ISA RC-22 mid term conference will take place on November 11-14, 2021 in Vilnius, Lithuania as hybrid event (live and virtual). We invite sociologists of religion and scholars of religion of other disciplines throughout the world to take part in it.

Religion has always been an important resource helping people in times of uncertainty. The current world is rife with uncertainty: throughout the world societies struggle with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, recent waves of migration and a torrent of human rights violations of large scale, as well as threatening processes indicated by manifestations of climate change and the like. In these circumstances, religion remains important both in the private life of many believers and in public for a variety of actors, and often enjoys new opportunities to engage in a variety of public roles. Accordingly, we can observe a vigorous return of religion into public space and policies on local, regional, national, transnational and global levels evidenced, for example, by a growing role of religion in implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goals.

With questioning of the secularization thesis and a broadening scope of research to include a variety of non-Western contexts prompted, a public role of religion in modern societies has already been recognized. However, emergent social and political contexts raise new challenges in understanding and conceptualizing religious and secular actors, actions, politics and ideologies, their interactions and boundaries between them. How scholars and various other actors redefine religion in the context of increasingly conspicuous fluidity of boundaries between religion and politics on the transregional, transnational and global levels? How religion is transformed and relocated by diverse and shifting interactions of secular and religious actors, secular and religious ideologies and politics of the past and memory? What impact different historical contexts and their interactions have on the role of religious communities in relation to the increasingly international or global nature of policies and implementing communities? These and other issues related to religions, politics and uncertainty in contemporary societies we invite to discuss during the conference this year.


Vytautas Magnus University
Vilnius University
Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions


Submission of paper and session / panel proposals – September 15, 2021 (deadline is extended!)
Notification to authors – September 20, 2021
Early bird registration deadline – September 30, 2021
Registration deadline for presenting authors – September 30, 2021
Final program – October 15, 2021
Registration deadline for non-presenting participants – November 9, 2021


Dr. Anna Halafoff

Dr. Anna Halafoff

Deakin University

Prof. Jeffrey Haynes

Prof. Jeffrey Haynes

Metropolitan University


Timing in the program is provided in Eastern European Time Zone (UTC+02:00). The program was updated on November 9, 2021.
To download the program in pdf., please press HERE 

Afe Adogame, ISA RC22 president, Princeton University, US
Juozas Augutis, Rector of Vytautas Magnus University
Rimvydas Petrauskas, Rector of Vilnius University
Rasa Pranskevičiūtė-Amoson, President of Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions


10:50 – 11:10 Rūta Žiliukaitė “Traditional Christian Family Values” and Politics in Lithuania”
11:10 – 11:30 Anita Stasulane “The Social Role of Religion in Latvia: Case of Commemoration of the Deceased”
11:30 – 11:50 Vladislav Serikov “Drawing the Boundaries between Religion and Non-Religion in Contemporary Russia”
11:50 – 12:10 Rasa Pranskevičiūtė-Amoson “The Process of State Recognition of the Old Baltic Faith Romuva Movement”
12:10 – 12:30 Rosita Garškaitė “What do Catholics Talk About when They Talk About European integration? Between Euroscepticism and EU Support”
12:30 – 12:45 Discussion
13:30 – 13:50 Milda Ališauskienė “Does Gender Equality exist among Pagans? Diversity of Notions of Gender Equality among Lithuanian Pagan Women”
13:50 – 14:10 Eglė Aleknaitė “The Binary between the Religious and the Secular in Lithuanian Catholic Women’s Discourses on Gender Relations”
14:10 – 14:30 Dace Balode “Between Two Worlds: Women on Gender in Latvian Churches”
14:30 – 14:50 Anne Kull “National and International Activism against the Istanbul Convention: the Myths and Consequences”
14:50 – 15:10 Aivita Putnina “Fading Visibility of Women: Understanding of Gender in the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church”
15:10 – 15:25 Discussion
15:45 – 16:05 Ilva Skulte and Sofija Kozlova “Polarization of Discourse about Gender Roles, Family and Violence in Discussions about Istanbul Convention in Latvian Internet Media”
16:05 – 16:25 Girts Rozners “Fundamentalism and Women: Report on the Understanding of Gender Roles in Latvian Evangelical Churches”
16:25 – 16:45 Adelaide Madera “Religious Law, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation: Moving Forward With the Search of a Common Ground?”
16:45 – 17:05 Cecilia Delgado-Molina “Between Global a Local Debates on Gender, Sexual Diversity, and Religious Pluralism”
17:05 – 17:25 Paulina Rinne “On Skin and Substance: Borders and Bodies in Muslim Female Art”
17:25 – 17:40 Discussion
10:50 – 11:10 Laurentiu Tanase “Adapt and Update? The Challenge of Religiosity during the Pandemic in Romania”
11:10 – 11:30 Smita Chakraborty “Prayers, Paupers and the Pandemic: A Study Based on Temple Beggars and Alms System in Central Kolkata”
11:30 – 11:50 Brian Conway “Pandemic-related Discourses regarding Religion: The Case of Irish Catholicism”
11:50 – 12:10 Crisanto Q. Regadio Jr. “Administration, Ministry and Religious Observance in Evangelical Churches during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Philippines”
12:10 – 12:30 Roberto Cipriani “Uncertain Faith in Italy”
12:30 – 12:45 Discussion 


