Author Archives: Alan

Public Talks at the Centre of Islamic Studies in Lent 2020

Here is the list of public talks at the Centre in Cambridge for this coming term – I have attached an A4 flyer version of this information for convenience.

All talks are free to enter and open to all interested parties.

January 23, 2020 – MERCEDES VOLAIT

Art at the Bayt al-Sadat: on local engagement with photography and interior refurbishment in Khedival Cairo

Mercedes will look at issues of patronage, materiality, and consumption in connection with the production of Mamluk-style architecture and design in nineteenth-century Cairo.

Mercedes Volait is CNRS Research professor at INHA (Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Paris) and heads its digital research unit on architecture, antiquarianism, and applied arts in the modern Mediterranean. Her education has been in architecture, Middle Eastern studies, and art history.

February 6, 2020 – YAEL NAVARO

“Minoritized Arabic: Turkification Practices in the Making of ‘Hatay'”

Yael will address the targeting of the Arabic language for elimination in Turkey’s process of transforming Liwa Iskenderun (the Sanjak d’Alexandrette) into ‘Hatay’ via annexation and re-territorialization onwards from 1939.

Yael Navaro-Yashin is Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Newnham College. She is the author of Faces of the State: Secularism and Public Life in Turkey.

February 20, 2020 – MICHAEL FARQUHAR

Policing Infitah: Economic Liberalisation, Security and Social Order in Egypt

This paper draws on a previously unexplored trove of writings authored by Egyptian police officers since the mid-twentieth century to shed new light on how policing has figured in the consolidation of late capitalist social order in the Global South.

Michael Farquhar is a Lecturer in Middle East Politics at King’s College London. His first book, Circuits of Faith (SUP 2016) explored Saudi state-funded efforts to extend Wahhabi influence abroad. He is currently undertaking research on policing and social order in Egypt.

March 6, 2020 – HUSSEIN OMAR

‘The Great Islamic State’ in English-Occupied Egypt, 1882-1922

Hussein A H Omar is a cultural and intellectual historian of the Modern Middle East and is currently an AHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at Pembroke College and the History Faculty, as part of the ‘First World War and Global Religions’ project

For any questions please email the Centre ( or go to our website (

Job Opening: Duke University Fellowship/Post-Doc position – Seminary to Early Ministry Study (SEM Study)

General Information
The Seminary to Early Ministry Study (SEM Study), a joint initiative between Duke Divinity School and the Duke Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research invites applications for an Associate in Research, beginning in spring of 2020. The initial appointment will be made for one year, with an additional two years available upon satisfactory performance. There is possibility this position will continue past 3 years, pending funding from external sponsors. Start date is flexible between April and July of 2020.

The SEM Study is the first major longitudinal study examining divinity school education. Our aim is ambitious: To paint the most comprehensive picture of how divinity school students are formed throughout their training and into the early stages of their careers. Through this, we hope to spark informed conversations about divinity school education and to shape the future of ministry. The Seminary to Early Ministry Study is part of the larger Duke Clergy Health Initiative and is funded by a grant from The Duke Endowment. More information on the SEM Study and the Clergy Health Initiative can be found here: www.semstudy.org

The successful candidate will support all research aspects of the SEM Study, including instrument design, qualitative and/or quantitative analysis, writing manuscripts for peer-review, supervising students and data collection staff, and advancing the intellectual rigor of the study. This position will be supervised by David Eagle, Assistant Research Professor of Global Health. The successful candidate will be part of a larger team of Clergy Health Initiative staff.

Candidates must hold (or plan to defend by August 2020) a PhD in sociology or a related discipline. Candidates must have research interests in clergy, congregations, and/or theological education. Familiarity with the Methodist Church is considered an asset. Authorship on peer reviewed manuscripts is considered a major asset. The SEM Study is mixed methods and we welcome people with expertise in qualitative and/or quantitative methods. Experience with mixed methods research is considered a plus. Familiarity with R is preferred.

To Apply

Please send a cover letter outlining your qualifications for this position, a current CV, a research statement, an academic writing sample, and a list of three references to You may address your materials to David Eagle, Assistant Research Professor in Global Health, Duke Global Health Institute, 310 Trent Drive, Durham, NC 27708. You may contact David for more information at Salary is commensurate with experience. This position is full time, eligible for Duke benefits, and includes a stipend for conference travel and professional development. Applications are being reviewed on an ongoing basis until a suitable candidate is found.

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Last Chance to Register: Donner Institute’s Summer School on Religion and Cultural Change

Åbo/Turku, Finland 8–10 June, 2020

See details of the Summer School here

To apply, please send an abstract of approximately 150 words to no later than 15 January, 2020. Letters of acceptance will be posted no later than 15 February, 2020. Upon acceptance to the summer school, doctoral candidates will furthermore be asked to submit a 500-word synopsis of their research theme no later than 1 May, 2020.

Call for Papers: Journal of Religion and Demography

In 2019, the Journal of Religion and Demography published papers on:

Are you sitting on a treasure trove of quantitative analysis of religion? We want to hear about it! Submissions are open for the next issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Religion and Demography.

Call for Proposals – Research Funding for projects on “Gratitude to God”

Letters of intent are due January 29th, 2020.

For more instructions and more information, visit

Queries may be sent to

Biola University, with the help of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation and under the direction of Peter Hill and Robert Emmons, welcomes proposals from various disciplines to investigate questions that concern gratitude to God*. Letters of intent are due January 29th, 2020.

Proposals may be for projects that utilize the methodologies of the behavioral sciences, philosophy, theology, or religious studies. Empirical projects may be multi-method, qualitative, theoretical, cross-cultural, employ behavioral measures, or incorporate developmental approaches (though none of these are required). For the empirical projects, experi­mental methodologies are encouraged. There are four separate award competitions: (1) empirical large grants, (2) empirical early career grants, (3) non-empirical large grants, and (4) non-empirical early career grants. Total funding available for this RFP is $2.8M.

We anticipate proposals for empirical and non-empirical projects that address one or more of the questions listed below:

  • What is the basic structure of gratitude to God and how can we advance our understanding of the differences between gratitude to God and gratitude to others?
  • Why and how do people express gratitude to God or fail to?
  • How is cosmic gratitude an alternative to gratitude to God?
  • What functions does gratitude to God serve?

*For the sake of this proposal and the anticipated projects that we hope it generates, we are using the term “God” to encompass the supreme God of monotheistic traditions, as well as other supernatural or superhuman beings with agency and powers (gods, spirits, ghosts, saints), whether personal or impersonal, with capacities to “make things happen or prevent them from happening, especially obtaining goods and avoiding bads” (Smith, 2017, p. 22). The phrase “personal or impersonal” implies that the superhuman powers may or may not be believed to possess consciousness, intentions, feelings, desires and other properties of the mind. We use the term “cosmic gratitude” in the RFP to depict the state that is felt by people who are inclined to feel gratitude for things not plausibly attributable to human agency nor to a personal supernatural or superhuman agent (Roberts, 2014).

Call for Papers – Celebrating SocRel at 45: Beyond Binaries in the Sociology of Religion

14–16 July 2020 – University of York, UK

Abstracts (250 words), Special panel proposals (500 words) and Bursary applications must be submitted by 24 January 2020.

Please submit abstracts via the online portal, click here for submission guidelines.  Selected authors will be asked to contribute to an edited volume.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr Sarah Jane Page (Aston University)
  • Professor Sam Perry (University of Oklahoma)
  • Professor Colin Campbell (University of York)

Special 45th Anniversary Panel:

  • Professor Eileen Barker (London School of Economics)
  • Professor Jim Beckford (Warwick University)
  • Professor Grace Davie (Exeter University)
  • Professor Linda Woodhead (Lancaster University)
  • Professor Colin Campbell (University of York)

Sociological writing about religion is replete with binaries: secular/post-secular, sacred/profane, religion/non-religion, western/non-western, spiritual/religious, theistic/non-theistic, cognitive/corporeal and private/public, to name just a few. Theories that consider the relationship between these seemingly opposing concepts have shaped the evolution of the discipline, reflected changing social realities, and supported the production of new knowledge.

Although many of these binaries have become highly fashionable within the contemporary study of religion, does the use of these types of analytical frames limit our capacity for critical sociological engagement? Do our understanding of the lived realities for individuals across different communities support or reject the use of binary concepts? In this conference that celebrates 45 years of SocRel, we invite you to consider the possibilities for the sociology of religion ‘beyond binaries’. We encourage you to think about the relationships that you make in your own research with these, and other, binary frames, and the ways in which you find them both useful and limiting to think with.

See BSA website for further details

Ecclesiology and Ethnography Network News: Conference Dates, Latest Articles, More

Dear Friends,
Happy New Year to our friends and colleagues in the Ecclesiology and Ethnography network! We trust your research and collaborations will be rich and fruitful in the coming year.
We highlight important revised dates for our September conference in Durham. Those dates are: 22-24 September 2020. Do make sure you have these correct dates in your diaries/calendars.
We would also like to turn your attention to recent news articles published on the website since our gathering last September: 

If you have news articles, details of conferences you are hosting or attending, doctoral student profiles to contribute or press kits for books to be released we are happy to feature those in our next newsletter and on our website. Please send them to Jasper Bosman:
Once again we wish you all a wonderful start to your new year!

