Category Archives: Calls for Papers

Call for Papers on Religion and Digital Media

Dear Colleagues,
Do you work in the field of religion and digital media? With Dr.Marco Túlio de Sousa and Dr. Mihaela Alexandra Tudor we are launching a special issue in the journal “Tropos: Communication, Culture and Society”

Call is in English, Portuguese and Spanish, but we also accept submissions in Italian and French.

Full paper submission until December 2020 and publication in June 2021 after peer review.

You can find more info here: Or you can ask for information at midiareligiaos@gmail.comCapture

Call for Papers: The Sacred and The…Profanity – Online Symposium

8th September 2020

To submit a proposal, please send an abstract of approximately 200 words to: Dr Paul Martin: and Nicole Graham: by 15th July 2020.

Building on the recent growth of scholarship in the field of humour and religion, this interdisciplinary online symposium aims to bring together scholars from a wide range of fields to explore the multifaceted relationship between humour, obscenity, and religion, and to consider what happens when these worlds collide.

There are many examples that seem to support the view that religion and humour have a tense relationship; whether it be ‘comic’ representations of religious figures in the media, jokes about God, or films and television which focus on religion and morality that are considered blasphemous or offensive. These occurrences are often enthusiastically cast as a conflict between religious freedom and the right to dignity in belief, on the one hand, and freedom of expression and the right to offend, on the other. However, the intersection of humour, obscenity, and religion is much more complex than this, and this symposium invites participants to work through various aspects of this relationship. Of particular interest is the place of humour and the obscene in religion, the positive functions it can serve and ultimately its value. We want to ask: what role can humour play in the sphere of religion, and how comfortably? Even if joking might be allowed, can it ever truly fit in? Who decides on the value of humour for religion?

We welcome submissions which consider these, and other, questions in relation to a number of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Historical or contemporary examples of humour or obscenity in religion
  • Gendered experiences of laughter, humour, and joke-telling
  • Ritual
  • Joke-telling
  • Satire
  • The Media
  • Blasphemy
  • The usefulness of humour and the obscene
  • Limits of humour
  • The policing of humour

In addition to the panel of papers, the symposium will include a round table entitled: “Exploring Religion and Ritual in Humour and the Obscene”. Confirmed speakers for this round table are: Professor Bernard Schweizer (Co-Founder of the Humour and Religion Network), Dr Emily Selove (Senior Lecturer of Medieval Arabic Language and Literature), Dr Lieke Stelling (Assistant Professor in English Literature), and Dr Simon Weaver (Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications).

We welcome papers that address one of these themes in a 15-minute talk. The organisers will review all submissions anonymously.

All papers will be presented remotely and observed online. Each talk will be followed by a discussion.

Call for Papers – Embracing religion as counter-conduct: Ethics and “political spirituality” among western youth

A 300-words abstract by July, 15th, 2020 sent to

Editor: Géraldine Mossière, Associate Professor, Institut d’études religieuses, Université de Montréal.

Studies on contemporary religiosity in Western secular contexts have emphasized either the political claims of emergent religious behaviours or the subjective processes that manifest under the umbrella-term of spirituality. In the first case, religious commitment, as well as religious change, display individual and collective positioning regarding public and societal issues, such as same-sex marriage, abortion, social justice and equity or racial discrimination. In the second case, the current individualization paradigm allows for new personal assemblages wherein religious resources are turned into tools for transcendence, introspection, or work on the self like shows the success of pilgrimages or new trends toward conversion.

Hermeneutical views provide other lenses for understanding the embrace of religious identification and the critiques these behaviours articulate against social and political norms. Foucault’s conceptual device regarding governmentality and disruptions of the governmental order are insightful in this regard. His concept of “counter-conduct” refer to «the desire to be conducted in another way, by other guides or shepherds, toward other objectives and other forms of salvation, as well as by means of other processes and methods» (2004 [1978]). In this context, religions might offer symbolic language for articulating and defending specific and sometimes alternative ethics. 

In this special review, we want to articulate Foucault’s idea of “political spirituality” as it relates to youths for whom religious change is a special inspiration for the transformation of the self and the contestation of prevailing and historical norms and values. The literature shows that while youths are more prone to test new social, political and symbolical experiences and disrupt dominant values and ethical chains, including religious change, such experimentation is also meant to convey new values and ideas. Youths are therefore often seen as vigorous forces of innovation and change in societies.

Contributions will consider youths’ religious behaviour, and more specifically their embrace of non-transmitted religions as specific ethics, as commitment to alternative or counter- social or political conducts. Papers will address following concerns:

  • How do religious practices and beliefs articulate transformations of the self? Through which mechanisms? By mobilizing and appropriating what kind of religious or spiritual resources?
  • Through these operations and negotiations, which personal, social and political desires blossom or are conveyed? How might we interpret spirituality in contrast to religion in this setting?
  • How does political spirituality unfold? How might religious beliefs and practices frame political, social and ecological alternative orders? What kind of ideological and political orders do such forms of religious counter-conduct convey? To what extent do these conducts display counter or alternative orders?
  • How might spiritual views of the self become integrated into specific patterns of community or sociality? How does political spirituality articulate other views of social justice and human dignity and respect? 
  • How do affect and temporality support and colour youth’ political spiritualities?

If you are interested in participating in this publication project, please provide:

  • Name(s) of all co-authors in full with academic title, name of institution, country, Academic/professional affiliation(s), Academic address(es), Telephone number(s), Email(s)
  • A 300-words abstract by July, 15th, 2020 sent to
  • Full texts will be expected (7000 words) by December, 15th, 2020

Call for Papers: Workshop on religion, state and society in post-communist countries

Tartu, Estonia – February 12-13, 2021

31 July 2020 – deadline for application submission

The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and with it the communist camp ceased to exist. All the post-communist states of the Soviet bloc have experienced enormous social, political, economic, and legal transformations and reforms, including the rejection of both official atheism and religious suppression. The collapse has led to a great religious comeback. Traditional religions of majority populations have expanded their holds and have been institutionally strengthened; in many post-communist countries, belonging to a certain religion is seen an essential characteristic of being a good citizen, as it had previously (Pew Research Center, 2017).

Many religious minorities that had gone underground were afforded the opportunity to have legalstatus and have flourished. Further, especially in the immediate aftermath of the communist collapse, religious freedom has allowed for the emergence of new religions and belief systems in these countries. Religions triumphantly returned to the public space with restored and increased influence over public morality, politics, and human
rights discourse, such as debates over same-sex marriage that have divided Western and Eastern Europe.

Nevertheless, different post-communist countries have taken significantly different paths through these thirty years. In some nation-states atheist and secular sentiments have strengthened (Czech Republic) or spirituality of people has become more individualistic (Estonia); some have seen the majority religion split into several churches (Ukraine, Moldova) and then overcome this split (Bulgaria); and, of course, in postcommunist countries the relationship between spiritual and temporal authorities varies significantly. Finally, in many countries in the region, especially in the post-USSR space, the relatively free 1990s gave way to a decline in religious freedom in the 2000s and 2010s, correlating with a decline in political liberalism in Central and Eastern Europe.

In this project, we propose to study the relationship between religion, state, and society in post-communist countries over the past thirty years, including:

  • Religion-state conflicts and alliances
  • Religion, populism and ideologies
  • Legal and political aspects of religion and human rights
  • Interreligious relations and dialogue, including between the majority religion and religious minorities
  • Religion, society and spirituality
  • Religions and social activism, including relations between religious communities and civil society organizations.

We do not seek overviews of religious issues in each of the post-communist states. Rather, we are looking for papers studying the specificities and peculiarities of the region as a whole and the most striking countryspecific cases. Comparative studies are also welcome.

The organizers invite scholars of sociology of religion, religious studies, law and religion, religion and politics, and other relevant studies to submit their abstracts of no more than 300 words and a one-page CV by July 31, 2020 to (Dmytro Vovk).

Selections will be made by August 15, 2020. The authors of accepted proposals will be invited to present at a workshop at University of Tartu (Estonia) on February 12-13, 2021. The BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies will cover travel and lodging expenses for selected participants. Presented papers will be published in a volume by an authoritative international publisher.

Confirmed speakers:

Catherine Wanner, Professor of History, Anthropology, and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University

Lucian N. Leustean, Reader in Politics and International Relations at Aston University, Birmingham

If the COVID-19 pandemic does not allow an in-person conference, then a series of online meetings with participants will be held to discuss their papers.

Important dates:

31 July 2020 – deadline for application submission

15 August 2020 – results notification

5 January 2021– first drafts must be submitted for dissemination among participants

Project leaders:

Elizabeth Clark, Associate Director of Brigham Young University Law School’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies

Merilin Kiviorg, Senior Research Fellow in Public International Law at University of Tartu, School of Law

Dmytro Vovk, Director of the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University Center for Rule of Law and Religion Studies

Call for Papers: Journal ‘Religions’ – Special Issue “Pandemic, Religion and Non-religion”

The deadline for submitting proposals is 31 August 2020

The deadline for final manuscript submissions is 31 March 2021

This Issue on cultural and religious diversity is intended to mobilize knowledge and experiences in relation to the coronavirus pandemic on a global level, from an interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary perspective. It will reflect on the way individuals, groups, and nations are addressing the crisis from non-religious or religious perspectives. Articles could offer empirical data (history, interviews, media analysis, contextual analysis) or theoretical analysis. We hope to receive proposals from many countries and in multiple disciplines. Historical as well as contemporary perspectives are welcome. Potential themes are as follows:

1) Creating meaning

How are nones, religious individuals and groups, and science making sense of the pandemic? What kind of rituals are being created to get through these difficult times? How is death ritualized and understood? How are employees who are risking their lives to save others reflecting about their involvement? What about fear, sickness, suffering, arts, and faith in the future?

2) Innovations, imagination, and conflicts

How are religions celebrating or communicating virtually? What are the contributions of religions during the crisis? How are nones and religions uniting around the same fight? How are some fundamentalists resisting the recommendations of authorities? What kind of intergenerational relations and critical discourses are emerging from the crisis?

3) Apocalyptic and conspiracy theory viewpoints

What kind of apocalyptic and conspiracy theorist views are circulating? How are relationships between science, health, and religions/nonreligion being developed?

4) Changes in perception of religious institutions

How are religious people and nones perceiving religious institutions during this time? How are their decisions and involvement in helping people being evaluated? To what extent is new media being used successfully by religious leaders, and what lessons can be learned from this for the future?

5) Other major themes

What does the crisis say about globalization, economy, the environment, animals, and humans?

Prof. Dr. Solange Lefebvre
Prof. Dr. Roberta Ricucci
Guest Editors

Call for Papers: Journal “Religions” – special issue on religion, law, and politics

Contributions due by 18 December 2020

A new call for a special issue on religion, law, and politics for those of you who might be interested:

Religion, law, and politics are bodies of knowledge and institutionalized rules that generate order and control uncertainty. With modernity, the dominant liberal paradigm is aimed at differentiating categorically between them (M. Weber, J. Habermas, J. Rawls), separating their respective logics and “places” in society. In times of transformation and crisis, however, this “art of separation” (M. Walzer) cannot be taken for granted. For instance, religion has taken new political forms and entered into legal battles in the public sphere (L. Zucca and C. Ungureanu). Conversely, political and legal groups have become ever more involved in regulating moral-religious conflicts that divide people living under both democratic and non-democratic regimes. Nationalist-populist forces have often articulated their rhetoric by drawing on religious topoi and myths and galvanizing religious groups in society (C. Bottici; B. Challand). These phenomena have been articulated differently depending on the socio-historical context, and recent challenges have blurred and complexified the relation between religion, law, and politics. It is reasonable to assume, moreover, that the current COVID-19 crisis will further fuel religious effervescence and reactions, as well as new forms of authoritarianism.

This Special Issue contributes to the advancement of a renewed hermeneutics focused on the complexities of the relation between politics, law, and religion in the current “unsettled” times (A. Swidler), marked by multifaceted crises (ecological, democratic, epidemical), impacts of both migratory flows and situations of immobility, and the consequent rise in uncertainty. We welcome both theoretical and empirical (case or comparative) studies taking into consideration different historical contexts, religions, and spiritualities. This Special Issue is interdisciplinary and open to contributions from the social sciences (e.g., sociology, political science, anthropology), the humanities (e.g., religious studies, philosophy, history, critical theory, gender studies), and the arts (e.g., literature). It also welcomes contributions from decolonial and postcolonial studies that question the actual links between religion, law, and politics and propose new articulations for our understanding of religion and society.

We look forward to receiving contributions by 18 December 2020.

Call for papers: Journal -“Transformation in Afro American Religions”

Abstract and a short bio statement by 1st of November at the latest

Here is a Call for Papers for a special issue of the Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society. The topic of the special issue which will be guest edited by Gerald Hödl (Vienna) and myself, is the transformation of African derived American religions. The journal is published by Brill, fully open access (no costs for the authors as the journal is sponsored by the research centre Religion and Transformation at the University of Vienna). More information in the link:

If you are interested please email us ( and We will need abstract and a short bio statement by 1st of November at the latest. The article (if accepted) will be due in July 2021. Feel free to circulate the CfP. Thank you.

Religion & Evolutionary/Biological Science

If anyone with expertise in connections between sociology of religion and evolutionary/biological sciences is interested in writing an essay for the series described below, please contact me ( by noon, Monday, May 18th.


Announcing a new series of short essays on the connection between sociology and the biological and evolutionary sciences. Never has it been more important to re-examine this connection in the light of the current pandemic and its aftermath. The essays will be published in the online magazine This View of Life, which is at the forefront of publishing academically informed content on all aspects of human affairs from an evolutionary perspective. TVOL reaches a diverse audience of academic professionals, public policy experts and the informed general public across the world (typically between 30K-50K pageviews/mo). The essays will be published first individually to be the center of attention and then collected into a special issue for long term visibility (go here for current special issues). We expect that our special issue will provide a foundation for further discussion and exploration of collaborative potential.

The essays should reflect upon the following theme:

A biologically evolved virus finds an environmental niche it can successfully exploit and upends human society.  Whether we celebrate or fear modern technology, whether we applaud or dismiss science, whether we view health as a personal or public concern, an invisible pathogen forces us to recognize our interdependence both with the natural world and with each other.

