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Religion in Europe Unit

Call for Proposals

This Unit analyzes religion in both Eastern and Western Europe or related to Europe in any historical period. We encourage interdisciplinary, interreligious, and comparative approaches, and we particularly welcome submissions from members of underrepresented groups in the Academy. For the 2022 meeting we especially seek proposals related to one or more of the following themes: 

  • For a possible co-sponsored panel with the "Religion and Migration Unit": The year 2022 marks the 500-year anniversary of the publication of Seder Eliyahu Zutra, one of the best early accounts of the expulsion of Jews from Spain and Portugal. In honor of this historic publication, we invite papers that consider the historiography of migration in Europe in relation to religion and particular religious or inter-religious perspectives/dialogues on migration/immigration; this may also reflect particular religious motivations among migrants. We’re especially interested in the historiography of migration as narrative in terms of “who gets to tell the stories” and how these narratives transform our understanding of the intersection of religion and migration. Papers that analyze either historical or contemporary examples and/or offer a comparative analysis of varied time periods are welcome.

  • For a possible co-sponsorship with the "History of Christianity Unit": In 1622, Pope Gregory XV canonized four major figures of the Catholic Reformation: Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier, Filippo Neri, and Teresa of Avila. Founders, missionaries, mystics, and exemplars of clerical reform, the making of these four saints represented the conjuncture of popular and official holiness in early modern Catholicism. Each was the focus of an emerging devotional cult, but held up as exemplary, each could likewise serve the larger theological and political goals of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. The four-hundredth anniversary of this moment of "Counter-Reformation" saint-making offers an opportunity to assess the many ways in which sanctity has been constructed in European religions. We seek chronologically and geographically diverse proposals for a panel on saint-making as a historical process that may address: political and social boundary construction; space and place; race and ethnicity in constructions of holiness; gender and sexuality; relationships between centers and peripheries/regional identities; social discipline; saints and popular culture; and innovation and dissent. Proposals need not focus on a single figure, location, or tradition. Comparative proposals and those that examine sanctity beyond Christian traditions are particularly welcome.

  • For a possible co-sponsored panel with "Religion in Public Schools: International Perspectives Unit": Constructions of religion in education: empirical and theoretical analyses from 21st century Europe. We welcome papers that offer qualitative and theoretical analyses on how religion is being addressed, contested, construed, or otherwise conveyed within various schooling communities and institutions across Europe. Main points of inquiry are: (a) how religion is theorized from below in the European school systems by all actors involved in the educational process (a1) in the practices implemented in the activities carried out in and outside the classroom and/or (a2) in the discourses/narratives produced in such activities and (b) how religion is theorized from above (b1) in official documents of the European institutions that implement international statements on religion education and/or (b2) in the official documents of the various European countries that implement European guidelines.

  • For a co-sponsored book roundtable with the "Platonism and Neoplatonism Unit": On the occasion of the publication of the Cambridge Companion to Christianity and the Environment this panel offers contributions by established and emergent scholars on one of the determinative existential issues of our time. Religion, and particularly Christianity, has played, and continues to play, a determinative role in shaping the human-nature relationship. Christianity has variously understood the environment as a gift to nurture and steward, as a book of revelation disclosing the divine mind, as a wild garden in need of cultivation and betterment, and as a resource for the creation of a new Eden. These ideas have been equally characterised as the source of our environmental crisis, and as the way out of it. Both the new volume and the panel bring together the work of leading international scholars on the subject from a diversity of fields to offer a comprehensive and systematic reflection on the complex relationship between Christianity and the environment that moves beyond disciplinary boundaries. On the occasion of its publication, both contributors and respondents will consider this volume and the wider topic of Christianity and the Environment.

We also welcome proposals that do not correspond to these themes, as well as proposals for complete pre-arranged sessions related to Europe in some fashion. Successful pre-arranged sessions will reflect gender and racial/ethnic diversity as well as diversity of field, method, and scholarly rank as appropriate.

Statement of Purpose

This Unit is designed to serve as a forum for the examination of religious issues related to the social, cultural, and political development of both Eastern and Western Europe. Its 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 the European experience.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection

Review Process Comments