martedì 11 maggio 2010

CFP: Does God Matter?


Does God Matter? Representing Religion in the European Union and the United States

Aston Centre for Europe, Aston University, 12-13 November 2010

The European Union has largely been considered an economic and political project in which religion has only a small role to play. However, political mobilisation related to the drafting of the European Constitution and the increasing presence of religious groups in Brussels after 1992 have inserted the representation of religion into the decision-making process. For the first time in the history of European integration, the Lisbon Treaty institutionalises the dialogue between the European Union and religious actors in the most important document of the acqui communautaire.

This conference focuses on the political mobilisation of religious actors in Europe and compares the types and impact of religious representation in the European Union and the United States. Papers are invited to address (trans)national case studies on one of the following themes:

- the history of relations between religious communities and European institutions;

- religious values in European and American politics;

- religious representation in Brussels and Washington;

- religion and international organisations;

- church-state relations in the EU and the US;

- European and American lobbying ethics;

- religion, politics and law in the EU and the US;

Confirmed speakers:

- Grace Davie, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Exeter University;

- Kenneth Wald, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of Florida;

- Laura Olson, Professor of Political Science, Clemson University, South Carolina;

- Jeffrey Haynes, Professor of Politics, London Metropolitan University;

- John Madeley, Senior Lecturer in Government, London School of Economics;

- Michael Sutton, Emeritus Professor of Modern History and Politics, Aston University.

Suggestions for panels and additional themes are welcome. Proposals for papers of 15 minutes duration (around 500 words), along with a short biography, should be sent to Dr Lucian Leustean ( by Friday 11 June 2010.

In order to stimulate discussion, the papers will be circulated in advance to participants no later than 1 November 2010. The conference is part of Dr Leustean’s ESRC project on ‘The Politics of Religious Lobbies in the European Union’.


The conference will take place at Aston Business School Conference Centre which is around 15-20 min walk from Birmingham New Street Station (the main station) or 5-10 min by taxi. The journey from London Euston to Birmingham New Street takes around 1 hour 25 min with trains every 20 min. Birmingham International Airport is 10 minutes from Birmingham New Street Station by train. For more details on maps and directions see our website.


There is no registration fee for attending the conference. Paper givers will be offered overnight accommodation at Aston Business School Conference Centre and meals on both days. Please note that the conference cannot cover travel costs.

More details

martedì 27 aprile 2010

CFP: ISSR, Religion and Economy in a Global World

International Society for the Sociology of Religion
Société Internationale de Sociologie des Religions
31th ISSR Conference

Aix-en-Provence ( France ) June 30 - July 3, 2011




June 15th 2010: Proposals for Thematic Sessions and Working Groups to be
sent to the General Secretary

Session titles and the conveners' names will be published in the next
Network and posted on our web site by July 2010

October 31st 2010: Abstracts of proposed papers for sessions to be sent
to the convener of the Session, abstracts of miscellaneous papers to be
sent to the General Secretary

January 15th 2011: Programme of the Conference on our Web Site and in the first issue of Network of 2011


The recent financial crisis has opened up new prospects on experimental
financial alternatives, and critical discourse on liberal capitalism,
sometimes underpinned by more or less religious modes of justification.
Besides, this does not only concern the renewal of Islamic finance.
Numerous Buddhist, Christian, and Jewish movements also fit into the
frame of new alternative economic perspectives. Beyond this current
opportunity, which is spotlighting the relationship between the economy
and religion, it is undeniable that beliefs and religious affiliations
may enable us to better understand economic behavior patterns (those of
producer, investor and consumer) in our global world. Besides, the
economic variable is not only relevant downstream (in correlation with
economic choices and behaviors), but also upstream: it is indeed hard to
contest the fact that the standard of living may be a determining factor
in choosing a specific religious affiliation.

Plenary 1 - Religious Life and Economic Life

How religious choices may be determined by standards of living, and how
economic behavior patterns may in turn be determined by religious

The first plenary session will be more empirical, devoted to studies
underpinned by fieldwork in sociology of religion linked with the
economy. The addresses will be devoted to the role of religious
variables in economic behavior patterns (here a few striking figures
connected with economic flows, consumption, investments, etc., powered
by religious dynamics will be shown) and to the more general influence
of standards of living on confessional and spiritual choices. Both
addresses will be general, subject to debate, proposing hypotheses and
orientations for research from empirical reports.

