Author Archives: Jim S

ASR Meeting registration now open

The Association for the Sociology of Religion (ASR) welcomes you to attend our 2018 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.

Our 2018 theme, “Strengthening Weak Ties to other Sociological Subdisciplines,” highlights the meeting overlap with the American Sociological Association (ASA), Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), Association of Black Sociologists (ABS), and other sociological associations.  Furthermore, the ASR Annual Meeting schedule maximizes participation opportunities for those who are interested in both the ASR and the ASA Religion Section activities.

Jennifer Glass will be our featured speaker and will discuss religion and politics in everyday life.

Please visit our website at for more information, including registration and hotel reservation instructions.   We welcome non-ASR members to attend our annual meeting.

You may pay a reduced registration rate if you would like to become an ASR member (visit our home page for membership information).

Please contact ASR Executive Officer, Rachel Kraus, at with any questions.  We hope to see you in Philly!

RC-22 Newsletter #18

Issue #18 of the Research Committee on the Sociology of Religion’s newsletter is now available on our website or by clicking the picture below.  The newsletter contains information about the upcoming World Congress of Sociology.  Our Program Coordinators — Anna Halafoff, Carolyn Starkey, and Sam Han — have done a wonderful job putting together an exciting program.  I hope that you will be able to join us in Toronto next summer.

The newsletter also contains a call for nominations for the next President, Secretary-Treasurer, and Board Members.  See the newsletter for details.

Jim Spickard
RC-22 President


3 PhD positions in “Human Rights, Society, and Multilevel Governance” (University of Padua

Dear Colleagues,

could you please inform possible candidates for 3 PhD positions on offer
at the University of Padua (Italy)?

The call is for an international programme on “Human Rights, Society, and
Multilevel Governance”.

For more information on the Joint PhD Programme please go to:

Details on how to apply are here:

Many thanks

Giuseppe Giordan
Joint PhD Coordinator
“Human Rights, Society, and Multilevel Governance”
University of Padua – Italy

Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Global Sociology – Kansas State University

The Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Kansas State University invites applications for a tenure track position as Assistant Professor of Sociology, to begin August 2015. We seek a productive scholar with expertise in global sociology. The successful candidate will have a strong publication record and demonstrate success in, or exceptional promise for, securing external funding to support their research. Preference will be given to candidates whose expertise complement and/or extend existing faculty strengths in social movements, culture, and development. Additional preference will be given to candidates who can contribute to one or more of the following interdisciplinary areas identified by the university as grand challenges: global food systems, water, community vitality, and health. The successful candidate will contribute to the undergraduate and graduate programs in sociology by teaching (two courses per semester), advising, and mentoring graduate (M.A. and Ph.D.) students. A Ph.D. in Sociology is required at the time of appointment. Applicants should submit a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, one example of their strongest written work, three letters of reference, and a summary of teaching experience. These materials should be sent in one PDF attachment to socansw Inquiries should be sent to Matthew Sanderson: mattrs or Matthew Sanderson, Chair of Global Sociology Search Committee, Kansas State University, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, 204 Waters Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506-4003. Review of applications will begin on November 1, 2014, and continue until the position is filled. Applications received by November 1 will receive full consideration. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Kansas State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans. Kansas State University actively seeks diversity among its employees. Women and minority scholars are strongly encouraged to apply. A background check is required prior to hiring.

Conference Invitation: Imams in Western Europe – Authority, Training, and Institutional Challenges, Rome 5-7 N ovember 2014

Imams in Western Europe – Authority, Training, and Institutional Challenges

5-6-7 November 2014

LUISS Guido Carli University &

John Cabot American University

Rome, Italy

Conceptual Framework

The social facts of globalization, transnational migration and the various interpretations of secularism have challenged the visibility of religion in the public sphere in “Western” societies. This has most importantly and urgently required religious authorities to revisit their organization, governance and internal hierarchy, which link believers and their community to God. Islamic religious authority is no exception. All over the Islamic world and Europe, Islamic religious authority is still struggling to negotiate its place among the institutions of the modern state. The imamate is one of the institutions that is experiencing a shift in roles and functions in society amidst these institutions.

The religious affairs of the early Muslim community in Europe after WWII were hardly institutional, and consequently lacked state recognition and its support, as well as professional and trained Imams. Without formal prayer spaces, they were also poorly organized and officially “Imam-less.” Muslims themselves had either to choose a respected believer to become their leader of prayers or, afterwards, sought to import an Imam from their own village or city in the country of origin. Because the situation of religious education in the wider Islamic world was still in the making in the postcolonial era, these imported imams had either a conservative education and were not open to modern state institutions or to liberal multicultural society, or they were not trained as Imams at all, but were lay men who had learnt the Quran, or part of it, by heart at the madrassas (al massid or al kuttab), and not at modern schools or universities.

