ASA Section on the Sociology of Religion–Virtual Conference on Monday, August 10th

Although the ASA Religion Section is not meeting at the ASA meetings in person this year, we have a slate of virtual sessions and meetings on Religion Day (Monday, Aug 10th) that I am excited to share below.

FREE registration for ASA members ($25 for non-members) is required to obtain access to these virtual events, so please register here ASAP:

Once you register and log in to the ASA website, when you visit the virtual program (shortcut web links provided below), you should see a black “View or Join Online” button for any virtual session of interest and clicking on it will reveal directions for joining that meeting/session/table on Zoom.

Our program team (Andrea Henderson, Grace Yukich, Simon Brauer, and Bo Hyeong Jane Lee) worked very hard to first prepare the original slate of sessions, and then pivoted to organize which sessions would move forward virtually and how. I greatly appreciate their dedication to making all of this happen in the midst of a global pandemic. Many thanks also to our presiders, presenters, and discussants for providing us this opportunity for intellectual engagement.

I hope to “see” many of you around at our virtual sessions and roundtables, and I invite you all to participate in our Section Business Meeting, where we will talk about the state of the section, introduce new officers and council members, and present our book and article awards.

Please mark your calendars now for the events below

Lisa Pearce, ASA Religion Section Chair

ASA 2020 : Section on Sociology of Religion

Virtual Activities
Monday, August 10


    8:30 to 9:10 am PT
    Summary of year’s activities and finances, award presentations, and introduction of new officers and council members. All are welcome!


    Roundtable Organizers: Simon Brauer and Bo Hyeong Jane Lee
    9:10 to 10:10 am PT
    Topics, papers, and authors listed here:


    Global Religion

    10:30am to 12:10 pm PT

    Andrea K. Henderson, University of South Carolina & Grace B. Yukich, Quinnipiac University

    Presider and Discussant:
    Brandon Vaidyanathan
    Barriers to Racial Integration in British Evangelicalism: Colonialism, Classism, and Marginalization
    Jessamin Birdsall, Princeton University
    Belonging, Believing, Behaving and Brexit: How Religion Shapes Support for Leaving the European Union
    Siobhan McAndrew, University of Bristol
    From Sacred to Secular: Trend in Values in Egypt, Tunisia, and Turkey
    Mansoor Moaddel, University of Maryland-College Park
    Reconceptualizing Global Religion: Characteristics of Grave-Sweeping in China Becky Yang Hsu, Georgetown University

    Populism and Religion: Comparative-Historical Approaches

    Co-Sponsored by Comparative-Historical Section and Section on Sociology of Religion
    10:30am to 12:10 pm PT

    Efe Peker, University of Ottawa & Gulay Turkmen, University of Goettingen

    Efe Peker, University of Ottawa

    Shai M. Dromi, Harvard University
    Religion and Gender in the European Populist Right
    Ayse Serdar, Instanbul Technical University;
    Ebru Öztürk, Mid Sweden University’
    Katarina Giritli Nygren, Mid Sweden University
    Religion, Populism, and Nationalism in Nine Eastern European States
    Pamela Irving Jackson, Rhode Island College;
    Peter E. Doerschler, Bloomsburg University
    Religious Populism in America and the Possibility for Democratic Politics
    Rhys H. Williams, Loyola University-Chicago

Peter B Clarke Memorial Essay Prize – WINNER ANNOUNCED!

On behalf of the executive committee for the Sociology of Religion Study Group and the anonymous panel of judges, the winner of this year’s Peter B Clarke Memorial Essay Prize has been announced.

The award is given annually to an essay submitted by a postgraduate researcher who is a member of the group, with the sponsorship and support of Routledge and Taylor & Francis. 

The deadline was extended for the competition, as it fell in the middle of the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the midst of that confusion and preoccupation, postgraduate scholars in the sociology of religion were nonetheless able to put strong entries together and submit them for consideration.

Judges were impressed with the entries, but they were especially  impressed with one paper. This year’s prize goes to Antonio Montañés Jiménez, a researcher at St Andrews University, with an essay entitled “Street preaching and the rise of Latin-American Christian heroes in Barcelona: A sociological approach”. 

Congratulations, Antonio! More will be heard about the paper in a forthcoming blog post for the study group. 

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Journal ‘Religions’ – “Religion and Ethics in Digital Culture”

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2020.

The study of media, religion, and culture has emerged as an important subfield in communication, media studies, and religious studies. The study of digital religion is an especially active area of research. While many studies show how traditional religious institutions adapt to online environments, or how new religious movements emerge organically through social media, fewer studies focus on the religious and ethical dimensions of putatively secular institutions, brands, and products that define digital culture: Google, Apple, Facebook, etc. Yet the headquarters and retail spaces of such institutions arguably serve as churches for congregations of employees and customers; developers and users relate to devices like the iPhone as sacred or magical objects; video game players look to tournament champions as moral or spiritual exemplars.

This Special Issue will explore the religious, spiritual, and ethical dimensions of digital culture in its more popular and ostensibly secular forms. Articles will examine manifestations of religion in institutions, devices, and content generally regarded as non-religious in design, intent, or purpose. These manifestations can be discursive, appearing in news interviews with CEOs or YouTube parodies of tech enthusiasts. They can be material, appearing in the design of branded devices and the architecture of commercial spaces. They can be intentional and explicit, as in marketing strategies that aim to mimic “successful” religions or employee workplace programs that integrate Buddhist mindfulness practices; or they may be unintentional or implicit, as in the devotional and ritualistic behavior of customers searching for their favorite product’s latest release.

Articles for this Special Issue may focus on one or more of the following aspects of digital culture: First, they may identify specific case studies (businesses, product design or content, marketing campaigns), demonstrating the presence of beliefs and practices that broadly qualify as religious in nature. Second, they may examine the cultural, historical, or economic implications of the religious and ethical dimensions of digital culture (impact on consumer behavior, citizenship, and other forms of social engagement). Third, articles may offer critical moral, ethical, or theological evaluations of digital culture, outlining strategies for transformation (more sustainable business practices and product designs, attention to the integrity of spiritual practices adapted in the workplace, etc.).

Through these explorations, this Special Issue will draw attention to, and deepen our understanding of, the often surprising ways religion, spirituality, and ethics appear in contemporary digital culture.

Dr. Kevin Healey
Associate Professor
Department of Communication
University of New Hampshire

Call for Papers: Inaugral issue of ‘The Journal of the Mormon Social Science Association’ (JMSSA)

The Journal of the Mormon Social Science Association (JMSSA) is accepting submissions for our inaugural issue in 2021. Papers accepted for publication will receive a $500 honorarium. JMSSA is a peer-reviewed academic journal sponsored by the Mormon Social Science Association. Founded in 1979, the MSSA is an interdisciplinary scholarly society promoting the study of social life within the Latter Day Saint movement.

Aims and Scope

The Journal of the Mormon Social Science Association publishes original research, synthetic reviews, and theoretical or methodological essays on topics relevant to the Latter Day Saint movement from a social science perspective. We welcome papers from all social science disciplines, as well as work in other disciplines with a social science approach. We encourage submissions from students, junior scholars, and underrepresented voices in Mormon Studies. The journal is atheological and nonpolemical. The journal does not consider previously published work except by invitation. The journal does not consider papers simultaneously submitted elsewhere for review.


Journal of the Mormon Social Science Association accepts papers of any length, including research notes. All submissions are screened by the editor or editorial board to determine their suitability for the journal. Papers deemed suitable are forwarded for peer-review. Subsequent to peer-review, papers may be rejected, returned for revision, or accepted for publication.

The journal conforms to the “author-date” citation system outlined in The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (Chapter 15). All submissions must be accompanied by an abstract not to exceed 250 words. Abstracts should state the research question(s), identify basic methods, and summarize main findings. Footnotes should be used for essential clarification only, and not for excurses.

Send submissions in MS Word format to:
For more information, contact Rick Phillips,

The Call for Sessions Proposals for the 36th SISR/ISSR Conference in Taipei, Taiwan (12-15 July 2021

THEME: Religion in Global/Local Perspectives: Diffusion, Migration, Transformation

Call for sessions: 15 July to 15 September 2020 – Do not wait the last minute to submit your proposal!

Last conference, three quarters of paper proposals (hence more than 300) were submitted 3 days prior to the deadline. This generates an important flow of emails in a short period of time, which limits our ability to respond to your queries in a timely fashion. In order to avoid last hours of panic, we strongly advise you to submit your proposal well before the deadline, 15 September 2020.

To submit a session, please click here.

IMPORTANT! You need to be an ISSR member, or renew your membership to submit a proposal, otherwise you will not be able to access the submission page.

To check your membership, please click here.

Note: Your ISSR membership last for 2 years. No matter which date you have paid your membership, it starts on the 1st January of the year following an ISSR conference and ends on 31 December of the year of the next conference. For example, those who paid their membership at the conference in Barcelona, have been ISSR members from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2019.

In case of any issue, please click here.

ISSR Conference 2021 and COVID-19

For the time being, we have decided for now to keep our plans. However, we remain entirely flexible and we do envisage the possibility of postponing the conference if need be, the health and safety of all being the obvious priority. We will continue to monitor the situation and, of course, comply with any relevant regulations. We will also contact you as new information becomes available that is pertinent to our conference.

We would like to encourage all of you to submit session and paper proposals so that, if everything goes according to plan, we can hold our conference as planned during summer 2021. If we have to postpone the conference to 2022, we will secure the proposals already made.


