Author Archives: Alan

Call for papers: 46th Annual Conference of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion

9-10 DECEMBER 2021

HOPE

“The whole of history is about hopes being sustained, lost, renewed,” wrote John Berger, reflecting on the life and work of the poet Nâzım Hikmet. “And with new hopes come new theories.”

In December 2021, the Australian Association for the Study of Religion and the Australian National University invite scholars from across the country and across the world to join us online to reflect upon the significance of hopes sustained, lost, and renewed across religions, theories, cultures, and scholarly disciplines.

We also invite papers and panels on the full range of topics and issues that reflect the diverse fields of specialization, disciplinary approaches, and research interests of scholars of religion.

Through individual presentations and panels, we invite participants to ask how the principle of hope has informed religious belief and practice in the past and present. For while hope has been understood as a Christian virtue, like faith and love, hope has also been seen as deceptive, the ambiguous contents of Pandora’s Box. Hope can even be cruel; following Lauren Berlant’s notion of “cruel optimism,” our hope may be holding us back. Whether spiritual, medical, technological, or political, one person’s hope may also be another person’s fear in our increasingly diverse and unstable societies.

Proposals of may be sent to aasrconference2021@gmail.com until 31 October 2021.

Please include relevant affiliation and contact information in a single document. Individual paper proposals may be up to 250 words. Panel proposals should be submitted as a single document with a short abstract for the panel as well as individual abstracts up to 250 words and individual author information. Panels may consist of 3 or 4 participants. Individual presentations will be 20 minutes, plus 10 minutes for questions and answers, panels may be up to 120 minutes in total.

All presenters will be required to be members of the AASR by 30 November 2021. Members of the New Zealand Association for the Study of Religion are exempt from this requirement.

The conference will be held online, over Zoom, on Australian Eastern Daylight Time (GMT/UTC + 11).

Keynote speakers, including presenters of the Penny Magee Memorial Lecture, the Herbert & Valmae Freilich Lecture, and the Hans Mol Memorial Lecture, will soon be confirmed.

All inquiries may be directed to aasrconference2021@gmail.com

Postgraduate funding: The Islam-UK Centre at Cardiff University

The Islam-UK Centre at Cardiff University is pleased to offer postgraduate funding for the coming autumn. There are 3 scholarships available for the 1 year MA and 3 scholarships for PhDs. The deadline is 21 May, and details are here:
https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/centre-for-the-study-of-islam-in-the-uk/study/jameel-scholarships

Applications that reflect the research interests of the Islam-UK Centre staff are encouragedhttps://www.cardiff.ac.uk/centre-for-the-study-of-islam-in-the-uk/people

Contact jameelscholarships@cardiff.ac.uk for any queries, or get in touch with myself or any of the Islam-UK Centre staff for an informal conversation.

AASR April Newsletter

Book Reviews Editor Wanted

The Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, the publication of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion, is seeking a book reviews editor from April 2021 to April 2022, while Rosemary Hancock is on leave. The position involves soliciting and editing academic book reviews from scholars around the world; the journal is published 3 times per year and each issue publishes 4 or 5 reviews. The position does involve posting books, so it is important to have the approval of your university for that task. Please contact Rosemary Hancock if you are interested: rosemary.hancock@nd.edu.au

Books  for Review

Please find the current list of books available for review on the Journal. 

Call for Papers:

Conferences:

46th Annual Conference of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion on ‘Hope’, 9-10 December 2021. Abstract deadline: 31 Oct 2021. More info.

Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference 2021, 20-22 September 2021. Abstract deadline 3 May 2021. More info

Australian Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (AAIMS), online: “The Future of Islam and Humanity: Local and Global Challenges and Opportunities”. 14-16 September 2021. Proposals due by 1 June 2021. More info.

New New Zealand Association for the Study of Religion Conference on ‘Aotearoa Spirit’, Victoria University of Wellington, 29-30 November 2021. Abstract deadline: 3 September 2021. More info. 

