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Call for Papers: “Global Flows of Contemporary Buddhism”

Call for papers – due 10 January, 2017

The 34th Conference of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion (ISSR/SISR)

4-7 July, 2017

Lausanne, Switzerland, 

STS #7
Title: Global Flows of Contemporary Buddhism
Convener(s): Sarah-Jane Page, Anna Halafoff

The contemporary development of Buddhism globally has been noteworthy: in many places, Buddhism is proliferating, with new dynamics of Buddhism being forged. This stream intends to map the implications for the sociology of religion, where Buddhism, and its contemporary manifestation has been underexplored. Given that Buddhism is dominantly constructed in particular ways (e.g. as peaceful and benign – see Halafoff, 2012; Keown, 2012), this raises important questions regarding investigative hierarchies and why Buddhism has been largely excluded from sociological agendas.
As flows of Buddhism enter new spaces and places, Buddhism itself is transformed, and also has the potential to change the social landscape. As Buddhism grows, and sociology starts to take Buddhist adherents more seriously, we need to consider the sociological implications. On the one hand, we need to assess the everyday experiences of Buddhists, especially how these developments intersect with long-standing sociological divisions, such as class, gender and race. For example, in relation to gender, to what extent are gender inequalities apparent, both for lay Buddhists and those ordained? On the other hand, we also need to consider the impact for social theory and methodologies, and whether studying Buddhism affirms or challenges our existing theoretical and methodological frameworks.
We welcome papers considering any sociological facet of contemporary Buddhism. Topics could include (but are not limited to) the following areas: Social theory and Buddhism; terminology and concepts; dominant constructions of Buddhism; methodological implications; social class; race; gender; sexuality; youth; socially engaged Buddhism/activism; heritage/buildings; digital Buddhism/Buddhism online; religious leadership and authority; East/West navigation and transformation; and consumerism and Buddhism.

Please submit your paper proposal (title and abstract up to 250 words) in English or French via the ISSR/SISR Conference websitesubmission form by the 10th January 2017: