Call for Proposals – Research Funding for projects on “Gratitude to God”

Letters of intent are due January 29th, 2020.

For more instructions and more information, visit

Queries may be sent to

Biola University, with the help of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation and under the direction of Peter Hill and Robert Emmons, welcomes proposals from various disciplines to investigate questions that concern gratitude to God*. Letters of intent are due January 29th, 2020.

Proposals may be for projects that utilize the methodologies of the behavioral sciences, philosophy, theology, or religious studies. Empirical projects may be multi-method, qualitative, theoretical, cross-cultural, employ behavioral measures, or incorporate developmental approaches (though none of these are required). For the empirical projects, experi­mental methodologies are encouraged. There are four separate award competitions: (1) empirical large grants, (2) empirical early career grants, (3) non-empirical large grants, and (4) non-empirical early career grants. Total funding available for this RFP is $2.8M.

We anticipate proposals for empirical and non-empirical projects that address one or more of the questions listed below:

  • What is the basic structure of gratitude to God and how can we advance our understanding of the differences between gratitude to God and gratitude to others?
  • Why and how do people express gratitude to God or fail to?
  • How is cosmic gratitude an alternative to gratitude to God?
  • What functions does gratitude to God serve?

*For the sake of this proposal and the anticipated projects that we hope it generates, we are using the term “God” to encompass the supreme God of monotheistic traditions, as well as other supernatural or superhuman beings with agency and powers (gods, spirits, ghosts, saints), whether personal or impersonal, with capacities to “make things happen or prevent them from happening, especially obtaining goods and avoiding bads” (Smith, 2017, p. 22). The phrase “personal or impersonal” implies that the superhuman powers may or may not be believed to possess consciousness, intentions, feelings, desires and other properties of the mind. We use the term “cosmic gratitude” in the RFP to depict the state that is felt by people who are inclined to feel gratitude for things not plausibly attributable to human agency nor to a personal supernatural or superhuman agent (Roberts, 2014).

Call for Papers – Celebrating SocRel at 45: Beyond Binaries in the Sociology of Religion

14–16 July 2020 – University of York, UK

Abstracts (250 words), Special panel proposals (500 words) and Bursary applications must be submitted by 24 January 2020.

Please submit abstracts via the online portal, click here for submission guidelines.  Selected authors will be asked to contribute to an edited volume.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr Sarah Jane Page (Aston University)
  • Professor Sam Perry (University of Oklahoma)
  • Professor Colin Campbell (University of York)

Special 45th Anniversary Panel:

  • Professor Eileen Barker (London School of Economics)
  • Professor Jim Beckford (Warwick University)
  • Professor Grace Davie (Exeter University)
  • Professor Linda Woodhead (Lancaster University)
  • Professor Colin Campbell (University of York)

Sociological writing about religion is replete with binaries: secular/post-secular, sacred/profane, religion/non-religion, western/non-western, spiritual/religious, theistic/non-theistic, cognitive/corporeal and private/public, to name just a few. Theories that consider the relationship between these seemingly opposing concepts have shaped the evolution of the discipline, reflected changing social realities, and supported the production of new knowledge.

Although many of these binaries have become highly fashionable within the contemporary study of religion, does the use of these types of analytical frames limit our capacity for critical sociological engagement? Do our understanding of the lived realities for individuals across different communities support or reject the use of binary concepts? In this conference that celebrates 45 years of SocRel, we invite you to consider the possibilities for the sociology of religion ‘beyond binaries’. We encourage you to think about the relationships that you make in your own research with these, and other, binary frames, and the ways in which you find them both useful and limiting to think with.

See BSA website for further details

Ecclesiology and Ethnography Network News: Conference Dates, Latest Articles, More

Dear Friends,
Happy New Year to our friends and colleagues in the Ecclesiology and Ethnography network! We trust your research and collaborations will be rich and fruitful in the coming year.
We highlight important revised dates for our September conference in Durham. Those dates are: 22-24 September 2020. Do make sure you have these correct dates in your diaries/calendars.
We would also like to turn your attention to recent news articles published on the website since our gathering last September: 

If you have news articles, details of conferences you are hosting or attending, doctoral student profiles to contribute or press kits for books to be released we are happy to feature those in our next newsletter and on our website. Please send them to Jasper Bosman:
Once again we wish you all a wonderful start to your new year!

