Call for papers “RELIGIOUS CHANGE AND THE SHAPING OF SOLIDARITY AND  SOCIAL PARTICIPATION IN A TROUBLED EUROPE” per un numero speciale della Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia curato da Ferruccio Biolcati-Rinaldi (Università di Milano), Ruud Luijkx (Università di Tilburg, Olanda) e Cristiano Vezzoni (Università di Trento).


The theme of religious change is crucial in public and scientific debates and has relevant social and  political implications. Nowadays, there are different and partly conflicting trends going on in
Europe. On the one hand, the process of secularization is proceeding with the only exception of a few Eastern European countries; moreover, religiosity seem to acquire a more private dimension,
with individual religiosity and practices (like praying) prevailing over belonging to a Church and participating to religious services. On the other hand, new religious movements born both inside
and outside the traditional denominations are gaining momentum and extensively spreading. Next to these changes that are endogenous to European societies, other exogenous factors drive religious change and represent potential sources of conflicts. Among them the most significant seems to be the intensification of global migrations that increases religious diversity and pluralism of the European societies, challenging their social cohesion. As to these exogenous factors, the key question is how migrants’ religious background and practice favors or hinders the integration into host societies.
The call is looking for contributions dealing with the role played by religious change in shaping  solidarity and social participation. Editors are equally interested in longitudinal approaches that link religious change to changing forms of solidarity and social participation and in cross-sectional  approaches dealing with the relationship between solidarity, social participation and individual
religiosity. Although in partially different ways, the issue involves both the native and the migrant population.   Among the native population, individual religiosity affects attitudes towards redistribution and welfare state, social capital and opinions on migration (both extra- and intra-EU). Inside this broad  field, specific research questions can be addressed: e.g., is religiosity a driver rather than a constraint to the development of a European identity supporting social solidarity? Is there room for  the emergence of a new religious cleavage, linked to nationalism and populism? Are attitudes towards redistribution and welfare state changing for religious and non-religious people and in  different religious denominations? Is the relationship between trust and religiosity changing over time?

Among the migrant population, individual religiosity can affect the opportunities of social  participation in the labor market, in education, in the other realms of social life and the overall
degree of social integration in the host society. Divergent outcomes can arise among national groups characterized by different prevailing denominations as well as individuals with different
religious belonging within the same national group, for example in areas like education, labor  market and political participation.
It goes without saying that the triangle religiosity-solidarity-participation is exposed to the tensions activated by the ongoing European crisis and international conflicts. Both the economic and the
refugees crisis trigger geographical cleavages that partially overlap with well-known religious cleavages (Catholicism Vs. Protestantism, Catholicism and Protestantism Vs. Orthodoxy, etc.). The
economic crisis brought out contrasting views on solidarity among member states between Northern and Southern countries and also tensions on intra-EU migration between Western and Eastern European countries. The refugee crisis created an atmosphere of suspicion between Mediterranean and the other European countries, and even stronger friction between Western and Eastern countries.
On these premises, the call looks for contributions in English dealing, both empirically and theoretically, with the relationship between religiosity, solidarity and social participation within European countries. The call is keen on a variety of methodological perspectives: qualitative and/or quantitative, longitudinal and/or cross-sectional, comparative and/or national designs as well as case  studies are welcome and encouraged.

Deadlines and guideline

Abstracts due by November 15, 2016. All abstracts (500 words), with 5 keywords, should be sent as e-mail attachments to:
Communication from the Editors concerning the selection of articles by December 15, 2016.
Submission of first versions of articles to the editors by March 31, 2017.
Articles – written in English – should follow the journal guidelines and sent to:
Communication from the Editors concerning the peer-review process by June 30, 2017.
Revised versions sent to the editors by September 15, 2017.

Publication on issue 4/2017.

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Call for papers



Shaping and Defining the Notion of “Religion”

Museo delle Religioni “Raffaele Pettazzoni”


Shaping and Defining the Notion of “Religion”

July 12-13-14-15-16 2016
Velletri (Rome)
Call for Papers

Our conference aims to provide an occasion of reflection and interdisciplinary discussion about the concept of religion and the notions related to this topic. The aim of this meeting is to investigate the shaping and the development of the notion of religion in western thought. We plan to research and analyze the various ways in which specialized literature posed the concept of religion as the object of study, together with the phenomena that have been attributed to such concept and the properties that have been deemed peculiar to this sphere, according to the views and positions of each single scholar. We will pay attention to the aims these scholars had, the classifications and theories they elaborated and the historical context they worked in.

