Religious Studies Opportunities Digest – 7 September 2012

7 September 2012 Issue

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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
  • Lectures
  • Conferences

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.


Liz Greene, Magi and Maggidim: The Kabbalah in British Occultism 1860-1940.

Studies in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology Vol. 3, Lampeter: Sophia Centre Press, 2012. £48.00, Paperback, 558 pp. ISBN 978-1-907767-02-9

Liz Greene’s major historical study of the Kabbalah in recent British occultism is published by the Sophia Centre Press on 4 September 2012.

Using primary sources Greene challenges the notion that western occult Kabbalah is a reinvention of ancient sources, and argues that Jewish scholars had a direct input into the modern British ‘occult revival’. For a full description and contents please see


There is an advance order discount until 21 September.

A fascinating and erudite exploration of the development of modern Kabbalah. Liz Greene’s knowledge of the subject is wide and deep, and this book is masterful in its nuanced unpicking and re-weaving of the history of an occult tradition often marred by poor research and generalisations. Professor Owen Davies, University of Hertfordshire.

LIZ GREENE is a tutor for the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology in the School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology at the University of Wales Trinity St David, and an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Bristol.


The Journal of Hindu Studies – Advance Notice

Journal of Media and Religion, vol 11, no.3,


CFP: Sensing the Sacred: Religion and the Senses, 1300-1800

(The University of York, UK, 21-22 June 2013)

Date: 2012-11-05

Description: Sensing the Sacred: Religion and the Senses, 1300-1800 The University of York, England, UK 21-22 June 2013

Confirmed keynote addresses from: Nicky Hallett (University of Sheffield) Matthew Milner (McGill University) & Chris Woolgar (University of Southampton).

Contact: sensingthesacred  [at]


Announcement ID: 196611

We invite abstract submissions to the thematic session TRANSCULTURAL CHRISTIANITIES to be held at the 32nd ISSR (International Society for the Sociology of Religion) Conference in Turku, Finland 27-30 June, 2013. DL for submissions is October 31st.

32nd ISSR Conference



Turku-Åbo, Finland, 27-30 June, 2013

STS 25



TUIJA HOVI Åbo Akademi University (

MINNA OPAS University of Turku (

English abstract:

During the past decade, in particular, the study of Christianity has attracted great interest among anthropologists and scholars of religion. Attention has been paid especially to the forms global Christianity, especially Pentecostal-Charismatic and Evangelical Christianity, take when spreading to new locations. However, the ways local Christians around the world understand, conceptualise and find significant (or insignificant) the global nature of Christianity still remain understudied. In this thematic session, we aim to examine the role of globality in local Christians’ conceptualisations and practices of Christianity: to what extent do they consider themselves a part of a global Christian community and how do their conceptualisations affect their practice of religion.

We welcome contributions approaching these questions from a variety of denominational (and non-denominational) contexts and perspectives. The latter include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • dynamics between inclusiveness and exclusiveness

  • circulation and use of economic resources

  • interaction between missionary and local churches

  • role of different media for people’s Christian vocation

  • temporal dimension of shared Christian faith

  • dogmatic issues such as salvation, End Times, biblical fundamentalism etc.

  • conceptualisations of health, well-being and sexuality

  • views on texts and translations

French abstract

Au cours de la dernière décennie, en particulier, l’étude du christianisme a suscité un grand intérêt parmi les anthropologues et des spécialistes de la religion. L’attention a été portée en particulier sur les formes que le christianisme mondial prend lors de son épandage dans de nouveaux endroits. Toutefois, les manières dont les chrétiens locaux à travers le monde comprennent, conceptualisent et trouvent le caractère mondial du christianisme reste encore peu étudié. Dans cette session thématique, nous cherchons à examiner le rôle du mondialisme dans les conceptualisations des chrétiens locaux du christianisme – dans quelle mesure ils se considèrent comme une partie d’une communauté chrétienne mondiale – et les façons dont ces conceptualisations influent sur la pratique religieuse des gens.

Send your paper abstract to the convenors of this session (Tuija Hovi and Minna Opas) before OCTOBER 31st 2012.

Note that the ISSR/SISR rules for proposing a paper are strict so, please, follow carefully the guidelines below:

Use only standard times new roman font in 12pt and bold when asked, see below.

Give the following information in the set order:

  • Specify the session for which you send in a proposal: (STS 25)

  • Write then the title of your proposed paper in bold in the two official languages of the ISSR/SISR.

  • Next give the Family Name and First Name of the author(s) in bold, followed, but not in bold, by the institutional affiliation.

  • Then give the e-mail address of the author. If there is more than one author; give the e-mail address of the principal author with whom the Convener(s) or the General Secretary should correspond if needed.

