ISA World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan, July 2014

Research Committee on
Sociology of Religion, RC22

RC22 main page

Program Theme: Religion and Social Inequality

 

Program Coordinators

Number of allocated sessions including Business Meeting: 22.

 

For sessions program and schedule see

On-line congress program

 

Haifa`s Answer

Session Organizers
Roberto CIPRIANI, University of Rome, Italy, roberto.cipriani@tlc.uniroma3.it
Emanuela DEL RE, Unicusano Rome, Italy, ecdelre@gmail.com

Session in English

Not open for submission of abstracts.
The session offers a new way of interpreting visual sociology. The new developments refer to the fact that in recent years Visual Sociology has become an approach used also by those who were traditionally considered the “object” of sociological research. They have therefore become the “active subject”, through a process of development of the need for self-portraying that is to be considered a formidable value added and a natural evolution of the accessibility of the technical tools used in Visual Sociology. Moreover, individuals make use of the visual as a natural expansion of their ability to communicate, transforming the technological instruments and the new social media in part of their own personal language.

The authors analyze all this through their own experience of researchers who make use of visual sociology as a form of communication of their research results, making reference to a recent film-documentary they have filmed in Israel: “Haifa’s answer” The complex relation between the researchers, the people who are the “object” of the research and the context is explored under a number of perspectives, from which a multifaceted and fascinating alternation of roles with objects and subjects mutually engaging in intellectual and emotional challenges emerges.

 

Locating Religion in Civilizational Analysis

Session Organizers
Edward TIRYAKIAN, Duke University, USA, durkhm@soc.duke.edu
Said ARJOMAND, State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA, Said.arjomand@stoneybrook.edu

Session in English

Not open for submission of abstracts.

 

Multiculturalism and Religion: Contemporary Challenges and Future Opportunities

Session Organizer
Joshua M. ROOSE, Australian Catholic University, Australia, joshua.roose@acu.edu.au

Session in English

In a context defined by the globalization of information and ideas, increasing availability of new technologies, vast movements of people across national borders and the increased presence of religion in the public and political sphere, societies with official multicultural policies have hit a critical juncture. In the old world Western nations of Europe, multiculturalism has been increasingly portrayed as undermining national identity and security, a perspective largely based on the notion that religious (primarily Muslim) communities refuse to integrate and hold values incompatible with Western democratic traditions.

New world Western settler societies including Canada and Australia have largely reinforced a commitment to multiculturalism while emphatically rejecting ‘exceptionalism’ for religious minorities. The experiences of non-Western nations with flourishing pragmatic and everyday forms of legal pluralism and multiculturalism have been largely overlooked in contemporary scholarship.

This panel seeks to open a space for vigorous and informed sociological dialogue about current and potential future developments in the relationship between state forms of multiculturalism, legal accommodation and religion. In particular the panel invites contributions related to the following questions:

 

New Forms of Religious Organization

Session Organizers
Thomas KERN, Heidelberg University, Germany, thomas.kern@soziologie.uni-heidelberg.de
Insa PRUISKEN, Heidelberg University, Germany, insa.pruisken@soziologie.uni-heidelberg.de

Session in English

Over the past decades, the issue of religious organizations and organized religion worldwide has been predominantly studied and analyzed in terms of the “religious economy approach”. The market has become a central concept of the sociology of religion. Religious change is modeled as an outcome of (rational) choice and production. Under competitive conditions, the success of a religious "firm" depends on the attractiveness of its offer (Finke/Stark/Iannaconne 1997: 351).

We argue that the "religious economies approach" neglects the social embeddedness of markets (White 1981: 1; Granovetter 1985). It does not take into ac-count, for example, that organizational structures as well as membership in organizations are impacted by changing institutional logics anchored at the societal level (Friedland/Alford 1991, Thornton et al. 2012), cultural frames at the field level (Lounsbury et al. 2003) and identity codes residing within an organization’s audience (Hannan/Hsu 2005). From this point of view, recent changes in the global religious landscape – for instance the rise of mega churches in the US and other world regions, the formation of Islamic organizations in Western Europe, the formal organization of Buddhist or Taoist spirituality in East Asia – are considerably affected by the emergence of new organizational structures and the transformation of organizational environments.

We invite papers which address religion from an organizational science perspective as well as papers which deal with new forms of organized religion.

 

Non-Religion in Question: Ethics, Equality, and Justice

Session Organizers
Susanne SCHENK, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany, s.schenk@em.uni-frankfurt.de
Cora SCHUH, schuh@em.uni-frankfurt.de

Session in English

Recent research shows how in different parts of the world expressive nonreligiosity goes hand in hand with aims for social reform. Competing visions of ontology and normative orders are played out in societal battles over education, sexual rights, gender equality and social justice. For a number of outspokenly nonreli-gious groups in Europe, the United States, but also the Philippines, India and other regions, demonstrating the secular nature of our world is a key strategy in socio-political activism.

Concurrently, the normative and ontological base of secularism has been criticized as a culturally specific yet powerful form of moderating legitimacy. Secularism has thus been discussed in relation to the legal and moral reshaping of colonial states. In a similar take political liberalism has been the subject of considerable debate regarding its potential to grant equal access to the public sphere to both secular and religious citizens.

More research about how (non)religious ways of ‘being in the world’ and social activism are linked is needed. The panel therefore provides space to discuss the multiple entanglements of (non)religion with questions of justice, equality, and ethics. Conceptual contributions, as well as empirical research from different regions are welcome.

 

Poster Session: Topics in the Sociology of Religion

James SPICKARD, University of Redlands, USA, jim_spickard@redlands.edu
Esmeralda SANCHEZ, University of Santo Tomas, Philippines, emysanchez2001@yahoo.com

Session in English

 

RC22 Business Meeting

Session Organizer


 

RC22 Presidential Session: Facing an Unequal Post-Secular World

Session Organizer
Adam POSSAMAI, University of Western Sydney, Australia, a.possamai@uws.edu.au

 

RC22 Roundtable I. Religious Organizations

Session Organizers
James V. SPICKARD, University of Redlands, USA, jim_spickard@redlands.edu
Esmeralda SANCHEZ, University of Santo Tomas, Philippines, emysanchez2001@yahoo.com

Session in English

 

RC22 Roundtable II. Organized Conversations on Religious Research

Session Organizers
James V. SPICKARD, University of Redlands, USA, jim_spickard@redlands.edu
Esmeralda SANCHEZ, University of Santo Tomas, Philippines, emysanchez2001@yahoo.com

Session in English

 

Religion and Countering Gender Inequality

Session Organizers
Anna HALAFOFF, Deakin University, Australia, anna.halafoff@deakin.edu.au
Emma TOMALIN, University of Leeds, United Kingdom, e.tomalin@leeds.ac.uk
Caroline STARKEY, University of Leeds, United Kingdom, trs6cf@leeds.ac.uk

Session in English

Not open for submission of abstracts.
The intersections between religion, culture, gender and inequality are current, potent and highly charged. We need only to reflect on the Delhi gang rape and its aftermath, the rejection of women Bishops in the Church of England and Malala, student and women’s educational campaigner shot by the Taliban in order to spark emotive, and often polarized, debate. Re-sponding to high-profile events such as these, this panel will bring together cutting-edge research into the diverse ways that religion intersects with gender inequality. Our interest is in presenting scholarship from wide-ranging locations, but focusing particularly on contemporary religious traditions and contexts that may not have received adequate academic attention. Our panel will invite papers that are able to dissect the complex meaning of ‘gender inequality’ in relation to religious traditions, and that speak to two primary themes;
  1. Gender inequality and religious leadership
  2. The role of transnational religious movements in countering gender inequality
Finally, we will consider what role, if any, current socio-logical scholarship has in countering gender inequality in relation to religion.

 

Religion and the Transition to Adulthood

Session Organizer
Kati NIEMELA, Church Research Institute, Finland, kati.niemela@helsinki.fi

Session in English

The period between childhood and adulthood – often called as emerging adulthood, is a period of great changes overall, often also in relation to religion. The young generation stands out as a challenging group for churches and religious organizations. They cast doubt on traditional beliefs and values and do not blindly follow what they have learned in childhood. Numerous studies indicate that young people today are less religious than earlier age cohorts. Young people are at the forefront of religious change and they are the ones showing future direction of religiosity.

This session welcomes research on young people and their relation to religion. We welcome papers on young people‘s beliefs, practices and faith and their engagement with institutional religion. Papers on religious change in the transition adulthood are of special interest.