Papers submitted may deal with the following topics:

  1. The meaning and development of the Latin word religio as it emerges from the sources at our disposal.
  2. The study of the terms in extra-European cultures usually deemed to indicate specifically the religious sphere, as dharma, din etc. Analysis of their meanings and historical  development, based on the sources at our disposal
  3. How did historical religions obtain their current denomination? How has this denomination been interpreted?
  4. How did western thought and in particular specialized studies approach the possibility of:
    • defining the concept of religion.
    • finding the characteristics that define a religious experience as such.
    • identifying the characteristics that qualify a religious individual as such.
    • idefining which peculiar traits of a religious group are elements that qualify it as such.
    • idefining the notion of “folk religion”.
    • describing and differentiating “sacred” and “profane”.
  5. What are the peculiarity of religions “invented” by scholars, e.g., animism, manism, shamanism etc.? What are the theoretical backgrounds for creating those categories?
  6.  Birth and development of the classification of religions, e.g. “monotheism” and “polytheism”.

References: M. Eliade, Traité d’histoire des religions, Paris 1949; E. de Martino, Furore Simbolo Valore, Milano 1962; C. Lévi-Strauss, La pensée sauvage, Paris 1962; A. Brelich, Introduzione alla
storia delle religioni, Roma 1966; T. Luckmann, The Invisible Religion: The Transformation of Symbols in Industrial Society, New York 1967; P. Bourdieu, Genèse et structure du champ religieux, “Revue française de sociologie” 12 (3), 1971, pp. 295-334; C. Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures, New York 1973; Th.P. van Baaren – H.W.J. Drijvers (eds.), Religion, Culture and Methodology. Papers of the Groningen Working-group for the Study of Fundamental Problems and Methods of Science of Religion, Paris 1973; J.Z. Smith, Imagining Religion: From Babylon to Jonestown, Chicago-London 1982; B. Morris, Anthropological Studies of Religion, Cambridge 1990; D. Sabbatucci, Sommario di storia delle religioni, Roma 1991; E.T. Lawson – R.N. McCauley, Rethinking Religion. Connecting Cognition and Culture, Cambridge 1993; T. Asad, Genealogies of Religion: Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam, London 1993; U. Bianchi (ed.), The Notion of “Religion” in Comparative Research. Selected Proceedings of the XVI IAHR Congress, Rome 1994; T. Fitzgerald, A Critique of ‘Religion’ as a Cross-Cultural Category, “Method and Theory in the Study of Religion” 9 (2), 1997, pp. 91-110; A. Simonicca – F. Dei, Simbolo e teoria nell’antropologia religiosa, Lecce 1998; D. Sabbatucci, La prospettiva storico-religiosa, Formello (RM) 2000; M. Nye, Religion, Post-Religionism, and Religioning: Religious Studies and Contemporary Cultural Debates, “Method and Theory in the Study of Religion” 12, 2000, pp. 447-476; W. Braun – R.T. McCutheon (eds.), Guide to the Study of Religion, New York 2000; P. Boyer, Et l’homme créa les dieux, Paris 2001; A.L. Greil – D.G. Bromley (eds.), Defining Religion: Investigating the Boundaries between the Sacred and Secular, Oxford 2003; J. Corrigan, Religion and Emotion. Approaches and Interpretations, Oxford-New York 2004; G. Filoramo, Che cos’è la religione. Temi metodi problemi, Torino 2004; M. Stausberg (ed.), Contemporary Theories of Religion: a Companion, London 2009; P. Scarpi, Si fa presto a dire Dio. Riflessioni per un multiculturalismo religioso, Milano 2010; L. Berzano – A. Castegnaro – E. Pace, Religiosità popolare nella società post-secolare. Nuovi approcci teorici e nuovi campi di ricerca, Padova 2014; E. Pace, Una religiosità senza religioni. Spirito, mente e corpo nella cultura olistica contemporanea, Napoli 2015.