Publications:

Call for papers for the International Journal for the Study of New Religions

Call for papers: Special Issue “Female Mystics and the Divine Feminine in the Global Sufi Experience”. Deadline 1 July 2021. 

Events:

1. International seminar series on “Religion, Crisis and Disaster”. Upcoming: ‘Religion and Crisis in Nepal’, by Prof. David Gellner, University of Oxford on 7 April 2021. 
Talks will be online between February 24 – April 28, always on Wednesdays at 7pm in Sydney/4pm Perth (to allow for time difference with Europe and the Americas). More info

2. ICA 2021 Preconference Program: Intersectional Imaginaries in Media, Religion and Gender May 27, 2021. More info

PhD opportunity:

Religion, Society and Culture Network, Deakin University
Religion — beliefs and believers, institutions, social justice contributions, personal spirituality — plays a crucial role in areas of health, well-being, and safe and secure communities. While so-called secular Australia is in constant dialogue (and sometimes tension) with religion at the institutional level (child abuse, inter-faith disputes, the roles of women, other beliefs which seem to contradict the public policies of society), the contributions of religious leaders and believers are multiple. The Network is concerned with how such debates can be more fully acknowledged and considered, especially in relation to the growing recognition of Indigenous Australian spiritual beliefs, and in the increasing presence of Moslem, Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist and other religious faiths.
What does “Australia” have to say in the dialogue between faiths and between secular and religious worldviews? Proposals for a PhD project that would investigate the role played by religion either historically and/or in contemporary cultures are sought. It might be based in sociological and policy-making approaches (potential supervisors are Anna Halafoff and Andrew Singleton), educational studies, ideological or theological approaches (Lyn McCredden, Ly Hon Tan). Supervisors in the Network for Religion, Society and Culture have a range of expertise in religious studies, with particular strengths in Buddhist studies (John Power, Anna Halafoff), Indigenous and postcolonial studies (Joanna Cruickshank, Lyn McCredden, Gillian Tan), fundamentalisms, religion and conspiracy theories (Geoff Boucher, Anna Halafoff, Andrew Singleton), evangelicalism, media and religion. (Enqi Weng), religion and education (Brendan Hyde, Dawn Joseph)
Application details, application due 1 May 2021.

Religiosità in Italia – Ciclo di webinars

Gentile Collega,

sabato 10 aprile 2021 (ore 10:00-12:00) avrà inizio il ciclo di webinars di presentazione e discussione delle pubblicazioni relative alla ricerca sulla Religiosità in Italia. 

Il primo webinar sarà dedicato al volume di Franco Garelli, Gente di poca fede. Il sentimento religioso nell’Italia incerta di Dio (il Mulino) e vedrà la partecipazione di Vittorio Cotesta, Giuseppe Giordan, Roberta Ricucci e Sonia Stefanizzi. 

Per partecipare: https://bit.ly/3mohmqa

In allegato il programma completo.

Cordiali saluti,

La Segreteria Organizzativa

Ricerca sulla Religiosità in Italia 

Inform Online Event: Religions and Spiritual Movements: Reactions to the Law by Minority Religions

The next online Inform event will be taking place on Thursday 29th April, 5.30-7.30pm BST via Zoom. This will be the launch of the newest title in the Routledge Inform Series on Minority Religions and Spiritual Movements: Reactions to the Law by Minority Religions, edited by Eileen Barker and James T. Richardson. 

You can register to attend by making a donation through our website, at https://inform.ac/seminars, or by emailing us at inform@kcl.ac.uk to book your place. If donating, please be sure to use the Paypal button at the bottom of the Upcoming Seminars page, not the Donate button at the top of the page. Once you register, you will receive a flyer which will enable you to purchase the book from the publisher at a 20% discount. Please note that the Inform office will not be stocking the book for sale.

For those who have already made a donation, thank you for your generosity! 

We will be joined by a panel of three speakers: 

Milda Ališauskienė, Department of Political Sciences at Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania 

Mark Hill QC, The Open University Law School 

Marat Shterin, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, King’s College London 

Their presentations will be followed by a chance for contributors to the volume to respond briefly to some of the issues raised, and then a general Q&A. 

About the book: 

Much has been written about the law as it affects new and minority religions, but relatively little has been written about how such religions react to the law. This book presents a wide variety of responses by minority religions to the legal environments within which they find themselves. 

An international panel of experts offer examples from North America, Europe and Asia demonstrating how religions with relatively little status may resort to violence or passive acceptance of the law; how they may change their beliefs or practices in order to be in compliance with the law; or how they may resort to the law itself in order to change their legal standing, sometimes by forging alliances with those with more power or authority to achieve their goals. The volume concludes by applying theoretical insights from sociological studies of law, religion and social movements to the variety of responses. 

Table of contents: 

1 Fight, Flight or Freeze? Reactions to the Law by Minority Religions – Eileen Barker 

2 Stand Up For Your Rights: (Minority) Religions’ Reactions to the Law in Estonia – Ringo Ringvee 

3 Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Law: “Caesar’s Things to Caesar, but God’s Things to God” – Tony Brace 

4 Scientology Behind the Scenes: The Law Changer – Eric Roux 

5 No Stranger to Litigation: Court Cases Involving the Unification Church/Family Federation in the United States – Michael L. Mickler 

6 Legal Challenges Posed to the Unification Church in Europe: Perspectives from a Unificationist Advocate for Religious Freedom – Peter Zoehrer 

7 The “Doukhobor Problem” in Canada: How a Russian Mystical Sect Responded to Law Enforcement in British Columbia, 1903-2013 – Susan Palmer and Shane Dussault 

8 Making Sense of the Institutional Demarcation: Tenrikyo’s Response to Legal Environments in France – Masato Kato 

9 Strategies in Context: The Essenes in France and Canada – Marie-Eve Melanson and Jennifer Guyver 

10 Reactions to Legal Challenges by Aum Shinrikyo and its Successor Organisations – Rin Ushiyama 

11 Religious Persecution and Refugees: Legal and Communication Strategies of the Church of Almighty God in Asylum Cases – Massimo Introvigne and Rosita Soryte 

12 Minority Religion Reactions to the European Court of Human Rights  Effie Fokas 

13 Minority Religions Respond to the Law: A Theoretical Excursus – James T. Richardson 

SSSR invites nominations for the 2021 Distinguished Article Award

Purpose: To recognize the most outstanding article published by a SSSR member or members within the previous calendar year according to the citation date. For the 2021 award, only articles with citation dates in calendar year 2020 are eligible.

Qualifications: An article may be nominated by the editor of the journal in which it appeared, by its author, or by any other SSSR member deeming it to be of outstanding quality. Articles must have been published in peer–reviewed journals. Submissions published solely in edited volumes will not be considered.

Criteria: The committee will judge each article’s quality of scholarship, importance to the field, and relevance to the larger society. Any article involving some aspect of the scientific study of religion is eligible.

Award: The award will be presented at the annual meeting. It includes a plaque and $1000.

Procedures: Nominated articles must be submitted in electronic format by May 15, 2021.

More Information:

sssreligion.org/awards-grants/distinguished-article-award/

Submit Nomination

Call for Manuscripts: Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion, Volume 14 (Forthcoming 2023)

Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion, Volume 14 (Forthcoming 2023)

The Sociology of Yoga, Meditation, and Asian Asceticism

Edited by Lionel Obadia (University of Lyon 2) and Enzo Pace (University of Padova)

The irresistible yet unexpected diffusion at a global scale and appropriation of yoga, meditation and ascetic practices are undoubtedly key features of the changing landscape of religion at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries. It comes under a variety of forms, from traditional and community-based ritualized practices to individualized and secularized techniques of well-being. These techniques have infused first alternative religiosities and finally mainstream religions, beyond all geographic, social and cultural boundaries, and affected them more or less deeply. The ascetic techniques definitely lie in the heart of the “spiritual revolution” described by Heelas and Woodhead in the mid-2000s, and the “spiritual turn” operating in religious studies in parallel.

For the moment, research devoted to yoga, meditation, and introspective bodily techniques have mainly been conducted in the domain of psychology and mind sciences, history and cultural areas. Sociological approaches remain scarce and disseminated. Yet, since Weber’s pioneering works, asceticism is far from being unknown in sociology. This special issue aims at mapping the empirical forms of yoga, meditation and introspective techniques expanding worldwide; exploring new conceptual and methodological discussions in sociology of religions; questioning the possibility to circumscribe a specific sub-field in the sociology of religions, devoted to modern Asian-inspired ascetic practices.

Topics might include, but are by no means limited to:  
– the role of new technologies in the diffusion and transformation of yoga and meditation
– the impacts of meditative and introspective techniques on representations and uses of the body in modernity
– the role of orientalism and eastern imagination in the transformation of religious practices, beliefs, and religious systems
– sociological variations among users (class, gender, regions, cultural backgrounds…)
– moral and symbolic economies of well-being and spirituality in relation to ascetic techniques
– impacts on the conception of religion, adherence, commitment and other dimensions of religious life
– transformations of broader sociological theories 

Please send proposals (400 words) and a brief bio to Lionel Obadia ( lionel.obadia@univ-lyon2.fr )

Deadline Submission of proposals: June 30, 2021

Deadline Notification of acceptance: September 30, 2021

Deadline completed manuscripts (7,000 words): April 30, 2022

Now Accepting Shand Research Grant Applications

A generous bequest from Jack Shand, a long–term member of SSSR until his death in 2001, has made it possible for SSSR to offer Jack Shand Research Grants to support research in the social scientific study of religion.For 2021, SSSR Council allocated $45,000 to this program. As part of our commitment to racial equality, 2021 Jack Shand Research Funds will support projects on racial, ethnic, and religious minority groups. While individual grants do not ordinarily exceed $5000, it is possible to make a special request for more, to be considered at the committee’s discretion. Applicants must have finished the Ph.D. degree and must be members of SSSR. In the case of co–authored requests, one author must be a member. Intellectual merit is the criterion by which proposals will be evaluated.Individuals are expected to use the Jack Shand award for expenses connected with their research. SSSR prioritizes applications that support direct research expenses. Shand Award funding is transferred to the principle investigator’s university unless other arrangements are made. Please note that SSSR does not allow for any indirect cost recovery. All applications must be submitted via the online submission form, which is accessible through the link at the top of this page. Applications emailed to the committee chair or executive office will not be accepted. A Shand Research Grant application must include a project proposal (up to 4 pages, single-spaced), budget (expenses with descriptions/justifications), and the principle investigator’s curriculum vitae in PDF format. The deadline is May 1, 2021.Funding decisions will be made by August 1, 2021.

More information: sssreligion.org/awards-grants/jack-shand-research-grants/

Shand Application

Neutralité du Liban: pourquoi le patriarche de l’Église catholique maronite a-t-il proposé cette solution ?

Date 24 mars 2021 

Heure 11h55 à 13h00 

Lieu : En ligne, sur TEAMS 

Le Centre de recherche Société, Droit et Religions de l’Université de Sherbrooke (SoDRUS) vous invite à une conférence publique qui aura lieu le mercredi 24 mars 2021.

Cette conférence sera donnée par Sylvana Al Baba Douaihy, docteure en Études du religieux contemporain et coordonnatrice générale de la Chaire UNESCO-PREV. 

Inscription obligatoire. Envoyez votre demande d’inscription à l’adresse suivante : sodrus@usherbrooke.ca

Merci de diffuser l’information dans vos réseaux. 

Au plaisir de vous y voir,