The Emmy-Noether-Project, “The Diversity of Nonreligion,” is happy to be hosting a workshop on “religious indifference” in Frankfurt am Main, from November 13th to 15th.
The concept of religious indifference has been used to describe a specific mode of nonreligiosity that is an expression of extremely low concern for religion. As such “indifference” is to be distinguished from religiosity on one hand and avowed atheism on the other. Furthermore, religious indifference can take various modes, for example that of “existential” or “cognitive” indifference (Pollack, Wohlrab-Sahr, and Gärtner 2003).
As with other modes of nonreligiosity, the social status of religious indifference varies according to the constitution of the religious field and the general socio-cultural context (Quack 2013, 2014). Referring to the British case, Bagg and Voas (2010) argue that current indifference is primarily the result of changes in the religious landscape of Britain and the increasing religious and social acceptance of people who do not practice any religion. Conversely, if religion is deeply embedded in civil culture, religious indifference might be negatively perceived as a form of social dissent (Wohlrab-Sahr and Kaden 2013). Bullivant (2012) by contrast, has introduced an alternative meaning of religious indifference by hinting at the seemingly paradoxical situation of rising interest and concern with religion in European secularized societies; what is at stake here is not a positioning towards personal religious belief, behavior, or belonging, but the (dis)interest in public-political manifestations of religion.
While anti-clericalism or other anti-religious expressions have visibly accompanied processes of secularization, indifference seems to be an important yet unaccounted feature of contemporary societies. In the upcoming workshop, we seek to bring together different scholars who wish to (further) engage with the concept of religious indifference.
The workshop will take place in Frankfurt am Main, from November 13th-15th.
Please note that the workshop’s primary goal is to develop a joint publication. In order to do so, we suggest that all participants write a draft article and distribute it to the other participants prior to the workshop. These articles will be discussed during the workshop itself. We welcome theoretical contributions and methodological and methodic reflections as well as case studies from different national or regional contexts.
Please send a short abstract for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for application is February 28th. The working language will be English.
Further dates of importance:
• All participants will be provided an extended conceptual sketch: Spring 2014
• Participants submit a draft article: October 2014
• Revision of articles by participants: Spring 2015
• Final Submission: Summer 2015