L’appel à session pour la 36e conférence SISR/ISSR à Taipei, Taiwan (12-15 juillet 2021) sur

La religion dans une perspective globale/locale : Diffusion, Migration, Transformation

Appel de sessions : 15 juillet au 15 septembre 2020 – N’attendez pas la dernière minute pour soumettre votre proposition !

Lors de la dernière conférence, les trois quarts des propositions de communication (soit plus de 300) ont été soumises 3 jours avant la date limite. Cela génère un flux important de courriels dans un court laps de temps, ce qui limite notre capacité à répondre à vos demandes en temps voulu. Afin d’éviter les dernières heures de panique, nous vous conseillons vivement de soumettre votre proposition bien avant la date limite, le 15 septembre 2020.

Pour soumettre une session, cliquez ici.

IMPORTANT ! Vous devez être membre de la SISR, ou renouveler votre adhésion pour soumettre une proposition, sinon vous ne pourrez pas accéder à la page de soumission.

Pour vérifier votre adhésion, veuillez cliquer ici.

Note : Votre adhésion à la SISR dure 2 ans. Quelle que soit la date à laquelle vous avez payé votre adhésion, elle commence le 1er janvier de l’année suivant une conférence de la SISR et se termine le 31 décembre de l’année de la conférence suivante. Par exemple, ceux qui ont payé leur cotisation à la conférence de Barcelone, ont été membres de la SISR du 1er janvier 2018 au 31 décembre 2019.

En cas de problème, veuillez cliquer ici.

Conférence de la SISR 2021 et COVID-19

Pour l’instant, nous avons décidé de maintenir nos plans. Toutefois, nous restons entièrement flexibles et nous envisageons la possibilité de reporter la conférence si nécessaire, la santé et la sécurité de tous étant la priorité évidente. Nous continuerons à suivre la situation et, bien entendu, à nous conformer à toute réglementation. Nous vous contacterons également dès que de nouvelles informations pertinentes pour notre conférence seront disponibles.

Nous aimerions vous encourager tous à soumettre des propositions de sessions et de documents afin que, si tout se passe comme prévu, nous puissions tenir notre conférence comme prévu pendant l’été 2021. Si nous devons reporter la conférence à 2022, nous garantirons des propositions déjà faites.

Research Report Launch: AHRC Re/presenting Narratives of Islam on Campus

The report from the AHRC funded ‘Re/presenting Narratives of Islam on Campus’ research has been released.

This was a collaboration between Professor Alison Scott-Baumann (Principal Investigator) and Dr Aisha Phoenix (SOAS University of London), Professor Mathew Guest (Durham), Dr Shuruq Naguib (Lancaster) and Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor at Coventry University.

This AHRC-funded research project provides the first nationwide picture of how Islam is experienced, perceived and interacted with on university campuses in the UK. It shows how the UK Government’s counterterrorism Prevent strategy has reinforced negative stereotypes of Muslims and has encouraged ‘a culture of mutual suspicion and surveillance’ on university campuses.

Based on findings from a national survey of 2,022 students across 132 UK universities and interviews and focus groups conducted with 253 staff and students at six higher education institutions, it recommends that universities take an active role in building peaceful relations on campus and beyond.

This can be achieved through active challenge of prejudice and empowering Muslim and all marginal voices. As discussed in our forthcoming book, suspicion and negative stereotypes need to be replaced with shared, equal and just understandings of who we all are.

To read the full report visit:

Position Open – Lecturer/Research Fellow – Buddhism (Level B)

Lecturer/Research Fellow – Buddhism (Level B) – Nan Tien InstituteWollongong NSW AUSTRALIAFixed Term full-time (3 years) 

Closing date: Monday 24 August 2020

Nan Tien Institute (NTI) is a private, not for profit, government accredited higher education provider offering courses in the areas of Buddhist studies, health and wellbeing.

Today NTI operates from its own state-of-the-art campus on the South Coast of New South Wales, which incorporates contemplative education and fosters an environment for holistic learning, allowing students to contribute to the advancement and integration of knowledge, culture and ethical understanding, both within their own lives and within the lives of others.

Accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, NTI offers postgraduate programs in Applied Buddhist Studies, Health and Social Wellbeing, Humanistic Buddhism and Mental Health. We also offer customised Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs and special interest subjects across the areas of meditation, mindfulness and health.

The Lecturer/Research Fellow in Buddhism is responsible to carry out research in Humanistic Buddhism and teaching in the Applied Buddhist Studies and Humanistic Buddhism courses.

How to apply:

Please provide us with a copy of your resume and cover letter addressing the above selection criteria.

