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Eurel Conference 2012, Religion and Territory

Manchester, United Kingdom, 25-26 October 2012

Call for papers

Papers are invited for an international conference jointly organized by the Eurel network of sociologists and legal scholars of religion ( led by the research centre PRISME-SDRE UMR 7012, University of Strasbourg), and CRESC – the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change, University of Manchester.

Keynote speakers

– Silvio Ferrari, Professor of Canon Law at the University of Milan and Professor of Church-State Relations at the University of Leuven, ‘Law, Religion and Collective Identities’.

– Ian Gregory, Reader in Digital Humanities, Lancaster University, ‘Long-term Religious Change and Stability in Ireland: A Geographical Analysis’.

– Ceri Peach, Emeritus Professor of Social Geography, University of Oxford, ‘Islam and the Art of Mosque Construction in Western Europe’.

Eurel is both an important information resource created by leading sociologists and legal scholars in the field of religion, and a network of these scholars. It is opening its biennial meeting to interested researchers active in these fields, with a focus during this first colloquium on religion and territory. This meeting will take place on October 25- 26 2012, as a 1.5 day event.

Following the ‘spatial turn’, we have much to learn about the spatial mechanisms of religious change. Although significant progress has been made in the wider field of religious geography, there is considerable scope for further research into the spatial analysis of religious data using formal methods: a new and promising field.

Equally, the growing religious diversity of Europe has provided social and institutional challenges, with responses differing greatly both across Europe and at different levels of government within countries.

Bioethics, the position of religious minorities, faith schools and religious education, the separation of church and state, religious involvement in the public sphere, and responses to extremism are all areas where legal institutions, political interests and public attitudes interact in important ways, and differently so across space and institutional and national boundaries.

This suggests an important role for legal scholars, sociologists and geographers to engage in empirically-based discussion of religious change.

We particularly welcome proposals covering, but not exclusive to, the following areas:

• The relationship between religious reconstructions and spatial dynamics

• Religion and migration, particularly the impact of spatial change on religion

• New forms of religious participation and reorganization of territorial frameworks

• Local/regional vs. national/European legal treatment of religious groups

• Urban space and religion: spatial strategies of religious communities and public policy, such as land use regulation and development control, and their effects on the development of places of worship

• Discussion of methodological advances in the field, including new mapping tools and analytic tools

• Investigating religion and geography – geographical distribution of religiosity or cross-national comparison of allied issues such as religious prejudice.

Scholars wishing to present a paper should send an abstract and a brief biography as soon as possible and not later than January 11, 2012. Paper abstracts and CVs should be sent to Anne-Laure Zwilling via e-mail at:

The abstract will be reviewed by the conference organising committee and a response will be sent by 28 February 2012.

The conference will take place at Chancellors Hotel (, located close to Manchester Airport (8km), which has excellent international links.

Conference organizing committee:

– Jonas Bromander, Unit for Research & Culture, Church of Sweden,

– Niall Cunningham, CRESC, University of Manchester,

– Siobhan McAndrew, University of Manchester,

– MichaÅ‚ ZawiÅ›lak, Catholic University of Lublin,

– Anne-Laure Zwilling, CNRS-Strasbourg,