Category Archives: Conferences

AAR Sociology of Religion Unit Sessions–- 2020 Virtual Conference

Greetings from the AAR Sociology of Religion Unit,

We hope this finds you well and excited about this year’s AAR Virtual Annual Meeting. You are receiving this email because you’ve expressed interest in our unit. We are pleased to announce our lineup for AAR 2020.

This year, the Sociology of Religion Unit is sponsoring 4 sessions. You can learn more about them in the Online Program Book or mobile app, or use AAR’s 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting Online Planner. We hope you can make time to attend these sessions.

In addition, everyone is welcome to join our annual business meeting, which takes place on December 3 from 12:30-1:00pm EST (during the last 30 minutes of our third panel). We will discuss suggestions for our 2021 call for papers and openings on our steering committee.

Here are our sessions:


Bringing Back the Social into the Sociology of Religion (and Religious Studies)

Monday, November 30, 1:45 PM-3:15 PM (EST UTC-5)

Co-sponsored with Critical Theory and Discourses on Religion Unit and Critical Research on Religion

In her award-winning book, From Yoga to Kabbalah (2014), and her recent co-edited volume, Bringing Back the Social into the Sociology of Religion (2018), sociologist Véronique Altglas has argued that recent sociologists of religion focused on topics and methods such as rational choice theory, spirituality versus religion, lived religion, and religion as consumption have shifted away from what should be sociology’s foremost focus: the power of the social world and its institutions to push, propel, enable, and constrain us; to dynamically mold our comforts, discomforts, desires, repulsions, and the religious activities and ideas we embrace or reject. In this roundtable, we ask four scholars (two from religious studies and two sociologists of religion) to reflect on and assess Altglas’ argument, their own work, and the current state of sociology of religion and religious studies. These presentations will be followed by a response from Véronique Altglas and then audience discussion.


Rebecca Catto, Kent State University


Katja Rakow, Utrecht University

J.P. Reed, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

Fareen Parvez, University of Massachusetts


Veronique Altglas, Queen’s University, Belfast


Faith, Knowledge, and Rational Freedom: A Roundtable on Jürgen Habermas’ Also a History of Philosophy

Tuesday, December 1, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM (EST UTC-5)

Co-sponsored with Religion in Europe Unit and Critical Research on Religion

This panel explores philosopher and social theorist Jürgen Habermas’ recently published two-volume work on philosophy and religion, Auch eine Geschichte der Philosophie [Also a History of Philosophy, Vol 1: The Western Constellation of Faith and Knowledge; Vol 2: Rational Freedom. Traces of the Discourse on Faith and Knowledge] (2019). In this work, Habermas “traces how philosophy successively disengaged itself from its symbiosis with religion and became secularized,” moving from the Axial Age through modernity to the present. Habermas also reflects on “the function of a philosophy that adheres to the rational liberty of communicatively socialized subjects.” The panel will examine the extent to which this new work revises and expands his theory of communicative action and connect this to his view of religion’s place in society. Panelists, all scholars of Habermas, will situate this new work within Habermas’ long career and his contributions to sociology, philosophy, and religious studies.


Warren S. Goldstein, Center for Critical Research on Religion


Eduardo Mendieta, Pennsylvania State University

Francis Schussler Fiorenza, Harvard University

Maeve Cooke, University College Dublin


Conceptualizing Religion and Rethinking Methods in the Sociology of Religion

Thursday, December 3, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM (EST UTC-5)

This panel uses multiple social sciences methodologies to rethink what counts as religious, showing us the importance of methodological choices for how we conceptualize and interpret the data of religious studies and the sociology of religion. Presentations include the use of geospatial imaging and ethnography to interpret Christian-Muslim social dynamics in Nigeria, interviews and analysis of photographs to reveal lived religion in personal homes in Latin America, qualitative and quantitative findings from a large survey of U.S. Jews, Christians, and Muslims regarding their perceptions of vocation in work settings, and historical and interview research into the lives of Boston-area fire chaplains. These papers highlight how social science research can help scholars of religious studies and the sociology of religion develop theories from the ground up and not take our categories for granted.


Dusty Hoesly, University of Southern Mississippi


Amidu Elabo, Princeton Theological Seminary

Faith and Topography: A Remote Sensing Analysis of Religious Interaction in Jos North, Nigeria

Gustavo Morello, Boston College

Modernity and Sacralization Practices: Photographs and the Sacred

Brenton Kalinowski, Rice University

Elaine Howard Ecklund, Rice University

Rachel Schneider, Rice University

Perceptions of Work as Calling

Wendy Cadge, Brandeis University

The Value Added of “Holding the Space:” A Case Study of Chaplains in Boston and Their Changing Roles Over Time

Business Meeting [last 30 minutes of this panel]

Dusty Hoesly, University of Southern Mississippi, Presiding

Rebekka King, Middle Tennessee State University, Presiding


Crossing Global and Religious Boundaries: Social Change, Identity, and Power

Tuesday, December 8, 4:00 PM-5:30 PM (EST UTC-5)

This panel centers stories of boundary crossing in a variety of geographic locations, religious traditions, identity formations, and power relations. Using social science methods, each paper will illuminate how these shifts reveal not only the socially-constructed and porous nature of religious boundaries but also the relationships of power in which such crossings are embedded and policed. Papers include a qualitative study of Judaizing evangelical Christians in Latin America, long-term ethnographic research on Afro-Cuban religious multiplicity, a qualitative exploration of Christian-Muslim interfaith couples in Europe, a mixed-methods analysis of the stigmatization of Muslims students on U.K. college campuses, and a textual analysis of South Asian Buddhist converts’ autobiographies as social revolutionary texts.


Jonathan Calvillo, Boston University


Mathew J. Guest, Durham University

Stigma and Suspicion in the Lives of Muslim Students: How the ‘Radicalisation’ Narrative has Changed Higher Education in Britain

Drishadwati Bargi, University of Minnesota

Social Revolution by Other Means: The Writing of Conversion in Dalit Autobiographies in Postcolonial India

Jualynne E. Dodson, Michigan State University

“Integrated Religious Multiplicity”: Challenge to Sociology of Religion

Please note: We have openings on our steering committee next year. If you are interested, we encourge you to attend our annual business meeting (see schedule above). We are seeking committee members who will attend the annual meetings, participate in the unit’s sessions and ongoing business reliably, and share enthusiasm for our unit’s mission and work. The Sociology of Religion Unit values a steering committee that is diverse in race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, age, religion, region, discipline, methodology, professional status, and type of institution.

For this year’s online/virtual conference, you may wish to bookmark these resources:

Please note that to join sessions, you must be a registered attendee, because your login credentials are your registration reference number and your last name.

Can’t locate your reference number? Request yours by emailing

Not registered yet? You can sign up here.

Other questions we haven’t covered? Email

We hope you will have a memorable AAR and we hope to see you at our sessions!

Warmest regards,

Dusty Hoesly,

Rebekka King,

Sociology of Religion Unit Co-Chairs

Conversations on Multiple Religious Belonging

Following a successful conference on Multiple Religious Belonging, we’d like to offer an opportunity to continue these conversations and hopefully draw in more people from other disciplines and traditions. We have noted that work on multiple religious belonging, interfaith relationships and communities, interreligious dialogue, and other areas are often treated separately but can have significant points of connection which it would be useful to explore.

To enable this, the Hyphen Project will be hosting Zoom discussions every two months for the next year, beginning on December 10th 2020 at 7:30pm GMT. These will be informal sessions when we hope everyone will be able to share their experience, research, and questions. If you’d like to attend, please email Grace Milton at to be sent the Zoom link. And please feel free to share this with anyone else who might be interested!

