Call for Papers: The Sacred and The…Profanity – Online Symposium

8th September 2020

To submit a proposal, please send an abstract of approximately 200 words to: Dr Paul Martin: and Nicole Graham: by 15th July 2020.

Building on the recent growth of scholarship in the field of humour and religion, this interdisciplinary online symposium aims to bring together scholars from a wide range of fields to explore the multifaceted relationship between humour, obscenity, and religion, and to consider what happens when these worlds collide.

There are many examples that seem to support the view that religion and humour have a tense relationship; whether it be ‘comic’ representations of religious figures in the media, jokes about God, or films and television which focus on religion and morality that are considered blasphemous or offensive. These occurrences are often enthusiastically cast as a conflict between religious freedom and the right to dignity in belief, on the one hand, and freedom of expression and the right to offend, on the other. However, the intersection of humour, obscenity, and religion is much more complex than this, and this symposium invites participants to work through various aspects of this relationship. Of particular interest is the place of humour and the obscene in religion, the positive functions it can serve and ultimately its value. We want to ask: what role can humour play in the sphere of religion, and how comfortably? Even if joking might be allowed, can it ever truly fit in? Who decides on the value of humour for religion?

We welcome submissions which consider these, and other, questions in relation to a number of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Historical or contemporary examples of humour or obscenity in religion
  • Gendered experiences of laughter, humour, and joke-telling
  • Ritual
  • Joke-telling
  • Satire
  • The Media
  • Blasphemy
  • The usefulness of humour and the obscene
  • Limits of humour
  • The policing of humour

In addition to the panel of papers, the symposium will include a round table entitled: “Exploring Religion and Ritual in Humour and the Obscene”. Confirmed speakers for this round table are: Professor Bernard Schweizer (Co-Founder of the Humour and Religion Network), Dr Emily Selove (Senior Lecturer of Medieval Arabic Language and Literature), Dr Lieke Stelling (Assistant Professor in English Literature), and Dr Simon Weaver (Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications).

We welcome papers that address one of these themes in a 15-minute talk. The organisers will review all submissions anonymously.

All papers will be presented remotely and observed online. Each talk will be followed by a discussion.

Journal Latest Issue: International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology

The latest issue of International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology  (IJSA) is available online. See table of content below.

Moral panic and social order: Analysis of Akwa Ibom street children

The incidence of street children around the world had raised concern about social order. Scholars have paid attention to socioeconomic and psychological implications ignoring the cultural dynamics that contribute to this development. This paper focuses on a category of street children in Akwa-Ibom state of Nigeria. They are the child-witches, thrown to the street due to witchcraft label masterminded by parents and…

Author(s): Lydia Isioma Chineyemba

Article Number: F4FD98063378


Knowledge and perceptions of female genital mutilation among African immigrant women in Windsor, Canada

The objective of this is to investigate African immigrant women’s perceptions of female genital mutilation (FGM) within the Canadian Criminal Code. Ten African immigrant women resident in Windsor, Canada were selected using snowball sampling for interviews. These women were of four African nationalities, namely Nigeria, Ghana, Somalia and Sudan. Semi-structured interview protocol with open answer possibilities…

Author(s): Francisca Isi Omorodion

Article Number: B83F93C63627


Challenges faced by the Bhotias for their livelihood and preservation of culture

We frequently hear about the significance of cultural heritage. And while discussing humanitarian efforts, we might hear the phrase “cultural preservation.” The term encompasses several activities surrounding maintaining ancient cultures from large nations all the way down to small indigenous tribes. However, the meaning of cultural heritage and its preservation needs to be ascertained. Heritage is an asset,…

Author(s): Nirmesh Sharma

Article Number: 13DD4B963943


Possible selves of a hashtag: Moving from the theory of speech acts to cultural objects to interpret hashtags

In recent years hashtag studies have increased their numbers. The role of hashtags becomes increasingly predominant in social media studies. Many researchers wonder how to study them, ending up treating them in an aggregate way and turning to big data and static-mathematical modeling. This type of studies seem to consider hashtags as tools, favoring a single analysis perspective. In fact, The studies and the research…

Author(s): Gevisa La Rocca

Article Number: 31E6E0B63132


Home truths behind closed doors: Reciting the lived experiences of child domestic workers in selected towns of Gedeo Zone, Southern Ethiopia

This qualitative study was aimed at looking into the lived experiences of child domestic workers in the selected towns of Gedeo Zone. A triangulation of key informant interviews, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, informal conversations, non-participant observations, and life histories were employed to collect the required data from child domestic workers, brokers, urban residents, police officers, and…

Author(s): Alemayehu Anja Aboye and Fekadu Israel Alambo

Article Number: C23EF1862536


Anthropometric measurements for young males in Saudi Arabia

The purpose of this study was to fill the gap of not having enough anthropometric data for young males in Saudi Arabia. Developing an anthropometric database on Saudi adults will help the local designers, manufactures and producers to create more efficient industrial applications, and products for Saudi population. The study was performed in the Riyadh city, the capital and the largest city in Saudi Arabia, among a…

Author(s): Waleed Basuliman

Article Number: F3A257957952


Read full text of all IJSA Articles

Read some of IJSA latest articles

International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology welcomes the submission of manuscripts via its online  Manuscript Management System

Book: The SAGE Encyclopedia of the Sociology of Religion

Edited by Adam Possamai – Professor, Western Sydney University and Anthony J. Blasi – Tennessee State University (Retired)

The SAGE Encyclopedia of the Sociology of Religion takes a three-pronged look at this, namely investigating the role of religion in society; unpacking and evaluating the significance of religion in and on human history; and tracing and outlining the social forces and influences that shape religion.  This encyclopedia covers a range of themes from:

  • fundamental topics like definitions
  • secularization
  • dimensions of religiosity to such emerging issues as civil religion
  • new religious movements

This Encyclopedia also addresses contemporary dilemmas such as fundamentalism and extremism and the role of gender in religion.

It is now available both in print and online:

PhD scholarship: Religion, Materiality and the African Diaspora in Australia

Western Sydney University’s Religion and Society Research Cluster is advertising a fully-funded PhD scholarship in the ARC Discovery project “The African Diaspora in Australia: New Perspectives on Materiality, Media and Religion.” Within this larger project, the PhD candidate will conduct ethnographic research with religious communities of African migrants and refugees in Australia. The PhD project will be developed within the fields of diaspora, globalisation and material religion studies. As such, an ideal candidate will be trained in the social sciences and interested in one or more of these topics:

Material culture, the body, religious experiences, the senses, aesthetics, lived religion, ritual practices, infrastructures (e.g., the city, church buildings), mediatisation (traditional and new media), and transnational and translocal connections.

Please circulate it to your networks. More details:

Call-for-Reading: [Religions] Special Issue “Religion, Power, and Resistance: New Ideas for a Divided World”

The following Special Issue has been published in the open access journal Religions (ISSN 2077-1444) with members of ISA RC22.

“Religion, Power, and Resistance: New Ideas for a Divided World”
Guest Editor(s): Anna Halafoff, Sam Han, Caroline Starkey, James Spickard.

All articles can be accessed freely online. For your convenience, we attach
below a consolidated table of contents.

Spickard, J.V. The Sociology of Religion in a Post-Colonial Era: Towards
Theoretical Reflexivity. Religions 2019, 10(1), 18;
Views: 1051, Downloads: 1379, Citations: 0, Altmetrics: 0

Settler, F. Curating Violence: Reflecting on Race and Religion in Campaigns
for Decolonizing the University in South Africa. Religions 2019, 10(5), 310;
Views: 684, Downloads: 948, Citations: 0, Altmetrics: 0

Woo, T.-L.T. A Flexible Indeterminate Theory of Religion: Thinking through
Chinese Religious Phenomena. Religions 2019, 10(7), 428;
Views: 658, Downloads: 783, Citations: 0, Altmetrics: 0

Cazarin, R. The Social Architecture of Belonging in the African Pentecostal
Diaspora. Religions 2019, 10(7), 440;
Views: 855, Downloads: 911, Citations: 0, Altmetrics: 14

Beyer, P.; Beaman, L.G. Dimensions of Diversity: Toward a More Complex
Conceptualization. Religions 2019, 10(10), 559;
Views: 534, Downloads: 744, Citations: 1, Altmetrics: 0

Parker, C. Popular Religions and Multiple Modernities: A Framework for
Understanding Current Religious Transformations. Religions 2019, 10(10), 565;
Views: 515, Downloads: 789, Citations: 0, Altmetrics: 0

Clot-Garrell, A.; Griera, M. Beyond Narcissism: Towards an Analysis of the
Public, Political and Collective Forms of Contemporary Spirituality.
Religions 2019, 10(10), 579;
Views: 525, Downloads: 568, Citations: 1, Altmetrics: 11

Okyerefo, M.P.K. Scrambling for the Centre: Ghana’s New Churches as an
Alternative Ideology and Power. Religions 2019, 10(12), 668;
Views: 506, Downloads: 1453, Citations: 0, Altmetrics: 0

Godazgar, H. From ‘Islamism’ to ‘Spiritualism’? The Individualization
of ‘Religion’ in Contemporary Iran. Religions 2020, 11(1), 32;
Views: 468, Downloads: 500, Citations: 0, Altmetrics: 0

Nixon, A.G. ‘Non-Religion’ as Part of the ‘Religion’ Category in
International Human Rights. Religions 2020, 11(2), 79;
Views: 484, Downloads: 906, Citations: 0, Altmetrics: 5

Halafoff, A.; Shipley, H.; Young, P.D.; Singleton, A.; Rasmussen, M.L.;
Bouma, G. Complex, Critical and Caring: Young People’s Diverse Religious,
Spiritual and Non-Religious Worldviews in Australia and Canada. Religions
2020, 11(4), 166;
Views: 479, Downloads: 334, Citations: 0, Altmetrics: 2

Halafoff, A.; Han, S.; Starkey, C.; Spickard, J.V. Introduction to the
Special Issue: Religion, Power, and Resistance: New Ideas for a Divided
World. Religions 2020, 11(6), 306;
Views: 109, Downloads: 46, Citations: 0, Altmetrics: 0

Libro: LA RELIGIONE NELLA CINA COMUNISTA – Dalla sopravvivenza al risveglio

Autori e curatori: Fenggang Yang Emanuela Claudia Del Re

Contributi: Roberto Cipriani

In breve

Tradotto per la prima volta in Italia, il volume affronta il tema del revival delle religioni, della loro “resilienza” e ri-emergenza anche in un’area di stretto controllo e di periodica repressione quale la Cina contemporanea, su cui lo studio si focalizza. Prendendo spunto dal contesto cinese, il libro getta quindi nuova luce anche sulle trasformazioni religiose intervenute nel mondo occidentale nello stesso periodo storico.

Presentazione del volume

Sono principalmente due i nodi centrali che vengono messi a tema in questo libro, che appare nella sua prima traduzione italiana, ed entrambi sono estremamente attuali e rilevanti. Il primo riguarda il revival delle religioni, la loro “resilienza” e ri-emergenza anche in un’area di stretto controllo e di periodica repressione quale è la Cina contemporanea, su cui lo studio si concentra.
Il secondo nodo riguarda la trasformazione delle religioni, le loro dinamiche interne, che Yang analizza a partire dalla sua originale categoria di lettura (il triplice mercato religioso) secondo la quale le regolamentazioni politico-amministrative di una nazione non intervengono tanto nella eradicazione della religione (nonostante dure persecuzioni) ma piuttosto nella dinamica di un bisogno religioso che si adegua e si canalizza in forme sotterranee e clandestine (il mercato nero), ma anche in nuove forme espressive di confine (il mercato grigio), in cui pseudo-religioni e spiritualismi di varia origine si contaminano e si influenzano reciprocamente.
Lo studio condotto sull’esperienza cinese risulta essenziale nel gettare nuova luce anche sulle trasformazioni religiose intervenute nel mondo occidentale negli stessi decenni. E infine il libro, con la sua rigorosa documentazione, mette in evidenza anche l’importanza degli studi scientifici sulle religioni rispetto alle dinamiche dell’esperienza religiosa, la presenza di pregiudizi e di categorie ideologiche vincolanti, e infine il ruolo del coraggio intellettuale che permette la ripresa di tali studi anche in contesti difficili, quale l’orizzonte del marxismo ateo dominante in Cina negli ultimi settanta anni.

