Religious Studies Opportunities Digest – 30 August 2013

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In this issue:

  • Journals

  • Books

  • Conferences

  • Call for papers

  • Jobs

  • Scholarships


Method and Theory in the Study of Religion


Dear All,

Is necromancy ghost hunting? With all the technological gadgets available, few ghost hunters have turned to magic to seek the spirit world. Given the inapporiate use of EMF meters and the like, one could argue that a wand would be just as useful.

Well, it might seem a wee bit tenuous, but it is one of the aspects I explore in my new book A Brief Guide to Ghost Hunting!

I’m not really a ‘brief guide’ sort of person, so you’ll get 100,000 words, fully referenced, with further reading and an index. I conducted some special surveys for the book, interviewing ghost hunters and analysing almost a thousand separate locations and about 700 investigations. It’s published by Robinson in the UK and Running Press in the USA this month.

Some people were kind enough to read it ahead of publication and said some particularly nice things:

I have always admired Dr Leo Ruickbie’s comprehensive expertise in the paranormal. A Brief Guide to Ghost Hunting delivers more than most other ghost guides combined. – Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Author of The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits, and others

You can find it from the usual suspects:

I like to think that it’s the best book I’ve written to date. I hope you’ll agree!

Thanks for reading!

Best wishes,



I am currently working on a new book project that may be of interest to your FB followers: SCIENCE AND RELIGION: 5 QUESTIONS–a collection of interviews with some of the world’s leading philosophers, scientists, theologians, apologists, and atheists. The book will not be published until mid-2014 but I just set up a Facebook page for it. I will occasionally post updates, articles of interest, videos, and debates involving the contributors on the Facebook page. Contributors include the “World’s Top Thinker” (Prospect Magazine, 2013), a Nobel Prize winning physicist, three “Humanist of the Year” winners, three Templeton Prize winners, the “Most Influential Rabbi in America” (Newsweek, 2012), a National Humanities Medal Winner, a National Medal of Science Winner, a Star of South Africa Medal winner, a Carl Sagan Award for Public Understanding of Science winner, and many more! I welcome your FB supporters to participate and comment on various posts.

Here is a link to the Facebook page (please click “like”):

Please feel free to pass this email along and/or post it on your Facebook page.

Many thanks,

Dr. Gregg D. Caruso


BASR/EASR Conference 2013

The PDF Book of Abstracts is now available on the conference website:

Society for the Scientific Study of Religion

A new draft, Version 3, of the SSSR/RRA Annual Meeting Program is now available at

This program contains only the sessions being organized by the SSSR and RRA program chairs.  Plenary session information will be added once these sessions have been settled.  But they are nearly settled now, so if you have any changes to request or suggest, sooner is better.


Change and Continuity – Religion, State, Civil Society

We are delighted to invite you to submit proposals for sessions and papers under the theme Change and Continuity – Religion, State, Civil Society.

Date: 20 – 22 August 2014

Place: University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Humanities, Njalsgade 122,

2300 Copenhagen S

Official website:

Keynote Speakers:

Martin Baumann, Professor at the Study of Religions, University of Lucerne

Lori G. Beaman, Professor at Department for Classics and Religious Studies, University of Ottawa

Peter Gundelach, Professor of Sociology, University of Copenhagen

Viktor Yelensky, Professor at Department for the Study of Religion, The Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences

The 22nd Nordic Conference for Sociology of Religion seeks a more thorough understanding – theoretically as well as empirically – of the dynamic interrelations of religion, state and civil society. In short, we would like to find out how this interrelation is part of processes of change and continuity in society today. In line with the traditions of the Nordic conferences, contributions addressing this scope as well as other topics within the sociology of religion are welcome!

Call for Sessions: Deadline 1 November 2013 Call for Papers: Deadline 1 March 2014

Registration: Deadline 31 May 2014

Organisers: Professor, dr. phil. Margit Warburg, Assistant Professor, PhD, Brian Arly Jacobsen and Astrid Krabbe Trolle, Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies


FORUM Journal: Issue 17 – Call for Papers: Rites and Rituals

Rituals exist as a result of the actions of specific people or institutions; we recognise those rituals because they are engrained in our cultural customs as much as they are ordained by law. The resulting rituals not only reinforce the beliefs or values of these specific communities, but simultaneously define these group identities. Victor Turner describes rituals as ‘social dramas’ that allow any given culture to maintain a balance between structurally enforced norms and personal autonomy; the medieval carnival with its Lord of Misrule, for example, permitted a short period of topsy-turvy, upside-down role-play in popular culture, to ensure social hierarchies and authority were obeyed and enforced during the rest of the year.

Mary Ann McGrath states that there are four basic factors that form the ritual arena: the ritual artefacts (costumes, food, or decorations), the ritual script (written or oral), the ritual norm (a model or an example), and the ritual meaning (the reason or importance). However, where one or more of these basic factors are missing, questions arise as to the efficacy and stability of the ritual, leading to the subversion of the old ritual and invention of the new. This has led Stanley J. Tambiah and Richard Schechner – amongst others – to consider the performativity of rituals; the circumstances of the creation of ritual, the intent of the ritual

performers, and the behaviour of the ritual witnesses. As the melancholy Jacques declares, ‘All the world’s a stage/ And all the men and women

merely players;/ They have their exits and their entrances;/ And

one man in his time plays many parts’ (AYLI 2:7).

We are seeking submissions from a range of disciplines relating to the arts, culture or social sciences that consider the topic of RITES & RITUALS for issue 17 of FORUM. Submissions may relate to, but are not limited to:

  • literary and film representations of rituals

  • performance and performativity of rituals

  • subversive ritual in cultural and aesthetic theory

  • national vs. parochial identity and rituals

  • construction and innovation of new ritual forms

  • primitive vs. modern ritual

  • ethics of ritual destruction or enforcement

  • the sacred and secular ritual divide

  • ritual and gender

Papers must be between 3,000 ? 5,000 words in length, formatted according to MLA guidelines. Please email your paper, a short abstract and your academic CV in separate, clearly labelled DOC(X). files to by Monday 16th September 2013. All eligible articles will be peer reviewed prior to publication. Only one submission per author per issue is permissible.

FORUM journal is a postgraduate journal for arts and culture based at the University of Edinburgh. For more information and style guidelines, visit

Emotion, Ritual and Power in Europe: 1200 to the Present

Call for Papers LAST WEEK!

11-12 February 2014, ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions: Europe, 1200-1800, University of Adelaide,-ritual-and-power-in-europe-1200-to-the-present.aspx?page=2

Announcement ID: 206062

Angels/ Angelology in Medieval ART:Session at ICMS 2014

CFP STILL OPEN! Looking for TWO more proposals for a session on angels/ angelology in medieval art (painting,sculpture, architecture, etc.)from medieval Christian, Jewish and/or Islamic religious traditions.

International Congress of Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 8-11, 2014.


Announcement ID: 206001

Jews and Gentiles in East-Central Europe in the Twentieth Century


Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague (Workshop) May 26 30, 2014 /(Conference) May 31 June 1, 2014

Announcement ID: 206038

Religious Globalization in an Age of Global Crises? Theory and Practice of the Oikoumene in the 20th Century

Fourth European Congress on World and Global History. Paris, 11-14th September 2014


Announcement ID: 206110

Arts, Literature, and Religion Section of Southwest Commission on Religious Studies CFP



Announcement ID: 206139


The Institute for Culture and History (ICH) & the Department of History, Archaeology and Area Studies of the Faculty of Humanities currently have a vacancy for a post-doctoral researcher (0,8 fte, three years) as part of the NWO project Religion Renegotiated: Faith-Based Organizations and the State in the Netherlands since the 1960s – Public Debate, supervised by Prof. dr. James Kennedy, conducted in close collaboration with Mr. dr. Hans-Martien ten Napel at Leiden University. Applications are now invited from excellent candidates with max. two years experience after obtaining their PhD who wish to conduct research on the changing relationship of church-state relations in the Netherlands since the 1960s and situate it in a broader transnational context.

More information:


Dear colleagues,

The Doctoral Program in Buddhist Studies at the

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany invites applications

for two PhD scholarships for dissertation projects related to Buddhism.

Deadline for applications: 15 October 2013

Start of scholarship: Spring semester 2014 or later

Duration of scholarship: 3 or 4 years

Scholarship amount: 1000 ? per month + insurance + support for rent +

460euro per year

Scholarship donor: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

The selection process comprises two stages: Applications are sent to

the Doctoral Program in Buddhist Studies in Munich. The program will

select promising candidates and forward their materials to the DAAD. In

a second stage, an election committee chosen by the DAAD will decide

upon the successful candidates. It is expected that the successful

candidates will be chosen and informed by March 2014.

The prerequisites for application are non-German citizenship (foreign

applicants should not have lived in Germany for more than fifteen months

at the time of their application), a Master of Arts or Magister Artium

degree or equivalent, excellent knowledge of at least one Buddhist

source language, outstanding qualifications in the subject and fluency

in English. A basic knowledge of German is also desirable and

willingness to learn German/improve German language skills will be


For details concerning the application, please visit our homepage:

With best regards,

Simone Heidegger