Annual conference2017

AASR Conference: Call for Papers Religious Diversity in a Changing World

Australian Association for the Study of Religion
with the New Zealand Association for the Study of Religion

Hosted by the Institute for Ethics and Society University of Notre Dame Australia

7th & 8th December 2017

Conference Programme

The 2017 AASR conference is to be held jointly with the NZASR conference at The University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA), co-hosted by UNDA’s Institute for Ethics and Society. The conference theme, ‘Religious Diversity in a Changing World’ invites academic reflections on religion and its relationship with contemporary social, political, and environmental changes.

Recent years have been marked by an unprecedented changes: Humanitarian crises, displaced peoples, climate change and the global rise of the new right contrast with the reinvigoration of feminist movements and other social justice movements, some generous responses to refugees, and the grownth of renewable energy.

These major upheavals, particularly migration and knowledge mobility, have led to a growth in religious diversity in many states, many of which struggle to adequately manage religious pluralism. Established religious institutions are challenged by these social and cultural changes that undermine their traditional authority. Atheist groups and the non-religious receive greater public attention and increasing support in the developed world, whilst ‘believing without belonging’ and a popular trend towards ‘spirituality’ continue to be significant.

The conference invites papers engaging these issues from relevant disciplines. Of particular interest are contributions examining the managing of religious pluralism/diversity domestically and internationally; the intersection of religious and social transformation; religious engagements with environmentalism; how challenges to gender and sexuality are engaged with by religions and religious actors; and the development of theologies and practices of diversity within and between religion traditions.

Send Paper abstracts to: Rosemary Hancock
Please include Title, Authors, Abstract (maximum 200 words), and University affiliation. Confirmations of acceptance will be sent September 1, 2017, so please submit your abstracts before that date. Late papers will be considered.

Keynote Speaker: Professor James Spickard, University of Redlands

'Is Pluralism Enough?: Reflections on the Management of Religious Diversity in a Time of Social Division'

Religious diversity is not new to human societies, but today's diversity is problematic in a new way. Massive international migration has spread disparate peoples across the globe, while increased religious individualism and cracks in the Westphalian state system have thrown new forms of identity to the fore. The result is a diverse intersectionality that at the present moment is a source of significant religious, ethnic, and political division. Are calls for pluralist dialogue and accommodation enough? This address will use recent developments in the U.S. to consider the effect of increasing economic inequality and shifts in the nature of the religious field on the possibilities for keeping the religious peace.

Penny Magee Memorial Lecture 2017 Alphia Possamai-Inesedy Western Sydney University

'Reconsidering Religion, Belief in the Digital Social'

The expansion and democratization of digital technologies in conjunction with the significant shifts taking place with how people practice religion and belief through digital technology demands a re-imagination and expansion of our research abilities and knowledge. Yet, review of the literature on what ‘we’ do online reveals generalizations that not only reproduce normative power relations, but also feeds into the development of theoretical arguments that provide only partial repositories of knowledge. ‘We’ in the digital sphere, are overwhelmingly presented as white, middle class westerners. For social scientists to better understand how the digital world actively constitutes notions such as religious/ belief identity, social networks, embodiment and social institutions there is a need to avoid these generalities. This presentation argues for scholars of religion to take up the challenges and the promises of the internet, not only must we understand the power relations that are at play in the digital social, we must also critically approach the field with an emphasis on the particular where Issues concerning users’ social position in terms of gender, class and ethnicity are crucial to consider.

AASR Conference Schedule

Thursday 7th December

11 am - 12 noon: Optional ARC Information Session on ARC Centres of Excellence

12.30 - 1 pm: Welcome

1 - 2.30 pm: ISA Panel: "Thinking Beyond the West: Exploring New Approaches to the Sociology of Religion"

     Prof Raewyn Connell, Prof James Spickard, and other speakers.

2.30 - 4 pm: Concurrent Sessions 1

4 - 4.30 pm: Afternoon Tea

4.30 - 6 pm: Concurrent Sessions 2

6 - 7 pm: Keynote Address: Prof James Spickard

     "Is Pluralism Enough?: Reflections on the Management of Religious Diversity in a Time of Social Division"

7 - 8 pm: Wine Reception

Friday 8th December

9 - 9.30 am: AASR Presidential Address: Prof Douglas Ezzy

     “Defending religious freedom and negotiating religious difference”

9.30 - 11 am: Concurrent Sessions 3

11 - 11.30 pm: Morning Tea

11.30 - 1 pm: Concurrent Session s4

1 - 2 pm: Lunch, including Women's Caucus meeting

2 - 3.30 pm: Concurrent Session 5

3.30 - 4.30 pm: Penny McGee Memorial Lecture: Assoc. Prof. Alphia Possamai-Inesedy: “Reconsidering Religion, Belief in the Digital Social”

4.30 - 5 pm: Afternoon Tea

5 - 6 pm: AASR AGM

Conference Dinner: 7 pm

*The AASR acknowledges the role of the Western Sydney University’s School of Social Sciences and Psychology and the International Sociology Association in funding the ISA panel.

Conference Registration and Contact

Registration opening TBA.

For all enquiries regarding the 2017 AASR Conference, please contact Rosemary Hancock

Conference Partner

The Institute for Ethics and Society is one of three research institutes at The University of Notre Dame Australia and conducts philosophical and interdisciplinary research on ethics and society. The Institute has five Research Focus Areas: Applied and Professional Ethics; Ethics Education; Bioethics; Religion and Global Society; Indigenous Research and Ethics.

Registration Fees

AASR Member $150 | Non-Member $180 | Postgraduates $120 | Friday only $100

Please fill out the form below and then Click Here to Register and Pay

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