Author Archives: Jim

Call for Papers: ISA Forum of Sociology, Porto Alegre, Brazil, July 14-18 2020


Call for Abstracts
“Challenges of the 21st century for sociology of religion”

Program Coordinators:

  • Eloísa Martín, United Arab Emirates University, UAE
  • Juan Cruz Esquivel, University of Buenos Aires/ CONICET, Argentina
  • Roberta Bivar Carneiro, Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil

The debate on religion, its role, its development, and its future has been intense, extensive and sophisticated during the last few decades. Religion is both a central phenomenon itself and a key variable that can be used to explain economic, social, and political phenomena. Both facets require continuous in-depth research. In recent years, many sociologists have begun to identify limits to the current approach to religious phenomena, and especially to the definitions of religion developed in the West. A number of authors have extended this critique to the ways sociologists currently explain and interpret “religion” in the 21st Century. Though still emerging, such accounts have opened new paths by which sociologists of religion can face both the empirical and theoretical challenges of our era.

We invite abstracts for the following sessions:

We will also be including the following invited sessions in our RC22 program:

The ISA CONFEX website is now open for abstract submissions from April 25 – September 30, 2019 24:00 GMT. Abstracts may only be submitted through the CONFEX site. Programme coordinators cannot include abstracts sent by email or include abstracts submitted after the CONFEX system is closed.

Go to to enter the CONFEX site and click on Begin a Submission. Abstracts must be submitted in English, French or Spanish.

A person may be listed in the Program:
•    up to 2 times as author or co-author (oral or poster presentation, distributed paper, roundtable presenter)
•    up to 2 times as chair or co-chair, panellist, critic, discussant

To be included in the program the participants (presenters, chairs, discussants, etc.) need to pay full registration fees by March 19, 2020. If not registered, their names will not appear in the Program Book and in the Abstracts Book.

Please address any questions to any of the Program Coordinators:

Call for Papers: Conference on Rethinking​ ​Media, Religion and Secularities, 4-7 August 2020

Conference of the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture Conference location: Sigtuna Foundation, Sigtuna, Sweden. Conference dates: 4-7 of August 2020. Deadline for Paper proposals: 6 December 2019.

Religion, as humanity’s oldest expression of values, identity and community, has always been a mediated practice. In contemporary society religious ideas are communicated, learned, represented, enacted and resisted through various forms of media. Religion circulates through social media, is discussed in the news and becomes a source of imagery for film and television.

The International Society for Media, Religion and Culture (ISMRC) was founded in 2010 out of a series of conferences on the interplay between media, religion and culture starting in 1994. Today the ISMRC is a vibrant research community of scholars with a large variety of international, disciplinary and religious backgrounds, covering topics such as journalism on religion; religion, popular culture and entertainment; and digital religion.

The ISMRC organizes biennial conferences and the Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture (RMDC) is published by Brill in cooperation with the ISMRC.

Click HERE for detailed information.

    Call for book proposals

    Bloomsbury welcomes book proposals for Bloomsbury Studies in Material Religion, edited by Birgit Meyer (University of Utrecht, the Netherlands), David Morgan (Duke University, USA), Crispin Paine (UCL, UK), S. Brent Plate (Hamilton College, USA), and Amy Whitehead (Bath Spa University, UK).

      • This is the first book series dedicated exclusively to studies in material religion. Within the field of lived religion, the series is concerned with the material things with which people do religion, and how these things – objects, buildings, landscapes – relate to people, their bodies, clothes, food, actions, thoughts and emotions. The series engages and advances theories in ‘sensuous’ and ‘experiential’ religion, as well as informing museum practices and influencing wider cultural understandings with relation to religious objects and performances. Books in the series are at the cutting edge of debates as well as developments in fields including religious studies, anthropology, museum studies, art history, and material culture studies.
      • Forthcoming titles: Christianity and the Limits of Materiality,Minna Opas and Anna Haapalainen (University of Turku, Finland) Materiality, Practice, and Performance at Sacred Sites in India and Pakistan, Navtej K. Purewal (SOAS, University of London, UK) and Virinder S. Kalra (University of Manchester, UK) Food, Festival and Religion, Francesca Ciancimino Howell (Naropa University, USA) Museums of World Religions, Charles Orzech (University of Glasgow, UK).

      Please send initial enquiries to Amy Whitehead, Managing Editor ( or Lalle Pursglove, Senior Commissioning Editor (

      Public Lecture: Minors in Minority Religions

      Minors in Minority Religions: The Delicate Balance between Religious Freedom and the Well-being of the Child. Speaker: Dr Susan J. Palmer (School of Religious Studies, McGill University). Held at Western Sydney University, 17 September 2019, 1-3pm

      To be accompanied by a special seminar: “Researching New Religions: Qualitative Methods in a Controversial Field” by guest instructor, Susan J. Palmer. Run by the Religion and Society Research Cluster (RSRC) at Western Sydney University. 19 September, 1-4pm

      Click HERE for more information(Scroll down to locate these events.)

      Job Opportunities

      We have received notice of the following job opportunities.  Click the links for more information.