Webinar: Freedom of Religion – Liberty in a Secular Society

Religious Freedom in Australia has long been taken for granted. Recent debates over social issues from Gay Marriage to Education have led to proposals for new legislation. As religious adherence in Australia diversifies and declines, is there need for a deeper conversation? What issues are at stake?Affinity proudly presents to you ‘Freedom of Religion: Liberty in a Secular Society’. Discussing their recently published books, retired bishop Robert Forsyth and Dr Joel Harrison will be in conversation with John Cleary.Time:7 pm – 8 pm Wednesday 02 December

Watch Here:
Make sure to register to Affinity’s upcoming webinar! Click here to Register

African Religions unit in the American Academy of Religion.

Dear Colleagues:

We are writing you from the African Religions unit in the American Academy of Religion.

As you will know, the AAR annual meeting was supposed to take place in Boston this weekend, but because of COVID-19 will now take place virtually from November 29 to December 10. For practical details about registration and the conference program, please see here:

For your convenience, we put together an overview of the sessions hosted by our unit, and by our sister unit, African Diaspora Religions. Please share this widely in your networks: We look forward to welcoming you at our sessions.

In particular, we invite you to our Business meeting (Tuesday, December 8, 5:30 PM-6:00 PM, EST UTC-5), where we will discuss the future planning for our unit. In preparation for the business meeting, we also welcome your nominations for a vacancy in our Steering Committee, as Devaka Premawardhana’s term is coming to an end this year. Steering committee members are required to be members of AAR, and expected to attend annual meetings and participate in the unit. The steering committee plays a vital role in the running of our unit, especially in the process of discussing the annual call for papers and reviewing paper proposals. If we receive more than one nomination, we will call for a poll among members of the unit.

Please submit your nomination (name, email address, affiliation, and a short motivation) by November 30 to the undersigned.

The current committee membership is:

  • Sara Fretheim, University of Munster
  • Georgette Ledgister, Harvard Divinity School
  • Mary Nyangweso, University of East Carolina
  • Devaka Premawardhana, Emory University
  • Tyrone Cass Ross, Temple University
  • Funlayo Wood, University of California, Santa Barbara Warm wishes,

David Amponsah and Adriaan van Klinken, co-chairs  /

Adriaan van Klinken
Professor of Religion and African Studies
School of Philosophy, Religion and the History of Science / Leeds University Centre for African Studies
University of Leeds Leeds LS2 9JT United Kingdom

AASR November Newsletter

Call for Papers:

36th ISSR/SISR ‘Religion in Global/Local Perspectives: Diffusion, Migration, Transformation’ Conference, 12-15 July 2021 (digital only), Taipei, Taiwan. Call for sessions extended till 14 December 2020. Call for papers revised: 8 January to 28 February 2021. More info
Center for Critical Research on Religion and Queens University Belfast, conference on “Critical Approaches to the Study of Religion”, 11-14 June 2021. Proposal deadline 15 January 2021. More info.
3rd ANU Religion Conference – Religion and Migration: Culture and Policy. Canberra, 8-10 December 2021. Proposal deadline 21 May 2021. More info 

Call for Book Proposals in Modern East Asian Religion and Culture
Call for papers for the International Journal for the Study of New Religions
Call for papers on Religions’ special issue: ‘Religion, Law and Politics‘. Deadline 18 December 2020. 
Call for paper for a thematic issue of Religion: Emic Categories and New Paths / Case Studies in the Scholarly Use of Indigenous Concepts (working title). Deadline Feb 2021. 
Call for papers: Special Issue on “Historizing Islamophobia”. Deadline February 2021. 

Teaching Resources
Adeana McNicholl and Ann Gleig are looking for material to include in their co-directed project “Teaching Resources for Buddhism, race and racism,” which is being hosted at and funded by The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation at the University of Toronto.  Our aim is to compile and provide a comprehensive list of primary and secondary material as well as teaching resources, including syllabi, lesson plans, and strategies, when teaching issues of race and racism in Buddhist Studies courses. Topics can include Orientalism, decolonization, race, and ethnicity anywhere in the Buddhist world. 

Please send any relevant material to Adeana McNicholl at and Ann Gleig at
Dr Anna Halafoff will be speaking at an international workshop Religion and Science in Covid Times: Research Perspectives, organised by UAB Barcelona and the International Organization of Scientific Research: November 19th & 20th, 2020 | Central European Time (UTC +1)The Australian Sociology Association (TASA) has a series of presentations on Religion. Registration and details.‘Religion and Public Life in Australia’ on 24 Nov 2020, 1-2.30pm.’Grants Capture in the Australian Research Council’s “Religion and Religious Studies” Field Code’ on 24 November 2020, 3.30-5pmBook Launch – The Sage Encyclopedia of the Sociology of Religion, 25 Nov 2020, 2-2.30pm
Latest Publications:
Sarah K. Balstrup (2020), Spiritual Sensations: Cinematic Religious Experience and Evolving Conceptions of the Sacred. Bloomsbury Academic. 
Kim, David W. (2020), Daesoon Jinrihoe in Modern Korea: The Emergence, Transformation and Transmission of a New Religion. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 

2021 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting – In-Person Cancelled, Virtual Being Planned

Due to COVID-19, the 2021 ASA Annual Meeting in Chicago has been cancelled. ASA leadership believes it is now clear that the global health crisis will not be resolved by August, and a large gathering of people from around the world presents an untenable health risk. ASA will offer a virtual 2021 ASA Annual Meeting instead of the in-person event. Further information about the virtual meeting will be provided in the coming months.

The ASA online portal is currently open for submissions for the 2021 Annual Meeting. ASA will continue with the submission process uninterrupted. The deadline is February 3. Our Religion Section Program Committee also will continue to plan for our sessions, and we strongly encourage you, your colleagues, and your students to submit in anticipation of a virtual meeting.

SISR/ISSR Conference News: July 12-15 2021 will be online

Dear all,

We hope you are doing well in these dramatic times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This email contains important information to all members about the upcoming 36th biannual SISR/ISSR conference in 2021.

As you know, the next ISSR conference was to be held in Taipei in 2021. For a long time, we hoped to stick to our plan. However, the latest developments of the COVID-19 pandemic shows a rise in infections in many countries, stricter travel restrictions and uncertainties about the time of the end of this global pandemic. In collaboration with the chair of the local committee in Taipei Associate Research Fellow/Professor Wei-hsian Chi, the Executive Committee has decided to postpone the conference in Taiwan until 2023. Instead, the ISSR conference July 12-15 2021 will be a fully digital conference.

In our meeting with Wei-Hsian Chi, we discussed the possibility for a hybrid conference in Taiwan. However, this solution posed a number of problematic issues:

  • • A hybrid conference implies that the physical conference must be covered financially, in addition to a digital solution with more extensive IT support. This solution became relatively costly.
  • • In the current situation, it is difficult to estimate the number of members who would actually be able to go to Taiwan. Even if many of desire to do so, hardly anyone are able to make travel plans today. The risk of many “no shows” is therefore high.
  • • The different time zones would make an international hybrid conference difficult to organize.

We are obviously disappointed to postpone the conference in Taiwan. Our priority is to ensure that a meeting in Taiwan is successful as a meeting place for many of us, even at a later date. Besides, having an online conference this summer will allow the majority of ISSR members to meet, share their research and discuss, regardless of the trajectory of the pandemic.

We are currently working on the organizational and technical details of the 2021 digital conference (any suggestion is most welcome, if you have participated in online conferences over the past few months!).

To enable as many of you as possible to participate, we now reopen the Call for Session until December 14th. This gives you the opportunity to:

The call for papers will be opened from January 8th to February 28th 2021.

These are the new deadlines:

  • Opening of new session proposals: November 10th 2020
  • Closing of session proposals:  December 14th 2020
  • Opening of paper submission: January 8th 2021
  • Closing of session proposals: February 28th 2021

In order to participate in the digital conference, you must be a member of the ISSR. There will be a conference fee, which will only cover the costs of the organization of the digital conference. Indeed, digital conferences require increased IT support to plan and arrange the conference, expenses for the use of conference platforms, translation of keynotes, and other technical and organizational expenses. However, we expect the conference fee to be substantially lower than usual.  The treasurer has to develop a new budget to determine the exact fee so please bear with us until we can provide you with an exact amount.

