CFP: Researching Religious Controversies Conference 2016

We are happy to announce the Researching Religious Controversies Conference 2016 at Sigtuna, Sweden, between October 31th and November 2nd 2016. Please find the Call for Papers attached, along with author guidelines for our blog, Religion: Going Public.

Feel free to disseminate this CFP to your respective networks, and note that the deadline for submission of abstracts is April 15th.

The Researching Religious Controversies Conference aims to discuss and delve into a range of themes and challenges that researchers may face when studying religious controversies, not least with regards to disseminating research findings to the wider public. The conference is organized and funded by CoMRel in collaboration with the Sigtuna Foundation. CoMRel is an acronym for the Scandinavian project Engaging with Conflicts in Mediatized Religious Environments, headed by Professor Knut Lundby at the University of Oslo. CoMRel researcher Mona Abdel-Fadil is the lead organizer of this event.
Please note that this conference has a particular twist to it. All paper presentations (or excerpts of these) are to be published on the Religion: Going Public blog. The Researching Religious Controversies Conference takes pride in its efforts to integrate public communication as a central part of the conference. (Details below).
The Researching Religious Controversies Conference aims to:
• further develop the methodologies and theories of research on religious controversies
• improve public outreach strategies for academics studying controversial topics
• facilitate conversations across disciplines, research projects and countries
• generate blog posts for Religion: Going Public, in an effort to disseminate research presented at the conference to the general public in a reader-friendly manner

We welcome abstracts that discuss theoretical and empirical research on religious controversies, and how religious controversies are constructed, understood, mediated, debated, and resolved in a variety of contexts such as media, civil society, and legal bodies. We are interested in presentations that shed light on the dynamics of controversy, conflict, and conflict resolution. We also welcome submissions that deal with public outreach challenges related to the study of religious controversies. How do we meet the high demand for popular dissemination about such highly sensitive topics, and how can we engage with and inform public debates? How can we as researchers improve our toolbox with regards to public outreach when dealing with highly sensitive topics, shy from pulling out of public debates all together?
Abstracts that deal with one of the following four pre-defined themes are welcome:
– Religion, Conflict and Media
– Policies, lawmaking and case law related to religious controversies

  • Civil society and religious controversy
  • Challenges and experiences with blogging and public communication about religion and religious controversies
    We also welcome abstracts that deal with other aspects of religious controversy research, than those listed in the four pre-defined themes. The deadline for abstracts is April 15th. Abstracts are to be submitted to Dag Grytli ( and Mona Abdel-Fadil ( by 12 pm (ECT) April 15th. Early admissions are highly recommended, as there are a limited number of fully paid conference seats. We are happy to receive expressions of interest by email, both regarding submission of papers, as well as interest in acting as respondent. Abstracts are to be submitted in standard Word formats (.doc or .docx).