Plenary 2 - Religions in Global Capitalism

The place and function of religions in the current capitalist system;
the legitimization and criticism of the current capitalist system by

The more theoretical second plenary session will be devoted to
analytical path-finding, to possible proposals of descriptive models in
the process of elaboration, of the relations between the economy and
religion within a globalized humanity. The speakers will expose various
explanatory hypotheses on the contemporary situation of relations
between these two dimensions. They will also describe, analyze and
interpret contemporary (generally but not always critical) religious and
quasi-religious discourses on the global capitalist system, especially
concerning the financial dimension (Islamic, Buddhist, catholic,
protestant criticisms, etc.)

Possible topics for thematic sessions and papers

The Local Committee has suggested the following topics for the Thematic
Sessions, with reference to the general conference theme, `Religions and
Economy in a Global World':

* The economic paradigm of the religious market: a contested paradigm
* Religious values and economic behaviour patterns
* New religious discourses and imaginaries connected with the economy
* Marketing of religious products and globalization
* The economy of religious mobility
* Religious affiliations, standards of living and socio-economic
* Religion and economic development
* Religion and alternative finance
* Religions in the firm and religions of the firm
* The new economy of religious donation

Please note: although thematic sessions which relate to the general
conference theme are welcome, thematic sessions are not tied to the
general conference theme.


Conveners should send to the General Secretary (generalsecretary.
issr@unipd. it) BEFORE the 15th of JUNE 2010 the title of the proposed
session, in English and French and the rationale of the Session (100
words in each of the two languages of the ISSR) mentioning also their
institutional affiliation and their email address


Seminario: Religious and political identities within civic engagement in Italy

Within the framework of the Religion and Politics Working Group (RPWG):
Religious and political identities within civic engagement in Italy
Presentation by Alberta Giorgi (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca)
Thursday, 29th April
17.00 - 18.00
Sala del Capitolo (Badia)

CFP: Social media and the Sacred

Social Media and the Sacred
Special Guest Speaker: Heidi Campbell
‘When Religion Meets New Media (2010)’

The Open University Centre, Camden Town, London 28-29 June 2010

How do religious and spiritually-oriented groups use social media? What impact does this use have on their relationship with the sacred? And how are religious and other discourses of the sacred positioned and mobilised in social media such as discussion forums, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and virtual worlds?

These are the main questions that we are seeking to address in the re-launch and expansion of this network which brings together key scholars in the field. Papers and presentations in relation to any religious or spiritual tradition and from any disciplinary/analytic orientation (e.g. sociology, anthropology, politics, religious studies, media studies) are welcome.

This year the conference is held in collaboration with the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society project on ‘Media Portrayals of Religion and the Secular Sacred’ (based at the University of Leeds), and there will be an opportunity to hear about its findings.

Travel, accommodation and subsistence bursaries are available for a limited number of contributors.
Abstracts (up to 300 words) for papers to be presented as 20 minute presentations send to Anita Greenhill by 30 April 2010.

This conference is organised by the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change ( at The Open University and University of Manchester in collaboration with the AHRC/ESRC project ‘Media Portrayals of Religion and the Secular Sacred’ at the University of Leeds, Birkbeck College, Amsterdam University, Groningen University, University of Colorado

Seminari: prof. Ignacy Sachs

Le jeudi 3 juin 2010, de 9 h00 à 17 h 30 l'UMR CNRS PACTE Territoires organise,
Une journée d'étude avec Ignacy SACHSavec le groupe de recherche BABEL
à l'Institut de Géographie Alpine -IGA-, 14 bis, rue Marie Reynoard, 38100 Grenoble

Deux conférences sont prévues :
"Les enjeux du Sommet de la terre de 2012"
"La crise comme opportunité".