      “Scandinavian Jewish Studies” journal is now Open Access online

      Dear Colleagues, kära kolleger
      Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies has completed the digitalisation of its archive! Welcome to read every article published in the peer-review journal since the start in 1975, full text, open access.

      Digtaliseringen av Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies är nu klar, alla artiklar publicerade sedan starten år 1975 finns nu att läsa i fulltext, open access!

      Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies aims at promoting Jewish studies in Scandinavia by publishing scholarly articles, surveys and documents, by reviewing recent literature, and compiling bibliographies. The contributions are published in one of the Scandinavian languages, or in English, German or French, with an abstract in English. The journal is strictly academic and does not pursue any special religious, political or cultural policy.
      NJ is published open access online.

      Kind regards,
      Ruth Illman & Karin Hedner Zetterholm, Editors

      Public Seminar: Religion in Contemporary Society

      Religion in Contemporary Society – What do we need to know to manage complexity?

      31.10 2019, Turku/Åbo, Finland
      Sibelius Museum, Piispankatu 17

      13.00 Linda Woodhead, Distinguished Prof. of Religion and Society, Lancaster University, UK: De-Reformation: how the old religious and political order came apart and what has taken its place

      • Response by Terhi Utriainen, Prof. of the Study of Religions, University of Turku

      14:00 Paul Bramadat, Prof., Director, Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, University of Victoria, Canada:   Urban Religion, Irreligion, and Spirituality: After After Religion in Canada

      • Response by Tuomas Martikainen, Director, Migration Institute of Finland, Turku

      Discussion (Chair: Tuula Sakranaho, Prof. of the Study of Religions, University of Helsinki)

      15.30 Coffee

      Turku City Library, Linnankatu 2

      17.00 Public Discussion: Uskonto ja suomalainen yhteiskunta – mihin olemme menossa?

      Paneelikeskustelun tarkoituksena on valottaa Suomen uskonnollista nykytilannetta ja siinä tapahtuvia muutoksia eri uskontokuntien näkökulmista. Onko uskontojen rooli yhteiskunnassa muuttumassa, ja millä tavoin? Millä elämän aloilla uskontoa joudutaan pohtimaan uudella tavalla? Pystyykö suomalainen yhteiskunta vastaamaan yhä monimuotoisemman yhteiskunnan haasteisiin ja näkemään myös sen tarjoamat mahdollisuudet?

      Kaarlo Kalliala, piispa, Turun arkkihiippakunta

      Simon Livson, rabbi, Helsingin ja Turun juutalaiset seurakunnat

      Terhi Utriainen, professori, Turun yliopisto

      Zahra al-Take, opettaja, Turku

      Ari Vuokko, psykoterapeutti, Suomen vietnamilaisten buddhalaisten yhdyskunnan varapuheenjohtaja

      Moderaattori: Dosentti Ruth Illman, Donner-instituutti, Turku

      The seminar is arranged by the Argumenta Project “Uskontolukutaito moniarvoisessa yhteiskunnassa”, dealing with religious literacy in contemporary diverse societies:

      It is free of charge, no registration needed.  Welcome!

      Call for Papers: “Communicating Religion’s Relevance”


      Program Theme: “Communicating Religion’s Relevance”

      Location: San Francisco, California
      Hotel: Hotel Nikko San Francisco, 222 Mason Street

      Date: August 7 (welcome reception) – August 9 Program

      Program Chair: Brian Starks, Kennesaw State University

      Although scholars of religion are keenly aware of the relevance of religion in today’s world, too often social elites and academics diminish the importance of religion. Even scholars who are well aware of religion’s relevance sometimes do an inadequate job explaining how religion permeates practically every aspect of social life. As sociologists of religion, we understand the relevance of religion to individuals as well as its consequences in the social, cultural, political, and economic dimensions of modern societies. The 2020 annual meeting’s thematic sessions will focus on several key topics:

      • What is the role of sociologists of religion in communicating the relevance of religion to their (our) fellow academics and to the broader public?
      • Are there ways that various sectors of our society have misunderstood, or failed to fully understand, religion, which sociologists of religion can remedy?
      • How do social and political elites, as well as ordinary citizens, employ religion when communicating about, or working to address, issues of local, national, or international concern?
      • How do social actors, including social movement leaders, draw upon religion and religious narratives to frame social problems? To appeal to human cognition, emotion, and morality?
      • What are religion’s unique features that distinguish it from other social phenomenon and help explain its distinct capacity to influence human and social life?
      • How, and under what circumstances, does religion contribute to new forms of identity, community, meaning, expression, moral conviction, and social control? How do we, as sociologists of religion, communicate religion’s relevance in these facets of our lives, to others?

      Papers and sessions may be thematic or focus on any topic within the sociology of religion. Those that pursue and stimulate new avenues of research and innovative theoretical and methodological approaches are especially encouraged.

      Specialty sessions, including book salons, teaching and professional development, and discussions that focus on a particular question, are also welcome.


      • Session proposals: March 31, 2020
      • Paper abstract submissions: April 30, 2020

      All submissions should be made through the ASR website at

      ASR Membership is required for organizing a session, presenting a paper, serving as a panelist, or holding another role in the program. All are expected to register for the meeting by July 1, 2020.

      For questions, contact:

      New Book: Muslims at the Margins of Europe

      Finland, Greece, Ireland and Portugal

      Editors: Tuomas Martikainen, José Mapril and Adil Hussain Khan

      This volume focuses on Muslims in Finland, Greece, Ireland and Portugal, representing the four corners of the European Union today. It highlights how Muslim experiences can be understood in relation to a country’s particular historical routes,See More

      Publication Date: 29 July 2019
      ISBN: 978-90-04-40456-4
      Part 1: Governing Islam and Muslims

      1 The Founding of the Islamic Council of Finland
      Tuomas Martikainen
      2 State and Religion in Peripheral Europe: State-Religion Relations, Corporatism and Islam in Portugal and Ireland (1970–2010)
      Luís Pais Bernardo
      3 The Governance of Islamic Religious Education in Finland: Promoting “General Islam” and the Unity of All Muslims
      Tuula Sakaranaho

      Part 2: Politics of Recognition

      4 Concepts of Authority in Irish Islam
      Adil Hussain Khan
      5 Nation-state, Citizenship and Belonging: A Socio-historical Exploration of the Role of Indigenous Islam in Greece
      Venetia Evergeti
      6 Perceptions of Mis/Recognition: The Experience of Sunni Muslim Individuals in Dublin, Ireland
      Des Delaney

      Part 3: Public Debates and (In)Visibility

      7 Explaining the Absence of a Veil Debate: The Mediating Role of Ethno-nationalism and Public Religion in the Irish Context
      Stacey Scriver
      8 Muslim Migration Intelligence and Individual Attitudes toward Muslims in Present-day Portugal
      Nina Clara Tiesler and Susana Lavado
      9 From the Margins to the Fore: Muslim Immigrants in Contemporary Greece
      Panos Hatziprokopiou

      Part 4: Mobilities and Belonging

      10 Iraqi Diaspora and Public Space in a Multicultural Suburb in Finland
      Marko Juntunen
      11 Sudanese and Somali Women in Ireland and in Finland: Material Religion and Culture in the Formation of Migrant Women’s Identities in the Diaspora
      Yafa Shanneik and Marja Tiilikainen
      12 The Socio-spatial Configuration of Muslims in Lisbon
      Jennifer McGarrigle

      RFP: The Sociology of Science and Religion: Identity and Belief Formation


      The Sociology of Science and Religion: Identity and Belief Formation

      Rice University and the University of California, San Diego are pleased to announce a $2.9 million re-granting initiative.  The “Science and Religion: Identity and Belief Formation” project will specifically fund sociological research that empirically examines how identities and beliefs are related to science and religion.  This project has been designed to provide support for new scholarship in the sociology of science and religion. The project, led by Elaine Howard Ecklund (Rice University) and John H. Evans (University of California, San Diego), is funded through the Templeton Religion Trust and coordinated by The Issachar Fund.

      Religion and science are perhaps the dominant ways of meaning making in the late modern world.  While theologians and philosophers have built an impressive body of work on how science and religion should relate, and historians on how people have connected science and religion in the past, we know little about how contemporary people actually understand the science and religion interface.  This project on the sociology of science and religion, with a focus on beliefs and identities, is running concurrently with, and interacting with, separate yet aligned proposals in cognitive science/psychology and evolutionary anthropology.

      We can imagine sociologists asking a number of questions within this broad framework.  We offer just a few examples: How do aligned identities (such as race, class, and gender identities) intersect with religious identities to shape beliefs about science, and beliefs about the relationship between religion and science? How do people use religion and science to anchor their identities in the modern world?  For example, are there people for whom science is an identity that operates in a manner similar to how religion operates as a source of identity?  Do people use religion and science to establish other identities? Given that people experience religion and science at the same time in their lives, how do people combine these perspectives to form meaningful action?

      Awards for projects related to this initiative are available through the following five award types:

      1. Sociology graduate student fellowships ($50,000 each for a total of two years of funding).
      2. A two-year postdoctoral fellowship for a sociologist to be in residence at Rice University.
      3. Research grants ($100,000 each) for early career sociologists.
      4. Research grants ($200,000 each) for mid-career sociologists.
      5. Research grants ($200,000 each) for senior sociologists.

      All awards will run two years in length. Early-career, mid-career, and senior scholar awards are eligible to begin as early as April 1, 2020; all projects must be completed by June 30, 2022. Graduate student and post-doctoral fellowships will begin on July 1, 2020 and must be completed by June 30, 2022. Letters of Intent are due October 15, 2019 for faculty grants, and January 15, 2020 for graduate student and postdoc awards.

      For complete information about grant application eligibility, instructions and deadlines, download the full RFP from:

      John H. Evans
      Tata Chancellor’s Chair in Social Sciences
      Professor of Sociology
      Associate Dean of Social Sciences,
      Co-Director, Institute for Practical Ethics
      University of California, San Diego