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Call for Papers: The evolutions of Christian Science in scholarly perspective

Call for papers

The evolutions of Christian Science in scholarly perspective

April 23-24, 2015

Antwerp, Belgium
Organized by : The European Observatory of Religion and Secularism (Laïcité) in partnership with Faculty of Comparative Studies of Religions, CESNUR and CLIMAS (Bordeaux)

Venue: Faculty of Comparative Studies of Religions (FVG). Wilrijk (Antwerpen) Belgium.

In 2015 Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures will be 140 years old. It lay the foundation of a healing church, Christian Science, that since then has spread to the whole world and has received thousands of testimonies on its spiritual and physical healing power. Yet Christian Science is much more than a healing church, it is a way of life, spiritually, socially and materially, and it has given birth to an original culture. Its values are displayed in the world famous Christian Science Monitor and in many more areas. With the mother Church of Boston, Christian Science is a major actor on the international religious stage that deserves to be reassessed today in a scholarly perspective. We thus invite religious studies scholars to join us in Antwerp to focus on its evolutions and possible transformations in its 140 years of existence.

The list of topics below is not exhaustive:

  • – Evolutions of the governance of the Church,
  • – Membership: numbers, growth, sociological profile. International expansion,
  • – Perception in the world as an American born religion,
  • – Judicial issues addressing its status and its healing techniques,
  • – Impact on art and culture in general,
  • – Media coverage,
  • – Influences: Christian Science impact on the religious community, including New Thought, Christian healing, Scientology… (In this regard, Gordon Melton has suggested a session on the role of Christian Science on the birth of New Thought).

Language of the conference: English and French

Send a 10 line abstract, with a 5 line résumé of your previous work to:

Régis Dericquebourg, Associate Professor at the FVG and President of the European Observatory of Religions and laïcité (secularism)

and/or to Bernadette Rigal-Cellard, professor at Université Bordeaux Montaigne, vice-president of the Observatory.

Papers will be considered for publication, with editorial details given during the conference. It is understood that presenters must submit their paper first to the organizers before submitting them to other publishers.

Detail on registration, housing, transportation will be given later

Deadline to submit your proposal: February 28, 2015

Unfortunately, no funding will be available to cover travel and accommodation expenses

Scientific committee:

  • Regis Dericquebourg, Associate Professor at the FVG and President of the European Observatory of Religions and laïcité (secularism), France and Belgium
  • Massimo Introvigne, CESNUR, Torino, Italy
  • Gordon Melton, Distinguished Professor of American Religious History, Baylor, Texas
  • Bernadette Rigal-Cellard, Professor in North American Studies, Université Bordeaux Montaigne, member de CLIMAS (Culture et littératures du monde anglo saxon), France
  • Chris Vonck, professor in Religious Studies, Dean of the faculty of Comparative studies of religions, (FVG), Wilrijk (Antwerpen), Belgium