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Religions, Social Conflict, and Peace Unit

Call for Proposals

Panel I: Whose Peace? Interrogating and Reconfiguring Religion and the Study of Peace

The field of study called religion and the practices of peace or religion and peacebuilding has been incorporated into policy fields, especially after September 11, 2001. The “mainstreaming” of religion also reflected the discursive trends of neoliberalism and the securitizing of “bad” religion. This mainstreaming presented itself as “postsecular” while mainly being inattentive to the critical study of religion as an anthropological comparative category deeply implicated in histories of colonialism, imperialism, and neocolonialism.  We seek papers that will robustly stretch the conversation. Proposals for “whose Peace? Interrogating and Reconfiguring the Study of Religion and the Study of Peace” can focus on the following topics (not an exhaustive list) through case studies and/or conceptually:

  • De-centering European Christianity in the study of religion and peace
  • The industry of religion and peacebuilding
  • Coloniality of peace, decoloniality of war
  • Religion and the critique of the liberal peace 
  • Interfaith movements and peace: Possibilities and Limits.
  • Religion, Peace, and Restorative Justice
  • Religion and the Aftermath of Genocides
  • Religion and Political Justice 
  • Public Policy and Peace: Possibilities, Lacunas, and Limits. 
  • Global South Approaches to Peace
  • Manipulations of Religion for Peace
  • Religion, Political Violence, and Transitional Justice
  • Religion,  and political futures 
  • Indigenous approaches to peacebuilding 
  • The political grammar of peace (paz, salam, shalom, frieden, pace…)
  • Religion and prophetic social movements 
  • Anarchisms, socialisms, and communalisms on Peace: Possibilities and limits.   


Panel II: Religion and Social Protest Across the Globe

The Religion, Social Conflicts, and Peace Unit seeks proposals that interrogate Religion and Social Protests from a global and intersectional perspective. We are interested in discussing the convergences of social, political, and religious forces in disrupting the convergences of neoliberalism, anti-Muslim racism, anti-LGBTQI+ communities, and Christianism or the deployment of a racialized “Christian identity” to preserve hegemonies. We welcome papers on the following topics:

  • Religion and resistance to neo-fascism in Europe (Italy, Spain, Hungary, etc.). 
  • Religion and social justice coalition building in the time of Trumpism
  • Religious responses to the intersection of religion and racism globally
  • Religion and Global Movements for Black Lives  
  • Religion and Indigenous Protest in Settler-Colonies. 
  • Interfaith Movements of Protest 
  • Religion and Labor Protests 
  • Religion and Immigrant Protests. 
  • Religion and Protest post-Covid. 


Panel III: Title: “Gender, Sexuality, and Protest: The Iranian Protests and Beyond”

Co-sponsors: Liberation Theologies unit; Religion, Social Conflict, and Peace unit; Women and Religion unit, Political Theology unit

The 2022 protests in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini while in custody of the country’s ‘guidance control’ (or, ‘morality police’) represent a new experience in the voice of youth, especially women, in articulating religious and secular theories of resistance. Its practical and intellectual impact continues to be felt in Iran and globally, especially through the amplification of the Kurdish protest slogan “Women, Life, Freedom!”. This session is dedicated to understanding the dynamics of gender and sexuality in activism and political change. Proposals are encouraged that touch on the role of women in protest with regards to the movement in Iran and internationally, as well as gender, women and the public role of the religious/secular at large. Other possible areas include:

  • Gender and sexuality as lens to think about protest, globally
  • The relationship between protest and religion
  • Non-oppositional ways of considering “loyalty” and “dissent”

Statement of Purpose

Relationships between religions and the causes and resolution of social conflict are complex. On the one hand, religion is a major source of discord in our world, but on the other, religious agents have often played a central role in developing and encouraging nonviolent means of conflict resolution and sustainable peace. While religion as a factor in conflicts is often misunderstood by military and political leaders, it is also the case that the popular call for an end to injustice is quite often a religious voice. We seek to add a critical dimension to the understanding of how religion influences and resolves social conflict. We want to develop and expand the traditional categories of moral reflection and response to war and also to investigate kindred conflicts — terrorism, humanitarian armed intervention, cultural and governmental repression, ecological degradation, and all of the factors that inhibit human flourishing. We also hope to encourage theoretical and practical reflection on religious peace-building by examining the discourses, practices, and community and institutional structures that promote just peace. Through our work, we hope to promote understanding of the relationships between social conflict and religions in ways that are theoretically sophisticated and practically applicable in diverse cultural contexts.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members

Review Process Comments

Please refrain from submitting panels that lack diversity