Call for Papers: (Non)religion in Question: Ethics, Equality and Justice.

ISA World Congress
Yokohama, Japan; July 13-19, 2014
Theme – Facing an Unequal World: Challenges for a Global Sociology
RC22 theme is “Religion and Social Inequality”

Call for Papers: (Non)religion in Question: Ethics, Equality and Justice.

Dear Colleagues,
You are invited to submit an abstract for possible inclusion in this session.
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 nonreligious 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.

Chair and Discussant: Johannes Quack and Jonathan VanAntwerpen

Deadline for submission is September 30th 2013 as laid out in the conference guidelines. Please submit the abstract (max 300 words) at:

We wish to thank you in advance for your interest and look forward to your contributions.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate contacting us.

Best regards,
Susanne Schenk, Cora Schuh (Session Organizers)

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23. – 24. Mai 2013: Workshop “Être indifférent aujourd’hui en France et en Allemagne: entre religion, spiritualité et sécularisme” in Straßburg

Strassbourg_SMALLOur research team was kindly invited to participate at the workshop on the phenomenon of “religious indifference”, which was organized by Linda Hennig, Dr. Bruno Michon, and Dr. Pascal Siegers, and held in Straßbourg on May 23 to 24, 2013.

Dr. Johannes Quack and Cora Schuh gave a presentation on “Locating Religious Indifference within a Relational Approach to Nonreligion”, Susanne Schenk and Alexander Blechschmidt on “Not religious, nonreligious, or indifferent to religion? Organized humanism and freethinking in Sweden and the Philippines”.

Photo: (c) by Alexander Blechschmidt

16. Mai 2013: Workshop mit Prof. Dr. Monika Wohlrab-Sahr (Uni Leipzig) und Prof. Dr. Peter J. Bräunlein (Uni Göttingen)

On May 16, 2013, we had a one day workshop with Prof. Dr. Monika Wohlrab-Sahr, professor of Cultural Sociology at Leipzig University, who led the project on “Multiple Secularities”, and Prof. Dr. Peter J. Bräunlein, professor of Religious Studies at Bremen University, who conducted anthropological fieldwork in the Philippines and is currently working in the research network on the “Dynamics of Religion in Southeast Asia” (DORISEA) at Göttingen University. Both scholars were asked to give extensive comments, criticisms and further suggestions on the revised research proposals of the three Ph.D. candidates after their pre-studies in order to prepare for the upcoming fieldwork.

4. Mai 2013: Vortrag von Dr. Johannes Quack am Museum für Völkerkunde in Hamburg

Museum_HamburgOn Saturday, May 4, 2013, Dr. Johannes Quack, the principal investigator of our research group, gave a lecture at the “Museum für Völkerkunde” in Hamburg on

“Die Rationalisten in Indien: Ein Fallbeispiel zur Vielfalt der Nichtreligiosität”
(The rationalists in India: a case study of the diversity of nonreligion).

The series of lectures held at the museum focused on intercultural (non-)religiosity and was part of the cultural programme of the German Protestant Kirchentag.

29. April 2013: Workshop mit Dr. Matthew Engelke (LSE)

On Monday, April 29, 2013, we had a one day workshop with Dr. Matthew Engelke from London School of Economics (LSE). He presented some of his work on humanist groups in Britain. He also reflected and commented on the research proposals of the three Ph.D. candidates.
On the next day, Tuesday, April 30, 2013, our group attended the guest lecture of Matthew Engelke at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity.

21. Januar 2013: Vortrag über “Die Rationalisten in Indien” von Dr. Johannes Quack

Quack_Vortrag_Januar2013Am Montag, den 21. Januar 2013, hat Dr. Johannes Quack, der Leiter unserer Forschergruppe, einen Vortrag zum Thema

“Die Rationalisten in Indien: Ein Fallbeispiel zur Vielfalt der Nicht-Religiosität”

im Rahmen des Forschungskolloquiums von Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Kohl am Institut für Ethnologie der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/Main gehalten.