Our conference will be structured in the following sections:
1. Religious Anthropology (coordinator/supervisor Alessandra Ciattini – Sapienza Università di
2. Philosophy of Religion (coordinator Paolo Vinci – Sapienza Università di Roma)
3. Sociology of Religion (coordinator Enzo Pace – Università degli Studi di Padova)
4. History of Religions (coordinator Paolo Scarpi – Università degli Studi di Padova)

Administrative office: Igor Baglioni (Museo delle Religioni “Raffaele Pettazzoni”)

Please send a one-page abstract (max 2.000 characters) to Igor Baglioni, the director of the museum, ( by April 15.
Attached to the abstract should be: the title of the paper; the chosen area; a short biography of the authors; email address and phone number.

Papers may be written and presented in English, French, Italian and Spanish.

The acceptance of papers will be communicated only to the selected contributors by 2016, April 25.

Please send the complete paper not later than June 26. The delivery of the paper is required to
participate in the conference.

Important deadlines: Closing for call for papers: April 15th, 2016.
Admission: April 25th, 2016.
Delivery of paper: June 26th, 2016.
Conference: July 12-13-14-15-16th, 2016

There is no attendance fee. The participants who don’t live in Rome or surroundings will be accommodated in hotels and bed-and-breakfasts which have an agreement with the Museum of
Religions Raffaele Pettazzoni to offer discounted prices. Papers will be published on Religio. Collana di Studi del Museo delle Religioni “Raffaele Pettazzoni” (Edizioni Quasar), and in specialized journals. All the papers will be peer-reviewed. The conference will be associated to the cultural event “Castelli Romani. Mito, Religioni e Tradizioni Eno-Gastronomiche” organized by the Fondazione “Museo delle Religioni Raffaele Pettazzoni”. The town of Albano Laziale, Ariccia, Artena, Castelgandolfo, Genzano, Lanuvio, Lariano, Monte Porzio Catone, Nemi, Rocca di Papa and Velletri also patronize the event.

The conference participants are offered the opportunity to visit each evening one of these towns and participate in the cultural activities organized in occasion of the cultural exhibition for free. The excursion programme will be presented at the same time as the conference programme.

For information: email:


International conference


Padua (Italy), April 14-15, 2016

The relationship between religion and human rights is controversial and debated. The aim of the  international conference is to take stock of the complex connections between religion and
human rights, emphasizing that both the definition and the application of these two concepts are  influenced by the different social and cultural contexts within which they are placed.
Starting from the geopolitical changes which have involved contemporary society on a global scale, the conference intends to critically evaluate the two main narratives on this topic: on the
one hand religions understood as an element opposing the affirmation of human rights, and on the other religions considered as agencies facilitating the implementation of human rights.
Religious rights, understood as individual and/or collective rights, are disputed as well.
How do religious traditions and new religious communities approach human rights issues? How do states manage religious traditions and religious diversification? How are human rights
discourses and practices affected by the social context?
Participants are invited to explore from different disciplinary perspectives the following topics:

  • freedom of expression,
  • speech, choice, association;
  • non-discrimination;
  • gender issues;
  • religionstate relations;
  • violence;
  • conflict;
  • peace.

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Eileen Barker, London School of Economics
Lori Beaman, University of Ottawa
Willy Fautré, Human Rights Without Frontiers International
Silvio Ferrari, University of Milan
Enzo Pace, University of Padua
James Richardson, University of Nevada
Hans-Georg Ziebertz, University of Wuerzburg

The international conference is organized by the Joint PhD Programme on “Human Rights, Society, and Multi-level Governance” (Universities of Athens-Panteion, Padua, Western Sydney, Zagreb).

Scientific Committee:
Giuseppe Giordan, University of Padua; Adam Possamai, Western Sidney University;
Constantin Preda, University of Bucharest; Siniša Zrinščak, University of Zagreb.

Abstracts (300 words) should be sent to Giuseppe Giordan ( no later  than January 15th, 2016.

Acceptance notification will be sent by January 25th, 2016.

There are no fees for attendance.

Call “Sfide per il nuovo Papato” – Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia

Numero monografico di Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia
Sfide per il nuovo Papato – Studi sociologici 

Gli autori che intendano proporre un contributo al numero monografico (cfr. allegato) sono invitati a presentare un abstract (di circa 300 parole), redatto in italiano o in inglese e corredato di 5 parole chiave, entro il 15 novembre 2015 ai curatori tramite mail:, Gli articoli selezionati, che non dovranno eccedere la lunghezza complessiva di 50.000 battute (spazi inclusi e compresa la bibliografia), dovranno essere inviati entro il 15 marzo 2016 ai medesimi indirizzi.