On arrival in Europe, these Imams faced considerable problems. They often lacked the mastery of the language of the host country, and mostly lacked the understanding of the place of religion in the public space, and the role of religious authority within the community of believers. Also, the economic difficulties of these early “guest-workers” contributed to making institutionalized religious training and schooling unthinkable. The international rise of political Islam, the flow of funds of the Muslim communities from the countries of origin (through embassies and international religious movements), and the internal increasing “fear of Islamism” and the “feel of Islamophobia” made the idea of home-grown Imams beyond the scope of policy-making and state institutions at first. However, terrorist attacks (9/11, 7/7, etc.), increasing state surveillance of Islamic religious affairs, as well as the Muslim community need for recognized religious authority in European societies have made the idea again thinkable.

The last decade witnessed a remarkable increase in debates over the necessity to ground European Islam on the European soil, and through state institutions. Islamic representatives and schools are building partnerships with prestigious universities in the UK, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, for co-designed religious curricula and for the training of home-grown imams and the establishment of a domestic religious authority.

Conference Themes

· Imams in Islamic scholarship: intellectual requirements and the scope of action within religious scholarly authority

· Muslim religious authority and their representative bodies in Western Europe

· The Muslim community’s authority over the Imam: the social stratum

· The importation of Imams and their geographical distribution in Western Europe

· The prospects of developing “home-grown” Imams: mosques, Islamic schools, university departments of theology, and possible partnerships

· Imams’ training and the job market

· Imams, politics, and the media

· Imams and civic engagement: ethics, spirituality, environment, social justice, multiculturalism, etc.

· Comparative perspectives: best practices of religious national institutions and Imam training in Western Europe

Keynote speakers

Hilary Kalmbach (Sussex University, UK)

Jasser Auda (Faculty of Islamic Studies in Doha, Qatar)

Jonathan Laurence (Political Science at Boston College, USA)

Marco Ventura (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium)

Olivier Roy (European University Institute, Italy)

Stefano Allievi (University of Padova, Italy)

Confirmed speakers

Abdullah Sahin (The Markfield Institute of Higher Education, UK), Cedric Beyloq (Mundiapolis University, Casablanca, Morocco), Domenico Melidoro (LUISS University, Rome), Mansur Ali (Cardiff University, UK), Egdunas Racius (Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania), Evrim Ersan Akkilic (Universität Wien, Austria), Farid El Asri (Louvain University, Belgium), Francesco Alicino (University LUM Jean Monnet University of Bari, Italy), Goran Larsson (University of Gothenburg, Sweden), Imam Yahya Pallavicini (Italy), Jan Jaap de Ruiter (Tilburg University, Netherlands), Jorgen Nielsen (University of Birmingham, UK), Juan Ferreiro Galguera (Universidade da Coruña, Spain), Khalid Hajji (CEOM, Belgium), Melanie Kamp (Zentrum Moderner Orient, Germany), Paolo Branca (Università Cattolica del S. Cuore, Italy), Redouane Abdellah (Islamic Cultural Center of Rome, Italy), Renata Peppiceli (LUISS university, Italy), Riem Spielhaus (Erlangen Centre for Islam & Law in Europe, Germany), Romain Sèze (Reims University, France), Sara Silvestri (City University London, UK), Stefano Allievi (University of Padova, Italy), Tuomas Martikainen (Åbo Akademi University, Finland), Valentina Gentile (LUISS University, Italy)

Organizing partners

The Department of Political Science and the School of Government at LUISS Guido Carli University of Rome,

The Department of Cross Cultural Studies at University of Copenhagen

John Cabot American University (JCU) of Rome

The NordForsk Research Network “Norms and Narratives in the Nordic Countries” (NONA),

The European Council of Moroccan Oulema (CEOM) in Brussels,

The Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies (NISIS)


Mohammed Hashas, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Political Science, LUISS University of Rome.

Niels Valdemar Vinding, Assistant Professor, Department of Cross Cultural & Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen

Khalid Hajji, Secretary General of the European Council of Moroccan Oulema in Brussels, & associate professor at Mohamed I University in Oujda, Morocco.

Jan Jaap de Ruiter, Associate professor, Department of Cultural Studies, Tilburg University in the Netherlands.


Tom Bailey, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Business Administration, JCU

Michael Driessen, Assistant Professor of Political Science & International Affairs, JCU


Attendance is open and free but registration is required for space management (please write to Mohammed Hashas, hashasmohammed, or Niels Valdemar Vinding, lbm993). A small amount of grants are available for doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers to help with accommodation. To apply for a grant, contact the conveners above.

N.B. The conference programme will be circulated in due time.

The Problem with Numbers in the Study of Religions

The Problem with Numbers in the Study of Religions Diskus Vol 16, No 2 (2014) Guest Editor: Bettina Schmidt

Table of Contents


The Problem with Numbers in Study of Religions: Introduction Bettina Schmidt

Denominations of Faith in the Census
Gunnar Thorvaldsen

Deepening Secularization? How to Read Official Statistics. A Case of the Czech Republic David Václavík

Religion, “Non-Religion” and Indigenous Peoples on the 2011 Australian National Census James L. Cox, Adam Possamai

Counting the converts: investigating change of religion in Scotland and estimating change of religion in England and Wales using data from Scotland’s Census 2001 M. A. Kevin Brice

Ticking “no religion”: A case study amongst “young nones”
Simeon Wallis

Religion, Ethnicity and National Origins: Exploring the Independence of Variables in a Superdiverse Neighbourhood Martin D. Stringer

Surveying an urban ‘umma islamiyya’ in Germany: numbers and issues relating to the religious self-identification Vladislav Serikov

Afterword: Some reflections on numbers in the study of religion David Voas _______________________________________________

Department Head and Professor Position – Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University

The Department of Sociology seeks a Department Head at the rank of Professor, anticipated to begin July 1, 2015. Candidate must have a Ph.D., a commitment to academic excellence, an established research and extramural funding record, and a commitment to effective academic leadership and administration. Substantive area open. The successful candidate will join a large multidisciplinary department. Programs offered include B.A. in Sociology, B.A. in Criminology, B.S.W. in Social Work, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Sociology. The department consists of 20 faculty members, more than 390 undergraduate majors, and approximately 50 graduate students. The Department has strong ties to the African American Studies Program and the Gender Studies Program, as well as to several research centers, including the Social Science Research Center (, the National Strategic Planning & Analysis Research Center (, and the National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision ( More information on the department and its programs can be seen at

Mississippi State University is a public, land grant university classified as a Very High Research Activity university by the Carnegie Foundation. Its mission is to provide access and opportunities to students from all sectors of the state’s diverse population and to offer excellent and extensive programs in instruction, research, and outreach. More information on the university’s mission can be seen at

Materials should be sent via mail to: Chair, Department Head Recruitment Committee, Department of Sociology, P.O. Box C, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762 OR electronically to: PJJones. Items that must be included are a vitae, a letter describing research philosophy and research interests, and supporting materials demonstrating teaching, service, and scholarly achievement, as well as a cover letter addressing commitment to effective academic leadership and administration. At least three letters of reference should be sent directly to the Chair of the Department Head Recruitment Committee. Review of applications will begin November 15, 2014, but applications will be accepted and reviewed until the position is filled. For application procedures and more information regarding this position please go to, PARF # 8383

Mississippi State University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.Females and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Job opening at University of Virginia

The Department of Sociology at the University of Virginia invites >applicants for an open-rank tenured or tenure-track position (advanced >assistant to new full). Field of specialization is open, though we are >especially interested in candidates whose work addresses globalization, >non-Western societies, environmental sociology, health and society, >organizational sociology, comparative-historical sociology and >sociological theory.

In addition to developing external funding to support research >endeavors, candidates will be expected to teach at the graduate and >undergraduate levels and provide service to the University, Department >and professional organizations.

Review of applications will begin November 1st. The expected >appointment start date will begin August 25, 2015.

Applicants must be on track to receive a PhD in the relevant field by >May 2015 and must hold a PhD at the time of appointment.

To apply candidates must submit a Candidate Profile through Jobs@UVa >(, search on posting number 0614986 and >electronically attach the following: a cover letter of interest >describing research agenda and teaching experience, a curriculum vitae, >a sample article- or chapter-length scholarship (Attach to Writing >Sample 1) and contact information for three references.

Questions regarding the application process in JOBS@UVa should be >directed to: Ms. Katherine Shiflett, Sociology Business Administrator, >434-924-6509,

The University will perform background checks on all new faculty hires >prior to making a final offer of employment.

The University of Virginia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action >Employer. Women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities are >encouraged to apply.

