Religious Studies Opportunities Digest – 16 Nov 2012

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A pdf summary document can now be download. This can be printed and circulated to colleagues or put up on a notice board.

In this issue:

  • Journals
  • Peer website
  • Call for Papers
  • Conferences
  • Projects
  • Jobs/Fellowships/PhD positions

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.


Material Religion: Special issue on Popularizing Islam: Muslims and Materiality

Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology,

The journal Religion and Gender has just published its latest issue at

It is a special issue addressing the theme ‘Religion and Masculinities: Continuities and Change’, guest edited by Björn Krondorfer and Stephen Hunt. The volume further includes one article in the open section, and nine book reviews. We invite you to review the Table of Contents here and then visit our website to review articles and items of interest.


TAROSA – Teaching Across Religions of South Asia

We are writing to let you know about an initiative we have recently been pursuing with funding support from the HEA, to set up a website aimed at promoting critical engagement with South Asian religious traditions in various teaching and learning contexts. Our aim has been to develop a resource which challenges the world religions optic through which most students (at both secondary and tertiary level) come to learn about South Asian traditions, by focusing instead on practices and ideas which seem to operate across such boundaries. The site is called Teaching Across Religions of South Asia, hence Tarosa, and you can view what we have so far put up at As you will see, the main tool we use to promote a different way of looking at the religious traditions of south asia is a series of pedagogical case studies which provide students with the ability to look in depth at examples of practice/ideas, and challenges them to engage critically with the evidence presented therein.

We believe that the success of the website will depend upon us being able to develop a rich and varied archive of case studies, and it is primarily for this reason that we are writing to you now. If you have material from your research or wider knowledge which you would like to develop into a case study to contribute to the site, we would love to hear from you! We would of course fully credit your contribution to the site, and would be most eager to hear from anyone who would like to get further involved in this work. We also would welcome your feedback as peers and practitioners on the way we have set up and developed the site so far.


CFP: Updated: International Conference “Buddhism & Australia 2013” on 23-25 January 2013

Description:  Buddhism ja Australia is pleased to inform you that the 2nd International Conference Buddhism & Australia will be held on 23-25 January, 2013 in Perth, Western

Australia.Acknowledging the history of Buddhism in the region the main goal of the conference is to research and investigate the buddhavac …

Contact: info [at]


Announcement ID: 198653

CFP: Florida State University Department of Religion Graduate Student Symposium

Location: Florida

Date: 2012-12-01

Description:  Call for Papers: The Florida State University Department of Religion is pleased to announce its 12th Annual Graduate Student Symposium to be held February 22-24, 2013 in Tallahassee, Florida. Last years symposium was a huge success, allowing over 60 presenters from over 18 universities and departme …



Announcement ID: 198521


Eighteenth Annual Postgraduate Religion and Theology Conference Hosted by the University of Bristol

8&9 March 2013

Keynote speaker: Professor Ronald Hutton

This conference brings together postgraduates and early-career academics working on the study of religions from a variety of perspectives and disciplines, creating a space for them to share their work and to further encourage research and collaboration within the University of Bristol (the host institution), and among members of other universities within the South West region and beyond.

The conference has a long history of drawing together postgraduate students and their supervisors from universities in the surrounding area and beyond.

Last year saw us expand to a record number of participating speakers, delegates, and partner institutions. Forty-nine papers, divided in seventeen sessions, were presented by postgraduate students and early career academics, from eighteen universities. Almost one hundred delegates attended at least part of the conference. A session for undergraduate papers was also held, with notable success.

Although we encourage applications that directly address the theme of the conference ‘Afterlife’, in all its interpretations, contributions are welcome from all disciplines and areas related to the study of religions:

theology, history, anthropology, sociology, archaeology, literature, art, music, etc.

Presentations will be grouped in panels, each consisting of three 20-minute papers followed by a 30-minute period for questions and discussion. Panels will be chaired by lecturers from Bristol and other partner universities.

We are also accepting submissions for research posters. Displayed in the conference common room, these will allow further communication of research.

A prize will be awarded to the poster voted best by the conference participants. Guidelines of the preparation of posters and a sample poster presentation can be found on the conference’s website. Please note that an applicant may submit a poster as well as a paper and that both may be accepted, on the condition that they cover different topics.

Please submit abstracts for papers and/or posters through our University’s ‘Stop Shop’ page at:

The deadline for submitting proposals will be 12:00 noon on Tuesday 15 January 2013.

Kindly note that the organisers are not in a position to assist anyone with visas, and will not consider or accept abstracts from those who require assistance with visas.

Registration for the conference will open at 12:00 noon on 22 January 2013 and will include refreshments and lunch on both days. Early registration is free for members of partner institutions and £10 for participants from other institutions or for those who are unaffiliated. Please note that all registrations received after 12 noon, Friday 8 February, will incur a £10 late registration fee.

A limited amount of financial assistance may be available to presenters of papers and/or posters. The assistance may be used towards defraying travel or accommodation expenses, or the early registration fee for participants from non-partner institutions. Application details will be posted in late January 2013 on the conference website.

Optional social events will be held on both evenings of the conference.

For more information and registration, please visit:

CFP: Sacred Space in Secular Institutions

Please send abstracts to Chris Hewson by 15 December:

chris.hewson [at]

Venue: Humanities Bridgeford Street Building 1.69 (University of Manchester)

Date: Friday 18th January

The role, form and affect of sacred space(s) within ‘secular’ institutions is a theme that is increasingly attractive to scholars within the social sciences. This Socrel study day will consider how different types of organisation – including but not limited to educational establishments, hospitals and hospices, airports, public buildings, shopping centres, etc – ‘make space’ for faith, sacrality and religious practice(s) within their buildings, management structures and public offerings.

The study day will also consider: the key social, cultural and political drivers behind these spaces; precursors and ongoing developments; how such spaces are positioned within contemporary policy debates; and the practical issues practitioners should consider when designing and managing ‘sacred space’ within a secular institution. The day will be centred around three axes:

A reflection upon the wide range of institutions that contain set-aside ‘sacred space’.

A close sociological reading of what ‘happens’ within these spaces on a day-to-day basis, and how this might be conceptualised methodologically. For instance, how are they ‘shared’? How can effective use be measured?

A thoroughgoing assessment of the role and practice(s) of extant religious groups and traditions, within the provision and ongoing usage of these spaces.

We welcome contributions of any length (20 minute papers, 10-15 minute presentations) which address these, and any of the following questions:

What are these spaces for, and how are roles and designations contested?

What is or can be sacred about these spaces?

To what extent are these spaces multi-faith in either description or usage?

Do these spaces demonstrate novelty or continuity with existing forms?

What are the normative factors governing the development of these spaces (e.g. cohesion, diversity, customer focus, etc). Can these factors always be reconciled?

Please send abstracts to Chris Hewson by 15 December: chris.hewson [at]


The History of Women Religious of Britain and Ireland Annual Conference will be hosted  by the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, on 5-7 September 2013.

Paper proposals are now invited. Presentations should be 20 minutes in duration, and should address some element of the conference theme, with reference to British and/or Irish contexts.

The devotional and vocational activities of women religious sculpted the physical space of religious houses in unique ways. Patterns of use were etched into the fabric of buildings, guiding structural design and interior decoration. But buildings also shaped practice: whether the formal monastic sites of early or revived enclosed orders or the reused secular buildings of active congregations, women both adapted and adapted to their material surroundings.

A growing body of literature has addressed itself to convent art, exploring nuns as patrons, consumers and manufacturers of material and visual culture. These practices span the history of women’s religious life – from the early Middle Ages to the present day – and suggest a hidden but dynamic tradition of artistic enterprise. This conference explores the creative output of women religious including but not limited to textiles and the decorative arts, illuminated manuscripts and printed books, women’s patronage of painting and architecture, the commercial production of ecclesiastical textiles in the nineteenth-century, production of liturgical and devotional art in recent periods, and the development of unique convent and institutional spaces by and for women religious.

Key aims of the conference will be to highlight the scholarly value of these under-researched and little known spaces and collections and also to raise awareness and discuss the threats that they face as communities decline, buildings close, artefacts and archives are dispersed.

This conference will take a broad and diverse view on what constitutes ‘material culture’, emphasizing the conception, production, and meanings of the many material outputs of convents and monasteries.

Papers are welcomed from a diverse range of disciplines: scholars from social and religious history, art and architecture, theology, anthropology, psychology and beyond are invited to offer fresh and innovative perspectives in order to illuminate ways in which women religious in Britain and Ireland created and were formed by material histories for over a thousand years.

Please send 200-word proposals for 20-minute papers to kate.jordan.09 [at] and ayla.lepine [at] by no later than 1 February 2013.

CFP: Material Religion

Venue: Durham University, UK

Date: 9 – 11 April 2013

Dr Marion Bowman (Department of Religious Studies, Open University)

Professor David Morgan (Department of Religion, Duke University)

Professor Veronica Strang (Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University)

This conference will focus on the physical, material dimension of religious life and

practice, one of the major themes of religious research over the last decade. Material

forms express and sustain the human search for holiness, transcendence and identity,

and attention to the physical can lead scholars to unique and valuable insights.

Commitment to religious communities is learned and displayed through relationships

to clothing, food, ritual and decoration, in the home, workplace, street or place of

worship. This event will encourage interdisciplinary discussion of the significance of

material culture in contemporary religion, including the images and architecture of

sacred places and the objects and practices of everyday life.

Topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Material religion in everyday life

  • The materiality of gender, class, age and ethnicity

  • Sacred objects: statues, icons, relics, holy books, architecture

  • Sacred objects in museums and galleries

  • Religion, landscape and the environment

  • Religion and the arts

  • Marketing and consuming religion

  • Religion and the body: ritual, experience and emotion

  • Health, sickness, disability, death and bereavement

  • The materiality of religious media and technologies

  • Research methods for the study of material religion

We invite proposals for conference papers (300 words), panels (3-4 papers on a

shared theme, 750 words) and posters (200 words). Alternative formats will also be

considered. Abstracts must be submitted by November 19th 2012 to Tim Hutchings

and Joanne McKenzie at materialreligionconference [at] Bursaries are

available for postgraduate and early career researchers.

SOCREL is the British Sociological Association’s study group on Religion. For more

details about the study group and conference please visit

CFP: Nationalism, Identity and Belief Symposium

First joint symposium of Society, Religion and Belief and Identity, Culture and Representation Research Centres University of Derby 25 March 2013

Keynote speaker: Daniel Trilling author of Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain’s Far Right (London: Verso, 2012), assistant editor The New Statesman, columnist for The Guardian.

The complexities and contradictions of globalized modes of identity have caused a reassessment of what constitutes national identity and how it is experienced. In late modernity there is a tendency for nationalism to be characterised as a reactive and reactionary response to the increasing cultural diversity evident in many Western societies. The British National Party and, latterly, the English Defence League typify this tendency. In continental Europe there are comparable groupings but many continental equivalents have demonstrated a greater capacity for organisation and have enjoyed a modicum of success in terms of parliamentary elections at national and European level: in France, the Front National; the Belgian/Flemish Vlaams Balang; the Danish Danske Folkparti; Jobbik in Hungary, The Golden Dawn in Greece and so on. The fortunes of these parties wax and wane but their social and media presence is constant. This symposium is a call to academics and activists to consider the ongoing appeal of nationalism, its cultural role, its strategies, localities and nature. We seek to explore the lure and repulsion of nationalism to its friends and critics and the many and varied cultural contexts through which it is reproduced.

Papers are invited to be considered for presentation in one of two parallel panels:

Panel One: Nationalism, Identity and Conflict Panel Two: Nationalism, Religion and Belief
Typical themes for the panels will include but are not limited to:
The organisation and activities of nationalist groups

The appeal of nationalism

Nationalism in crisis

Banal nationalism

Rethinking national identity

The cultures of nationalism

Nationalist rhetoric and the world faiths

‘The chosen people’ and globalization

Spiritual nationalisms

Subcultures and nationalist discourse

Considering nationalism as a faith

Please submit a 250 word proposal and a bio-note by 19 December, 2012 to Andrew Wilson (a.f.wilson [at]; Jason Lee (j.lee [ay]; and Frauke Uhlenbruch (f.uhlenbruch [at]


Conference theme: Ireland, America and Transnationalism: studying religions in a globalised world

At The Clinton Centre, University College Dublin, 10th-12th May 2013

We are pleased to invite scholars to take part in the second annual conference of the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions (ISASR). For information on the society, see: The Conference will take place Fri-Sun May 10th -12th , 2013 at the Clinton Institute for American Studies, University College Dublin (UCD), and is open to scholars of all disciplines that approach religions, both past and present, from a non-theological, critical, analytical and cross-cultural perspective.

Proposals for papers may relate to the conference theme ‘Ireland, America and Transnationalism’ or any other aspect of the Society’s work in the history, anthropology, folklore and sociology of religion in Ireland or the Irish diaspora, but also the work of Irish-based researchers on topics in the academic study of religions elsewhere in the world.

Although 19th and 20th century discourses often highlighted national, including Irish, religious uniqueness, this has always been at best a half truth. Megalithic architecture and pre-Christian myths are routinely studied in relation to other west European contexts. Christian conversion and medieval texts, early modern wars of religion and nineteenth-century ultramontanism also locate Ireland in a wider religious world. The conference theme encourages the study of religions in a global and comparative context, with particular reference to North America, the home of the largest Irish diaspora outside these islands.

From Ireland’s ‘spiritual empire’ of Catholic institutions to American enthusiasm for all things Celtic to imported Pentecostalisms, the religious exchange between the two has been intense. Adopting a transnational perspective highlights the networks of wider global relationships within which religions both in Ireland and among the Irish diaspora are enacted.

Please send a 150-200 word abstract for papers to Adrienne Hawley ( Adrienne.hawley[at] ) by the closing date of Friday 22^nd February, 2012. Notification of abstract acceptance will be given by Friday March 15th, 2012.


Proposals for themed panels from ISASR members are welcomed and may be made directly to the conference organisers via Adrienne Hawley (email above). The following panels have already been proposed:_* · Folk Religion in Ireland: Meaning and Context*__* · Children’s Subjectivities and the Experience of Religious Educations · Gender and Religion *_ If you wish to submit an abstract for these panels please indicate this in your abstract submission_*


Further information on the ISASR Conference 2013 will be posted at: The conference is hosted by ISASR in collaboration with The Clinton Institute, UCD.

Contemporary religion in historical perspective: engaging outside academia

The Open University, Milton Keynes – 15-16 May 2013

What is the relevance of research on historical and contemporary religion for today? How might such research inform current debates on religion, and the practice and self-understanding of religious groups and practitioners? What might historical perspective bring to research on contemporary religion? This conference will address such issues under the broad theme of ‘contemporary religion and historical perspective’. There will be two parallel streams. The first is ‘engaging with the past to inform the present’ and the relevance of religious history for the contemporary context. The second is ‘the public value of research on contemporary religion’; here papers on cross-cultural identities and new religions and popular spiritualities are particularly welcomed.

The backdrop for this conference is the growing acknowledgement that Religious Studies and other disciplines must engage with the wider society. Public ‘engagement’ takes many forms – from extensive projects to ad hoc engagement and involving diverse activities such as media work, lectures, workshops and online engagement. This conference will include practitioner perspectives on different themes, and reflect also on the ways in which academic research on religion might engage with communities of interest and place and private; interact with public and third sector institutions and organisations; and influence public discourse and the social, cultural and environmental well-being of society.

We invite paper and panel proposals for either stream. Papers could include case studies of previous or ongoing outreach, knowledge exchange or public engagement. Topics discussed might include (but are not limited to):

  • integrating ‘religious history’ and contemporary religious practitioners;
  • the relevance of historical research on religion for contemporary debates on religion; and for present-day religious groups, organisations and institutions;
  • intersections between research on contemporary religion and present-day contemporary understanding and practice of religion;
  • the idea of ‘applied’ or ‘public’ Religious Studies;
  • methodological, theoretical and ethical issues relating to Religious Studies and knowledge exchange;
  • relationships between academic and practitioner, or academic institution(s) and non-academic ‘partner’ and their implications and challenges.

Confirmed speakers include Ronald Hutton (Bristol), Steven Sutcliffe (Edinburgh), David Voas (Essex) and John Wolffe (Open University).

The conference is organised by the Open University’s Religious Studies Department.

Cost: £20 per day + £20 for conference dinner on the evening of 15 May. Lunch and refreshments (except conference dinner) are included in the day cost; but we ask attendees to book/fund their own accommodation (advice on local hotels and B&Bs available on request).

Please send proposals to Dr John Maiden (j.maiden [at] by 25 January 2013. To book, please contact Taj Bilkhu (t.bilkhu [at] by 23 March 2013.

AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme, University of Kent and Theos present

‘Big Society or Global Village? Religious NGOs, Civil Society and the United Nations’,

Wednesday 28th November, 6.30-8.30pm

Convocation Hall, Church House, Dean’s Yard, London, SW1P 3NZ.

Do religions in a world of globalization have to work with international institutions? What has religion got to do with the UN? How are religious NGOs shaping UN policies? Which religions and which issues? Can national civil society ignore the global realities of UN diplomacy?

Professor Jeremy Carrette (Religious Studies), Professor Hugh Miall (Politics and International Relations) and Dr Sophie Trigeaud (Religious Studies), all of the University of Kent, UK, will present findings of a three-year study on religious NGOs and the United Nations and discuss the role of religion in global civil society.


Professor Jeff Haynes, London Metropolitan University


Elizabeth Oldfield , Director of Theos Think Tank

Carrie Pemberton Ford, Director of the Cambridge Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking


The Critical Religion Research Group at the University of Stirling has initiated a new project: an international scholarly association using the name Critical Religion Association.  This is the first email from the new CRA.

We are publishing two blogs today – the first is an explanation in more detail of what this means and what we are intending, the second is an exploration of the breadth of the Critical Religion project by Timothy Fitzgerald.  Do read:

The new Critical Religion Association site:

The breadth of Critical Religion:

In particular, we draw your attention to the possibility for greater involvement from scholars not necessarily based at the University of Stirling (as outlined in the first blog posting above).

We are also expanding our social media coverage – if you are on Facebook, you can now ‘like’ us there, and receive updates and engage there.  We continue to use Twitter, and further forms of engagement will come.


Lehigh University – Visiting Assistant Professor, Contemporary

Japanese Literature and Culture

Brooklyn College – Assistant Professor/Judaism in Late Antiquity and


Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages – Post-Doctoral

Fellowship in Buddhist Studies

The University of Oxford’s Department of Education supports anthropologically focused Master’s and Doctoral research on religion and education:

Procedures and information:

November and January applications are encouraged.

Inquiries may be directed to the Higher Degrees Office:

higherdegreesoffice [at]

School of Health Sciences and Social Work

University of Portsmouth

PhD/MRes fees only bursaries: £3,500 per annum for 3 years (full time) or £1,600 per annum for 6 years (part time)

MRes fees only bursaries: £5,000 per annum for 1 year (full time) or £2,500 per annum for 2 years(part time)

Starting: February 2013 (PhD) or January 2013 (MRes)

Further details:

Building on her 2009-10 Religion and Society research into Old Hispanic Chant, Emma Hornby (Bristol University) has been awarded a European Research Council Starting Grant for a project called ‘Shaping text, Shaping melody, Shaping experience in and through the Old Hispanic Office’. Lasting for five years, this project will involve Hornby, her collaborator Professor Rebecca Maloy (University of  Colorado at Boulder), two postdoctoral researchers (in musicology and theology) and two PhD students (one musicologist and one composer).

The project team will explore the potential the Old Hispanic office chants had for promoting a particular religious experience within an almost-forgotten liturgy. The musicologists and theologians will bring the many-layered and cross-referential Old Hispanic approach to text choice, musical punctuation and melodic pacing explicitly to the attention of modern composers, encouraging them to explore compositional processes that evoke similar spiritual responses. The composers will act as a communicative channel between the pure scholarship demanded by the Old Hispanic material, and contemporary concert audiences and congregations.

Outputs will include a team-authored book, several peer-reviewed articles, a series of publicly performed compositions, an EU-workshop and an International Festival of new music inspired by the project findings. The Old Hispanic liturgy is one of the musical, intellectual and theological jewels of our European cultural heritage, and this project will give a wide audience a holistic understanding of its richness.


  1. one postdoctoral research post in theology/liturgical studies (full time, 4 years):


  1. one postdoctoral research post in medieval musicology (full time, 4



  1. one fully funded 4-year PhD studentship in medieval musicology:


  1. one fully funded 4-year PhD studentship in music (composition):


Informal enquiries are welcome, and should be addressed to emma.hornby [at]

Read more about Emma Hornby’s original Religion and Society grant here:

The publishing house Brill (Leiden) is generously sponsoring an annual research Fellowship at the Warburg Institute’s Centre for the History of Arabic Studies in Europe (CHASE). The Fellowship has been made possible by the “Sheikh Zayed Book Award” which was awarded to Brill Publishers in March 2012 for publishing excellence in Middle East and Islamic Studies.

The Brill Fellowship at CHASE to be held in the academic year 2013-14 will be of two or three months duration and is intended for a postdoctoral researcher. The Fellowship will be awarded for research projects on any aspect of the relations between Europe and the Arab World from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.

The closing date for applications is the 30 November 2012. Please visit our website for application details (