Category Archives: Professional Development

Call for Proposals: Engaging African Realities: Integrating Social Science within African Theology

Engaging African Realities: Integrating Social Science within African Theology

The Nagel Institute, with generous support from the Templeton Religion Trust, invites project proposals for “Engaging African Realities: Integrating Social Science within African Theology.” Its aim is to support African theologians to engage in fresh social scientific integrated approaches with the goal of producing creative and original projects in grounded theology. We understand grounded theology as an attempt at realizing the potential of theological creativity from the bottom-up, as opposed to a top-down approach. The project seeks to emphasize how grounded theology is compatible with grounded theory in social sciences as a method for seeking hidden patterns and meanings through ethnography, a way to unearth stories and enable answers to questions from African realities. The 12 awards, of not more than $50,000 USD each, will enable grantees to participate in three intensive workshops on social science theory, methods and skills needed for grounded theology, and provide support for research on one of two topical areas:

  • African traditional values and spirituality with reference to religious experience
  • Religious innovation and competition focusing on African resources for innovation

Visit for a comprehensive list of key questions and complete RFP instructions.

Proposals accepted in English, French, or Portuguese.

We encourage you to forward this announcement to any early-career (having received their PhD in the past 10 years) African theologian interested in the use of social science research methods in pursuit of grounded theological research.


Nagel Institute, Calvin University
3201 Burton St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546 USA

phone: +1-616-526-7155
Visit our website!

Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity at Calvin University | 3201 Burton Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

ICSOR Newsletter Posted

The recent Newsletter of the International Center for the Sociology of Religion has been posted on the organization’s website.

Available in both English and Italian, the newsletter contains information about:

  • The ECSOR International Grant Program for 2020
  • An announcement about the School for Advanced Training in the Sociology of Religion (SAFSOR), which will be held later this autumn.
  • Two scholarships available to young researchers at the Summer School on Religions in San Cimignano.
  • Reports on this year’s grant program and last year’s SAFSOR.
  • Much other information.

Masterclass on ‘Critical Religion’

All Postgraduate, Honours and Undergraduate Students are invited to
A Masterclass on Critical Religion’ – How Theory that Deconstructs the Category of ‘Religion’ Can Lead to Better Research

With Visiting UoN Fellow
Prof Naomi Goldenberg, Professor of Classics and Religious Studies
University of Ottawa, Canada

10am -12.30pm (X301) NeW Space City Campus, University of Newcastle, December 4, 2019

This Masterclass is free to all students and is supported by the Centre for the Study of Violence, University of Newcastle.

Register by email to Dr Kathleen McPhillips (

Description of Masterclass
Over the last two decades, a growing number of academics who study ‘religion’ have noticed that the idea that is foundational for their scholarship is fiction. I mean fiction in the Latin sense of factus as signifying something that is made, built, or constructed.  This insight opposes notions of ‘religion’ as a thing or phenomenon that has always existed everywhere in one form or another and that continues to manifest itself in different traditions and configurations throughout the globe. Proponents of “critical religion” understand religion to be a somewhat incoherent, rather recent concept that is projected as an anachronism onto history.  According to this view, ‘religion’ is a modern, discursive product of differing, context-specific, dynamics of power with particular relation to the politics of colonialism and statecraft.  Attendant terms and ideas such as ‘secular’ and ‘sacred’ are looked at similarly.

“Critical religion” is sometimes dismissed as mere semantics and/or as irrelevant to ‘the real world’ in which religion is assumed to exist and is treated as a powerful force in law, culture and experience.  Professor Goldenberg disagrees and will argue that better thinking about government, public policy and scholarly research depends on recognizing the confusion adhering to ‘religion’ as a category of analysis and rejecting it in favor of more coherent concepts.

Prof Goldenberg will use her own work on government and feminism to demonstrate how critical religion can be productively applied.  To prepare for the masterclass, participants will be asked to read two of her papers and then during the Masterclass be invited to think about their own research projects in terms of this deconstructive approach.    

Funding Opportunity: Global Religion Research Initiative

Hi, I am writing to ask you to share this announcement about three major grant and fellowship opportunities with your faculty and graduate student colleagues. Could you please forward this email to them and anyone else you know who studies global religion or might possibly be interested in incorporating global religion into their current research?

Thank you,

Christian Smith
Center for the Study of Religion and Society
Department of Sociology, University of Notre Dame

Funding Opportunity: Global Religion Research Initiative

The Center for the Study of Religion and Society in the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame is pleased to announce the Global Religion Research Initiative (GRRI), directed by Christian Smith and funded by the Templeton Religion Trust of Nassau, Bahamas.

The GRRI will fund over 150 research proposals by distributing $3.1 million to scholars of global religion between 2017 and 2021. This year, the GRRI offers three distinct competitive research and writing grants and fellowships programs available to scholars at all levels of their careers that intend to significantly advance the social scientific study of religions around the world.

Find out which grant or fellowship fits your idea below.

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The application deadline is November 18, 2019.
Apply online at

Global Religion Research Initiative
Center for the Study of Religion and Society
University of Notre Dame
1(800) 434-8441

Further Information about the School of Advanced Training in Sociology of Religion


16 to 19 December 2019 at the University Roma Tre, Department of Education, in via del Castro Pretorio 20.

Art. 1 – Introduction

  • This notice contains the provisions governing admission to the SCHOOL OF HIGH TRAINING IN RELIGION SOCIOLOGY (SAFSOR).
  • The School provides for the submission of an application for admission.
  • Final admission is subject to checks on self-certification relating to admission tickets and any university careers.

Art. 2 – Access passes and number of admissions

  • The School is aimed at graduates and professionals with a university degree belonging to any class of specialist / master’s degree or a degree of old order at least four years in the disciplines of social sciences.
  • The maximum number of admissions to the School is 15, which can be increased to 20. Admitted students are required to pay a registration fee of 120 euros (which also includes social dinner and daily buffet).

Art. 3 – Submission of application for admission

The application for admission must be submitted or sent no later than 30 September 2019 to the following postal address:

President of ICSOR
Viale delle Milizie 108 – 00192 Rome
tel. + 39 3475160442

or to the following e-mail address:

The following documents must be attached to the application form:

  1. declaration about the university from which the degree was obtained with the indication of the date and vote;
  2. curriculum vitae of studies, professional activities and research;
  3. list of publications;
  4. self-certification of knowledge of the Italian language (for foreigners) and of at least one other language of the European Union (for Italians).

Applications for admission delivered or received at the address indicated in art. 3 within the indicated deadline will be considered as having been submitted in due time.

Applications submitted with insufficient or irregular documentation and those received after the above deadline will not be accepted for selection.

On penalty of nullity, the following document must be attached to the application:

    • Photocopy of a valid identification document (Identity card and other equivalent document pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 445/2000: passport, driving licence, nautical licence, pension booklet, licence to operate thermal plants, firearms licence, identification cards provided they have a photograph and a stamp or other equivalent mark, issued by a State administration).

    Art. 4 – Admission of students with foreign qualifications

    • Holders of an academic qualification issued by a foreign university will be assessed on the basis of the Declaration of Value issued by the competent Italian diplomatic or consular representations of the country in which the qualification was obtained. The Declaration of Value is essential to assess whether the title held by the candidate is eligible for admission.
    • Foreigners must submit a declaration of value on site of the qualification obtained, an authenticated photocopy of the studies completed and a legalized translation of the entire documentation.
    • Foreigners coming from countries belonging to the European Union, wherever they reside, or foreigners coming from countries not belonging to the European Union and legally residing in Italy are required, however, to submit in the same manner as indicated above – within the established terms – application for participation, together with the same documentation required for non-residents.

    Art. 5 – Period of Activity

    • The activities of the HIGH TRAINING SCHOOL IN SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION (SAFSOR) will take place from 16 to 19 December 2019 at the University Roma Tre, Department of Education, in via del Castro Pretorio 20.

