This Unit is designed to serve as a forum for scholarly dialogue on religious issues related to the social, cultural, and political contexts of Eastern and Western Europe and beyond, seeking to help guide critical conversations about Europe and its global entanglements. Our guiding principles include a commitment to scholarly dialogue across disciplines, a comparative spirit sensitive to Europe’s religious diversity, and a transhistorical appreciation of the full trajectory of European-related experiences.
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Religion in Europe Unit
Call for Proposals for November Meeting
This Unit analyzes religion in both Eastern and Western Europe or related to Europe (broadly defined) in any historical or contemporary period. We encourage interdisciplinary, interreligious, and comparative approaches, and we particularly welcome submissions from members of underrepresented groups in the Academy.
Violence and Protest from the Margins
We seek papers that examine the intersections of religion, violence, and dissent in Europe, responding to the AAR Presidential call to understand violence in relation to "the hierarchical understanding of beings and valuation of their lives." Papers that are historical in nature (2024 marks 500 years since the outbreak of the German Peasants War) are welcome, as are papers examining contemporary religious dissent and protest in Europe. We are interested in papers considering a variety of religious communities and traditions, and we likewise welcome multiple disciplinary perspectives.
Antisemitism and Islamophobia have been rising dramatically across Europe and North America. While there are distinct underlying social structures, political dynamics, and cultural phenomena that have fueled the emergence and evolution of antisemitism and Islamophobia, especially from country to country, they are often intertwined in certain ways and echoed across contexts. In light of these troubling trends, we seek papers that explore the complex distinctions between and/or intertwinings of antisemitism and Islamophobia in Europe or North America, or papers that offer a deeper perspective of either antisemitism or Islamophobia in comparative light between Europe and North America. We also welcome papers that problematize or contest these terms (antisemitism and Islamophobia), their conceptual formulations, their applicability, and their usefulness in certain contexts due to residual colonialism and ongoing intersections/confrontations with white supremacy. We encourage attention to how global events affect the rise of and relationship between antisemitism and Islamophobia and/or interreligious relations in either contemporary or historical contexts.
We seek papers that consider legal regimes and discursive practices related to "free speech" around "religion" (both terms variously defined and contested by states, practitioners, and others in the public sphere). We aim to include papers on both US and European contexts in order to highlight diverse approaches taken by democracies in policing speech (or not). Papers that are explicitly comparative are welcome, alongside those that consider cases from the US and particular European states. Papers that consider the changing nature of regulation in digital media spaces are especially encouraged.
We also welcome proposals beyond these themes, especially proposals for complete pre-arranged sessions related to religion and Europe, broadly interpreted. Successful sessions will reflect gender and racial/ethnic diversity, as well as diversity of field, method, and scholarly rank as appropriate.
Call for Proposals for Online June Meeting
"What is 'religion in Europe?' Roundtable: For this virtual summer roundtable, we're looking for several contributions that engage with a brief theoretical, methodological, or theological reflection on the assessment, definition or problematization of 'religion' in Europe (including specific national contexts or Europe otherwise conceived), including reflections on the relationship between 'religion' and secularism in European contexts. For this special short panel, we'll ask each participant to discuss a single image for approximately 5-7 minutes, before then engaging in a panel-wide exchange and discussion, followed by Q&A.
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Angela Bernardo, Sapienza University of Rome1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027
Tyson Herberger, University of Southeastern Norway1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026
Karsten Lehmann, University College for Teacher Education of the Churches, Vienna/Krems1/1/2019 - 12/31/2024
Daniel Rober, Sacred Heart University1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027
Ehsan Sheikholharam, University of North Carolina At Chapel Hill1/1/2024 - 12/31/2029
Jonathan Teubner, Harvard University1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027