Religious Studies Opportunities Digest – 10 August Edition

10 August 2012 Issueimage of books

We are not responsible for any content contained herein, but have simply copied and pasted from a variety of sources. If you have any content for future digests, please contact us via the various options on our ‘contact’ page.

In this issue:

  • Books
  • Journals
  • Calls for Papers
  • Jobs
  • Funding/Grants

And don’t forget, you can always get involved with the Religious Studies Project by writing one of our features essays or resources pages. Contact the editors for more information.


Sanctity and Self-Inflicted Violence in Chinese Religions, 1500-1700 – Jimmy Yu

Published by Oxford University Press.

In this illuminating study of a vital but long overlooked aspect of Chinese religious life, Jimmy Yu reveals that in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, self-inflicted violence was an essential and sanctioned part of Chinese culture. He examines a wide range of practices, including blood writing, filial body-slicing, chastity mutilations and suicides, ritual exposure, and self-immolation, arguing that each practice was public, scripted, and a signal of certain cultural expectations. Yu shows how individuals engaged in acts of self-inflicted violence to exercise power and to affect society, by articulating moral values, reinstituting order, forging new social relations, and protecting against the threat of moral ambiguity. Self-inflicted violence was intelligible both to the person doing the act and to those who viewed and interpreted it, regardless of the various religions of the period: Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, and other religions. Self-inflicted violence as a category reveals scholarly biases that tend to marginalize or exaggerate certain phenomena in Chinese culture. Yu offers a groundbreaking contribution to scholarship on bodily practices in late imperial China, challenging preconceived ideas about analytic categories of religion, culture, and ritual in the study of Chinese religions.


Cambridge Anthropology, volume 30, issue 1


CFP: Islamic Africa

Description: Islamic Africa covers the field of Islam in Africa broadly understood to include the social sciences and humanities. The journal considers submissions that focus on African Muslims in broader global contexts as well as research dealing with Muslim societies on the continent itself as well.

Contact: islamicafrica [at]


H-Net Announcement ID: 196165

CFP: International Symposium: Islam in Interwar Europe and European Cultural History, Leiden University, 13-14 December 2012

Date: 2012-08-20

Description: We would like hereby to invite papers to the  international symposium: Islam in Interwar Europe and European  Cultural History, which will take place at Leiden University,   13-14 December 2012. For a detailed description please contact Mehdi Sajid: msajid [at]

H-Net Announcement ID: 196093

Further information:

CFP: Aesthetics of Popular Culture

Date: 2012-09-10

Description: We encourage scholars with genuine interest in philosophy of art and popular culture to send a max. 250 word abstract for reviewing no later than September 10, 2012 (extended deadline). All schools of philosophy and aesthetic theory (pragmatism, hermeneutics, semiotics, phenomenology …

Contact: popularculture [at]


H-Net  Announcement ID: 196103

CFP: Special Sessions, Gender in the Medieval Islamicate World (7th -15th centuries) and Slavery and Slave Systems in the Medieval Islamicate World (7th – 15th centuries)

International Congress on Medieval Studies, 9-12 May 2013 (W

Location: Michigan

Date: 2012-09-15

Description: The purpose of these sessions is to bring together scholars and research focused on gender, slavery and slave systems in Islamicate world between the 7th and 15th centuries. Papers are encouraged from all disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives and regions; including India, Asia, Africa …

Contact: len12 [at]

H-Net Announcement ID: 196111

Digital Methodologies in the Sociology of Religion

16th November 2012, Enterprise Centre, University of Derby

Within an era of a growing reliance on digital technologies to instantly and effectively express our values, allegiances, and multi-faceted identities, the interest in digital research methodologies among Sociologists of Religion comes as no surprise (e.g. Bunt 2009; Cantoni and Zyga 2007; Contractor 2012 and Ostrowski 2006; Taylor 2003). However the methodological challenges associated with such research have been given significantly less attention. What are the epistemological underpinnings and rationale for the use ‘digital’ methodologies? What ethical dilemmas do sociologists face, including while protecting participants’ interests in digital contexts that are often perceived as anonymised and therefore ‘safe’? Implementing such ‘digital’ research also leads to practical challenges such as mismatched expectations of IT skills, limited access to specialized tools, project management and remote management of research processes.

Hosted by the Centre for Society, Religion, and Belief at the University of Derby and funded by Digital Social Research, this conference will bring together scholars to critically evaluate the uses, impacts, challenges and future of Digital Methodologies in the Sociology of Religion. We envisage that the conference will lead to an edited textbook and are currently in discussion with key publishers. For the purpose of the conference and textbook, digital research is broadly defined as research that either works within digital contexts or which uses either online or offline digital tools. Abstracts for papers that focus on one, or more, of the following themes are invited:

  1. Epistemological Positioning

  2. Ethical Dilemmas

  3. Implementation & Practical Challenges

  4. Wider impacts beyond Academia

Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words, as well as the title of the paper, name of the presenter, institutional affiliation, and contact details to Dr Sariya Contractor (<>) and Dr. Suha Shakkour (<>) by 5pm on Tuesday 28th August, 2012. We welcome submissions for Doctoral Candidates and Early Career Researchers. Shortlisted participants will be notified by 11th September 2012 and will be expected to submit summary papers (1000 words) by 1st November 2012 for circulation prior to the conference. A registration fee of £30 will apply for all speakers and delegates. A few travel bursaries are available for post-graduate students. Further details about the registration process will be circulated by mid-August.2012.