    Art. 6 – Languages of the Activities

    The activities of the HIGH TRAINING SCHOOL IN SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION (SAFSOR) will take place in the following languages: French, English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish.

    Art. 7 – Certificate

    • At the end of the School a Certificate of Participation will be issued.

    Art. 8 – Costs

    • Travel, board and lodging costs have to be paid by the participants.

    Announcements from the Australian Association for the Study of Religion

    The AASR 2019 Conference on ‘Religion and Violence’ is now open for registration. Early bird registration ends 30 September 2019. Four postgraduate bursaries are offered (worth $500 each). Application deadline: 30 September 2019. More info.

    Call for Papers: Conferences:

    • 2019 Conference of the Australian Girard Seminar: Girard, Gender, Victims and Violence, 4-5 Oct 2019. Proposal deadline: 18 September 2019. More info.
    • The Australian Church and the Australian Settlement, University of Newcastle NSW, 4 December 2019. Abstract submission due 30 September 2019. More info.
    • IV ISA Forum conference 2020: ‘Challenges of the 21st century for sociology of religion.Open for submissions from April 25 – September 30. 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

    Calls for Papers: Publications

    • Call for book proposals: Bloomsbury welcomes book proposals for Bloomsbury Studies in Material Religion, edited by Birgit Meyer (University of Utrecht, the Netherlands), David Morgan (Duke University, USA), Crispin Paine (UCL, UK), S. Brent Plate (Hamilton College, USA), and Amy Whitehead (Bath Spa University, UK). More info.
    • ‘Touch’ and Religion. Deadline 1 October 2019. More info.
    • Book Proposals in East Asian Religions. More info.
    • Chapters: Religious Responses to Sex Work and Sex Trafficking – Routledge. Deadline for AASR members: 11 October 2019. More info.
    • Special Issue: Religion, Economy, and Class in Global Context. Abstract deadline 15 October 2019. More info.
    • Call for papers on Religion & Ecology for a special issue of Religions. Deadline 31 May 2020.


    • Islam and Society: Challenges and Prospects. AAIMS Second Conference on the Study of Islam and Muslim Societies, September 30th- October 1st, 2019, Western Sydney University Parramatta South Campus. More info.

    Postgrad/ECR Opportunities

    • AASR 2019 Conference HDR/ECR Workshop on 4 Dec 2019. More info.
    • AASR 2019 Conference postgraduate bursaries (worth $500 each) are open for application.More info.
    • “Researching New Religions: Qualitative Methods in a Controversial Field” by guest instructor, Susan J. Palmer. Run by the Religion and Society Research Cluster (RSRC) at Western Sydney University. 19 September, 1-4pm. More info.

    Job Opportunities

    New Publications

    Scholarships: Programme on Interreligious Dialogue

    I am delighted to send you our call for applications for the European Scholarship Programme@DialoguePerspectives with the request to forward them to your partners and to help us spread the word!

    We are looking for future change agents in the field of interreligious/world view dialogue, and we are grateful for your assistance in identifying potential participants of our program.

    As you may know, over the past five years we have established a highly successful format for interreligious dialogue with the ELES-Program DialoguePerspectives, in which over 160 gifted and socially engaged students and doctoral candidates have participated.

    With the European Scholarship Program@DialoguePerspectives we are now taking a crucial step in strengthening the European perspective and, thanks to the support of the Federal Foreign Office, are building an independent European program track that enables us to work together with European students and doctoral candidates from Great Britain, France, Poland, Hungary, Sweden and Luxembourg. We want to work together with our fellows to develop strategies against (right-) populism and nationalism and for an open, pluralistic and democratic Europe.

    We are looking forward to this new challenge! And time is running out: already at the end of September, the first of four seminars will take place in the new program year. Therefore, I ask for your support and I appreciate your help by distributing the attached call for applications into your networks.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Johanna Korneli (

    Best regards
    Jo Frank

    Job Opening: Muslim-Christian Studies Research Fellow

    The Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies <>, an independent academic centre, is seeking to appoint a full-time Muslim Research Fellow, based in Oxford, for a three-year contract commencing on 1st October 2019, or as soon as possible thereafter.

    The Research Fellow will conduct research in the area of Muslim-Christian studies, either  theological, historical or sociological. The main aim would be to produce a high-quality  monograph on an area of the candidate’s choosing in discussion with CMCS. In addition, the Research Fellow would participate in other academic activities at CMCS, including (for example) teaching and advising a range of students who come to the Centre,  engaging with practitioners in the field of Muslim-Christian Relations, and contributing on an agreed basis to CMCS projects such as the Summer School for Christian and Muslim leaders in training,

    Hikmah Guides and the Christians and Muslims in Public Life Project.
    For further information see


    This is an invitation to HDR students and Early Career Academics researching in the interdisciplinary fields of religion, gender and sexuality to attend a one day symposium on:

    Saturday, 29 June 2019
    at the University of Newcastle Sydney CBD campus
    55 Elizabeth St, Sydney
    ** Register your interest by 21 June 2019!

    This one-day symposium brings together postgraduate students and early career researchers working in the interdisciplinary area of religion, gender and sexuality to explore specific issues pertaining to study in this area.

    Masterclass 1 (9.30-1pm) Methodological and Ethical Issues in the Study of Religion, Gender and Sexuality

    Leaders: Professor Emma Tomalin, University of Leads; Dr Luke Gahan, La Trobe University

    This masterclass will explore interdisciplinary approaches to and methodologies in the study of religion, gender and sexuality. The first session will look at the theory of intersectionality when applied to the research and analysis of religion, gender and sexuality in non-western societies. The second session will look at methods and ethics in researching LGBTQI cohorts and issues. Participants will be encouraged to draw on insights from their own research in order to contribute to the discussion, and there will be a pre-symposium reading requirement.

    Masterclass 2 (2.00-3.30) Safety in the Research Process

    Leader: Dr Kathleen McPhillips, University of Newcastle

    Researching across gender issues in the study of religion can expose us to challenging and difficult literature and field sites for which understanding and preparation is essential. This Masterclass will explore some of the pitfalls in the research process, the importance of setting up a safe research environment for participants and researchers and the importance of self-care. The class will introduce a trauma informed model of research practice and will draw upon the expertise of a number of experienced researchers, early career researchers and current HDR students who have worked in challenging research areas. Participants will be invited to share their experiences and there will be a pre-symposium reading requirement.

    Discussion (4-5pm)

    A final session will address the importance of mentoring for HDR and early career researchers as well as helpful tips about the move from post graduate student to researcher and academic.

    This event is fully catered for and morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea is provided.

    Registration Costs:

    • HDR Students                                                              $40
    • Early Career Researchers and part-time academics  $50

    • Full time Academics                                                    $100

    Please use this link for registration and payment. Deadline: Friday, 21 June 2019.

    For more information if required, please email Dr Kathleen McPhillips

    Sponsored by:

    Master Classes for Students/Early Careers Researchers on Gender, Sexuality, & Religion

    SATURDAY 29 JUNE 2019 9am-5pm


    A one day symposium for postgraduate students and early career researchers working in the interdisciplinary area of gender, sexuality and religion, to explore specific issues pertaining to study in this area with leading researchers in this field.

    Two Masterclasses will address a number of topics in Methodological Issues in the Study of Religion and Gender and Safety in the Research Process.  There will also be a session on mentoring and applying for academic jobs and scholarships.

    The symposium is fully catered and has a registration fee of $40.

    More information and registration coming soon!

    Best regards

    Enqi Weng, PhD
    Seminar Leader | ALC215 Global Media
    Research Fellow | ARC DP ‘Religious diversity in Australia: Strategies to maintain social cohesion’