AASR 2019 Conference: “Religion and Violence”


The 2019 AASR conference will be held from December 5-6 at the city campus of the University of Newcastle, co-hosted by the AASR, the Centre for the Study of Violence and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Conference Theme

We invite scholarly reflections on the complex and diverse relations between religion and violence, incorporating counter discourses of peace and social justice.

The relationship between religion and violence continues to be contentious and marked by significant changes in global and domestic politics including humanitarian crises, displaced peoples particularly asylum seekers, the rise and fall of extremist religious movements, the status of hate speech, the role of social media and the ongoing threat of religious terrorism. 

These major upheavals, particularly the claims to religious authority and legitimacy through violent means, have led to a growth in collective anxiety threatening global and local security.  Religious violence can be direct and institutional; aimed against individuals or groups; administered by the state or by non-state actors; material and symbolic.

A counterpoint is provided by religiously-motivated peace and social justice movements, including those for welcoming religiously-diverse refugees and migrants, interfaith initiatives and movements for gender and sexuality equality and animal rights. For example, values of religious diversity, social solidarity and pluralism have been notable in responding to recent expressions of violence including the events in Christchurch in March 2019 and provide notable moments of hope in moving towards religious diversity as a global value.

The conference invites papers engaging these issues from relevant disciplines including religious studies, politics, history, philosophy, law, theology, sociology and anthropology, social work, criminology, gender and women’s studies and education. Of particular interest are contributions examining:

  • the relationship between religious identity and violent extremism
  • state management of religious violence including the regulation of social media and hate speech
  • state perpetration of religious violence
  • perceptions and constructions of religious violence
  • theoretical approaches to the meaning of religious violence including examples of scapegoating and symbolic forms of violence
  • the relationship between gender, sexuality, religion and violence with particular attention to current issues of clergy abuse and domestic violence
  • representations of religious violence in popular culture
  • race, ethnicity, otherness and religious violence
  • religion and animal rights
  • religious movements for peace and social cohesion

How to Submit

Send proposals to the conference convenor Kathleen McPhillips: Kathleen.mcphillips@newcastle.edu.au

Please include Title, Author, Abstract (maximum 150 words) and university affiliation by 1st August 2019.

We are particularly interested in panel proposals on the conference theme, which must include no more than 4 panel members with a theme, paper titles, abstracts and authors.

Confirmations of acceptance will be sent by 1st September 2019. Late papers will not be considered.


Please note: submissions will only be considered if authors are members of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion.

For membership please visit the AASR website https://www.aasr.org.au/join-us. Members of NZASR do not need to also have AASR membership.

Conference Venue

The University of Newcastle is Australia’s leading regional university and has a record of global excellence in enquiry and engagement. The School of Humanities and Social Sciences supports the interdisciplinary study of religion including via the Centre for the History of Violence, where researchers work on projects across a breadth of themes including religion. The University’s city campus– Newspace – is located in the centre of the business district close to transport, accommodation, the harbour, beaches and the entertainment area. See https://www.newcastle.edu.au/about-uon/our-environments/new-space

Newcastle is located 2 hours north of Sydney and is easily accessible by road, air and train.  Transport to and from Newcastle airport provides easy access into the city and hosts international flights, including direct flights from Auckland and most major Australian cities.

Symposium: *Pentecostal Charismatic Christianities and Migration*

Please join us at the symposium Pentecostal Charismatic Christianities and Migration co-convened by the Religion and Society Research Cluster/SSAP, Western Sydney University, and Alphacrucis College.

Date: 2 August 2019

Venue: Level 9, Parramatta City campus, WSU

169 Macquarie St, Parramatta

Keynote Speaker: Associate Prof Richard Vokes, UWA

“‘The Spirit Really Moved Me’: Metaphors of Movement in African-Australian Conversion Narratives”

Symposium Conveners:

  • Prof Cristina Rocha, Religion and Society Research Cluster, WSU
  • Prof Mark Hutchinson, Alphacrucis College
  • Dr Kathleen Openshaw, Religion and Society Research Cluster, WSU
  • Mrs Ingrid Ryan, Alphacrucis College

Symposium Theme

Over the past few decades, Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity (PCC) has exploded in the Global South and grown considerably in the Global North. Much of this grow this fuelled by networks of megachurches, the mobility of community leaders across diasporic networks, migration and media. While traditionally missionaries would travel in a North-to- South direction, more recently megachurches from the Global South have moved horizontally, across to other developing countries, and also made inroads in to the Global North in efforts of reverse missionisation. Such attempts to missionise to locals in the Global North have been largely (though not wholly) unsuccessful and churches have turned their focus to migrants from the Global South. Many studies have shown that migrants, who were not attached to PCCs before migration, join churches in the diaspora as they offer them a home away from home. Meanwhile, diasporic churches also face difficulties keeping these (as well as second generation) migrants, since they may prefer local churches in an effort to integrate. This symposium will probe these themes, discussing the many connections between PCCs and migration.

Registration: This is a free event but registration needed for catering purposes.

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/pentecostal-and-charismatic-christianity-and- migration-symposium-tickets-64954862743

For more details see attached flyer and  https://pccinaussymposium.wordpress.com/

Multiculturalism, Nationalism, Religions and Secularism

Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship’s Twentieth Anniversary Conference
Evening of 8 November – 10 November 2019, University of Bristol

Plenary speakers include:
Bhikhu Parekh, Craig Calhoun, Geoff Brahms Levey, Grace Davie, Nira Yuval Davis, Pnina Werbner, Rainer Bauböck, Therese O’Toole, Yael Tamir; and Anna Triandafyllidou (TBC), Baroness Sayeeda Warsi (TBC), Yvette Cooper, MP (TBC).

For twenty years researchers at the University of Bristol’s Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship have led debates about Muslims, racisms, multiculturalism, different forms of minority identity, and the place of religion in public life. Its research has spanned the social sciences and this conference will mark the twentieth anniversary of the Centre’s work.

Conference papers can come from sociology, political theory, political science, anthropology and other social sciences as well as disciplines in the humanities such as history and philosophy. Papers can focus on a range of themes such as multiculturalism, national identity, superdiversity, interculturalism, conviviality and everyday multiculturalism, neo-nationalism and populism, ethno-religious identities, racism and Islamophobia, secular governance and accommodation of religious diversity.

Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words by 12 August 2019. Abstracts should be submitted to Thomas.sealy@bristol.ac.uk  Decisions will be announced by 19 August 2019.

The attendance fee is £35 in total. There are no extra costs for dinner on the evening of the 9 November 2019 and lunch, tea and coffee on both days, as the conference will provide these.

Participants will be sent options for accommodation after their paper has been accepted.

Places for speakers are limited. Please direct queries to the conference organisers who are:

  • Tariq Modood (University of Bristol): t.modood@Bristol.ac.uk
  • Varun Uberoi (Brunel University): Varun.Uberoi@Brunel.ac.uk
  • Simon Thompson (University of the West of England): Simon.Thompson@uwe.ac.uk

Further information about the Centre is available at:

Job: Assistant Professor in the Sociology of Religion

The following new job listing has been posted in the ASA Job Bank and may be of interest to section members:
Job ID: 15636
Institution: Baylor University
Department: Dept of Sociology
Title: Assistant Professors (2)
Position/Rank: Academic Positions: Assistant Professor, Academic Positions: Assistant Professor
Areas/Special Programs: Mental Health , Religion

For additional information on this position (including how to apply), visit the ASA Job Bank at http://jobbank.asanet.org.

Two Job Openings with Pew Research: Demography of Religion Team

Pew Research Center has one open level research position for anyone from ABD status up to tenured professor. Pew is also looking for a savvy research assistant.

Research Associate or Senior Researcher position: https://jobs-prc.icims.com/jobs/5962/research-associate%2c-global-religious-demography/job

Research Assistant position: https://jobs-prc.icims.com/jobs/5964/research-assistant%2c-demography-of-religion/job

Both jobs are based in Washington DC.

Here are some recent examples of the demography of religion team’s work

PhD Opportunity

Dear Colleagues,

Here is a job offer for a phd contract on “Islam, market and gender in Russia: Women entrepreneurs and the market of Muslim goods and services in Russia (or the CIS)”:


The deadline for application is July 14.

Best wishes,

Silvia Serrano
Professeur, Sorbonne Université,
Centre d’Etude des mondes russe, caucasien et centre-européen (CERCEC),
54 Bd Raspail, 75006, Paris

Conference Call for Papers: The Ahmadiyya In Scholarly Perspective.

We are interested in organizing a conference on the Ahmadis and Ahmadiyya in which the speakers examine

  • – Its theology- Christology
  • – Its history,
  • – Its organization, governance and associated groups,
  • – Membership: numbers, growth, sociological profile. International expansion,
  • – Iconography,
  • – Their original territories and their international developments, as well as their various types of changes,
  • – Judicial issues addressing its status; prosecution in certain countries,
  • – Media relations and media coverage,
  • – Impact on humanitarianism, art and culture in general,
  • – Influences in popular culture,
  • – The peculiar way of placing itself within the Islamic world, from which it is considered “heretical”
  • – Relationship with the broader society.

This list of topics above is not exhaustive. We welcome additional studies or surveys completed or in process on the Ahmadiyya and its followers. 

As for our previous conferences, we will prepare the publication of the best papers, once the scientific committee has reviewed them. You may see our publications on www.antwerpfvg.org.

We plan our conferences on one or two days, presuming there will about 12 speakers.  Our requirement is to make sure speakers have a scholarly record and training even if they do not work in an academic background. Doctoral students are welcome. We do not offer grants or stipends to participants, and every participant has to pay registration fees.

Organized By: The European Observatory of Religion and Secularism (Laïcité) in partnership with Faculty of Comparative Study of Religion and Humanism (FVG), CLIMAS (Bordeaux), Cesnur (Turin).

Practical Information

  • Venue: Faculty of Comparative Study of Religion and Humanism (FVG)
  • Bist 164 – B-2610 Wilrijk-Antwerpen. Belgium. Tel.: +32 (0)3 830 51 58. E-mail: info@antwerpfvg.org www.antwerpfvg.org
  • Date of the conference: October 24-25, 2019.
  • Language of the conference: English.

Submitting: Send a 10 line abstract, with a 5 lines résumé of your previous work and a short biography to:

  • Régis Dericquebourg, Associate Professor at the FVG and President of the European Observatory of Religions and laïcité (secularism): Associate member of the Group of Sociology of Religion and Laicité. CNRS: Paris. France. redericq@netcourrier.com
  • and/or to Bernadette Rigal-Cellard, Professor in North American Studies, Université Michel de Montaigne, member de CLIMAS (Culture et littératures du monde anglo saxon), Bordeaux. France Vice-President of the Observatory of Religion and Laicité. bcellard@numericable.fr
  • and/or Chris Vonck, rector of the Faculty for Comparative religion and Humanism (FVG). fvg.faculteit@skynet.b
  • And/or Willy Fautre. Director of Human Rights Without Frontiers, w.fautre@hrwf.org

Papers will be considered for publication, with editorial details given during the conference. It is understood that each presenter must submit his or her paper first to the organizers for possible inclusion in the conference proceedings. When submitting the abstract, please inform the committee whether the paper has been submitted for review or publication in another venue.

Registration and Transportation:

  • Registration Fee: 100 euros and 15 euros for each lunch.
  • Students: 30 euros and 10 euros each lunch.
  • There are many hotels in Antwerp and a few in the nearby town of Mortsel, which are discoverable online, and each attendee should book directly. FVG is located off of a bus line to downtown Antwerp.

