Category Archives: Conferences

Conference Registration Open: British Muslim Charitable Organisations: A Best Practice Forum

We are very pleased to announce that registration for the next MBRN conference, ‘British Muslim Charitable Organisations: A Best Practice Forum’, is now open. Tickets can be booked at the link below:

A one-day conference organised by the Muslims in Britain Research Network in partnership with the Muslim Charities Forum and the Humanitarian Academy for Development

This event is for scholars and practitioners working in, working with or researching Muslim charities that are based in the United Kingdom but conduct charitable activities throughout the world. British Muslim INGOs have been in operation in the UK since the early eighties. Since then, the sector has grown and now includes over a hundred charities which have a total spend of just under half a billion pounds annually.

These charities have been at the forefront of providing aid in times of crisis and in supporting long term economic development in some of the poorest parts of the world. At this conference, scholars and practitioners from across this sector will showcase their work from the field and discuss and debate the challenges the sector faces, whether to do with fundraising, policy contexts, or working internationally. Papers will either focus on a specific aspect of British Muslim charity that presenters wish to highlight as best practice, or seek to open debates about working in any aspect of development work. The conference organisers intend to collect all or part of the proceedings of the conference to be published in book form.

The call for papers for this event has now closed, but all are welcome to register to attend.

The Muslims in Britain Research Network is a network of academics, researchers and practitioners that specialises in studying and supporting the development of the British Muslim community. The Muslim Charities Forum has been studying the sector for the past year and will be launching its research into the charity sector at this event. The Humanitarian Academy for Development is a centre of excellence serving the leadership, research and talent development needs of the humanitarian sector.


Issue 179, December 2019

If you prefer, you can read this issue online


Expected Inequalities and Unintended Symmetries
Warsaw, Poland
May 11-12, 2020
Abstracts: December 15, 2019

Decent Care Work? Transnational Home Arrangements
Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Germany
May 27 -29, 2020
Abstracts: December 31, 2019

Making Home Away: Displacement, Migration, and

University of Reading, United Kingdom
June 12, 2020
Abstracts: January 2, 2020

Exploring Postgender
Malta Sociological Association
March 14, 2020
Abstracts: Januarty 6, 2019

 Structures in Contexts.  Understanding Relations in
European Societies and beyond

Centre for German and European Studies
St. Petersburg, Russia
July 7-9 2020
Abstracts: January 13, 2020


‘Urban Social Movements’ or/and ‘Right to the City

Social dynamics of self-organization processes and
contemporary urban regimes
Call for papers
Special issue of Society Register
Abstracts: December 15, 2019

Global Social Science
Call for papers
Special issue of Rassegna italiana di sociologia
Abstracts: January 15, 2020


VIII ISA Worldwide Competition for Junior

International Sociological Association
Nominations: March 31, 2021


Title VIII CEE Area Studies Fellowship Program
Center for European Policy Analysis
Applications: December 31, 2019

10 Fellowships
The Berggruen Institute
University of Southern California, USA
Applications: January 6, 2020

 Assistant Professor of Sociology
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Navarra, Spain
Applications: December 10, 2019

Tenure-track Research Fellows in Sociology
Institute of Sociology
Academia Sinica
Taipei, Taiwan
Applications: December 25, 2019

Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
Applications: December 31, 2019

Assistant Professor in Sociology
School of Sociology
Higher School of Economics University
Moscow, Russia
Applications: January 12, 2020

[CfP] Religion and Cultural Change: Summer School in Åbo/Turku 8-10.6 2020

Call for Papers

Welcome to an interdisciplinary summer school and conference to be held in Åbo/Turku 8–10 June, 2020.

Religion and Cultural Change

Conference website:

Keynote speakers:

  • Prof. Catharina Raudvere, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Prof. Anders Runesson, University of Oslo, Norway
  • Prof. Rebecca Catto, Kent State University, Ohio, USA

The aim of this summer school and conference is to bring together doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers from various academic fields that engage with the study of religion, such as theology, religious studies, history, philosophy, the arts, social and political sciences and other. We invite papers that engage with the theme Religion and Cultural Change from both historical and contemporary perspectives, also looking to the future where possible. We understand cultural change both as dramatic breaking points in history and as slowly evolving transformations and will address past, present and emerging trends and trajectories within culture, society and the scholarly community. The societal relevance and impact of our research is also an important theme.

