Religious Studies Opportunities Digest – 19 September 2017

Welcome to the latest RSP opportunities digest, where you will find three calls for papers, details of two conferences, and notices about assistant editor positions, funding, and an assistant professorship.

This digest is sponsored by the postgraduate taught programmes in Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Many of the RSP team have been through the Edinburgh RS programme, which comes highly recommended. Find out more here.

Calls for Papers

BSA Socrel Chair’s Response Day

Wednesday 13 December 2017, Imperial Wharf, London

Faiths & Civil Society: Building Bridges or Walls?

Old patterns of belonging are in flux, in politics and society as in religion. Strands of continuity are accompanied by fluidity and change. Brexit and Trump appear to be expressions of something important – but what? Loss of trust in leaders? Growing poverty and inequality? A climate change crisis? Anxiety about migration? Fear of violent extremism? This event will explore faith-based engagement with these civil society issues – both responsive and resistant: how faith in the public sphere forms part of new social movements, activism, digital spaces, the provision of services to meet need, critical voices, and emerging explorations of a new ‘common good’. Is public faith part of building bridges or walls? We will consider how the political, social and identity shifts that are underway affect our discipline and its scholars. What conceptual preoccupations and practical impacts will continue and emerge? After the twists and turns of 2016 and 17, how will sociology of religion respond?

Papers are welcomed which engage with these broad themes, preferably with examples and evidence of engagement, but also including theoretical explorations of changing boundaries of thought. Themes may include:

•       Changing patterns of action, participation and ‘joining’
•       Volunteering and social action
•       Food banks and social need
•       Activism and protest
•       Work with asylum seekers, refugees and migrants
•       Community Development and Youth Work
•       Digital spaces
•       New ideas and practices of the common good

Keynote speakers include Professor Chris Baker and Dr Dan DeHanas.

Please submit your abstract for consideration to Céline Benoit at Abstracts should be received by 20 October at midday and outcomes will be confirmed by 3 November.

Spalding Symposium on Indian Religions

We invite proposals for papers for the 43rd Spalding Symposium on Indian Religions, which will be held at Durham University, on 13th-15th April 2018.

There is no theme this year, and so we welcome papers that address any aspect of the religions of South Asia, based upon any research methods, including textual, historical, ethnographic, sociological and philosophical.

Presenters are allocated forty minutes for their paper and twenty minutes for discussion, and will normally be expected to pay their own conference registration and expenses. The Symposium fee, including food and accommodation, is predicted to be £185, with a non-residential rate of £90. Registration details will be released in the new year. Limited financial assistance may be available for early career scholars or scholars from South Asia. If your participation depends upon such support please indicate this when you submit your abstract.

We also welcome proposals from doctoral students, who will be allocated twenty minutes for their paper and ten minutes for discussion, and offered free registration at the Symposium (including accommodation).

We are delighted to announce our keynote speakers: Kunal Chakrabarti, Professor of Ancient Indian History at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi, and Eleanor Nesbitt, Professor Emeritus at the University of Warwick. Professor Chakrabarti will offer us a paper entitled ‘Laksmi’s Other: Brahmanical Construction of a Negative Goddess’, while Professor Nesbitt will speak on ‘Sikhs through the eyes of western women 1809 to 2012’.

If you would like to give a paper, please send a title and abstract (maximum 500 words) to Dr Naomi Appleton,, by Friday 10th November 2017.

Further information about the Symposium can be found on our website,, where you can also sign up to receive details of the programme and booking information when available.

The Changing Faces of Evil

17–18 March 2018, Lisbon, Portugal

Deadline: 20 October 2017.

More information:


Jews and Quakers: on the borders of acceptability

14 December 2017, University of Brighton, UK.

More information:

Faith in the Care System: Addressing the diverse needs of children

3 October 2017, Coventry University, UK

More information:

Assistant Editor positions

The Nonreligion and Secularity Research Netowrk

Deadline: Friday 29th September 2017.

For more information and instructions on applying, see here (PDF):

Assistant Professor in Catholic Studies or Theology

Durham University, UK

Closing date: 8 November 2017

More information (PDF):

Funding: Global Religion Research Initiative

Six major grant and fellowship opportunities worth over $2 million over the next two years.

The application deadline is October 16, 2017.

Apply online at