Résumé :

Le mot "crise" dérive du Grec krisis, qui signifie ’’décision’’. A l'autre bout du monde, en Chine, il est composé de deux idéogrammes signifiant simultanément "danger" et "opportunité de changement". Une crise est donc le moment précis où un certain état des choses bascule en révélant ses failles, mais aussi celui où un nouvel état des choses émerge. C'est le moment de la décision, des bifurcations radicales. Que dire alors lorsque plusieurs éléments convergent et finissent par se superposer. Tel est le cas aujourd'hui dans le monde : la crise financière a engendré une crise socio-économique majeure liée au modèle asymétrique de la mondialisation, une crise environnementale s'est amplifiée sous la menace immédiate du changement climatique. En ce sens, le Sommet de la Terre de 2012, qui sera de retour à Rio vingt ans après celui qui intronisa le développement durable sur la scène mondiale, sera-t-il celui des décisions ? Saura-t-il se saisir des opportunités qu'ouvrent ces crises multiples ? S'il n'est pas possible de répondre par avance à cette question, on peut toutefois en identifier les grands enjeux. Articuler la réduction de l'empreinte écologique et l'amélioration de la biocapacité à l'amélioration du bien-être des populations est un de ceux-là. Le principe de responsabilité partagée et différenciée en est un autre, ce qui pourrait conduire à la création d'un fond, financé par les taxes-carbone des pays riches complété par le transfert de 0,5 % de leur PNB, au service des investissements nécessaires à la transition des pays pauvres vers une économie post-carbone.

Tels sont les thèmes que le professeur Ignacy Sachs abordera durant ces conférences.

CFP: A century from Durkheim

A Century from Durkheim: Perspectives from the Pacific
NZASR Conference 2010

The Religious Studies programme at Victoria University of Wellington is pleased to host the NZASR Conference, 2010.

When: 30 June - 2 July
Where: Victoria University of Wellington (Kelburn Campus)

Call for papers:
We welcome submission of abstracts (of no more than 70 words) by 15 May 2010. All talks to be 20 minutes. Note: talks/papers need not explicitly address Durkheim. We seek scholarly talks/papers in the field of religion, especially those that relate religion to society, ritual, identity, cooperation, mind and other Durkheimian themes.

Book: Blasphemy, insult and hatred - Finding answers in a democratic society

A new publication by Council of Europe
Blasphemy, insult and hatred - Finding answers in a democratic society
(Science and Technique of democracy No.47) (2010)
Author: Venice Commission



Mutual understanding and acceptance is perhaps the main challenge of
modern society. Diversity is undoubtedly an asset, but cohabiting with
people of different backgrounds and ideas calls for a new ethic of
responsible intercultural relations, in Europe and in the world.

This book tries to answer a series of pertinent and poignant questions
arising from these issues, such as whether it is still possible to
criticise ideas when this may be considered hurtful to certain religious

feelings; whether society is hostage to the excessive sensitivity of
certain individuals; or what legal responses there may be to these
phenomena, and whether criminal law is the only answer.



I. Report by the Venice Commission

The relationship between freedom of expression and freedom of religion:
the issue of regulation and prosecution of blasphemy, religious insult
and incitement to religious hatred
1. Introduction
2. Applicable international standards
3. National legislation on blasphemy, religious insults and inciting
religious hatred
4. General remarks
5. Conclusions

II. Council of Europe texts on respect for others' culture and beliefs

European Commission against Racism and Intolerance: General Policy
Recommendation No. 7 on National legislation to combat racism and racial

discrimination (adopted on 13 December 2002)
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe: Resolution 1510 (2006)
Freedom of expression and respect for religious beliefs
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe: Recommendation 1 805
(2007) Blasphemy, religious insults and hate speech against persons on
grounds of their religion

III. Excerpts from reports presented at the international round-table
conference on Art and Sacred Beliefs: from Collision to Co-existence

1. Art and Sacred Beliefs: from Collision to Co-existence
2. Art and religious beliefs: the limits of liberalism
3. An ethics of responsibility for artists
4. Art can legitimately offend
5. Whose responsibility? The case of Iran
6. The intersection between freedom of expression and freedom of belief:

the position of the United Nations
7. Blasphemy in the Greek Orthodox legal tradition
8. Blasphemy and justice in a Greek Orthodox context
9. Conflicts between fundamental rights: contrasting views on Articles 9

and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights
10. Reshaping religion and religious criticism in ultramodernity
11. Conclusions

IV. Appendices to the Report by the Venice Commission

Appendix I: Collection of European national laws on blasphemy, religious

insult and incitement to religious hatred
Summary table
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Czech Republic
The Netherlands
Russian Federation
San Marino
"The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"
United Kingdom

Appendix II: Analysis of domestic laws on blasphemy, religious insult
and inciting religious hatred, on the basis of replies to a
The Netherlands
United Kingdom