Dr Sariya Contractor

Project Researcher

Religion and Belief, Discrimination and Equality Project

Faculty of Education, Health and Sciences

University of Derby, Kedleston Road, Derby, DE22 1GB


The Spalding Symposium on Indian Religions: Peacebuilding, Conflict and Non-Violence in Indian Religious Traditions

The Spalding Symposium on Indian Religions will be held between 5th and 7th April, 2013, in Merton College, Oxford University, in conjunction with Religions for Peace and the Centre for Religions for Reconciliation and Peace, University of Winchester.  Abstracts are invited from academics from any relevant discipline, from peace builders and from those who have worked in conflict zones.  The conference will include papers, workshops and presentations. We welcome papers from any discipline dealing with any aspect of the topic. Selected papers will be published in a dedicated issue of Religions of South Asia (RoSA), and then edited as a collected volume.

In the post-9/11 world, religions and religious actors are more commonly associated with extremism and conflict than peace and harmony.  Much research has focused on the role religion plays in extremist violence, war and rioting.  Less attention has been paid to the role of religion in bringing an end to violence and in promoting reconciliation.  Religious ideologies and religious leaders can play an important role in resolving violent conflicts.  Research into peace building efforts would seem to suggest that Christian organisations have taken the initiative in practical projects.  This may reflect the limited coverage of the research but it does provide encouragement for a Conference exploring the role of South Asian and Indian religious traditions in peace building efforts.  The 2013 Spalding Symposium will address the different ways the contribution of religion to peacebuilding can be conceived, and explore the potential of Indian religious traditions as resources for values that promote peace. It will explore the role of religion in mobilising violence and promoting peace.

Religion, conflict and non-violence

The Symposium organisers understand the notion of conflict in its broadest sense, and as concerned with the underlying structural causes of conflict, such as social and economic injustices, religious and political repression, poverty and the suffering caused by a lack of basic rights and resources for dignified living. ‘Peace building’ we understand as encompassing a wide range of interventions designed to either prevent or transform conflict. Peace building therefore focuses on broader structural interventions such as state building, the strengthening of civil society, education, development work tackling poverty and social and economic injustices, as well as the processes of reconciliation vital to rebuilding resilient societies after a period of conflict.

We are interested in papers and workshops that:

·         promote understanding of the relationship between religion/culture and conflict, and between religious teachings and the promotion of empowerment and human rights;

·         examine the processes by which religious traditions can bring social, moral, and spiritual resources to the peace building process;

·         explore, emphasise and analyse resources in Indian religious and cultural traditions which promote values compatible with a global culture of peace and justice;

·         explore the ambivalence of tradition and show how interpretations of texts and traditions may be used to promote conflict at the level of the international community, the nation or locality;

·         analyse the concept of non-violence (ahimsa)  in the Jain, Hindu and Buddhist traditions, practices such as yoga, meditation, mindfulness  and religious values supporting rituals, healing, and reintegration processes;

·         explore different interpretations of texts like the Bhagavad-gita which appear to give divine sanction to war;

·         explore the role of colonialism in exacerbating or even creating communal tensions or divisions in India, or the more recent rise of Hindu nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism;

·         analyse the importance of Guru Gobind Singh’s founding of the Khalsa and the Sikh principle of miri/piri;

·         explore reformist attempts by reformers such as Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar to ameliorate the divisive issues of caste, class, sexuality, ageism, poverty, racism, and injustice;

·          analyse practical projects and initiatives which have a positive impact on communities and individuals affected by conflict;

·         use religious resources to promote policies and decisions in the political sphere that further peace, or which lessen violence and encourage dialogue in troubled areas of the world;

·         analyse the visions of religious leaders which inspire movements towards peace or which stir up religious nationalism and communalism;

·         report on projects which encourage intra- and inter-religious dialogue and praxis;

·         explore critically the theoretical perspectives of professional academics which examine inequality and injustice (e.g. post-colonial, Marxist, feminist, subaltern);

·         report on projects which bring together academics, peace practitioners and religious groups to explore topics related to reconciliation and religious peace building.

Please send abstracts to Anna King<>

By 30th October 2012


Research Fellow – University of Aberdeen

University of Aberdeen -School of Divinity, History & Philosophy


College / University Administration: College of Arts & Social Sciences

Position Type: Full-time

University Grade Structure: Grade 6

Salary From: £30,122  Salary To: £35,938

Further information:

Title: EHRI Fellowships in Holocaust Studies 2013

Date: 2012-09-30

Description: EHRI (European Holocaust Research Infrastructure)

invites applications for its fellowship programme for 2013. The

EHRI fellowships are intended to support and stimulate

Holocaust research by facilitating international access to key

archives and collections related to the Holocaust. The

fellowships i …



Announcement ID: 196045

University of Richmond – Assistant Professor Anthropology


University of Washington – Seattle – History of the Islamic World

before 1900 and Modern Middle Eastern History



British Academy

The British Academy has just announced info about its key calls for the 2012-13 academic year.

British Academy – 2012-13 deadlines

The British Academy also lists these deadlines on its website.