Proposal Deadline: July 1 st , 2019

Scientific Committee:

  • Raffaella Di Marzio, managing director LIREC;
  • Massimo Introvigne, managing director, CESNUR;
  • Bernadette Rigal-Cellard, Professor in North American Studies, Université Bordeaux Montaigne, member de CLIMAS (Culture et littératures du monde anglo saxon), France
  • Régis Dericquebourg, Associate Professor at the FVG and President of the European Observatory of Religions and laïcité (secularism), France and Belgium
  • Chris Vonck, Professor in Religious Studies, Dean of the Faculty of Comparative Studies of Religions, (FVG), Wilrijk (Antwerpen), Belgium

Call for Proposals: The 25th Nordic Conference in the Sociology of Religion

17th-19th August 2020
Gothenburg, Sweden

Religious Organisation(s): Challenges and changes in contemporary society

In today’s globalised and fast changing society, religious organisation and religious organisations face several challenges: Globalization, migration and different secularisation processes, together with political, technological and environmental changes/issues, influence, not only society in general, but also religious organisations and the ways in which religion is practiced and expressed in contemporary society. This situation prompts questions such as:

  • · How do religious organisations handle an influx of new members from other parts of the world and at the same time, an increased loss of members who have been there for a long time?
  • · How do religious organisations react to new technology such as digital communication instead of face-to-face interaction, and web-broadcasted religious meetings?
  • · How do religious groups and organisations handle the late modern individual who has little need of belonging to religious groups, and who is sceptical of religious authority?
  • · How can we explain why late modern individuals choose to belong to conservative and fundamentalist religious groups?

These, and other, questions concerning how religion is organised in contemporary society will be addressed at the 25th NCSR conference held in Gothenburg, Sweden 17th-19th August 2020, which includes a pre-conference for doctoral students in the morning of 17th August.


  • 15th November 2019          Deadline for submission of session proposals (paper sessions, panels, posters, authors-meets- critics, workshops etc.)
  • 15th Mars 2020                   Deadline for submission of abstracts for papers (max. 200 words)

Information on abstract format and delivery, programme, registration, venue etc. will be available at the conference website:https://lir.gu.se/forskning/konferenser/the-25th-nordic-conference-in-the-sociology-of-religion

The conference is hosted by Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion, at Gothenburg University.

We look forward to seeing you in Gothenburg,

  • · Magdalena Nordin, magdalena.nordin@lir.gu.se
  • · Daniel Enstedt, daniel.enstedt@lir.gu.se
  • · Mia Lövheim, mia.lovheim@teol.uu.se
  • · Martha Middlemiss Lé Mon, martha.middlemiss@teol.uu.se


Seeking submissions for an edited volume on Islam and Humour.

We propose a pioneering essay collection on a topic of great scholarly and public interest, aimed at exploring in greater depth the links between Islam and humour.

The idea that Islam resists and perhaps even opposes humour is widespread in the West. This view is based in part on the public outrage in Muslim countries over the Jyllands Posten *caricatures of 2006 (also known as the Muhammad
cartoons controversy) and the deadly attacks on cartoonists at *Charlie Hebdo
in 2015. Strict blasphemy laws and other restrictions on free speech in Muslim countries have further nurtured the idea that Islam is averse to humour, an outlook compounded and reinforced by persistent stereotypes that frequently circulate throughout western media.

Against this backdrop, we invite contributors to address a range of themes  on this topic, including the following:

  • – humour in the lives of Muslims around the world
  • – joking as an oppositional strategy in Muslim contexts
  • – how Muslim comics use jokes to counteract oppression, in either Muslim majority or minority contexts
  • – how Muslim comics use humour as a tool for social integration into new communities
  • – the historical role of humour in Arabic culture and other Muslim contexts
  • – systematic study of the kinds of humour that are tolerated and those that are not tolerated in Muslim societies, including discussions on the distinction between “permissible” and “impermissible” laughter
  • – what Muslim scriptures say about laughter
  • – comparing and contrasting what constitutes a “sense of humour” with respect to Muslim and non-Muslim communities
  • – the role and/or presence of humour in contemporary mass media in Muslim countries
  • – laughter in formal religious settings such as mosques and madrasas
  • – manifestations of “Muslim humour” in western countries (USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, etc.), such as Muslim stand-up comedians and TV shows with Muslim settings and/or themes

Authors are invited to submit by 1st August 2019 a 500-word chapter proposal and a short bio to the two editors listed below. The deadline for chapter submissions is 1st June 2020. Final chapters are expected to be between 5,000-8,000 words (including all notes and references).

We look forward to hearing from you and to receiving your submissions!

Thank you.

Lina Molokotos-Liederman: mololied@gmail.com

Bernard Schweizer: Bernard.Schweizer@liu.edu

Co-founders of Humour and Religion Network:

Conference on Study of Science and Belief in Society–4-6 July, Birmingham

Dear List Members,

Registration is now open for non-presenting delegates who wish to attend the first annual conference of the newly established International Research Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society being held at the University of Birmingham from 4-6 July, 2019.

This is a multidisciplinary conference with speakers from disciplines including the history of science, sociology of religion, science and technology studies, philosophy, social psychology, science communication studies, education studies, and anthropology. Keynote papers will be given by historian Professor Peter Harrison, Australian Laureate Fellow and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland (Australia), and psychologist Professor Cristine Legare, associate professor of psychology and the director of the Evolution, Variation, and Ontogeny of Learning Laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin (USA).

A full programme and book of abstracts can be found online: https://www.scienceandbeliefinsociety.org/about/engage/events/annual-conference-2019/

The conference themes are:

  • · The social scientific and historical study of the relationship between science and religious and/or non-religious belief and identity;
  • · Public perceptions of the relationship between science, religion and non-religion and their respective roles in society;
  • · National and international comparative perspectives on the study of science, religion and belief in society;
  • · Past and present media or popular representations of science, religion and belief in society;
  • · The past or present roles of science, rationalism, religion and belief in national, social or cultural identity and related geopolitical narratives;
  • · Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of science, religion and non-religion in society;
  • · Methodological approaches to, and issues in, the study of science, religion and belief in society;
  • · Avenues for future research and developments within the social scientific and historical study of science, religion and belief in society;

· Public policy research relating to any aspect of public policy that intersects with issues connected to science, religion and belief in society. Including studies on the impact of publics’ views on science and religion on policy making, and provision for religious, spiritual or non-religious communities across a range of geographies and issues (e.g. healthcare provision, educational policy, science policy, environmental policy or development);

· International studies of religious or spiritual communities’ perspectives on the intersection, and possible relationships, between science and religion over time.

Costs for attendance are as follows:

  • · Full Conference Registration (incl. lunches + evening meals) = £390
  • · Full Conference Registration (incl. lunches only) = £300
  • · Day Delegate Rate (incl. lunch only) = £120
  • · Discounted Full Conference Registration (incl. lunch + evening meals) = £170
  • · Discounted Day Delegate Rate (incl. lunch only) = £60

The subsidised discounted rate is available to PhD Students, unwaged/independent scholars, and retired scholars only. Participants will be expected to arrange their own travel and accommodation, although there are some very limited places available in the conference hotel, Edgbaston Park Hotel.

To register click here: https://shop.bham.ac.uk/conferences-and-events/college-of-arts-law/school-of-philosophy-theology-religion/international-research-network-for-the-study-of-science-belief-in-society-annual-conference

Please share this announcement among your networks, and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch (A.F.Hall@bham.ac.uk). An online version of this announcement can be found & shared at: https://www.scienceandbeliefinsociety.org/events-and-workshops/registration-open-science-and-belief-in-society-conference-birmingham-uk-4-6-july/

Kind Regards,

Dr Alexander Hall