The summer school will consist of working groups, tutored by the keynote presenters and other academic teachers, where doctoral candidates are given the opportunity to present and discuss their ongoing PhD work in a cross-disciplinary, international setting. Postdoc researchers will present their papers in sessions running parallel to the summer school. Thematic groups and working groups dealing with particular theories or methodologies may also be held. 

To apply, please send an abstract of approximately 150 words to no later than 15 January, 2020. Letters of acceptance will be posted no later than 15 February, 2020. Upon acceptance to the summer school, doctoral candidates will furthermore be asked to submit a 500-word synopsis of their research theme no later than 1 May, 2020.

The summer school is arranged as a joint venture between three different research bodies in Åbo/Turku: the Centre for the Study of Christian Cultures(CSCC) at the University of Turku, the Polin Institute for Theological Research at Åbo Akademi University and the Donner Institute for Research in Religion and Culture (DI).

CALL FOR PAPERS – Religious Freedom: Social-Scientific Approaches

International Conference in Padova (Italy), May 14-15, 2020

Abstracts (400 words) due by December 20, 2019 – Send to Olga Breskaya (

Notification of acceptance: January 15, 2020

Over the past three decades, issues related to religious freedom have become increasingly important across a global spectrum, prompting a growing interdisciplinary area of study. The discourses on religion and human rights, citizenship, and religion and state relations have become intertwined due to the shared centrality of the struggle over religious freedom. Scholars in political science, international relations, judicial studies and sociology have all contributed theoretical discussions, case studies and extensive empirical analysis.

Recent developments involving social and religious dynamics related to migration, societal restrictions placed on religious freedoms, interaction between religious social movements and religious freedoms, and increasing visibility of religion in global politics are several examples where diverse theoretical approaches and analytical tools of social sciences can complement and challenge each other. While modern societies advance human rights promises by various legal and social mechanisms, they nevertheless face basic challenges of how these promises are to be defended, especially when ethnic, religious or class differences are factored into the picture. The promise of religious freedom has become a burgeoning social issue, which asks for both the social scientific answers and, in particular, for understandings of how different scientific outlooks see and interpret the current situation.

In order to better address the issues, we invite participants to contribute theoretical perspectives, social science concepts and empirical analyses that highlight the development of religious freedom as an area of study in the social sciences. Considering these matters, participants are welcome to propose papers in line with the conference rationale, particularly in relation to the following topics:

  • Theories of religious freedom in social sciences
  • Religious freedom and pluralism
  • Religious freedom, spirituality and interfaith dialogue
  • Religious freedom and secularism
  • Cross-national studies on religious freedom
  • Sociology of human rights and religious freedom
  • Religious freedom and social conflicts
  • Religious freedom and socio-economic development
  • Congregations, human rights and religious freedom

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Nanlai Cao, Renmin University, China
Mark Chaves, Duke University, USA
Roger Finke, Pennsylvania State University, USA
Jonathan Fox, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
Damon Mayrl, Colby College, USA
James T. Richardson, University of Nevada, USA
Jörg Stolz, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

The international conference is organized by the Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Pedagogy and Applied Psychology (FISPPA) at the University of Padova in Italy and the International Joint Doctorate (PhD) Program in “Human Rights, Society, and Multi-Level Governance,” coordinated by the University of Padova in partnership with the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, Western Sydney University in Australia and the University of Zagreb in Croatia.

Scientific Committee:
Olga Breskaya, University of Padova
Roger Finke, Pennsylvania State University
Giuseppe Giordan, University of Padova
Adam Possamai, Western Sydney University
Siniša Zrinščak, University of Zagreb

Notices from the Australian Association for the Study of Religion

Call for Papers:

  • International Conference on Religious Tourism (ICRT), University of Punjab, Lahore Pakistan, 8-9 January 2020. Abstract deadline: 11 November 2019. More info.
  • “Mosques, power and politics”, Copenhagen, Denmark, 22-24 January 2020. Abstract deadline: 15 November 2019. More info.
  • The 25th Nordic Conference in the Sociology of Religion. 17-19 August 2020, Gothenburg, Sweden on ‘Religious Organisation(s): Challenges and changes in contemporary society’. Session proposal deadline: 15 November 2019. More info.
  • British Muslim Charitable Organisations: A Best Practice Forum, Birmingham, 15 January 2020. Abstract deadline: 22 November 2019. More info.
  • Rethinking​ ​Media, Religion and Secularities. Conference of the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture Conference location: Sigtuna Foundation, Sigtuna, Sweden. Conference dates: 4-7 of August 2020. Deadline for Paper proposals: 6 December 2019. More info.
  • International Communication Association Preconference on Intersectional Imaginaries in Media, Religion & Gender, Gold Coast, Australia, May 2020. Proposal deadline 15 December 2019. More info.
  • The XXII Quinquennial World Congress of the IAHR, hosted by the New Zealand Association for the Study of Religions, will take place at the University of Otago, in Dunedin, New Zealand from 23-29 August 2020. Submission deadline 31 December 2019. More info.
  • Navigating the non/confessional in university Islamic studies. University of Birmingham. 20-22 April 2020. Submission deadline 17 January 2020. More info.


  • Call for Papers on Digital Visibilities of the Religious. Deadline 15 January 2020. More info.
  • Call for papers on Religion & Ecology for a special issue of Religions. Deadline 31 May 2020.

Postgrad/ECR Opportunities

Also if you’re on Facebook, we have a postgrad page so do join us 🙂

New Publications
Oosterbaan, M., van de Kamp, L. and Bahia, J. (2019), Global Trajectories of Brazilian Religion: Lusospheres, London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

CFP: “Religion and the urban, natural and virtual environments”

Biennial Conference of the ESA RN34- Sociology of Religion
Groningen (Netherlands), 26-28 August 2020

This conference wants to adopt a broad approach to the study of the relation between religion and different “environments”: the urban environment, the natural environment and the virtual environment. This threefold approach allows us to capture three areas of religious transformation and innovation, which are of high academic and societal relevance in contemporary European societies and beyond. By approaching these three topics, we aim to contribute both to the academic advancement of the sociology of religion in relation to its conceptual and methodological tools and to a broader societal reflection on the dynamic between religion and the urban, natural and virtual environments. Some of the questions we seek to address are the following:

  • How do religions and cities interact with one another and transform each other? How does the urban environment affect religious practices and, conversely, how do religious practices and groups transform the urban environment? How are religious and secular meanings negotiated in urban spaces? How do tourism, heritage industries and gentrification processes produce and transform urban religious heritage?
  • How do religious groups relate to the natural environment? How do religions see and interpret the ecological crisis and which alternatives do they suggest? How do religious groups conceptualise their role in relation to environmental concerns and claims? Which forms does faith-based environmentalism take? How do religions position themselves in relation to other social actors in environmental concerns?
  • How do the virtual environment and religion interact with and affect one another? How does the virtual environment influence how we understand the idea of “religious community” and community in general? How are religion and the concept of religion affected and challenged by the increasingly digitalized world? What challenges and inspirations for religion can the developments in artificial intelligence and virtual reality bring about? What conceptual, epistemological, methodological and ethical challenges are faced by scholars exploring “virtual religion”?

Papers addressing these and other questions and topics relevant to the sociology of religion are welcome. Besides individual papers, it is possible to propose a panel with a maximum of four papers per panel.

Additionally, MA and PhD students will have the opportunity to combine their participation in the conference with a summer school. See more information here

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

  • Dr. Giulia Evolvi, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Prof. Dr. Jens Koehrsen, University of Basel
  • Dr. Pooyan Tamimi Arab, Utrecht University

All interested should submit an abstract of 200 to 250 words, including a reference to the theoretical framework, research question, methodology and main findings. Panel proposals should include the title and a short description of the panel (200 to 250 words), the name and affiliation of the convener(s), and the title, author’s name and abstract (200 to 250 words) for each of the proposed papers. Proposals should be submitted to

Deadline: 31 January 2020 

Visit the conference website for more information:

Call for Papers: Navigating the non/confessional in university Islamic studies

A three-day international conference funded and organised by the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham, in partnership with the Muslims in Britain Research Network

Dates: 20-22 April 2020

Across Europe there are numerous examples of recent linkages between universities and Islamic seminaries. In Germany the experiment, now over ten years old, of establishing departments of Islamic theology in five universities has now recruited close on 2000 students, many of whom will end up teaching confessional Islam RE in schools. At Vienna, in VU Amsterdam, and in UC Louvain there are programmes for Islamic leaders, teachers, and imams. In the UK, partnerships have been developed at under- and postgraduate level between e.g. Warwick, Birmingham and Middlesex universities and Islamic seminaries representing a range of Islamic traditions. Movement between confessional and non-confessional Islamic educational contexts by students and staff, both as a result of such formal links or informally, is now common.

The conference will explore the opportunities and challenges created by the emergence of bridges and permeable membranes between confessional and non-confessional Islamic educational contexts. It will bring together scholars from across Europe working in different policy and educational settings to look at how Islamic education operates, and the implications of this for the transmission and representation of the Islamic tradition, as well as the teaching of Islam in universities. The conference’s remit will be any arena where Islam is included as a part of higher-level study, from the confessional teaching of Islam, to theology and religious studies, history, politics and the social sciences. We have invited six main speakers to help us move the discussions along:

  • Prof. Bekim Agai, Dept. of Islamic Studies, University of Frankfurt
  • Prof. Ednan Aslan, Depts. of Teacher Education and Islamic Theology, University of Vienna
  • Prof. Sophie Gilliat-Ray, Professor in Religious and Theological Studies, Director for the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK, Cardiff University
  • Prof. Birgitte Schepelern Johansen, Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen
  • Dr Walaa Quisay, Teaching Fellow, University of Birmingham
  • Prof. Alison Scott-Baumann, Professor of Society & Belief, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Abstracts are now invited for papers that address any of the conference themes:

  • How students and staff navigate between confessional and non-confessional Islamic educational contexts
  • How policy contexts affect the development of linkages between seminaries and mainstream higher education institutions;
  • Teaching about Islam beyond Islamic and religious studies (for example, in history, politics and the social sciences);
  • ‘Insider’ and ‘outsider’ dynamics in the teaching of Islam in European contexts
  • Complementarities and tensions between confessional and non-confessional approaches to the study of Muslims and Islam
  • Securing the study of Islam within and beyond higher education institutions

The organisers will cover the costs of accommodation and scheduled meals for accepted paper authors, but they will need to cover their own travel costs.
If you are interested in presenting at this conference,  please send a 250 word abstract to the email address below by 17 January along with a biographical note of no more than 50 words. We intend to invite selected speakers to develop their contribution into an article for publication in a thematic volume.

Abstract submissions and any general questions should be sent to the conference organisers at

“SocRel at 45” Conference (July 2020) abstract submissions now open

THEME: “Celebrating SocRel at 45: Beyond Binaries in the Sociology of Religion”

The conference will be held at the University of York, 14-16 July 2020.

Keynote Speakers

  • Dr Sarah Jane Page (Aston University)
  • Professor Sam Perry (University of Oklahoma)

Special 45th Anniversary Panel

  • Professor Eileen Barker (London School of Economics)
  • Professor Jim Beckford (Warwick University)
  • Professor Grace Davie (Exeter University)
  • Professor Linda Woodhead (Lancaster University)

Sociological writing about religion is replete with binaries: secular/post-secular, sacred/profane, religion/non-religion, western/non-western, spiritual/religious, theistic/non-theistic, cognitive/corporeal and private/public, to name just a few. Theories that consider the relationship between these seemingly opposing concepts have shaped the evolution of the discipline, reflected changing social realities, and supported the production of new knowledge.

Although many of these binaries have become highly fashionable within the contemporary study of religion, does the use of these types of analytical frames limit our capacity for critical sociological engagement? Do our understanding of the lived realities for individuals across different communities support or reject the use of binary concepts? In this conference that celebrates 45 years of SocRel, we invite you to consider the possibilities for the sociology of religion ‘beyond binaries’. We encourage you to think about the relationships that you make in your own research with these, and other, binary frames, and the ways in which you find them both useful and limiting to think with.

Use this link to submit abstracts:

Further details regarding registration will be uploaded in due course.  Should you have any questions or queries, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Dr Rachael Shillitoe
Research Associate
Conference and Events Officer for the British Sociological Association, Sociology of Religion Group (SocRel)
School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT