Follow Us

Sociology and Monasticism

Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion

Issue number 5, 2014

Sociology and Monasticism

Edited by

Isabelle Jonveaux (University of Graz), Enzo Pace (University of Padua)

and Stefania Palmisano (University of Turin)

Call for Papers

As a result of the growing belief in society that traditional religious institutions were losing credibility, there has been renewed interest in monasteries, going beyond what is strictly defined as religious e.g. increasingly numerous requests to stay over in monasteries, guided tours, the appeal of monastic products and media interest in the subject. As distinct from historical studies which have analysed monasticism, the sociology of religion has shown little interest in the subject, paying more attention to the phenomenon in Oriental religions such as Islam (especially the Sufi tradition), Buddhism and Taoism than to Christian forms. We maintain, given that monasteries have played a fundamental role – especially in the Middle Ages – in Europe’s socio-economic development, that sociology cannot ignore their evolution in the modern age. It is time for sociologists of religion to study monasteries, both Eastern and Western, adopting a comparative perspective when answering parallel research questions.

With the aim of collecting articles by the leading sociologists at present doing fieldwork research on monasticism, we are seeking contributions which offer an overview of work-in-progress in this area. Our objective is to publicize a little-known field of the sociology of religion and to provide it with new legitimacy.

Possible topics include:

· Varieties of monasticism

· Monasticism and economics

· New forms of monasticism

· Monasticism and vocations (recruiting)

· Monastic novitiates

· New monastic foundations in so-called developing countries

· Extra-European Christian monasticism

· Social/religious role of monasticism

· Monasticism and religious hierarchy

Rather than being prescriptive, we would like to remain open about the definition of monasticism and how its boundaries with other topics and concepts – such as eremites and other religious virtuosos – are drawn.


Please send all proposals to Isabelle Jonveaux and Stefania Palmisano:,


Submission of proposals (250 to 300 words): Deadline October 15, 2012

Notification of acceptance by November 15, 2012

Completed manuscripts (7,000 to 8,000 words): Deadline May 15, 2013