For enquiries please contact Human Resources on 02 4258 0746 or email

Nan Tien Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

For further details visit:

Religious Healing and Sacred Health Curing: Online Documentary Film Program and Debate

The Network of the Anthropology of the Middle East and Central Eurasia of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) in collaboration with the Religion and Society Research Cluster, Western Sydney University are organising a new series of online biweekly documentary film presentations and debates regarding Religious Healing and Sacred Health Curing.

During our current complex situation caused by COVID-19, this program should be considered a unique platform for specialists of the field in which they will be able to watch collectively documentary films which in one way or another discuss the role of religion, religious rituals, sacred sites and material religion in religious healing and sacred health curing. The film presentations will be continued by a debate between the moderator, filmmakers and the specialists of the field.

Week 2: July 25, 2020 10:00 AM in London (7pm Sydney time)

Please join our second biweekly webinar (25 July 2020), documentary film presentation and debate organized by the Network of the Anthropology of the Middle East and Central Eurasia of EASA in collaboration with the Religion and Society Research Cluster, Western Sydney University.

Introduction to the program by Dr. P. Khosronejad (Western Sydney University), and debate by filmmaker Dr. R. Canals (University of Barcelona), researcher of film Dr. R. Sarró (University of Oxford) and discussant Dr. R. Blanes (University of Gothenburg).

Film presentation: Chasing Shadows
Roger Canals, 2019, 70 minutes, UK / Spain.


This film is directed by Roger Canals and filmed in Guinea-Bissau based on Ramon Sarró and Marina Temudo’s research, offers an intimate portrait of a prophetic movement. In Balanta, the movement is called Kyangyang, a word meaning “shadows”, although its followers also call themselves “Children of God”. The Kyangyang prophetic movement was born in the early 1980s among Balanta farmers in rural areas of Guinea-Bissau, after a period of ecological and political crisis and after a young woman called Ntombikte, who died in 2013, started to prophesize and heal after receiving messages from God through her ancestors. She had a massive following among young men and women. Much like the prophetess, her followers could communicate with their ancestors and then either transmit messages from the high God through prophetic art and writing, glossolalia, and divination or heal in collective and individual ceremonies.

This webinar will be held on Zoom.

To register please visit:

Australian Association for the Study of Religions (AASR) – July Newsletter

A final reminder that the Journal for the Academic Study of Religion has a special issue call for paper on ‘Religion, Spirituality and the New African Diaspora’ which might be of interest to you. Deadline 31 July 2020. More details here

Call for Papers:


36th ISSR/SISR ‘Religion in Global/Local Perspectives: Diffusion, Migration, Transformation’ Conference, 12-15 July 2021, Taipei, Taiwan. Call for sessions: 15 July to 15 September 2020. Call for papers: 1 October to 15 November 2020. More info

3rd ANU Religion Conference – Religion and Migration: Culture and Policy. Canberra, 8-10 December 2021 (new date). Proposal deadline 21 May 2021. More info 


Call for paper: Embracing religion as counter-conduct: Ethics and “political spirituality” among western youth. Deadline 15 July 2020. 

Call for paper: Religions‘ special issue: “Pandemic, Religion and Non-religion”Deadline 31 August 2020. 

Call for papers on Religions’ special issue: ‘Religion, Law and Politics‘. Deadline 18 December 2020. 

Call for papers: Special Issue on “Historizing Islamophobia”. Deadline February 2021. 

PhD/Job Opportunities:

PhD Scholarship in Religion, Materiality and the African Diaspora in Australia, Western Sydney University

PhD Scholarship in Social Science for Migration, Mixed Marriage and Integration in Australia, Monash University

Acting Professorship of Islamic Studies, University of Hamburg Faculty for Humanities

Professorship of Jewish Religion, University of Hamburg Faculty of Humanities

Professorship of Theology, University of Hamburg Faculty of Humanities

Professorship for Islamic Theology in contemporary and Historical Perspective, University of Hamburg Faculty of Humanities

Junior Professorship of Theology of Alevism, University of Hamburg Faculty of Humanities

Junior Professorship of Islamic Philosophy and Normative Teaching, University of Hamburg Faculty of Humanities

Acting Professorship of Islamic Studies, University of Hamburg Faculty for Humanities

Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Studies, Harvard University Harvard Divinity School

Latest Publications:

Kim, David W. (2020) “A Transnational Grassroots Movement: Jinja Shintō and Japanese Religions in the Pre-Colonial Joseon Society,” The Review of Korean Studies, 23, 1: 211-235. 

Weng, Enqi and Halafoff, Anna. (2020) ‘Media Representations of Religion, Spirituality and Non-Religion in Australia’Religions 11, 332.

Have you a new event, job opportunity or latest publication to share with us? Please get in touch with the AASR’s Communication Officer, Dr Enqi Weng, at with details by mid of 2nd and 4th week of each month to be included in our newsletter. Thank you.