Call for Papers: Panel (EASA 2020) on “Religion, (im)mobilities and citizenship in the face of populism”

We welcome paper submissions to our panel P181 Religion, (im)mobilities and citizenship in the face of populism at the EASA 2020 conference on 21-24 July in Lisbon 


  • José Mapril (Center for Research in Anthropology (CRIA), Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
  • Guillermo Martín-Sáiz (Washington University in St. Louis)
  • Cristina Rocha (Western Sydney University)

Short abstract:

How does religious mobility fare in a context in which nationalism(s) and populism(s) are growing and movement is being curtailed and segmented? In such a context, how is religion and mobility used in the making of moral hierarchies in Europe and other societies?

Long abstract:

In the past decades, we have been studying mobile religions focusing on institutions, people, materialities, practices, beliefs, media, and cyberspace. But how does religious mobility fare in a world of walls, nationalisms, populisms, and segmented mobilities? In Europe, Christianity is frequently perceived as the religion of the land, becoming part of several nationalistic imaginaries and heritages. In this context, other religious practices are deemed ‘matter out of place’. The growth of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism revealed in construction of a homogeneous Muslim subjectivity and the contestations over the construction of mosques or minarets are cases in point. Simultaneously, there have been also hostile responses to ‘noisy’ Pentecostal churches in European cities. All these reveal an isomorphism between religion and place, which implies the construction of religious others (e.g., “immigrant religions” vs “native religions”), radical alterities and moral hierarchies. In this panel, we ask: what is the impact of such dynamics on religious mobilities, practices and experiences? How do these populist agendas impact on religious fields; and how these define who is entitled (and excluded) from making claims? Which religions become heritage and what does this tells us about the making of autochthony and nativisms? In such a context, what are the ways in which religion and mobilities (migrants, refugees, tourists) are entangled? What is the role of imagination, materiality, cyberspace, and asymmetries of power on the ways in which religions move or get stuck? We would like presenters to address these broad themes, both from an ethnographic and/or theoretical perspective.

AASR January Newsletter

Please note that these special Call for Papers are due on 15 January 2020:

Call for manuscripts: special issue on ‘Religion and Violence’ on the Journal for the Academic Study of Religion

Religion and Gender Journal on the Call for manuscripts: special issue on ‘Religion, Gender and Violence’
Call for Papers:


Rethinking​ ​Media, Religion and Secularities. Conference of the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture Conference location: Sigtuna Foundation, Sigtuna, Sweden. Conference dates: 4-7 of August 2020. Deadline extended 14 January 2020. More info.

Navigating the non/confessional in university Islamic studies. University of Birmingham. 20-22 April 2020. Submission deadline 17 January 2020. More info

“Religion and the urban, natural and virtual environments”, Bi-Annual Conference of the ESA RN34- Sociology of Religion, Groningen (Netherlands), 26-28 August 2020. Abstract deadline 31 January 2020. More info.

Perception and Reception of Persia research unit (EABS, Wuppertal, August 3rd-6th 2020). Submission deadline: 20 February 2020. More info

3rd ANU Religion Conference – Religion and Migration: Culture and Policy. Canberra, 8-10 December 2020. Proposal deadline 30 April 2020. More info

PublicationsCall for Papers on Digital Visibilities of the Religious. Deadline 15 January 2020. More info

Call for papers on Religion & Ecology for a special issue of Religions. Deadline 31 May 2020.

7th UN interfaith Harmony lecture in conjunction with Melbourne University Chaplaincy. ‘Pope Francis: His Interfaith and Environmental Perspectives’ by Mr David Schütz on Tuesday 4 February at Melbourne University, 5.30 – 7.30pm. More info
Funding Opportunities:

Call for proposals: The Religion and Sexual Abuse Project. Deadline 1 February 2020. More info
Postgrad/ECR Opportunities:

PhD on Extreme Beliefs, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

4 PhD scholarships at the University of Queensland, Atlas of Religion Project

Postdoc positions at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, Arizona State University

Postdoc Fellowship, The Center for Religion and the Human (CRH) at Indiana University

Call for Papers from Sociology of Religion for Advanced Graduate Students

Call for Applications: Workshop “Public Scholarship of Religion in an Age of Hypermediation”

Summer School on Religion and Cultural Change

Also if you’re on Facebook, we have a postgrad page so do join us 🙂 
New Publications:

Alphia Possamai-Inesedy and Alan Nixon (2019)(eds). The Digital Social: Religion and Belief. de Gruyter.

Milad Milani (2019) ‘The “Sufism” of Monsieur Ibrahim‘, in Cultural Fusion of Sufi Islam: Alternative Paths to Mystical Faith, edited by Sarwar Alam. Routledge: Abingdon.

Praveena Rajkobal (2020), The Sarvodaya Movement: Holistic Development and Risk Governance in Sri Lanka. Routledge: London.

Enqi Weng (2020), Media Perceptions of Religious Changes in Australia: Of Dominance and Diversity. Routledge: London.
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 now fortnightly newsletter. Thank you.  

Journal of Law and Religion -New volume published online

Free to read without a subscription until February 15!

Journal of Law and ReligionVolume 34 / Issue 2, August 2019

Published Online January 2020
Michael J. Perry, Silas W. Allard
Journal of Law and Religion, Volume 34 / Issue 2, August 2019, pp 133 – 135
doi: 10.1017/jlr.2019.35 Published Online on 5 August 2019
Research article:
Yifat Monnickendam
Journal of Law and Religion, Volume 34 / Issue 2, August 2019, pp 136 – 164
doi: 10.1017/jlr.2018.40 Published Online on 2 January 2020
Deonnie Moodie
Journal of Law and Religion, Volume 34 / Issue 2, August 2019, pp 165 – 182
doi: 10.1017/jlr.2019.24 Published Online on 14 August 2019
Alex Deagon
Journal of Law and Religion, Volume 34 / Issue 2, August 2019, pp 183 – 209
doi: 10.1017/jlr.2019.27 Published Online on 1 August 2019
Charles J. Reid
Journal of Law and Religion, Volume 34 / Issue 2, August 2019, pp 210 – 244
doi: 10.1017/jlr.2019.32 Published Online on 2 January 2020
Book review:
Modern Challenges to Islamic Law. By Shaheen Sardar Ali. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Pp. 324. $41.99 (paper). ISBN: 9781107639096.
Muhammad Zubair Abbasi
Journal of Law and Religion, Volume 34 / Issue 2, August 2019, pp 245 – 249
doi: 10.1017/jlr.2019.25 Published Online on 4 September 2019
Religious Secularity: A Theological Challenge to the Islamic State. By Naser Ghobadzadeh. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. 288. $31.95 (paper). ISBN: 9780190664893.
Rushain Abbasi
Journal of Law and Religion, Volume 34 / Issue 2, August 2019, pp 250 – 254
doi: 10.1017/jlr.2019.26 Published Online on 5 August 2019
Migrants and Citizens: Justice and Responsibility in the Ethics of Immigration. By Tisha M. Rajendra. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2017. Pp. 179. $25.00 (paper). ISBN: 9780802868824.
Olga Kazmina
Journal of Law and Religion, Volume 34 / Issue 2, August 2019, pp 255 – 258
doi: 10.1017/jlr.2019.28 Published Online on 5 August 2019
From Maimonides to Microsoft: The Jewish Law of Copyright since the Birth of Print. By Neil Weinstock Netanel. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. 336. $29.95 (paper). ISBN 9780190868772.
George Y. Kohler
Journal of Law and Religion, Volume 34 / Issue 2, August 2019, pp 259 – 261
doi: 10.1017/jlr.2019.29 Published Online on 27 August 2019
Jewish Law and American Law: A Comparative Study. By Samuel J. Levine. New York: Touro College Press, 2018. Vol. 1, Pp. 384. $109 (cloth). ISBN: 9781618116550. Vol. 2, Pp. 238. $109 (cloth). ISBN: 9781618116574.
Shlomo C. Pill
Journal of Law and Religion, Volume 34 / Issue 2, August 2019, pp 262 – 265
doi: 10.1017/jlr.2019.30 Published Online on 12 September 2019
Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law. By Chaim N. Saiman. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018. Pp. 320. $29.95 (cloth). ISBN: 9780691152110.
Don Seeman
Journal of Law and Religion, Volume 34 / Issue 2, August 2019, pp 266 – 268
doi: 10.1017/jlr.2019.31 Published Online on 4 September 2019

Immortality: Beliefs and Practices – Last week of Inform Seminar early bird registration!

After 12th January, ticket prices will increase

It’s the last week of early bird reduced price registration for the next Inform Seminar, Immortality: Beliefs and Practices, in conjunction with the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, King’s College, London.

Saturday 1st February 2020, 10am-5pm (registration at 9.30). Bush House Lecture Theatre 1, King’s College, London, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG.

Please visit to book tickets via Paypal or credit/debit card.

Registration costs:

Standard: £38

Unwaged/ university student: £18

A Level student: £10

After 12th January, ticket prices will increase by £10, across all three categories and refunds will not be offered.

Immortality: Beliefs and Practices

The lure of immortality has been an inspiration for many people in both religious and secular contexts. But what does immortality mean? This seminar will explore some of the range of beliefs and practices which are closely associated with immortality in comparative context. We will investigate the idea of immortality by looking more closely at how it is directly applied in people’s lives. What happens when immortality is understood as a possibility – or even a reality?  We will be considering beliefs and practices relating to immortality in the context of AI, near-death experiences, Christianity, Buddhism, Freezone Scientology, spiritualist mediums and contemporary yoga movements. 

This project is partially funded through the ERC Horizon 2020 Project AYURYOG Grant No. 639363 which is exploring the entanglements of yoga, ayurveda and rasaśastra (alchemical and longevity practices) in South Asia.

It is held in association with the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, King’s College, London.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Mikel Burley, University of Leeds
  • Susannah Crockford, Ghent University
  • Peter Fenwick, King’s College London
  • Tobi Olujinmi, The W-Talk
  • Mark Singleton, SOAS, The University of London
  • Aled Thomas, The Open University

We look forward to seeing you there!

Best wishes and Happy New Year from the Inform Team!

Sociology of Islam Journal – Volume 7 (2019): Issue 4 (Dec 2019)

Special Issue: Unfinished Conversations with Saba Mahmood edited by Sultan Doughan and Jean-Michel Landry –

Unfinished Conversations with Saba Mahmood – To Charles Hirschkind in Deep Gratitude

By: Sultan Doughan and Jean-Michel Landry

Pages: 215–225

The Constraints of Choice: Secular Sensibilities, Pious Critique, and an Islamic Ethic of Sisterhood in France

By: Kirsten Wesselhoeft

Pages: 226–244

The Politics of the Veil in Medieval Christianity

Saba Mahmood and the Practice of Feminist Historiography

By: Karl Shuve

Pages: 245–262

Distinguishing Companions: Mixed-Confession Education, Assimilation, and Islamic Thought

By: Timothy Gutmann

Pages: 263–288

Piety, Practice and Habitus: Saba Mahmood’s Dialogue with Aristotle and His Legacy

By: Bryan S. Turner

Pages: 289–300

Liberal Political Philosophy of Religious Difference after Saba Mahmood

By: Christoph Baumgartner

Pages: 301–322

Secular Governance and Islamic Law

The Globalization of the Minority Question

By: Alexandre Caeiro

Pages: 323–343

On the Study of Islam and the Middle East after Saba Mahmood

A Roundtable Conversation with Lisa Wedeen and Schirin Amir-Moazami

Pages: 345–360


Pages: 361–363

Publication Date: 13 Dec 2019

Call for Papers – Religion and Cultural Change Conference

Åbo/Turku, Finland, 8–10 June, 2020

Abstract (150 words) to by 15 January, 2020

Religion and Cultural Change Conference website: event 

Keynote speakers: 

  • Prof. Catharina Raudvere, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Prof. Anders Runesson, University of Oslo, Norway
  • Prof. Rebecca Catto, Kent State University, Ohio, USA

Welcome to an interdisciplinary summer school and conference. The aim of this summer school and conference is to bring together doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers from various academic fields that engage with the study of religion, such as theology, religious studies, history, philosophy, the arts, social and political sciences and other. We invite papers that engage with the theme Religion and Cultural Change from both historical and contemporary perspectives, also looking to the future where possible. We understand cultural change both as dramatic breaking points in history and as slowly evolving transformations and will address past, present and emerging trends and trajectories within culture, society and the scholarly community. The societal relevance and impact of our research is also an important theme. The summer school will consist of working groups, tutored by the keynote presenters and other academic teachers, where doctoral candidates are given the opportunity to present and discuss their ongoing PhD work in a cross-disciplinary, international setting. Postdoc researchers will present their papers in sessions running parallel to the summer school. Thematic groups and working groups dealing with particular theories or methodologies may also be held.  

Selected papers from the conference will be published as a special issue of the peer-reviewed open access journal Approaching Religion, published by the Donner Institute: further information, please see the conference website.

To apply, please send an abstract of approximately 150 words to no later than 15 January, 2020.

Letters of acceptance will be posted no later than 15 February, 2020. Upon acceptance to the summer school, doctoral candidates will furthermore be asked to submit a 500-word synopsis of their research theme no later than 1 May, 2020. The summer school is arranged as a joint venture between three different research bodies in Åbo/Turku: the Centre for the Study of Christian Cultures (CSCC) at the University of Turku, the Polin Institute for Theological Research at Åbo Akademi University and the Donner Institute for Research in Religion and Culture (DI). Welcome to Turku/Åbo!