Weekly Opportunities Digest (6 Mar 2012): Calls for Papers/Participants, Jobs, Studentships & Journals

Calls for Papers

BASR Annual Conference 2012

Borders, Boundaries and Transgressions: within and between religions

University of Winchester, UK, 5-7 September 2012

Keynote speakers are Prof Douglas Pratt, University of Waikato, New Zealand and Professor Douglas Davies, University of Durham

Scholars of religion and religions are invited to submit paper proposals related to the topic. The question of what religion is, whether there is such a thing, and, if so, what may constitute the borders and boundaries are matters of dispute. Papers exploring these topics, broadly conceived, including discussions of transgressions, whether within or between traditions or the conceptualization of the debates, are welcome.

BASR also encourages proposals for panels on specific topics, in particular (but not exclusively) as joint ventures with other subject associations.

Proposals in the form of a title, short abstract (300 words max.) and a brief biographical statement, including affiliation, should be sent, by Friday 2nd July 2012, to:

Dr Paul Hedges, BASR Conference,

Theology & Religious Studies, University of Winchester

SO22 4NR, UK or paul.hedges@winchester.ac.uk

Details of costs, accommodation, bursaries for postgraduate students, etc. are available on the BASR website http://www.basr.ac.uk

Material Religion in Modern Britain and her Worlds

8-9 June 2012, University of Glamorgan, Cardiff

This two-day symposium will explore material cultures of religious belief and faith in modern Britain. As Birgit Meyer, David Morgan, Crispin Paine and S. Brent Plate have recently pointed out, studying material objects provides us with an alternative evidence base in the study of modern religious belief (Birgit Meyer et al; 2011). Yet few attempts have yet been made to do so. While many scholars now concede that Britain’s religious landscape is more varied and rich than the narrative of secularisation allows, a tendency remains in the historiography of religion to privilege written sources over material manifestations of religion. This means that all sorts of belief practices have been overlooked. Analysing the material past, we propose, will provide scholars with new and exciting ways of understanding the apparently fraught relationship between modernity and religion. As Jane Bennett points out, objects are culture constructions and lead active lives in our social and cultural landscape. Religious historians have too often been guilty of adopting an implicitly Protestant binary (set up in opposition to Catholicism) in which words are privileged over objects. Yet everyday cultures of Protestant belief in Britain relied on all kinds of material cultures which sustained religion in an age of uncertainty.

Despite Britain’s ‘official’ Protestant past, we are nonetheless keen to encourage papers which explore religious denominations or groups beyond the official cannon and which made up Britain’s multi-faith landscape in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Papers are welcome which consider either formal or informal aspects of religious materiality. We would especially like to encourage papers that consider ‘Britain’s worlds’, including investigations of religious objects in the Empire or commonwealth or geographical locations inhabited by British people.

We hope to encourage an interdisciplinary dialogue by bringing together scholars in history, religion, art/design history, architecture and sociology.

Keynote speakers to be annouced

Possible themes or topics include:

  • Religious objects
  • Religious ephemera
  • The materiality of religious and sacred texts
  • Sacred Dress and Clothing
  • Religious Architecture and the built environment
  • Construction of sacred space
  • Social identity/identities including class, gender and life stage
  • Ideas surrounding materiality and religion
  • Advertising and Consumption
  • Making of religious objects
  • Religious Interiors and the domestic display of material objects
  • Religious aestheticism
  • Iconography

Please send abstracts of 400 words either Lucinda Matthews-Jones [l.matthew-jones@ljmu.ac.uk] or Tim Jones [twjones@glam.ac.uk] by 31st March.

The Conference will be hosted by the University of Glamorgan, Cardiff Campus.

We plan a number of publication outputs from this conference. If you are unable to attend, but would like to express your interest for future events or outputs, please email Lucinda Matthews-Jones [l.matthew-jones@ljmu.ac.uk] with a brief description of your work and a short CV. 

Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations


For over twenty years Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations has been one of the leading peer-reviewed academic journals providing a forum for the academic exploration and discussion of the religious tradition of Islam, and relations between Islam and other religions.

The journal seeks to provide a very timely turn-around time on articles submitted.  The editorial team is currently considering articles for publication in its special thematic issue titled “Reflections on the Arab Spring” to appear in October 2012.

The journal is edited by members of the Department of Theology and Religion of Birmingham University (Birmingham, United Kingdom) and the Centre for Islam and the Modern World of Monash University (Melbourne, Australia).

The journal is soliciting submissions based on a call for articles offering reflections on the Arab spring, and particularly on:

  • Islamic social movements and political reform
  • Muslim society pluralism and minority communities
  • Islam and democracy
  • Islamist politics

Articles should be sent to editor Professor Greg Barton (greg.barton@monash.edu), associate editor Dr Irfan Ahmad (irfan.ahmad@monash.edu) with copy to editorial assistant Virginie Andre (virginie.andre@monash.edu), in the form of e-mail attachments in simple Word format. For purposes of anonymity through the refereeing stages, the title alone should appear at the beginning, and references elsewhere that might lead to easy identification of the author should be omitted. All articles should be prefaced by an abstract of 150-200 words. The author’s postal and e-mail addresses, together with brief biographical details of about 50 words, should appear on a separate page. All pages should be numbered. Articles should be approximately 10,000 words in length (articles shorter than 9,000 words and longer than 12,000 words will not be considered), including references, appendices, tables and figures. Footnotes to the text should be avoided wherever possible.

Articles which the editors judge to have merit will be sent anonymously to two referees, and authors may be asked for changes and adjustments in the light of the referees’ reports.

Further instructions for authors regarding style guidelines, referencing and templates are available at:


Papers should be submitted by 24 April 2012.

Workshop: Haunting Memories – Unsettled pasts and disputed spaces

The workshop is being organised by the members  of the Crossing Cultures Research Group based in the School of Arts and Humanities at Stirling University.

We are looking for 10 minute contributions that address cultural expressions intersecting conceptions of Place, Memory and Identity.

Abstracts (maximum 300 words) and brief biographies (maximum 100 words) should be sent to the workshop organiser, Shani Zour, by 18. April 2012.

Participants who do not wish to present are also welcome: registration is required, and will be open from: 18th March 2012.

For more information please visit : http://www.crossingcultures.stir.ac.uk/events/haunting-memories-unsettled-pasts-and-disputed-spaces/

Journal for the Academic Study of Religion: Special Postgraduate Issue

Religion and Rethinking the Human

The ‘human,’ like that of ‘religion,’ is a category always under contestation. In current Euro-American scholarship and public culture, there is an acute anxiety about humans’ excessive reliance on technology, its environmental costs, and the ominous prospect of a post-human dystopia. These anxieties have been recognised, theorised, and allayed by a number of academic sub-disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. It is therefore noteworthy that the study of ‘religion,’ ultimately concerned with the consideration of one of the most enduring products of the ‘human,’ has yet to wholeheartedly embrace a deconstruction of this seemingly transparent category.

Although ‘humans’ are credited with creating ‘religion,’ ‘religion’ itself has played a central role in constructing the ‘human’ as we understand it today. This symbiotic relationship is multifaceted, multivalent, and under-theorised within much of the current field of the contemporary study of religion. In order to bridge this gap between the study of religion and the plethora of recent ‘turns’ in academic scholarship that trouble the ‘human,’ the Journal for the Academic Study of Religion (formerly the Australian Religion Studies Review) seeks papers that provide a valuable insight into this issue of endurance and relevance from a variety of interdisciplinary and methodological perspectives.

Articles may present viewpoints, arguments, and analyses on broad delineations of religion, religiosity, and any of the following, or other and divergent, topics:

  • The historical construction of the human
  • The human and the non-human, super-human, or post-human
  • Anthropocentrism and the biopolitical processes that bring about the centrality of the human and of certain humans
  • Notions of sentience, identity, and individualism
  • Human rights, law, governance, politics, media, and relations with ‘nature,’ climate, and the environment
  • Interspecies relations, especially between the human, the animal, the plant, the microbial, and the technological
  • Human evolution and cognition
  • The politics and governance of death, dying, and decomposition

This issue of the Journal for the Academic Study of Religion is a special issue that will be edited by postgraduate students featuring contributions from national and international postgraduate students. We are hoping that this will provide students not only with an important platform from which to share their research interests and efforts, but also an invaluable opportunity for the academic community at large to sample the high quality work and the innovation of scholars at a postgraduate level. We are seeking unique essays on the subject of Religion and Rethinking the Human that showcase the original research of students, and we welcome a variety of submissions that provide a unique insight into this highly pertinent issue.

If you would like to contribute to this Special Issue, please send your abstract to the guest postgraduate editors: George Ioannides (george.ioannides@sydney.edu.au) and Venetia Robertson (venetia.robertson@sydney.edu.au) by 1 July 2012. Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words and accompanied by a brief author biographical statement. Authors will be notified by the end of July, and the deadline for submission of complete articles (6000 words) will be 1 December 2012. Papers will be published subject to peer review. This special issue of the Journal for the Academic Study of Religion will be published in December 2013.

2012 Annual Meeting of the Dutch Association for the Study of Religion

The 2012 Annual Meeting of the Dutch Association for the Study of Religion (NGG) will be held at the University of Groningen on 25-26 October 2012.

Theme: “Religion and Social Cohesion: Challenges and Perspectives”

The 2012 Annual Meeting of the NGG uses the 100th anniversary of the publication of Émile Durkheim’s /Les formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse/ (1912) as an opportunity to look critically at the concept of ‘social cohesion’ and the many, often conflicting ways in which scholars, politicians, and others have correlated religion to values of equality, solidarity, democracy, and tolerance (or their opposites) in contemporary Western societies. We want to raise the question whether religion(s) and discourses on religion(s) promote social cohesion or social conflict in multicultural and plural modern societies. The conference will combine sociological, anthropological, and historical approaches to the theme of social cohesion and will provide a contribution to the ongoing debates in Europe regarding the benefits and problems of religious convictions.

We are honoured to present two distinguished keynote speakers:

– Prof. Lori Beaman, Canada Research Chair in the Contextualization of Religion in a Diverse Canada, University of Ottawa.

– Prof. Anders Klostergaard Petersen, Department of Culture and Society – Study of Religion, University of Aarhus, Denmark.

The full Call for Papers and additional information is attached to this email. See also the NGG website at www.godsdienstwetenschap.org for information and updates.

IIIT Summer Institute for Scholars

IIIT is pleased to announce its 5th Summer Institute for Scholars to be convened at IIIT, July 9-18, 2012.  The theme this year will be “Good Governance in Islam: Classical and Contemporary Approaches”. The program will include lectures, paper presentations and panel discussions. Selected papers and lectures will be considered for publication in a volume to be published by IIIT. IIIT will cover the cost of domestic travel and accommodation for participating scholars and will provide a $100 per day to cover living expenses plus a $1000 honorarium for scholars with papers accepted for publication and submitted on a timely basis.

For more details, please see the Call for Papers.

Abubaker al Shingieti, PhD

Executive Director, IIIT

500 Grove St., Herndon, VA 20170


Manuscripts and their Texts: Perspectives on Textual Criticism

With an emphasis on textual criticism, the 2nd* St Andrews Graduate

Conference for Biblical and Early Christian Studies* is aimed at graduate

students and early career scholars. Contributors are welcomed from the

following fields of research: Old Testament / Hebrew Bible, Pseudepigrapha

& Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament and Early Christianity.

There is a plenary speaker for each of these sections:

*Prof. Kristin de Troyer (St Andrews)*

*Dr. Johannes Magliano-Tromp (Leiden)

Dr. Peter M. Head (Cambridge)

**Prof. Karla Pollmann (St Andrews)*

We will also have a special invited lecture from *Dr. Grant Macaskill (St

Andrews) *on his edition of the Slavonic text of 2 Enoch.

Further details are available at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/divinity/rt/conf/mtt/

Deadline for abstract submissions is* 20 March 2011*, which are welcome at


‘Death in modern Scotland, 1855-1955: beliefs, attitudes and practices’

New College, University of Edinburgh, Friday 1 February 2013 – Saturday 3 February, 2013.

‘There remains a huge agenda for death research, offering a unique vantage point for the study of Scottish history’ (Professor Elaine McFarland of Glasgow Metropolitan University, 2004). Since those words were written, there have been increasing signs of interest, research and publications in death studies in Scotland.

This conference invites those who are researching death from whatever disciplinary perspective to offer papers whose total range will illuminate one hundred years of death in modern Scotland. These hundred years began with the passing of the Registration Act and the Burial Grounds (Scotland) Act in 1855 and end with the opening of Daldowie Crematorium in 1955.

Plenary speakers include:

Professor Elaine McFarland, Dr Elizabeth Cumming and Professor Hilary J. Grainger.

Papers will be particularly welcome on the subjects of:

  • death, grief and mourning;
  • funeral rites and rituals; customs and costume;
  • demographic and statistical interpretations; registration of death;
  • public health and medicine;
  • death, poverty, gender and social class
  • death, urban and rural comparisons
  • burial and cremation;
  • the development of funeral directing services;
  • theology, liturgy and funeral ministry;
  • monuments and memorialisation;
  • issues of architecture and landscape design;
  • the folklore of death; ghost narratives and beliefs; spiritualism;
  • death in war-time;
  • death, grief, mourning;
  • death in literature and the arts;
  • death and Scottish law;
  • violent death; the death penalty;
  • disasters: air, rail, sea and industrial;

Established research and work-in-progress welcomed.

Abstracts of 200 words maximum may be sent to Peter C. Jupp, Braddan House, High Street, Duddington, Stamford, Lincs PE9 3QE email peterc.jupp@btinternet.com or peter.c.jupp@ed.ac.uk

A follow-up call for papers with full conference details and names of plenary speakers will be published soon.

Revd Dr Peter C. Jupp,

Honorary Fellow,

Department of Divinity,

University of Edinburgh, UK.

Conference Committee: the Revd Dr Peter C. Jupp (Department of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, Chair); Dr Marion Bowman (Chair, Religion Department, Open University), Dr Susan Buckham (Independent Researcher; Kirkyard Consulting),  Ms Nicola Davidson (Divinity Department, University of Edinburgh); Dr Ronnie Scott (Glasgow).

Calls for Participants

Muslims and Political Participation in Britain

John McIntyre Conference Centre, Edinburgh, 20th and 21st April 2012

Registration is now open for this conference which focuses on the involvement of Muslims in all aspects of political life in Britain. Please visit the Alwaleed Centre Homepage www.alwaleed.ed.ac.uk and click on the Conference: April 2012 link. Here you will find the full programme and also details of our additional public event which will take place at the Scottish Parliament.

Places are limited so register now to avoid disappointment. The deadline for registration is 19th March 2012. The two day delegate rate is just £60 which includes lunch and refreshments on both days. Accommodation options are also available next to the conference venue.

For further information please contact Rosie Mellor: Rosie.Mellor@ed.ac.uk

The conference is organised by the Alwaleed Centre at the University of Edinburgh in partnership with the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge and the Muslims in Britain Research Network (MBRN).