Of course, sociology begins with the importance of social connection, highlights the social processes that shape human outcomes, and takes account of social groups and the cultures they create when explaining human behavior.  And we now know that these insights take us back to, not away from, our evolved biology:  that the environment influences genetic expression; that culture influences evolutionary change; that the need for group support and social connection are the evolved lodestone of our species and are reflected in the functioning of our brains.

The COVID -19 crisis provides an opportunity for sociologists to reflect upon the history of evolutionary thinking and current understandings in their area, and the potential benefits and costs of a more transdisciplinary vision. These reflections, representing the full diversity of sociological perspectives, will be valuable in their own right in addition to their relevance to the current moment. Hence, explicit connections to the COVID-19 crisis are encouraged but should not overshadow the theme of the past, present, and future of evolutionary thinking in the discipline.

The essays should be approximately 1000 words in length, which is enough for a concise statement and can link to the larger literature. We have flexibility in due dates but would like to receive at least some essays by June 1. Authors will receive guidelines about formatting and other details.

This project is a collaboration between Russell Schutt (current chair of the Evolution, Biology and Society section), Rengin Firat (EBS Council member), David Sloan Wilson (Editor in Chief of TVOL) and Eric Michael Johnson (Managing Editor of TVOL).  David has made foundational contributions to theories of social evolution and Eric’s recently completed PhD thesis is on the early impact of Darwin’s Theory on sociological thinking.  Russ studies social engagement in relation to organizational functioning and health outcomes, with connections to social neuroscience, evolutionary theory, and psychosocial treatments for serious mental illness.  Rengin’s research focuses on inter-group relations and racial disparities of health and well-being with a neurosociological approach.

Lisa D. Pearce
Professor and Interim Associate Chair of Sociology
Faculty Fellow, Carolina Population Center
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

AASR April Newsletter

Open Access to Journal for the Academic Study of Religion

Issues of the Journal for the Academic Study of Religion in the last 12 months are now open access during the COVID-19 crisis. The most recent issue of the JASR is also available. It is a Special Issue on Religion Studies Autobiographies. Stay safe and well during these challenging times. 

Call for Papers:


  • 3rd ANU Religion Conference – Religion and Migration: Culture and Policy. Canberra, 8-10 December 2020. Proposal deadline 30 April 2020. More info
  • ‘Politics in the Age of Disruption and Realignment’, Australian Political Studies Association (APSA) Annual Conference, 21-23 September 2020, Macquarie University, Sydney. Abstract deadline 4 May 2020. More info.


Deadline Extension: CFP Bloomsbury Handbook in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality

Proposals Due: June 30th 2020

We are seeking papers for a new peer-reviewed edited volume, The Bloomsbury Handbook of Religion, Gender, and Sexuality. The aim is to generate a globally diverse, interdisciplinary and intersectional collection that captures emerging and contemporary themes and questions for the study of religions, genders, and sexualities.

We are looking for in-depth, scholarly essays, from a range of theoretical, methodological and disciplinary perspectives (conceptual and empirical). The Handbook aims to be a reference point for scholars and students searching for innovative engagements with critical issues relating to religion, gender, and sexuality.

We are seeking…

  • to raise future-forming questions and provocations for religions, genders, and sexualities;
  • to represent themes and issues emerging from broad geographical contexts;
  • to explore religion and spirituality within and beyond institutional and historical settings;
  • to promote the intersectional analyses of religion, gender, and sexuality with different identities and social locations such as race, nationalism, embodiment, class, economic status, and disability/ableness;
  • to advocate that religion is significant for gender, feminist and women’s studies, and is a crucial social and political force in everyday life.

Suggested topics

This is, genuinely, an open call for papers, and indicative topics can include but are not limited to:

  • politics and activism
  • migration, diaspora, and transnational networks
  • material cultures and products
  • texts (literatures, scriptures, digital media, archives, documents, popular culture, arts, visual cultures, for example)
  • well-being and healthcare
  • the body and embodiment
  • intimacies and relationships
  • individual, communal, and social identities
  • practices, beliefs, and experiences
  • violence, oppressions and emancipations
  • technologies
  • spaces


Proposals for chapters between 8,000 – 10,000 words (depending on the topic)

Please send proposals to all three editors:

Please including the following:

  • name, affiliation (if relevant), and any other helpful information
  • an abstract (max 200 words)
  • a proposal (max 1000 words)
  • anticipated word count for completed chapter

We welcome contributions from independent scholars, authors at all career stages and collaborative pieces. Please do feel free to contact the editors with any questions, at any stage.


Proposals Due: June 30th 2020
Acceptance Response: September 30th 2020
Contributors’ Chapters Due: April 30th 2021