 

Religion as a Factor in the Composition and Decomposition of Ethnic Identities

Session Organizer
Miroljub JEVTIK, University of Belgrade, Serbia, jevticmiroljub@yahoo.com

Session in English

Composition of ethnical identities has been influenced by many different factors. One of them is religious belonging. If we take a look into world’s ethnical map we will see that religion has composed many ethnical identities. As an example take India and Pakistan, or Balkan where ethnical identities were made by religious belonging. Situation is similar with other coun-tries. If we take Georgia for example, where majority of population are Orthodox Christians, we will see that ethnical community of Adjaras was made only because they were, in general, Muslims even though they speak Georgian. In this subfield, most important fact is the influence of Islam on ethno – genesis in Africa. Under the influence of Islam, many indigenous African ethnical groups are transformed into Arabs and accepted Arabic as a language of communication with other Muslims, but in their own homes as well. Consequently, today we have Arabs who belongs to totally different races.

 

Religion, Nationalism and Transnationalism

Session Organizers
Patrick MICHEL, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, France, patrick.michel@ens.fr
Adam POSSAMAI, University of Western Sydney, Australia, A.Possamai@uws.edu.au
Brian TURNER, City University of New York, USA, bry-ansturner@yahoo.com.sg

Session in English

Not open for submission of abstracts.
With the permeability of borders and the greatly increased speed and volume of international communication and transportation, we are now in a new regime of transnationalism. In this post-Westphalian world, religions are now taking part in a network society that cuts across borders. If world reli-gions have dominated the global sphere for centuries, we are now faced with a plethora of new religious re-compositions that strive across frontiers.

This session will explore the impact of globalisation on the relation-ship between religion and nation, religion and national-ism, and the changes that transnationalism has brought on religious groups (and vice versa).

 

Religious Diversity and Social Change in Contemporary East Asia

Session Organizer
Michiaki OKUYAMA, Nanzan University, Japan, mokuyama@nanzan-u.ac.jp

Session in English

Following the prolonged economic growth of the past few decades, some East Asian countries have experienced financial crises, stagnating economies, and the worsening of social and economic inequality. With folk and popular religious cultures as their basis, and prior to the Western impact of Christianity in the modern period, the Confucian tradition from China and the Buddhist tradition from India prevailed to varying degrees in different areas of East Asia. Against this backdrop of religious diversity composed of folk religions, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Christianity, a number of new religious movements also appeared in the modern period. Thus the religious diversity of East Asia exhibits a variety of characteristics within countries that have developed their own distinctive political and economic systems.

This session will discuss the kind of relevance this religious diversity in East Asia has had regarding contemporary social changes in the region, and how it has reacted to social changes in general, in particular social inequality.

 

Sociology of Religion in Africa: Challenges and Prospects

Session Organizer
Afe ADOGAME, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, A.Adogame@ed.ac.uk

Session in English

The social-scientific study of religion in Africa has witnessed remarkable shifts, growing from narrow concerns to a wide variety of paradigms. In what way(s) is the African experience of modernity unique and relevant for wider social theory, and sensitive to the discursive nature of sociological interest of what makes religion socially (ir) relevant? The sociology of religion has been criticised as imposing itself on the study of religion in Africa. The view contends that there is no such thing as sociology of religion in Africa, it is more appropriate to write about the study rather than the sociology of religion in Africa.

How far have scholars engaged sociological concepts, theories and methodologies in responding to the particular circumstances of the African continent, especially its trajectory in the production of knowledge? Are scholars formulating adequate social analysis models to respond to the challenges inspired by the expressive performance of religious forms in African socio-political domains? Religious forms in Africa either reinforce or transcend sociopolitical, ethnic, regional, class, age and gender identities and boundaries. How do we interrogate challenges of disorder, conflict/violence; the social relevance of religion in civil societies; and the negotiation of boundaries and identities under the impact of globalization?

 

Spiritual and Religious Capital

Session Organizers
Christo LOMBAARD, University of South Africa, South Africa, ChristoLombaard@gmail.com
Maria HAMMERLI, Université de Fribourg, Switzerland, maria.haemmerli@unifr.ch

Session in English

Scholars exploring the function of religion and spirituality do not seem to reach agreement regarding the issue of inequality: some researchers identify religion and/or spirituality as factor/s in reproducing existing patterns of inequality, whereas other authors argue the opposite, that religion/spirituality contribute to overcoming social inequality. A third position is pos-sible in this debate, expressed by a minority of authors who argue that religion/spirituality go beyond the issue of inequality because they point to something other than social order. This panel will focus on the understanding of reli-gion/spirituality as forms of “capital” and will therefore investigate religious/spiritual capital in relation to ine-quality. We invite papers which approach these issues both theoretically and empirically.

