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Conference and CFP: EASR 2016, Relocating Religion

EASR 2016 Conference
Relocating Religion
Helsinki 28 June – 1 July 2016
Annual conference of the EASR
Special conference of the IAHR

Welcome to the annual conference of the European Association for the
Study of Religions (EASR) that will be held from 28 June – 1 July 2016,
at the University of Helsinki, Finland. The theme of the conference is
Relocating religion.

Religion has always been a moving concept. Throughout history, it has
changed place, shape, function and content; conceptions of religion have
been dependent on theoretical or political interests and strategies.
Religion can be framed as a means of identity-work, world-building and
well-being, but it can also be perceived as a consumer good or a
security threat. Due to the open, fragile, and inherently negotiable
nature of the category of ‘religion’, rigid definitions produce
simplistic and distorted representations of the complexities involved in
the formation of religious phenomena. At the same time, attempts to
define and redefine religion in various contexts are themselves an
important topic of research. All of this requires interdisciplinary
scholarly imagination and critical new approaches.

In recent scholarship, religious change has been conceptualized from a
variety of theoretical perspectives. When focusing on the modern period,
some scholars speak about the vitalization of religions, secularization
and post-secularity, while others refer to re-sacralization and
re-enchantment. Concurrently, the need for more knowledge and
understanding not only of religion, but also of secularization, secular
positions and non-religion has been underlined. Many of these
perspectives highlight the significance of religious change as a
cultural and social phenomenon. Such perspectives are, however, equally
applicable to the study of religious transformations in other contexts
than the modern period. The conference will offer the opportunity to
explore changes and continuities in the forms, practices and
implications of religion at all levels of societies and cultures, in the
past as well as in the present.

Language of the conference is English.

The keynote speakers are:

Giovanni Filoramo, University of Turin
Anne-Marie Korte, University of Utrecht
James R. Lewis, University of Tromsø
Linda Woodhead, University of Lancaster


Call for session proposals:
1 September to 30 October 2015

We invite proposals for closed sessions (with a fixed chair and
speakers) and open sessions (with a chair and a theme).

Notification of acceptance:
15 November 2016 at the latest

Call for individual papers:
15 November to 31 December 2015

Notification of acceptance:
15 February 2016 at the latest

15 February to 1 May 2016

Organizers: The conference will be organized by the Study of Religions
at the University of Helsinki in collaboration with the Finnish Society
for the Study of Religion, Comparative Religion at the Åbo Akademi
University and the Donner Institute, Turku.

Welcome: On behalf of the organizing committee, cordially welcome to

Tuula Sakaranaho, President of the conference
Heidi Rautalahti, Conference secretary

For further information, please, contact: