of England but open to all, to illustrate the spiritual understandings of life and death in the sacred, secular and mixed worlds of modern Britain.”

This book is the outcome of the AHRC-ESRC Collaborative doctoral award and will be published by Continuum in July 2012. This joint volume offers a spectrum of anthropological and theological interpretation of people’s choice of woodland burial while also raising numerous theoretical issues pivoting around ideas of ‘giving something back’ and ‘not making a fuss’, as well as the more anticipated issues of ecology

Making Sense of the Secular: Critical Perspectives from Europe to Asia
Edited by Ranjan Ghosh

1st October 2012

This book offers a wide range of critical perspectives on how secularism unfolds and has been made sense of across Europe and Asia. The book evaluates secularism as it exists today – its formations and discontents within contemporary discourses of power, terror, religion and cosmopolitanism – and the focus on these two continents gives critical attention to recent political and cultural developments where secularism and multiculturalism have impinged in deeply problematical ways, raising bristling ideological debates within the functioning of modern state bureaucracies.

Examining issues as controversial as the state of Islam in Europe and China’s encounters with religion, secularism, and modernization provides incisive and broader perspectives on how we negotiate secularism within the contemporary threats of terrorism and other forms of fundamentalism and state-politics. However, amidst the discussions of various versions of secularism in different countries and cultural contexts, this book also raises several other issues relevant to the antitheocratic and theocratic alike, such as: Is secularism is merely a nonreligious establishment? Is secularism a kind of cultural war? How is it related to “terror”? The book at once makes sense of secularism across cultural, religious, and national borders and puts several relevant issues on the anvil for further investigations and understanding.

Europe’s Encounter with Islam: The Secular and the Postsecular
Luca Mavelli

12 March 2012

In the last few years, the Muslim presence in Europe has been increasingly perceived as ‘problematic’. Events such as the French ban on headscarves in public schools, the publication of the so-called ‘Danish cartoons’, and the speech of Pope Benedict XVI at the University of Regensburg have hit the front pages of newspapers the world over, and prompted a number of scholarly debates on Muslims’ capacity to comply with the seemingly neutral and pluralistic rules of European secularity.

Luca Mavelli argues that this perspective has prevented an in-depth reflection on the limits of Europe’s secular tradition and its role in Europe’s conflictual encounter with Islam. Through an original reading of Michel Foucault’s spiritual notion of knowledge and an engagement with key thinkers, from Thomas Aquinas to Jurgën Habermas, Mavelli articulates a contending genealogy of European secularity. While not denying the latter’s achievements in terms of pluralism and autonomy, he suggests that Europe’s secular tradition has also contributed to forms of isolation, which translate into Europe’s incapacity to perceive its encounter with Islam as an opportunity rather than a threat.

Drawing on this theoretical perspective, Mavelli offers a contending account of some of the most important recent controversies surrounding Islam in Europe and investigates the ‘postsecular’ as a normative model to engage with the tensions at the heart of European secularity. Finally, he advances the possibility of a Europe willing to reconsider its established secular narratives which may identify in the encounter with Islam an opportunity to flourish and cultivate its democratic qualities and postnational commitments.

This work will be of great interest to students and scholars of religion and international relations, social and political theory, and Islam in Europe.

Post-Secularism, Realism and Transcendence: Explorations of the Utopian Content of the Religious Condition
Jolyon Agar

30 July 2012

This project addresses the recent rise in post-secularism in the humanities and social sciences. Post-secularism is the proposition that the secular project begun by the Enlightenment has come to an end. If we define secularism as the historical process of increasing marginalisation of the religious from contributing to debates in the public sphere and the process of public policy formation then it is in crisis. This opens up the intriguing possibility that there may be opportunities for renewed debate about the nature of our “secular age” and the role of religion in modern society. Evidence for such a renewal of the religious may be found in the alarming rise of religious fundamentalism in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries, especially in the Islamic world and the United States, the resurgence of Catholic conservatism under Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI or the increasing popularity of more esoterical quasi-religious New Ageism.

This book will be of great interest to those scholars currently working in the area of post-secularism (a very popular area of research in political philosophy); Hegelian and Marxist scholars; the Critical Realist community. It will also be of interest to undergraduates and postgraduates taking courses in Utopian Marxism, Critical Theory, Critical Realism, post-Hegelian German philosophy, philosophy of religion and the interface between political philosophy and religion.

Religious Experience: A Reader
Edited by Craig Martin, Russell T. McCutcheon
Introduction by  Leslie Dorrough Smith

Many regard religious experience as the essence of religion, arguing that narratives might be created and rituals invented but that these are always secondary to the original experience itself. However, the concept of “experience” has come under increasing fire from a range of critics and theorists. This Reader presents writings from both those who assume the existence and possible universality of religious experience and those who question the very rhetoric of “experience”.

Bringing together both classic and contemporary writings, the Reader showcases differing disciplinary approaches to the study of religious experience: philosophy, literary and cultural theory, history, psychology, anthropology; feminist theory; as well as writings from within religious studies. The essays are structured into pairs, with each essay separately introduced with information on its historical and intellectual context.

The ultimate aim of the Reader is to enable students to explore religious experience as rhetoric created to authorize social identities. The book will be an invaluable introduction to the key ideas and approaches for students of Religion, as well as Sociology and Anthropology.

CONTRIBUTORS: Robert Desjarlais, Diana Eck, William James, Craig Martin, Russell T. McCutcheon, Wayne Proudfoot, Robert Sharf, Ann Taves, Charles Taylor, Joachim Wach, Joan Wallach Scott, Raymond Williams