Furthermore, we would like to draw attention to the fact that an increasing body of literature distinguishes between religion and spirituality as two opposing in-stances. Within journalism a kind of tradition has been developed in which "spirituality" is most often used with positive connotations when "religion" is used with negative implications. This reflects the developing wider societal reflex to regard religion as restrictive, whilst spirituality offers more open engagement with existential questions (e.g. with a popular slogan that one`s orientation could be "spiritual but not religious"). In theology "religion" most often still describes traditional dogmatological and institutional concerns, whereas "spirituality" refers to the wider and deeper, that is more experiential and more intuitive, aspects of religiosity. Recent developments in religious studies have shown that “religion” is in decline, whereas “spirituality” is on the rise.

Surprisingly, this differentiation is not entirely clear when it comes to identifying specific capital-type re-sources religion/spirituality give rise to. Much of the literature about religious/spiritual capital uses these terms interchangeably and fails adequately to explain the content underpinning the concepts. We encourage papers which can contribute to addressing specificities of religious and spiritual capital and relate them to the issue of inequality.

 

The Impact of Neoliberal Policies, Practices and Ideas on Religious Organizations

Session Organizer
Tuomas MARTIKAINEN, Abo Akademi University, Finland, tuomas.martikainen@abo.fi

Session in English

 

The Role of Religion in the Public Sphere

Session Organizer
Inger FURSETH, University of Oslo, Norway, inger.furseth@kifo.no

Session in English

A major trend in many countries during the past twenty years is that religion has become more visible, and perhaps more significant, in various public sphere(s). Different factors affect the seemingly new visibility of religion, such as religious diversity due to immigration, minority claims for equal opportunities to practice religion, the mobilization of religious move-ments with political aims, upheavals, and efforts to contest or protect the traditional roles that certain forms of religion have had or have not had in the public.

These factors have implications for the relations between religion and the state, the political debates on religion, the role of religion in the media, and what religious leaders do to position themselves in changing religious landscapes. This session discusses the role of religion in relation to the state, in politics, the media, and civil society. It also deals with more theoretical claims of the return of religion to the public sphere(s). Comparative, cross-national and cross-cultural papers are especially welcome.

 

Uses of the Past: The Politics of Religion and Collective Memories

Session Organizers
Marian BURCHARDT, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany, Burchardt@mmg.mpg.de
Mattias KOENIG, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany, Koenig@mmg.mpg.de

Session in English

The recent rise of public religion has been closely connected to the reconstruction of collective memories of religious as well as secular pasts. Collective and cultural memories are (re-)activated whenever reference to the past is brought to bear for different purposes such as the definition of collective identities and the drawing of symbolic boundaries; or for addressing past injustices and claiming rights. In some places, collective memories contain hegemonic accounts of history which give a distinctive place to certain religious communities or even grant supremacy to particular religious traditions, thus limiting the scope and legitimacy of religious pluralism.

In other places, increasing religious diversity and secularization have forged a context in which some, often rapidly growing, social groups mobilize secularist memories and posture as proponents of modern rationality or liberal democracy and conceptualize such notions as “culture”. Many such memories respond to experiences of collective trauma while their forms of expression range from ritual to media spectacle and legal discourse. Across the globe, such collective memories have furthermore become subject to international standardization and transnational diffusion processes.

This panel aims to discuss the politics of cultural memo-ries of religion and secularism and its variegated uses. Adopting a decidedly global comparative approach, it welcomes theoretical, macro-sociological case studies as well detailed ethnographies from any part of the world.

 

Welfare and Civil Society: The Role of Religion

Session Organizer
Per PETTERSSON, Karlstad University, Sweden, Per.pettersson@kau.se

Session in English

In addressing issues of social inequality politicians and policy makers across the world are increasingly talking about religion, not least in the sense of calling on faith based organizations to play an active role as welfare providers as part of civil society. At the same time religious groups and organizations struggle with the impact which the increased cooperation with public authorities this requires can have on identity, theology and potential to act as critic of the system.

This session invites papers which address these perti-nent issues. Contributions may address evidence from empirical research and/or theoretical reflection on issues of faith based organizations as welfare providers or challengers of value systems in welfare, individual religiosity in the encounter with welfare services, faith-based organizations as actors in civil society in the wel-fare arena or other related issues.

 

Joint Sessions

Click on the session title to read its description and the scheduled day/time.

Religion, Immigrants, and Health

Joint session of RC15 Sociology of Health , RC22 Sociology of Religion [host committee] and RC31 Sociology of Migration

 

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