Category Archives: Calls for Assistance

Call for Collaborators: The Online Atlas of Religious Minorities Rights in the Council of Europe Countries

Dear Colleagues,

Italian scholar Silvio Ferrari has launched a massive project that will be of interest to NRM scholars and others researching religion. The description is below.  He is interested in possible collaborators with the project, particularly if anyone can assist in obtaining funding to expand the project. His email is: if you want to contact him. I would appreciate your sending me a copy if you do so, as I hope also to be involved: .

James T. Richardson, J.D., Ph.D.
Foundation Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Judicial Studies
Mail Stop 311
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557

The Online Atlas of Religious Minorities Rights in the Council of Europe Countries

The project aims at producing an online Atlas of the religious minorities rights in the Council of Europe member States. The Atlas will provide a general overview of the religious minorities social and legal status in the CoE countries and, through its interactive format, the reader will also have access to data and information concerning a particular country, religious group, and area of rights. Each map will be complemented by a short text that places the map in its socio-historical context and, if necessary, provides further information. Maps and chapters will be updated every three years.

The Atlas is designed to offer an easy-to-read comparative description of the status of religious minorities in the CoE countries. It will consent to identify and compare the different levels of minorities rights protection granted by each State, the legal status enjoyed by each minority group both across the CoE countries and in each of them, and the specific areas of rights that are at stake (again both transversally across the CoE countries and in each of them). Particular attention will be devoted to the rights implementation so that the gap between formal entitlement and real enjoyment of rights is reduced.

The reader will be able to select a single religious minority, country, and area of rights (for example, education) and obtain the relevant information concerning the legal and social status enjoyed by the religious minority in that country and rights area. Alternatively, the reader can get a comparative view of the rights enjoyed by all religious minorities in a country (or a group of countries) or a comparative view of the rights enjoyed by a specific religious minority in all the CoE countries. These research tools can be further combined to obtain the data and information required by the reader.

We would also like to develop a reliable system for “measuring” the implementation of religious minorities rights. Based on the answers to two questionnaires, one for legal experts and the other for the religious minorities representatives, a set of indicators concerning the respect of religious minorities rights will be developed and used to assess each country.

A collection of maps on religious minorities rights has at least two added values in comparison to a book devoted to the same issue. First, it shows at a glance what words take much more time to explain. Second, maps can be combined and merged to show the intertwinement and overlapping of the different components of the minorities rights issue, reflecting its complexity much better than a book. Therefore it is to be expected that, through the Atlas, teachers, scholars, politicians, diplomats, NGOs activists, leaders of religious organizations, etc. will gain a better knowledge of the social and legal status of religious minorities and will be able to identify the subjects, countries and areas where minorities rights protection requires to be increased and strengthened.

While there are Atlases of linguistic or national minorities, religious minorities have been overlooked and this project will fill the gap.

Diaspora: Religious Actors and Organisations as Providers of Social Welfare

Call for Contributions
for a special issue of Zeitschrift für Religion, Gesellschaft und Politik (ZRGP) – Journal for Religion, Society and Politics (
Die Zeitschrift für Religion, Gesellschaft und Politik (ZRGP) setzt sich zum Ziel, die Verschränkung von Religion und Religiosität mit gesellschaftlichen und …

Religious Actors and Organisations as Providers of Social Welfare

In Germany as well as in many other countries, religious organisations play an important role in the provision of social services. Nevertheless, in the last years the field is confronted with new problems and challenges. The Special Issue of the Zeitschrift für Religion, Gesellschaft und Politik (ZRGP)/ Journal for Religion, Society and Politics aims to collect papers on social services provided by religious organisations. The contributions may deal with transformations of established institutions, with the appearance of new actors or the disappearance of former ones as well as with the relations between religious and secular actors. We also look for papers on the relevance of religious beliefs and belongings for the provision of social services. Especially the following topics are of special interest:
1.                 We invite papers analysing the role of churches, denominations and religious organi-sations as providers of social services. The special issue aims to deliver a critical review of the situation in different countries and to explore the transformations of the field in the last decades. Additionally, papers may examine the hybrid nature of these organisations because of their simultaneous inclusion in the field of welfare provision as well as in religious contexts. They are confronted with various challenges as results of processes of secularisation and of religious diversification. Contributions to the special issue may examine how religious providers of social services deal with these challenges.
2.                 Many social services are provided by voluntary action within religious communities or milieus. This applies especially to ethnic churches and congregations, e.g. mosques or Pentecostal communities. Their activities complement, or sometimes even substitute, social services provided by state institutions. In some cases, the transformation of vol-untary action into professional services can be observed. We invite papers analysing social services of religious volunteers and their relation to professional work.
3.                 The role of religious actors in the provision of social services differs depending on the religious traditions and the welfare regimes within nation states. Regarding the respec-tive state-church-relationship and welfare tradition, countries offer various contexts and diverse conditions for religious actors in welfare provision. Case studies on differ-ent countries can show the various political, economic and judicial backgrounds for re-ligious actors in welfare provision. They can elaborate their implications and effects on the religious organisations themselves, the clients and users of social services as well as for the welfare state as such.
Please send an abstract (max. 5000 characters, including spaces) in both English or German until May, 15th 2018, to
Marc Breuer                                 
Kornelia Sammet          
The proposals for contributions will be presented and discussed during a workshop in Pader-born (Germany). The presenters will then be invited to submit full papers to the ZRGP and undergo the normal peer review of the journal.
The special issue will be published in autumn 2019 in volume 2/2019 of the ZRGP.

May, 15th 2018                                             submission of abstracts to the editors of the special issue
May, 31st 2018                                             confirmation of acceptance
July, 30th and 31st 2018  workshop in Paderborn
November, 15th 2018                            submission of full papers
April, 30th 2019                                     revision of the papers
August 2019                                                                completion of the volume
November 2019                                            publication in volume 2/2019 of the ZRGP (online first)

The editors of the special issue:

Prof. Dr. Marc Breuer teaches sociology at the Department of Social Sciences, Catholic Uni-versity of Applied Sciences, Paderborn.

Dr. Kornelia Sammet, sociologist, director of the research project (funded by the DFG) on „Worldviews of Unemployed People“ at the University of Leipzig.

Journal for Religion, Society and Politics
The aim of the Zeitschrift für Religion, Gesellschaft und Politik (ZRGP) is the analysis of religion and religiosity and their intertwinement with political issues, conflicts and constella-tions; given the extensive processes of religious pluralisation, new and alternative modes of presentation, interpretation and clarification are warranted in order to better understand the relationship of religion and politics as well as their embeddedness in changing societies and religious conflicts, discourses and debates. The ZRGP is a medium of academic communica-tion, publishing discipline-specific as well as interdisciplinary contributions and discussions. Our aim is to provide an interdisciplinary perspective on the relationship of religion(s), society, and politics. We welcome theoretical and empirical (both quantitative and qualitative) articles with a social science perspective. The journal explicitly responds to a current academic, social and political interest in religion, its contexts, consequences and scientific and quotidian interpretations.

Submission guidelines
Papers submitted to this special issue are subject to the normal peer-review process and must be prepared in conformity with the journal’s submission guidelines. Manuscripts must be submitted online through the website of the journal:
Manuscripts in English or German can range from 60,000 to 80,000 characters (including spaces as well as text, footnotes, and references).

Calling All Scholars of Religion: A (Free) Invitation to Comment on a Paper Summarizing the Role of Religion in the Contemporary World

Dear RC22 Colleagues (and others who are on this mailing list)

We need your help commenting on a paper, which we — Grace Davie (University of Exeter, UK) and Nancy Ammerman (Boston University, US), and a team of twelve have prepared for the International Panel on Social Progress.

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP). You can find more about the IPSP and its ways of working here:  You will see that it exists to:

  • “harness the competence of hundreds of experts about social issues” and to
  • “deliver a report addressed to all social actors, movements, organizations, politicians and decision-makers, in order to provide them with the best expertise on questions that bear on social change”.

We and our team have written the chapter on religion, entitled ‘Religions and social progress: Critical assessments and creative partnerships’.  

Here is our Abstract:

  • This chapter starts from the premise that some 80 percent of the world’s population affirms some kind of religious identification, a proportion that is growing rather than declining. Emphasizing the significance of belief and practice in everyday lives and local contexts, we analyze the impact of religion and its relevance to social progress in a wide variety of fields. These include the family, gender and sexuality; differences and diversity; democratic governance; violence and peace-making; health and economic well-being; and care for the earth.
  • We argue that researchers and policy makers pursuing social progress will benefit from careful attention to the power of religious ideas to motivate, of religious practices to shape ways of life, of religious communities to mobilize and extend the reach of social change, and of religious leaders and symbols to legitimate calls to action. All of that, however, can be put to either good or ill, for which reason assessment of particular religions in specific contexts is essential.

Running through the chapter are five interconnected themes:

  1. the persistence of religion in the twenty-first century;
  2. the importance of context in discerning outcomes;
  3. the need for cultural competence relative to religion;
  4. the significance of religion in initiating change;
  5. and the benefits of well-judged partnerships.

The continuing need for critical but appreciative assessment and the demonstrable benefits of creative partnerships are our standout findings.

The IPSP process – see – mirrors that of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and includes a period of public comment in the autumn of 2016.  The ‘Commenting Platform’ is now open – see

It would be hugely helpful if members of RC22 could take part in this.

The IPSP website will indicate how you access our chapter and how you make your comments.  Or if you prefer you can simply send us (; an e-mail.