Call for Papers: Conference on Christian Renewal Movements in the Global South

Call for applications, international interdisciplinary conference:

Christian Renewal Movements in the Global South in the 20th and 21st  Centuries: Religious, Social and Political Transformation

The Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 28-29 May 2017

The explosion of new and diverse forms of Christianity across the Global South – mass conversions, emergence of new denominations, and revitalization within established churches – have been among the most staggering religious phenomena of recent times. The diffused Pentecostal and Evangelical movements, which gained prominence throughout the 20th century, have already reached a dramatic following of over half a billion. The Roman Catholic Church and the historical mainline churches have joined the fray with their own charismatic renewal movements. The emergence of these new churches has had profound social, cultural and political impact within international, national and local arenas. Historically, we have seen how new Christian movements, often through the provision of education and health, have challenged traditional political and social structures. More recently, we have witnessed the ways in which new Christian communities transform political participation, affect marginalized groups and reconstruct social values.  No wonder, therefore, that some have been referring to the explosion of new Christian forms as a “second reformation,” a term indicative of its magnitude and far-reaching implications.

We invite contributors to an interdisciplinary conference dedicated to dialogue between scholars of religion in the broad sense of the term, with the aim of developing comparative perspectives on these disperse yet interrelated religio-social developments. Through multi-sited comparative studies, exploration of moments of cross-regional interaction, and the mapping of channels of inter-regional influences, as well as in-depth and contextualized studies of specific case studies, we hope to gain insights into how local and global trends play out both geographically and over time. Though by no means exclusive, contributions related to the following themes will be particularly welcome:

  • · Historical transformation versus continuity (e.g. relations between  contemporary Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism in the Global South and  the historical templates of Protestant Western missionary).
  • · Socio-political engagement (e.g. new Christian movements’ influence on traditional sociopolitical structures, and their response to development challenges such as poverty and marginalization).
  • · South-South connections (e.g. networks of collaboration and inspiration generated around the success of new Christian churches, the dissemination of their message through the aid of modern communication technologies, and their global, national and local implications).
  • · Theological conceptions (e.g. particular theological ideas and currents informing Christian renewal movements in the Global South, and their departure from mainstream Catholic and Protestant conceptions).

The conference will be held in English. Applicants are welcome from all disciplines, including, among others: history, sociology, anthropology, geography, religious studies, development studies, and regional studies  (esp. Latin American, African, and East Asian studies). Special care will be taken to incorporate speakers at various stages of their academic careers. Thus, alongside senior academics, younger scholars – including post-doctoral researchers and doctoral candidates – are encouraged to apply. Proposals including comparative and multi-sited case studies are particularly welcome.

Deadline for abstract submission is 15 January 2017. Proposed abstracts should include up to 2,500 characters, and should mention the author’s institutional affiliation. They are to be submitted to: globalsouthchristianity@gmail.com. Responses regarding admission will be sent out by 31 January 2017.

Limited funds are available for covering/supporting participants’ travel and accommodations. Applicants should indicate their request for support upon applications.