Fenggang Yang è professore di Sociologia all’Università Purdue di West Lafayette (Indiana, USA). Studioso di livello internazionale, è considerato la massima autorità nel campo degli studi di sociologia della religione in Cina. Già presidente (2014-15) della Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, è il primo presidente della East Asian Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (2018-2020). Autore di oltre 130 pubblicazioni (monografie, curatele, saggi in volumi e riviste), tra cui Chinese Christians in America: Conversion, Assimilation and Adhesive Identities (Penn State University Press, 1999) e Atlas of Religion in China: Social and Geographical Contexts (Leiden, Brill Academic Publishers, 2018).

Emanuela Claudia Del Re, sociologa specialista di conflitti, questioni religiose, minoranze, migrazioni e sviluppo con intensa attività di ricerca sul campo (Balcani, Africa, Medio Oriente), è professore associato abilitato in Sociologia generale e docente di Sociologia politica presso l’Università telematica Uninettuno. Vicedirettrice di Religioni & Società, membro del consiglio redazionale di Limes, è autrice di diversi volumi e saggi, tra i quali Women and Borders. Refugees Migrant and Communities, (Tauris, London, 2017).


Roberto Cipriani, Presentazione
Emanuela C. Del Re,
 Introduzione. La Religione come “stato mentale”. Lo studio di Fenggang Yang nel grande affresco storico della CinaPrefazione
Spiegare la vitalità religiosa
Una definizione di religione per lo studio scientifico-sociale della religione
Ateismo marxista cinese ed implicazioni politiche
Regolamentare la religione
I mercati rosso, nero e grigio della religione
L’economia di scarsità della religione sotto il comunismo
Dinamiche di oligopolio: Cina e oltre

Maternity cover lecturing opportunity at Bath Spa University in Religions, Philosophies and Ethics,

Sept 2020 up to 12 months Lecturer

This is a fixed-term post, with a strong focus on learning, teaching and module administration, the provision of high quality student experience and student recruitment. You must be able to deliver teaching in non-Western philosophies (Indian and/or Chinese) as well as contribute to a broad range of modules in Religions, Philosophy and Ethics at Levels 4, 5 and 6.

Fostering Ethics – Islam, Adoption and the Care of Children

Virtual Conference – Thursday 25 June, 14.00 – 18.30 (BST)

A joint conference hosted by the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies and CRASSH (Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities) at the University of Cambridge – this event will explore the challenges and possibilities for a new ethics of care for orphaned or abandoned children in Muslim communities.

The adoption or fostering of children represents a complex issue in Islam, and a source of common misconceptions. The topic has gained increasing attention recently, given the reality of many Muslim children in foster care and the urgent needs of unaccompanied minors among refugees and migrants of Muslim background. This online conference brings together a number of academics and experts from the UK and abroad, to share relevant research and shed light on the issue from a variety of perspectives, including Islamic law and history, social science, and professional experience in care.

For a full programme and to register for the event please see the Eventbrite page:

Hashtag: #FosteringEthicsIslam

SocrelNews 2020 Issue 11

Greetings from lockdown! I hope you are all finding ways to manage your rhythms and your days throughout the disruptions of the last few months. In my own department, we’re working feverishly through the tail end of marking before exam boards, and that may be the same for many of you. Others of you may be problem-solving your research plans or carving out time for your writing. We can imagine a host of situations, but whatever they may be, I can only hope that you’re managing – getting the support you need and perhaps being a support for others.

I’m pleased to share the latest issue of our study group’s newsletter, Socrel News. It’s a thinner issue than it might otherwise be, and it tells many of the tales of disruption, too. It also speaks to how the Socrel executive committee is managing its membership amid cancellations and postponements. Finally, and perhaps very relevantly right now, we feature some of our members who work in environments beyond higher education, with perhaps insight for those who are using this lockdown time to discern their direction.

Please read it and share it. Our JISCMail system doesn’t allow for attachments, so it is shared here as a link. Click on it, and the pdf will download for you to read and share.

Notes from the Australian Association for the Study of Religion June Newsletter


Centre of Islamic Studies and Civilisation’s Islamic Studies Research Colloquium via Zoom, 26 June 2020 at 3pm-5pm. RSVP by 22 June 2020.

PhD/Job Opportunities: