Author Archives: Alan

New Book: Religion and Secularity: Reconfiguring Islam in Contemporary India


Sudha Sitharaman is Professor, Department of Sociology, Pondicherry University, Puducherry.

Anindita Chakrabarti is Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

The resurgence of religion and its militant mixing with politics is now a ubiquitous feature of our times. Since 9/11, discussions on religion, particularly Islam, have been characterised by debates surrounding the rise of political Islam, war on terror and the ascent of religious politics globally. Islam, particularly, appears as the bearer of a frightening tradition, and stereotypes render it an anathema in the modern world. The notion of a unitary, timeless and unchanging religion has been reinforced not only by sections of academia and the media, but also through the Muslim communities’ interpretations and representations of their own religion.

Religion and Secularities challenges these quotidian ‘facts’ about Islam. It brings together a collection of essays focusing on the reconfiguration of Islam in the world’s largest democracy, India. Investigating the relationship between religion, civil society and the state, this volume explores the nation’s long history with Islam as well as the categorisation of Muslims as a minority community.

Based on ethnographic studies conducted in different regions of the country—from Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal to Karnataka and Kerala—this volume addresses the diverse issues of religious piety that include community activism and civic participation; disputes and debates around visitation to historic-religious sites; the changing contours of matrilineal practices in a Muslim community; and how Muslim women negotiate personal/Islamic law in a plural judicial landscape. The essays highlight the impossibility of understanding contemporary Islam outside the logic of modern, secular-liberal governance—a standpoint that helps take the secularism debate forward.

This volume will be valuable for students and scholars of sociology, social anthropology and religious studies.

Call for Papers: Workshop 1: AHRC GCRF Minorities on Indian Campuses Research Network

10th December 2020

Short proposals by 5th October 2020

Organisers: Dr Ashok Kumar Mocherla and Dr Alison Halford

This project examines minority students’ lived experiences of discrimination and marginalisation on higher education campuses in India. As a research network, we will run two workshops and a conference to facilitate academic discussions around religion or belief in the HE sector in India. For further details –

For this first project workshop we seek to explore the intellectual paradigms that shape how minority-ness if intellectualised in the Indian HE sector. We welcome your proposals (details of the CFP and key dates to bear in mind are appended below).

Please send us your short proposals by 5th October 2020. Due to the current pandemic we plan to organise this first event virtually, however future network events will be undertaken in person (pandemic permitting!) Future events will examine lived experiences of equality and diversity, as well as possibilities for inclusivity within HE. We will update you about these future event in due course. We will also gradually be building a virtual network of academics and practitioners in this field, so please also get in touch if you would like to be part of this network.

AASR September Newsletter

The Call for Paper for the 45th Annual Conference of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion (AASR) is now open. Submission for abstracts is open till 31 October 2020. Please check out our website for more information. We look forward to seeing you there.

Call for Papers:

36th ISSR/SISR ‘Religion in Global/Local Perspectives: Diffusion, Migration, Transformation’ Conference, 12-15 July 2021, Taipei, Taiwan. Call for sessions: 15 July to 15 September 2020. Call for papers: 1 October to 15 November 2020. More info

A Continuing Legacy of Persian Poetry and Music, Australian National University, 27 November 2020. Submission deadline 20 September 2020. More info

3rd ANU Religion Conference – Religion and Migration: Culture and Policy. Canberra, 8-10 December 2021 (new date). Proposal deadline 21 May 2021. More info 

Call for Chapters: Exploring multilingualism, religion and spirituality in Australian life. Deadline 15 September 2020. 

Call for paper: Religions‘ special issue: “Pandemic, Religion and Non-religion”Deadline 31 August 2020. 

Call for papers on Religions’ special issue: ‘Religion, Law and Politics‘. Deadline 18 December 2020. 

Call for papers: Special Issue on “Historizing Islamophobia”. Deadline February 2021. 
Virtual Events
Please note some activities from IAHR that may be of interest:
1. Virtual Book Fair 

2. The IAHR webinar: “Reflections on the Study of Religion in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Past, Present, and Prospect”Roundtable participants, in order of speaking: Profs. Paul Morris, Will Sweetman, John Shaver, and Ben Schonthal. Chair: Prof. Ann Taves (IAHR Vice-President)
Time: Sep 16, Wed, 8:00PM-9:30PM GMT  (=Sep 17, 08:00AM in Auckland, New Zealand)
Meeting ID: 998 7571 5215, Passcode: 882084

3. The IAHR-WSN webinar: “Announcing a New IAHR Women Scholars Network Webinar Series”Presenters: Profs. Rosalind Hackett, Morny Joy (founders), Jenny Berglund, Jay Johnston (outgoing coordinators), Milda Ališauskienė, Amy Allocco, (incoming coordinators)Program:Introducing the IAHR-WSNPresentation of founders and coordinatorsPlanned future activitiesSuggestions from members on future activitiesQuestions & Answers
Time: Sep 21, Mon, 2:00 PM-3:00PM GMT
Meeting ID: 949 3297 3049, Passcode: 465973
Grant/PhD/Job Opportunities:
Research Fellow in Ecotheology / Philosophy of Religion, University of Oslo Faculty of Theology

PhD Position in Framing of Apocrypha in Coptic Manuscripts, University of Oslo The Faculty of Theology
Latest Publications:
Cusack, Carole M. (2020), ‘Anne Hamilton-Byrne and the Family: Charisma, Criminality, and Media in the Construction of an Australian ‘Cult’ Leader‘, Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions 24(1): 31-54. 

Cusack, Carole M. (2020), ‘The Enneagram: G. I. Gurdjieff’s Esoteric Symbol‘, Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism 20(1): 31-54. 
Cusack, Carole M. (2020), ‘Leaving New Religious Movements’, in Daniel Enstedt, Göran Larsson, and Teemu T. Mantsinen (eds), Handbook of Leaving Religion, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 231-241. 

Cusack, Carole M. (2020), ‘Esoteric Tourism in Scotland: Rosslyn Chapel, The Da Vinci Code, and the Appeal of the ‘New Age’’, in Jonathan M. Wooding and Lorna Barrow (eds), Prophecy, Memory and Fate in the Early and Medieval Celtic World, Sydney Series in Celtic Studies, Sydney University Press, 247-270. 

Cusack, Carole M. (2020), ‘Fiction and the Memory of ‘Cultic Violence’: Charisma, Power and Gender in Peoples Temple and the Manson Family’, New Literary Observer, No. 163 (Russian). 

Kim, David W. (ed)(2020) New Religious Movements in Modern Asian History: Sociocultural Alternatives. Rowman & Littlefield. 

Rane, Halim et al (2020), ‘Islam in Australia: A National Survey of Muslim Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents’Religions, 11, 419.
Milani, Milad (2020), ‘The “Sufism” of Monsieur Ibrahim’, Cultural Fusion of Sufi Islam: Alternative Paths to Mystical Faith, Routledge 9781138615038.

Milani, Milad (2020), ‘Shariati, Ali’, The SAGE Encyclopedia of the Sociology of Religion, Sage Publications 9781473942202.

Milani, Milad (2020), ‘Neo-Sufism’, The SAGE Encyclopedia of the Sociology of Religion, Sage Publications 9781473942202.

Milani, Milad (2020), ‘Sufism’, The SAGE Encyclopedia of the Sociology of Religion, Sage Publications 9781473942202.

Trompf, G. and Milani, Milad (2019), ‘From “Zurvanism” to Mazdak’, The Gnostic World, Routledge 9781138673939.

Milani, Milad (2019), ‘Classic Sufism and Gnosis’, The Gnostic World, Routledge 9781138673939.

Catolicismo y globalización: Nuevas perspectivas de las Misiones Jesuitas

Formulario de inscripción a la conferencia a cargo de José Casanova.

Si ud ya se inscribió a esta conferencia en el formulario correspondiente a todo el ciclo de conferencias, no es necesario volver a hacerlo.

La conferencia se realizará el jueves 24 de setiembre a las 17 hs (Uruguay)

Por favor asegúrese de escribir bien su correo electrónico, ya que se le enviará por esa vía el link a la reunión de Zoom.

Por consultas, escribir a:

ASA Job Bank: Research Associate and Visiting Faculty

The following new job listing has been posted in the ASA Job Bank and may be of interest to section members:

Job ID: 16471
Institution: Harvard Divinity School
Department: Women’s Studies in Religion Program
Title: Research Associate and Visiting Faculty
Position/Rank: Academic Positions: Assistant/Associate Professor, Academic Positions: Full Professor, Academic Positions: Lecturer
Areas/Special Programs: Sex and Gender , Religion

For additional information on this position (including how to apply), visit the ASA Job Bank at

Virtual Book Launch – Civil Religion and the Enlightenment in England

Virtual book launch next week. The book is Civil Religion and the Enlightenment in England: 1707-1800 . This is by a colleague of mine here at Cardiff University, Ashley Walsh. He’s an historian and treats the subject historically, but with interest in the question of civil religion among sociologists of religion.

Along with Walsh, the event will feature Rachel Hammersley (Newcastle) and Stephen Taylor (Durham), and another Cardiff historian, Lloyd Bowen, will host the event. It’s 4pm on Tuesday 8 September, and this is the Zoom link.