Professor and Department Chair Position – College of Charleston

College of Charleston

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Professor and Department Chair

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the College of Charleston invites applications for the position of Department Chair. Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to collaborative leadership in a joint sociology and anthropology department that values quality teaching and research. A Ph.D. in Sociology or Anthropology is required; however, research and teaching areas are open. A strong external candidate should demonstrate administrative experience and be eligible for appointment at the rank of professor with tenure. In addition, the successful candidate should demonstrate excellence in teaching, research and professional development, and service. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications. Expected start date is July 1, 2015.

Minimum Qualifications/Credentials

A Ph.D. in Sociology or Anthropology is required. A strong external candidate should be able to demonstrate administrative experience and be eligible for appointment at the rank of professor with tenure.

How to Apply

Apply online at winfieldi.

About the College of Charleston and the Department

The College of Charleston is a state-supported, liberal arts and sciences institution with approximately 10,000 undergraduates and 1,200 graduate students. Consistent with its heritage since its founding in 1770, the College retains a strong liberal arts undergraduate curriculum. It is located on the historic peninsula in Downtown Charleston, a coastal metropolitan area of over 600,000. Additional information about the institution and the surrounding area is available at

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology consists of 20 faculty (9 Anthropologists and 11 Sociologists) and has approximately 300 majors. Applicants may learn more about the department at

Chair and Associate/Full Professor Position – Georgia Southern University


University System of Georgia

Chair and Associate or Full Professor

Search #67212

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences invites nominations and applications for the position of Department Chair at the rank of Associate or Full Professor. Georgia Southern University is a member institution of the University System of Georgia and a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University devoted to academic distinction in teaching, scholarship, and service. At Georgia Southern we provide a culture of engagement that bridges theory with practice, extends the learning environment beyond the classroom, and promotes student growth and life success.

Founded in 1906, the University now serves more than 20,500 students and offers more than 100 campus-based and online degree programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels. Our 900 acre park-like campus in Statesboro, Georgia is not far from historic Savannah and Hilton Head Island and provides the benefits of a major university with the feeling of a much smaller college in a classic Main Street community.

Within this setting, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers undergraduate majors and minors in sociology and anthropology as well as a Master of Arts in Social Science. In addition, we house the Center for Social Gerontology and the Georgia Archeological Research Project. Our programs provide a comparative and holistic approach to the study of the human experience. Specifically, the department offers: (1) students of all disciplines the opportunity to deepen and broaden their knowledge through study abroad and internships; (2) a strong preparation for graduate study in sociology or anthropology; and (3) an academic and practical background for those who wish to apply the anthropological or sociological perspective in a wide range of professional careers, such as cultural resource management, social services, applied social research, and archeology.

Position Description: Reporting to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the position of Department Chair requires vision, leadership, administrative talents, teaching (two courses per year), research and service, as well as a terminal degree. The Chair will work in a collaborative department administrative structure, representing 17 full-time faculty members. The position is a 12-month appointment, and the salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Required Qualifications:

  • A Doctorate in Anthropology or Sociology (or closely related field with a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in sociology or anthropology)
  • Demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and service
  • Candidate must currently hold a rank of associate or full professor.
  • Minimum of 5 years full-time college/university teaching experience at the associate professor level is required for the rank of professor along with a strong record of teaching, research, and service with substantial publications and presentations in professional venues.
  • Must be authorized to work in the United States for the duration of employment without assistance from the institution.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Prior administrative experiences
  • Although advanced Associate professors will be considered, the department has a strong preference for a Full Professor or for an Associate Professor who can be hired as a Full Professor, according to Georgia Southern University’s criteria for the position.

Screening of applications begins October 15, 2014, and continues until the position is filled. The preferred position starting date is July 1, 2015.

A complete application consists of a letter addressing the qualifications cited above; an administrative philosophy; a curriculum vitae; and the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses of at least five professional references.

Other documentation may be requested.

Only complete applications and applications submitted electronically will be considered.

Finalists will be required to submit to a background investigation.

Applications and nominations should be sent by email to:

Eric Kartchner

Search Chair, Search #67212

Electronic mail: forlangs

Telephone: 912-478-5281

Please reference the search number in the subject line of the email.

More information about the institution is available through or .

Georgia Southern University seeks to recruit individuals who are committed to working in diverse academic and professional communities and who are committed to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and professional service within the University and beyond.

Georgia is an Open Records state.

Georgia Southern University is an AA/EO institution.

Individuals who need reasonable accommodations under the ADA to participate in the search process should contact the Associate Provost.

Contact Us: forlangs