European Association for the Study of Religion call for papers: Helsinki 2016

EASR 2016 Conference
Relocating Religion
Helsinki 28 June – 1 July 2016
Annual conference of the EASR
Special conference of the IAHR
Welcome to the annual conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR) that will
be held from 28 June – 1 July 2016, at the University of Helsinki, Finland. The theme of the conference is
Relocating religion.
Religion has always been a moving concept. Throughout history, it has changed place, shape, function and
content; conceptions of religion have been dependent on theoretical or political interests and strategies.
Religion can be framed as a means of identity-work, world-building and well-being, but it can also be
perceived as a consumer good or a security threat. Due to the open, fragile, and inherently negotiable
nature of the category of ‘religion’, rigid definitions produce simplistic and distorted representations of the
complexities involved in the formation of religious phenomena. At the same time, attempts to define and
redefine religion in various contexts are themselves an important topic of research. All of this requires
interdisciplinary scholarly imagination and critical new approaches.
In recent scholarship, religious change has been conceptualized from a variety of theoretical perspectives.
When focusing on the modern period, some scholars speak about the vitalization of religions, secularization
and post-secularity, while others refer to re-sacralization and re-enchantment. Concurrently, the need for
more knowledge and understanding not only of religion, but also of secularization, secular positions and
non-religion has been underlined. Many of these perspectives highlight the significance of religious change
as a cultural and social phenomenon. Such perspectives are, however, equally applicable to the study of
religious transformations in other contexts than the modern period. The conference will offer the
opportunity to explore changes and continuities in the forms, practices and implications of religion at all
levels of societies and cultures, in the past as well as in the present.
The language of the conference is English.
The keynote speakers are:
Giovanni Filoramo, University of Turin
Anne-Marie Korte, University of Utrecht
James R. Lewis, University of Tromsø
Linda Woodhead, University of Lancaster
Call for session proposals:
1 September to 30 October 2015
We invite proposals for closed sessions (with a fixed chair and speakers) and open sessions (with a chair
and a theme).
Notification of acceptance:
15 November 2016 at the latest
Call for individual papers:
15 November to 31 December 2015
Notification of acceptance:
15 February 2016 at the latest
15 February to 1 May 2016

Organizers: The conference will be organized by the Study of Religions at the University of Helsinki in
collaboration with the Finnish Society for the Study of Religion, Comparative Religion at the Åbo Akademi
University and the Donner Institute, Turku.

Welcome: On behalf of the organizing committee, cordially welcome to Helsinki,
Tuula Sakaranaho, President of the conference
Heidi Rautalahti, Conference secretary
For further information, please, contact: