2021 Midterm Conference
The politics of knowledge that seeks to posit it as a preserve of the West has exacerbated a criticism against the dominance of Euro-American Scholarship in the sociology of religion, particularly in its interpretation of religious reality in Africa, and the global South more generally. In advancing the changing dominant pattern of knowledge production and consumption, which reflects a very stratified global division of intellectual labor, this conference draws on historical and methodological trajectories to explore innovative ways in which the sociology of religion can employ both theoretical and epistemological insights into the sociological understanding of religion in the global South and its diaspora. What are the current trends and trajectories within the sociology of religion in the global South? What knowledges are being produced by sociologists of religion in the global South? How and to what extent do they contribute to global sociology of religion scholarship? How is religion located in private and/or public spheres? To what extent is religion engaged in the public sphere? How is religion even defined and negotiated in the global South within wider processes of secularization? Also important is the distinction between secular and sacred domains in public life.
The conference draws on ethnographic data of researchers in the field to demonstrate how religious forms, expressions, and experiences in the global South either reinforce or transcend socio-political, ethnic, regional, class, age, and gender identities and boundaries. Paper and panel proposals are invited from scholars of religion, sociologists of religion, and others engaged in interdisciplinary research that extend debates on these and related questions.