Call for Papers: Panel (EASA 2020) on “Religion, (im)mobilities and citizenship in the face of populism”

We welcome paper submissions to our panel P181 Religion, (im)mobilities and citizenship in the face of populism at the EASA 2020 conference on 21-24 July in Lisbon 


  • José Mapril (Center for Research in Anthropology (CRIA), Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
  • Guillermo Martín-Sáiz (Washington University in St. Louis)
  • Cristina Rocha (Western Sydney University)

Short abstract:

How does religious mobility fare in a context in which nationalism(s) and populism(s) are growing and movement is being curtailed and segmented? In such a context, how is religion and mobility used in the making of moral hierarchies in Europe and other societies?

Long abstract:

In the past decades, we have been studying mobile religions focusing on institutions, people, materialities, practices, beliefs, media, and cyberspace. But how does religious mobility fare in a world of walls, nationalisms, populisms, and segmented mobilities? In Europe, Christianity is frequently perceived as the religion of the land, becoming part of several nationalistic imaginaries and heritages. In this context, other religious practices are deemed ‘matter out of place’. The growth of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism revealed in construction of a homogeneous Muslim subjectivity and the contestations over the construction of mosques or minarets are cases in point. Simultaneously, there have been also hostile responses to ‘noisy’ Pentecostal churches in European cities. All these reveal an isomorphism between religion and place, which implies the construction of religious others (e.g., “immigrant religions” vs “native religions”), radical alterities and moral hierarchies. In this panel, we ask: what is the impact of such dynamics on religious mobilities, practices and experiences? How do these populist agendas impact on religious fields; and how these define who is entitled (and excluded) from making claims? Which religions become heritage and what does this tells us about the making of autochthony and nativisms? In such a context, what are the ways in which religion and mobilities (migrants, refugees, tourists) are entangled? What is the role of imagination, materiality, cyberspace, and asymmetries of power on the ways in which religions move or get stuck? We would like presenters to address these broad themes, both from an ethnographic and/or theoretical perspective.

AASR January Newsletter

Please note that these special Call for Papers are due on 15 January 2020:

Call for manuscripts: special issue on ‘Religion and Violence’ on the Journal for the Academic Study of Religion

Religion and Gender Journal on the Call for manuscripts: special issue on ‘Religion, Gender and Violence’
Call for Papers:


Rethinking​ ​Media, Religion and Secularities. Conference of the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture Conference location: Sigtuna Foundation, Sigtuna, Sweden. Conference dates: 4-7 of August 2020. Deadline extended 14 January 2020. More info.

Navigating the non/confessional in university Islamic studies. University of Birmingham. 20-22 April 2020. Submission deadline 17 January 2020. More info

“Religion and the urban, natural and virtual environments”, Bi-Annual Conference of the ESA RN34- Sociology of Religion, Groningen (Netherlands), 26-28 August 2020. Abstract deadline 31 January 2020. More info.

Perception and Reception of Persia research unit (EABS, Wuppertal, August 3rd-6th 2020). Submission deadline: 20 February 2020. More info

3rd ANU Religion Conference – Religion and Migration: Culture and Policy. Canberra, 8-10 December 2020. Proposal deadline 30 April 2020. More info

PublicationsCall for Papers on Digital Visibilities of the Religious. Deadline 15 January 2020. More info

Call for papers on Religion & Ecology for a special issue of Religions. Deadline 31 May 2020.

7th UN interfaith Harmony lecture in conjunction with Melbourne University Chaplaincy. ‘Pope Francis: His Interfaith and Environmental Perspectives’ by Mr David Schütz on Tuesday 4 February at Melbourne University, 5.30 – 7.30pm. More info
Funding Opportunities:

Call for proposals: The Religion and Sexual Abuse Project. Deadline 1 February 2020. More info
Postgrad/ECR Opportunities:

PhD on Extreme Beliefs, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

4 PhD scholarships at the University of Queensland, Atlas of Religion Project

Postdoc positions at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, Arizona State University

Postdoc Fellowship, The Center for Religion and the Human (CRH) at Indiana University

Call for Papers from Sociology of Religion for Advanced Graduate Students

Call for Applications: Workshop “Public Scholarship of Religion in an Age of Hypermediation”

Summer School on Religion and Cultural Change

Also if you’re on Facebook, we have a postgrad page so do join us 🙂 
New Publications:

Alphia Possamai-Inesedy and Alan Nixon (2019)(eds). The Digital Social: Religion and Belief. de Gruyter.

Milad Milani (2019) ‘The “Sufism” of Monsieur Ibrahim‘, in Cultural Fusion of Sufi Islam: Alternative Paths to Mystical Faith, edited by Sarwar Alam. Routledge: Abingdon.

Praveena Rajkobal (2020), The Sarvodaya Movement: Holistic Development and Risk Governance in Sri Lanka. Routledge: London.

Enqi Weng (2020), Media Perceptions of Religious Changes in Australia: Of Dominance and Diversity. Routledge: London.
Have you a new event, job opportunity or latest publication to share with us? Please get in touch with the AASR’s Communication Officer, Dr Enqi Weng, at with details by mid of 2nd and 4th week of each month to be included in our now fortnightly newsletter. Thank you.