13:30 – 13:50 Massimo Introvigne “The Xie Jiao Tradition, Taiwanese Governments and Minority Religions, 1949–2021”
13:50 – 14:10 Yi-Jing Chen “Tai Ji Men and the Tai Ji Men Case: Politics versus Spiritual Minorities”
14:10 – 14:30 Rosita Šorytė “The United Nations, Transitional Justice, and Religious Liberty”
14:30 – 14:50 Cheng-An Tsai “Transitional Justice and Religious Liberty in Taiwan”
14:50 – 15:10 Tadas Snuviškas “On the Religious and Political Reasons of the Rise and Fall of Consciousness-Only School in China”
15:10 – 15:25 Discussions


15:45 – 16:05 Francis Benyah ““You Can’t Legislate the Holy Spirit”: Religious Freedom and the Contemporary Face of Christianity in Ghana”
16:05 – 16:25 M. Isabel Garrido Gómez “Religion Standards in the Rules of Law through Media”
16:25 – 16:45 Anna Vancsó “Christianity as a Contested Concept/Christian Churches as Clearly Defined Actors in the Hungarian Parliamentary Speeches since 2010”
16:45 – 17:05 Chrysa K. Almpani “Religion & IR: How Members of the European Institutions Understand the Religion-Politics Nexus”
17:05 – 17:25 Tuomas Äystö and Titus Hjelm “Religion in the Parliament of Finland from 2010 to 2020: The Patterns Among Parties and the Topics of Discussion”
17:25 – 17:40 Discussion
10:00 – 10:20 Susan Carland ““Please Don’t Hurt Me because of the Way I Look”: Muslim Women’s Public Engagement, Islamophobia, and Social Cohesion”
10:20 – 10:40 Haimo Schulz Meinen “Glorious Babes”
10:40 – 11:00 Rafael Cazarin “Exploring the Intersections between Religion, Science and Gender in Spain”
11:00 – 11:20 Mar Griera “Spirituality, Biomedical Technologies and “Healthy” Lifestyles: a Sociological Approach”
11:20 – 11:40 Halyna Herasym & Justin Tse  “The Transformative Power of Human Rights Rhetoric: Progressive Talk in Catholic Spaces”
11:40 – 11:55 Discussion
12:15 – 12:35 Indrek Pekko & Christo Lombaard “Returns to Denominations in the Baltics, Post-Communism? Observations and Demographic Trends in Discussion, with Lutheran Churches as Case Study”
12:35 – 12:55 Övgü Ülgen “The Complex Relation between Language and Religion: Talking about a Two-pronged Moroccan Jewish generation in Québec”
12:55 – 13:15 Nabeel CKM “Genealogy of Kerala Muslim Engagements in Environmentalism: A Case Study of Chaliyar Struggle”
13:15 – 13:35 Armando Garcia Chiang “Pluralization as the New Paradigm in Mexican Religious Context: The Sacred Places as a Tool to Apprehend Religious Plurality”
13:35 – 14:10 Discussion
14:50 – 15:10 Burak Kesgin “Demonizing Santa: A Fresh Look at the Anti-New Year’s Eve Movement in Turkey”
15:10 – 15:30 Jacek Skup “What’s in a Name? Religious Nationalism and the Renaming of Cities in Uttar Pradesh”
15:30 – 15:50 Julio Cesar de Lima Bizarria “Get Born Again: the Auratic Baptism and the Bodily Depths in the Messianic Project of Brazil’s Jair Messias Bolsonaro”
15:50 – 16:10 Giuseppe Maiello “Between Deep Ecology and Nationalism: The Origin of Russian Neojazychestvo”
16:10 – 16:30 Insa Bechert “ONBound – a Database for Answering Research Questions Concerning National Identities and Religion”
16:30 – 16:45 Discussion
Participants: Agita Misane, Milda Ališauskienė, Anne Kull, Titus Hjelm
10:00 – 10:20 Geoffrey Pleyers “Religion, Social Movements and Politics in Brazil. From Liberation Theology to Bolsonaro”
10:20 – 10:40 Maciej Krzywosz “How to Analyse Private Religious Revelations in a Sociological Context? Biographical Sociology Approach”
10:40 – 11:00 Dennis Erasga “Demonstrative Body: Spectacle of the Ritual Body in Healing Narratives Among Popular Religious Devotees in the Philippines”
11:00 – 11:20 Miguel Fernando Oliva “Religions and Social Networks: the God Node”
11:20 – 11:40 Patria Gwen M.L. Borcena “Sociological Snapshots of Laudato Si’ and Green Filipino Bishops”
11:40 – 11:55 Discussion
14:50 – 15:10 Jualynne E. Dodson “Church Building in the African Diaspora: Mt. Sinai Holy Church of Banes, Cuba”
15:10 – 15:30 Aušra Pažėraitė “Confusing Conceptions and Boundaries of Jewish Religious Communities today in Lithuania”
15:30 – 15:50 Vaishnavi Sreenivas “The Christian Baggage of Secularism: A Study of French and Indian contexts”
15:50 – 16:10 Armando Garcia Chiang “The Liberation Christendom in Mexico. Just a Memory or Still Valid?”
16:10 – 16:30 Susan Carland “Public & Private Ramadans: Exploring the Loci of Lived Religion”
16:30 – 16:45 Discussion 


Conceptualizations of Boundaries of the Public and the Private in the Context of Religion
Religion and Politics in Regional, National and International Communities
Religion and International Relations
Religion and Politics of Climate Change
Religion and Politics of Gender
Religion, Power and Politics
Religion and Human Rights
Religion, Populism and Ideologies
Religion and Politics of Migration

Religion, Ethnicity, Politics and Citizenship
Religion and National Identity

Religion and Politics of Past and Memory
Religion and History of Colonialism and Socialism
Religion, Politics and Media
Religion and Public Policy
Public Sociology of Religion
Religion and Science in Contemporary World
Religion and the Pandemics



Early bird registration deadline is September 30, 2021


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