  • The abstract should follow in the language that will be used during the presentation at the conference (200 words maximum)

  • Finally, a shorter summary of your abstract (100 words maximum) in the second official language of the ISSR-conferences should be typed in italics. If English is used in the presentation, then the translation should be in French (and vice versa)

If your proposal does not fit the model set it cannot be put on the web site and will be returned to you by the Convener or the General Secretary for adaptation by yourself to the model set.

Important notice:

Presenters of papers HAVE TO BE MEMBERS of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion (ISSR). If you are not yet a member, you can become one after your paper abstract has been accepted via the web site Note also that each participant may only present one paper at the conference.

For more information on the conference see

Socrel / HEA Teaching and Studying Religion, 2nd Annual Symposium

Call for Papers

 The 2012 Socrel / HEA Teaching and Studying Religion symposium will explore the theme: Religion and Citizenship: Re-Thinking the Boundaries of Religion and the Secular.

The symposium is organised by Socrel, the BSA Sociology of Religion Study Group, with funding from the Higher Education Academy, Philosophy, and Religious Studies Subject Centre. Last year’s inaugural symposium was over-subscribed and therefore early submissions are encouraged.

Keynote speaker: Dr Nasar Meer, Northumbria University

Venue: BSA Meeting Room, Imperial Wharf, London

Date:  13 December 2012

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Religions today are implicated in a wide variety of publics. From contests over the environment and democracy to protests against capitalism, religions remain important factors in political and public life across diverse, and interconnected, global contexts. A variety of diverse responses have been articulated to the so-called ‘return of religion’ in the public sphere, drawing into question relations between the religious, the non-religious and the secular. As scholars have developed new theoretical understandings of the terms of these debates and questioned how these are bound up with cultural conceptualizations of citizenship, education – in schools, universities and less formal educational contexts – has often been a site where contestations of the religious and the secular have been acutely felt.

The aim of this symposium is to consider the interrelation between conceptions of the religious, the secular, citizenship and education, and to explore how these issues affect the study of religion in higher education. We hope to attract presentations of sufficient quality to lead to an edited publication.

The day will be highly participative and engaged. The symposium will be organised as a single stream so that the day is as much about discussion as it is about presentation, and therefore the number of formal papers will be limited.

Papers are invited from students, teachers, and researchers in the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, geography, theology, history, psychology, political science, religious studies and others where religion is taught and studied. Empirical, methodological, and theoretical papers are welcomed.

Presenters will circulate a five-page summary of their paper before the day so that all participants can come prepared for discussion. Presentations will last 10 minutes and will be structured into three sessions, each followed by a discussant drawing out key points. The day will conclude with a discussant-led, focused panel discussion.

Key questions to be addressed may include, but are not limited to:

What are the relationships between the religious, the secular and the public sphere, and how do these affect the study of religion, in both universities and schools?

How do different historical constructions of religion and secularity shape understandings of the civil sphere and citizenship, and what are the implications of this for the study of religion?

Does the increased public visibility of religion in national and global contexts affect how we study it?

What is the role of religious education (school and/or university) in forming citizens and shaping understandings of citizenship?

Are there distinct regional, national or international conceptions of the secular?

Are there distinct regional, national or international conceptions of citizenship?

How do different disciplines approach and study these conceptions, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches?

Abstracts of 200 words are invited by September 15 2012. Please send these to: Dr Paul-François Tremlett

Costs: £36.00 for BSA/SocRel members; £45.00 for non-members; £20.00 for SocRel/BSA Postgraduate members; £25.00 for Postgraduate non-members.

Last date for submission of abstracts extended to 21st September 2012

Digital Methodologies in the Sociology of Religion

16th November 2012, Enterprise Centre, University of Derby

Organised by the Centre for Society, Religion & Belief (SRB), University of Derby

Funded by Digital Social Research (DSR)

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 forSociety, 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 21st September, 2012. Shortlisted participants will be notified by 28th 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 – please enquire about these by e-mail. Further details about the registration process will be circulated by mid-September2012. Please visit our website – for further details.


The Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Otago invites applicants for the confirmation path position of Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Religion. The position is open to candidates specialising in the study of either Buddhism or Islam.

The successful applicant will be expected to undertake research leading to publication, supervise postgraduate students, and teach undergraduate and post-graduate papers on either Buddhism or Islam, and to contribute to other papers as may be appropriate within the successful candidate’s sphere of expertise. He or she will also contribute to the administration and development of academic and intellectual programmes and be part of the Department’s Distance Learning programme.

Applicants need a PhD and knowledge of languages relevant to their area of research expertise. It is hoped that duties will commence on 1 February 2013.

Specific enquiries may be directed to Dr Will Sweetman,

Department of Theology and Religion,

Tel 64 3 479 8793, Fax 64 3 479 5158, Email

Applications quoting reference number 1201137 close on Monday 1 October 2012.

Further information:

The Max Weber Center at the University of Erfurt invites applications for the position of a

Researcher in Ancient History of Religion – 65 % (26 h/week) within the research project „Lived Ancient Religion“ (directed by Prof. Dr. Jörg Rüpke). The position is to be filled from 1st December 2012 onwards. The initial contract is for two years. The salary is according to TV-L E 13 (starting from brutto 24855,56 € p.a.).

Lived Ancient Religion“ takes a completely new perspective on the religious history of Mediterranean antiquity, starting from the individual and “lived” religion instead of civic religion. “Lived religion” suggests a set of experiences, of practices addressed to, and conceptions of the divine, which are appropriated, expressed, and shared by individuals in diverse social spaces, from the primary space of the family to the shared space of public institutions and trans-local literary communication. The member of the team we are looking for has to work on the formation of literary and expert discourse about religion and ritual (e.g. in the field of divination) and individual appropriations of such discourses in the Imperial period and thus to contribute to the analysis of the interaction of individuals with the agents of traditions and providers of religious services in the Mediterranean world. The group’s methodological approach is defined through the notions of religious experience, embodiment, and “culture in interaction”. For further information see The project is financed by the European Research Council.

As a member of the team, the researcher is obliged to also share into the research tasks of the team, e.g. in preparing workshops, conferences, and publications.


The ideal candidate needs to


  • have an excellent MA or comparable degree in History of Religion, Classical Philology or Ancient History

  • should aim at a doctoral degree based on her or his research project

  • have a very good knowledge of English

  • have excellent knowledge of the relevant ancient language(s)

  • have substantial experience in analysing literary texts

  • fulfil the general admissions rules of § 84 Abs. 4 Thüringer Hochschulgesetz.


Any admission to the doctoral program of the Max Weber Center presupposes the participation in interdisciplinary colloquia.


For further information please contact joerg.ruepke [at]


The University of Erfurt is an equal opportunity employer and encourage in particular applications by women. Ceteris paribus seriously handicapped people will have preference.



Please send your application with CV, copies of your final school and university degrees, a copy of your MA thesis, and an outline of the research project you would like to pursue puntil 14 October 2012 to: University of Erfurt • Max Weber Centre • PO Box 900 221 • D-99105 Erfurt • Germany or to

ursula.birtel-koltes [at]


As the University cannot refund any costs incurred by applying, your applications will not be resent. Please use photocopies or pdf files.

University of Southern California – Assistant Professor of Asian

Religions with specialization in China or Korea


University of Toronto – Scarborough – Professor, South Asian History


College of Wooster – Assistant Professor, East Asian History


Northeastern University – Assistant Professor, Chinese History 19th

and/or 20th Century


University of Virginia – David Dean Chair in Asian Studies




Catholic University of America – Assistant Professor, Medieval Islam


McGill University – Assistant Professor, Ottoman and Turkish Studies


Newcastle University – Lecturer in Japanese Studies


University of Otago – Dunedin – Lecturer in Japanese


Yale University – Assistant Professor, Modern or Contemporary

Japanese Literature


Stanford University – Assistant Professor of Philosophy


Stanford University – Professor of Philosophy


Lehigh University – Assistant Professor, with focus on Religions

related to Africana Studies


University of Southern California – Assistant Professor of Asian

Religions with specialization in China or Korea



Theos Annual Lecture 2012

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams

Central Hall Westminster

Monday 1st October, 6.30pm for 7.00pm

I’m writing to invite you to the fifth Theos Annual Lecture, which will be delivered by The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams on 1st October 2012. In one of his final public appearances before standing down, he will speak about ‘The person and the individual: human dignity, human relationships and human limits’.

The lecture will explore ways of understanding the human person as shaped and conditioned by relations with God and others – and the risks of reducing personal dignity to individual wellbeing alone.

The evening will be chaired by Mishal Husain. Mishal presents news bulletins on BBC1, is well known internationally for her work on BBC World News and has also presented BBC2’s Newsnight. Beyond the news, Mishal has presented documentary series on Gandhi and British Islam.

Theos annual lectures explore issues of religion in public life. Previous annual lecturers include now-former BBC Director General Mark Thompson, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, General Lord Richard Dannatt and Lord Blair, former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

Please let us know by 24th September if you’re able to join us.

Elizabeth Hunter





Rome, 20-21 September 2012

Palazzo Falconieri, Accademia d’Ungheria, Via Giulia 1, Roma