I hope this information will give more clarity for those of you who were concerned about the 2021 SISR/ISSR conference. The Executive Committee will continue to plan the conference in cooperation with the Council, and we will send out information about the conference as soon as possible.

I hope to see all of you at the digital conference in July 2021!

Best wishes,

Inger Furseth
President SISR/ISSR
Professor, University of Oslo

Call for Papers: Critical Approaches to the Study of Religion Conference

Call for Papers

Critical Approaches to the Study of Religion Conference

co-sponsored by
The Center for Critical Research on Religion
The School of Social Sciences, Education, and Social Work
at Queen’s University Belfast

Queens University Belfast
Belfast, Northern Ireland
June 11, 2021 (welcome reception) – June 14, 2021

co-chairs: Veronique Altglas and Warren S. Goldstein

Theme: This conference aims to bring into conversation scholars of religion in the humanities and social sciences (including theology, religious studies, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, psychology, history, political science, and literature among others) who employ critical approaches to the study of religion. It is particularly interested in the development of critical theoretical frameworks in application to empirical research on religion. The conference will be organized around the following themes:

Session Topics:

  1. The Critique of Religion
    2. Critical Theology
    3. Biblical Criticism
    4. Marxism and Religion
    5. Liberation Theology
    6. Psychoanalytic Approaches to the Study of Religion
    7. Critical Theory and Religion
    8. Post-structural Approaches to the Study of Religion
    9. Critical Religion
    10. Critical Ethnographies
    11. Post-colonialism, Race, and Religion
    12. Religion, Gender, and Sexuality
    13. Religion and the Environment
    14. Religious and Political Conflict in Northern Ireland

Publications: Authors who deliver papers at the conference will be selectively invited to turn them into articles for special issues of the journal Critical Research on Religion ( or book chapters in edited volumes in the book series “Studies in Critical Research on Religion” (

Registration Fees: £175 full fees for those with regular positions; £85 for graduate students, independent scholars, and contingent faculty. Registration is required for organizing or convening a session, presenting a paper, serving as a panelist, or holding another role in the program. Fees go to pay for receptions and other expenses. Registration fees are nonrefundable.

Deadlines: Deadline for session and paper proposals: January 15, 2021. Abstract length: 150 words per paper. Decisions will be made by March 1, 2021. Registration fees due by March 15, 2021.

Conference registration: TBA

Hotel and Tourist Information:

Send proposals or questions to: Veronique Altglas v.altglas[at] and Warren S. Goldstein goldstein[at]

Call for Papers: “The Ilkley Group at 50”

Call for Papers

The Ilkley Group at 50 – A reunion conference weekend

Online via zoom..

Friday 16th – Sunday 18th April 2021

In 1971 a gathering of (then) young sociologists who were followers of Jesus Christ met together in the Yorkshire town of Ilkley. Their concern was to reconcile their Christian faith and values with the overwhelmingly (with one one or two notable exceptions) secular ethos of the social sciences, to discover how to pursue faithfully their calling as academics and researchers and to influence the future of their chosen discipline. The “Ilkley Group” continued to meet twice yearly at Mill Grove into the early 2000s.

Fifty years on the group intends to hold a virtual conference (free of charge) and invites paper proposals from academics and researchers in sociology or closely related social sciences which address their topics within a Christian perspective. Papers may be autobiographical, theoretical, interdisciplinary or empirically based.

The papers should aim to be no longer than 20 minutes in length and in view of the online format are probably best presented alongside a power-point or other multi-media presentation.

Depending on numbers offering papers and registering for the event it is not at this stage possible to say whether papers will be in plenary or parallel workshop session. We hope that the papers will come from across the generations including some from early career scholars with a personal faith commitment. Our intention is that there will be plenty of space for questions and discussion as well as for informal networking with like-minded colleagues.

The two major themes we want to address are:

Looking back and looking forward: The environment in the academy, the church and society, for Christian and other faith based sociological perspectives over between 1971 and 2021. What are / have been the opportunities and constraints for Christians in sociology, what changes are discernible over that period and how might trends progress into the future? These themes could be discussed in the context of participants’ experiences, through their careers, reflecting on your own intellectual and spiritual journey.

The New Normal in Church and Society : The Covid-19 global pandemic has been a major disruption to social and religious life. Other disruptions have been happening in the same period, for example the financial crash of 2008, the wave of populist and anti-globalist politics, the refugee crisis, and rapid technological, cultural and religious change. What is the impact on the societies and communities in which we live, and on the churches that worship and serve among us?

If you are interested in offering a paper for this conference please send an abstract of no more than 300 words, together with a two sentence biography to before 31st December 2020.

A programme for the conference and registration forms will be available via Eventbrite early in 2021

Please circulate this announcement to relevant networks and colleagues.


Greg Smith
Associate Research Fellow, William Temple Foundation

CONTACT ME  by email;
Phone – Mobile 07726177044

Personal web page with list of publications etc.

News from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Religion



Tenure-Track Assistant Professor – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – ASA Job ID 16552

  • The Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is pleased to participate in the following search for a tenure-track assistant professor:
  • Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:
  • Please pass these links along to potential candidates; thank you! For questions about the search, please email Jennifer Eissing, Department of Sociology, at:
  • Applications will be considered until the position is filled, but our review of applications will begin on November 9, 2020.

Postdoc – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – ASA Job ID 16557

  • The Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is pleased to participate in the following search for a postdoctoral research fellow:
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity:
  • Please pass these links along to potential candidates; thank you! For questions about the search, please email Jennifer Eissing, Department of Sociology, at:
  • Deadline for submission is November 16, 2020.
  • *Note: We welcome more job announcements. Per ASA policy, academic jobs advertised through our listserv include ASA job bank ID.


Plans for the 116th ASA Annual Meeting in Chicago, August 7-10, 2021 continue. Note that ASA’s online portal will open for submissions on Monday, November 9, 2020. The submission deadline is Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.

Sociology of Religion Section Sessions are assigned to Day 4, Tuesday, August 10th. Since this is the last day of the meeting, our section receives an additional session for papers.

The section’s Program Committee consists of colleagues with an array of expertise. In hopes of adequately diversifying the scholarship featured this year, we are issuing an OPEN call for all Religion Section sessions and roundtables, while asking that session organizers for each of our sessions pay particular attention to themes which I believe are of particular significance to the study of religion today as follows:

  • Session: Sociology of Religion OPEN (preference for papers on gender & sexuality) Session
    Organizers: Jonathan Coley and Courtney Irby
  • Session: Sociology of Religion OPEN (preference for papers on cross-national or international dynamics)
    Session Organizers: Gary Adler and Rachel Rinaldo
  • Session: Sociology of Religion OPEN (preference for papers on the State or power dynamics)
    Session Organizer: Meredith Whitnah and Rhys Williams
  • Session: Sociology of Religion OPEN (preference for papers on non-religious dynamics or nones)
    Session Organizers: Joseph Blankholm and Jacqui Frost
  • Refereed Roundtables: Sociology of Religion Roundtables OPEN
    Session Organizers: Orestes Pat Hastings and Laura Krull

Our annual Sociology of Religion Section Business Meeting will convene immediately after the Roundtable Session.

Also, the Religion Section anticipates partnering again with the concurrent meetings of the Association for the Sociology of Religion also in Chicago. For example, we plan to again co-host a joint mentoring session for graduate students as well as a joint evening reception. More details as they are available.


Our ASA Sociology of Religion Section is making plans to offer opportunities for Graduate Student Mentoring in the coming year. Stay tuned for details as they emerge.


If you have newsletter items – Announcements, Awards, Promotions, Publications, Calls for Submissions, Job Listings (with ASA Job Bank ID), and other relevant material, please email Evan Stewart at

If you have anything you would like to share in future announcement emails, please email me –

Gerardo Martí, PhD
L. Richardson King Professor of Sociology, Davidson College