Discussion starts with the entanglement of the concepts ‘religion’ and ‘secularism’, a brief discussion of the problems associated with the World Religions Paradigm, and then moves to the pedagogical merits and challenges of teaching ‘secularism/s’ within a World Religions model. We hope you enjoy this experiment!
For this interview with Lynn Davidman, we focus on the concepts of conversion and deconversion, illustrations of these processes in various contexts, what each term means and how each is experienced in someone’s life, the histories of these terms and their use in scholarship, and issues that arise from their conceptualization or use.
We are pleased to bring you this week’s opportunities digest and would like to express our gratitude to everyone who has submitted calls for papers, event notifications, job vacancies, etc. On that note, we would also like to encourage you to continue to do so (and invite those who remain hesitant to begin)!
It is super easy
The biennial conference of the New Zealand Association for the Study of Religions (NZASR) and the annual conference of the Australian Association for the Study of Religions (AASR) were held together in Queenstown, New Zealand from December 8-10 2015. Interdisciplinary perspectives and theoretical approaches across the humanities and social sciences were evident in the wide-range of papers presented. Islam, and Asian religions more generally, were the most consistent objects of focus, perhaps unsurprising given Australasia’s proximity to Asia and recent increased media attention to the Islamic State.
That this conference took place at the National University of San Marcos was quite inspiring. This was the first university on the continent with a theology and arts faculty during the second half of the sixteenth century. Now, almost five hundred years later, Peruvian academics still have an interest in studying religion. However, our current perspectives and methodologies are far more diverse, and ever broadening. I remain optimistic that, in the near future, the academic study of religion in Peru will be as widespread and supported as other research areas.
Calls for papers
Conference: Art Approaching Science and Religion
May 11–13, 2016
Åbo Akademi University, Sweden
Deadline: June 15, 2016
Conference: AAG 2016
March 29–April 2, 2016
San Francisco, CA, USA
Deadline: November 6, 2015
Conference: Moral Horizons
December 1–4, 2015
University of Melbourne, Australia
Conference: New Zealand Association for the Study of Religions
December 8–10, 2015
Queenstown, New Zealand
Please be aware that the previous Opportunities Digest contained two mistakes in the posting of the 41st Spalding Symposium on Indian Religions, which may have confused some readers. A corrected version of the listing is found below.
As usual, we would like to express our gratitude to everyone who has forwarded notifications. On
Those of us within psychology of religion who study secularity are privileged to be working in a time where secular beliefs and nonbelievers are starting to be taken seriously within the field as a whole.
Many of my participants felt that familiarity with Christianity permitted them to be critical in a way that they could not with other religious traditions.
In what sense can a country be “Christian”? Today on the Religious Studies Project, we welcome back Professor Linda Woodhead to discuss and interrogate the question “Is Britain Still a Christian Country?”, the topic of her recent Croall Lectures at the University of Edinburgh.
I hope I can place Webster’s research [on the Scottish Brethren] in the wider social and historical context, the ‘national level’ alongside the ‘local’ and ‘global’ ones.
Calls for papers
Conference: In Search of the Origins of Religions
September 11–13, 2015
Deadline: March 1, 2015
More information (French, English)
Conference: Second Undegraduate Conference on Religion and Culture
March 28, 2015
Syracuse, NY, USA
Deadline: February 15, 2015
Symposium: Society for the Study of Religion and Transhumanism (SSRT)
While often rigorously testing for variance among the religious, many studies treat the irreligious as if they have a static identity, resulting in an elision of the range of beliefs and behaviors that have been found within this growing group.
Making their own contributions to the discourse, Shook and Zuckerman briefly discuss the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Secularism they are co-editing, the growing field of secular studies, what it might mean to ’be secular‘, different secularisms, and offer up two different views of the relationship between categories such as ’religion‘ and ’secular‘.
In acknowledging how capacious and even misleading the “religiously unaffiliated” label has become, we might wonder if its growth is symptomatic of a taxonomy that has failed to keep pace with restructuring.