For more details on the book itself, here’s a link to the publisher’s site:

ISAGRAM – issue 187, September 2020

 Call for Editor e-Symposium
International Sociological Association
Deadline extended: September 18, 2020

VIII ISA Worldwide Competition for Junior

International Sociological Association
Submissions: March 31, 2021

ISA Award for Excellence in Research and

International Sociological Association
Submissions: May 30, 2021



Social Inclusion in the Global Era: Sustainable
post-COVID-19 Society

Science Council of Japan
September 3-4, 2020

Los desafíos institucionales de la sociología y las
ciencias sociales en el mundo de hoy

Asociación Latinoamericana de Sociología
September 7, 2020

Studies of Belonging
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study
June 9-11, 2021
Proposals: October 1, 2020

7th EU-Microdata User Conferences
Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
Mannheim, Germany
March 25-26, 2021
Proposals: October 15, 2020

Religious Identity and the Media. Methods,
Concepts, and New Research Avenues

Polish Academy of Sciences
Warsaw, Poland
March 25-27, 2021
Proposals: November 1, 2020


6 Doctoral Research Positions in Law, Ethics and
Economics for Sustainable Development

University of Milan, Italy
Applications: September 14, 2020

31 Fellowships
French Institutes for Advanced Study
Applications: September 15, 2020


 Corruption and Development in Nigeria
Call for book chapters
Submissions: September 30, 2020

 Youth and Global Movements
Call for book chapters
Azores Youth Observatory
University of the Azores, Portugal
Abstracts: October 15, 2020

 Bicentenario y pandemia
Call for book chapters
Colegio de Sociólogos del Perú
Submissions: October 31, 2020

 Pandemic, Economic Crisis and Social Unrest:
What is the Future?

Call for paper proposals
ISA Research Committee on Futures Research
Submissions: October 31, 2020

Articulating Continuity, Documenting Change:
Life-Storytelling in Oral History and Folklore

Call for papers
Special issue of Genealogy
Submissions: October 31, 2020

The Newnormers: A Crowd Ethnology

Call for research proposals


Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Inequality and

The University of Western Ontario, Canada
Applications: Review will begin after September 30,
2020 and will continue until the position is filled

Call for Papers: Conference on “Religious Identity and the Media. Methods, concepts, and new research avenues”

March 25-27, 2021 – Warsaw, Poland

The deadline for paper proposals is November 1st, 2020.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, most Churches and believers worldwide resorted to the media to build and maintain their communities, identities, and share their beliefs, which has shown how important media has been for religious organizations and individuals. Analyzing the pre-pandemic context, and inspired by the transformations of mediatized religion landscape, we are excited to open the Call for Papers for the conference “Religious Identity and the Media. Methods, concepts, and new research avenues”, organized by the team of the DFG and NCN funded research project “Minorities and the media. The communicative construction of religious identity in times of deep mediatisation” 


The conference theme discusses the manifold relationships between creating, negotiating, maintaining and challenging religious and religion-related identities, and various types of media and forms of media use. 

It will be hosted by the Institute for Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. The keynote lectures will be held by Mia Lövheim (Uppsala University) and Christoph Günther (Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz).

For the CALL FOR PAPERS see the attached file and/or visit the conference website:

Conference organisers are able to financially support two PhD students with the amount of up to 300€ for travel and accommodation costs. For more information on the travel allowance visit:

They will continue to monitor the situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and will comply with any relevant administrative regulations. They will also consider hosting a partially or fully online conference if that is the best solution. 

Soul Search (Radio Program): Max Weber at 100: On modernity and a disenchanted world

100 years ago, during the last great pandemic, German intellectual Max Weber caught influenza and died.

He was only fifty-six at the time, but he left behind several landmark works and a whole new discipline — sociology — that still affects how we view religion and society now. 

Adam Possamai is a Professor of Sociology at Western Sydney University. He explains more about Webers legacy, and why he still matters a century on. Why was Weber’s work The Protestant Ethic so influential? What’s the relationship between Christianity and capitalism? And how has capitalism in turn, shaped how we see religion and spirituality today?

Portrait of man with facial hair and combed wavy hair wearing a suit and standing out in the sun.
Adam Possamai is a Professor in Sociology at Western Sydney University.Image: Supplied
Portrait of causasian woman with dark blonde hair and navy blouse smiling.
Anna Halafoff is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Deakin University.Image: Supplied

Then we hear from Anna Halafoff, Associate Professor of Sociology at Deakin University, who is part of a team that’s studying how Gen-Z thinks and behaves in relation to religion. She tells Meredith Lake what makes Gen-Z more religiously diverse than previous generations.