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.