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Month: June 2015

Conference on “Transnational Religious Movements, Dialogue and Economic Development”

Conference on “Transnational Religious Movements, Dialogue and Economic Development”

Call for papers
Conference on “Transnational Religious Movements, Dialogue and Economic Development: The Hizmet Movement in Comparative Perspective”
University of Turin, Turin (Italy), 10-11 December 2015

Transnational religious actors, and civil society faith-based movements are a well-established reality of the contemporary world, which is however still understudied especially at the comparative level. Only recently, with the rise of transnational radical Islam, have religious actors started to be regarded as influencing the international and global systems, sparking a significant scholarly production. As a consequence, much of the recent literature in this sub-field has focused on pro-conflict radical and terrorist networks. However, in today’s Europe there are notable cases of transnational faith-based movements which are engaged in education and dialogue, as well as in the economic field, with proposals for interesting new entrepreneurial models merging free-trade principles and social/moral concerns. This conference aims at contributing to a better comprehension of this phenomenon.

Its first day will focus on a relevant example of dialogue-oriented group: the Hizmet movement, inspired by the Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen, which is portrayed by many as an example of modern, ‘enlightened’ Islam, oriented towards dialogue and co-operation rather than conflict. In recent years the movement has been the focus of extensive international scholarship – both appreciative and critical – dealing with its founder and his teachings, its schools in Turkey and abroad, its relations with Turkish politics and society and the role of women therein. Although many interesting works exist about its development in countries other than Turkey, so far few coherent efforts have been made to understand its development at the transnational level. This is true particularly in relation to comparative works which can highlight the common points and the differences between the movement and other religious groups, either within Islam or belonging to other religious traditions. This conference aims at filling that gap by including papers addressing the Hizmet movement in its transnational perspective: either by analysing its activities, development and institutionalisation in different countries, or by comparing it to other dialogue-oriented religious movements. Different disciplinary perspectives, from political science to sociology, anthropology and law, as well as different methodological perspectives, are welcomed.

The second day of the conference will address more broadly the field of contemporary religious movements by focusing on the economic and entrepreneurial activities carried out by faith-based groups and the economic models which inspired them. The above-mentioned Hizmet movement is an example of a religious movement successfully engaged in several entrepreneurial activities, particularly in the education and media fields. However, religion-related entrepreneurship is widespread also in the Christian world, as shown for example by the Focolare movement, which inspired the ‘communion’ or ‘civil’ economy, marked by a strong solidaristic orientation within the free-market economy. Moreover, some ‘new’ religious movements which are not part of ‘traditional’ religions also propose interesting entrepreneurial activities in a neo-communitarian perspective strongly marked by spiritual values. This section of the conference welcomes contributions about the relationship between religious movements and economy, both through single-case studies and broader comparative and theoretical works.

The conference is funded by the University of Turin and the Compagnia di SanPaolo Foundation, and co-sponsored by the ‘Religion and Politics’ standing group of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), the IPSA RC43 ‘Religion and Politics’ Research Group and the Istituto Tevere based in Rome. It will take place on 10-11 December 2015 and will be hosted by the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society of the University of Turin (Italy) at the Luigi Einaudi Campus (CLE).

Prospective paper givers can send a proposal of up to 250 words, as well as any enquiry, to the scientific coordinator of the conference, Dr. Luca Ozzano, at the address: luca.ozzano@unito.it, and to the organization assistant, Dr. Chiara Maritato, at the address: chiara.maritato@unito.it.
The deadline for paper proposals is 15 September 2015.

Call for panels: 2016 IPSA conference – Istanbul

Call for panels: 2016 IPSA conference – Istanbul

24th World Congress of Political Science – International Political Science Association (IPSA)

Call for Panels is NOW OPEN!
The Research Committee 43 ‘Religion and Politics’ welcomes the submission of panel proposals (in English or French) for its section. Panel proposals (no more than 250 words) must be submitted online, after creating a free account on the site ipsa.org, at the address: http://istanbul2016.ipsa.org/events/congress/istanbul2016/submit-panel

Please also send copy of your proposal to the section convenor Jeff Haynes, at the address: jeff.haynes@londonmet.ac.uk

Information on how to submit a panel can be found at this address:
http://istanbul2016.ipsa.org/sites/default/files/submit_a_panel_instructions.pdf

The deadline for the submission of open panels is July 8th, while closed panels, already complete with paper proposals, can be submitted until October 7th.
The call for papers (for open panels only) will open on August 7th and close on October 7th.

Vacancies: John Cabot University – Rome

Vacancies: John Cabot University – Rome

The John Cabot University, based in Rome, has opened the following positions in the field of political science:

Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs
John Cabot University, a four year, fully-accredited American liberal arts college in Rome, Italy, invites applications for a full-time faculty position in political science and international affairs at the assistant professor rank. We seek candidates with a Ph.D. in Political Science, demonstrated excellence in teaching and research, and commitment to academic service.
The ideal candidate will be expected to teach introductory and advanced undergraduate courses in international relations and global public policy with a load of three courses per semester. Ability to teach classes in American politics and foreign policy is an asset.
The candidate should be a graduate of an American university or have extensive experience in the American liberal arts educational tradition. The initial appointment is for two years with the possibility of tenure. Candidates are expected to be fluent in English, which is the language of instruction. Applicants should send a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, transcript, three letters of recommendation, one or two research papers or journal publications, and evidence of teaching excellence to: politicalSciSearch@johncabot.edu. The deadline for applications is October 31, 2015. Only short-listed applicants will be notified.

Visiting Assistant/Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs
John Cabot University, a four year, fully-accredited American liberal arts college in Rome, Italy, invites applications for a visiting faculty position in political science and international affairs at the assistant or associate professor rank. We seek candidates with a Ph.D. in Political Science, demonstrated excellence in teaching and research, and commitment to academic service. The candidate will be expected to teach introductory and advanced undergraduate courses in political science and international relations. The ideal candidate should be a graduate of an American university or have experience in the American liberal arts educational tradition. The search is open to all subfields.
The appointment is for one year, from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016. Candidates are expected to be fluent in English, which is the language of instruction and have permission to work in the EU. Applicants should send a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, transcripts, three letters of recommendation, one or two research papers or journal publications, and evidence of teaching excellence to: plsearchvisiting@johncabot.edu. The position will remain open until filled. Only short-listed applicants will be notified.

http://www.johncabot.edu/about_jcu/employment-opportunities/teaching-opportunities.aspx

Call for Papers: Religion, Gender, and Sexual Citizenship

Call for Papers: Religion, Gender, and Sexual Citizenship

Call for Papers
Revista Crítica de Ciências Sociais
Editors: Ana Cristina Santos, Teresa Toldy, Alberta Giorgi
Deadline for submission: 17 July 2015

Religion plays an important role in contemporary societies and in different geographical contexts. Debates on bioethics, gender relations, sexual and reproductive rights, among others, show the centrality of the religious position, which is in dialogue with, or opposed to, human rights and intimate citizenship issues.

At the crossroad of these perspectives, in recent years many controversial topics came to the fore: control over women’s body, regulation of sex-workers, debates on reproduction and scientific and medical procedures, recognition of same-sex marriages and homoparenthood. These issues, among others, sparked huge controversies in both the private and the public sphere. This special issue aims to focus on the intersections between religious and political debates concerning family models and their regulation, sexuality, reproduction, and gender relations. This call for papers aims to bring together relevant, original, and interdisciplinary contribution to the topic.

Texts must follow the guidelines for publication available online and sent by email to rccs@ces.uc.pt, with explicit indication of “Religion, Gender, and Sexual Citizenship” in the subject of the message. Although the journal favours publication in Portuguese, it accepts manuscripts in other languages (English, French, Spanish, and Italian).

All submissions will be subjected to evaluation through a peer-review process as described in the guidelines for publication.

International Workshops: Is secularism bad for women? Women and Religion in Multicultural Europe

International Workshops: Is secularism bad for women? Women and Religion in Multicultural Europe

International Workshops:

Is secularism bad for women? Women and Religion in Multicultural Europe

How can societies secure religious women’s freedom and flourishing? What political arrangements offer the most to those who are religious and female? Given the increased visibility of religion in the globalized world of the 21st century, these questions demand urgent answers.

Frequently, the rights of women and religious people are pitted against each other. Laws, policies and practices are advocated that will help either those of faith, or women, but not both. Gender equality or religious freedom is prioritised, but the other group is marginalised. Religious groups argue for their right to express and practice their beliefs, to educate their children in a faith-based school or to use religious decision-making bodies – for instance rabbinic courts or sharia arbitration councils – to settle family conflicts. Some take this further and argue that the state should align itself with a particular faith, making its laws reflect religious traditions and texts. Women’s rights activists argue for religious freedoms not to be granted at women’s expense – for instance challenging enforced gender segregation in public education and unequal marriage laws – and press for gender equality in employment, personal relationships, healthcare, culture and politics.

Yet there is major disagreement about the role of religion in the fight for gender equality. Is religion – at least some forms of it – an impossible impediment, something that must be destroyed in order for women to be free? Or can religion be a positive force in women’s lives, something that enhances their wellbeing and aids social justice?

Some writers argue that a form of political secularism is the best way to ensure gender equality. Allowing religious organisations political power enshrines gender inequality by giving state support to religious cultural practices that harm women (e.g. FGM, polygamy, forced marriage or forbidding abortion), they say, and leads to the state funding religious fundamentalists who pose as moderates. Reflecting political theorist Susan Moller Okin’s controversial 1997 essay ‘Is multiculturalism bad for women?’ they criticise multiculturalism (a political approach adopted from the 1970s to celebrate ethnic and religious diversity) as entrenching gender injustice. But other scholars consider secularism a bad political arrangement for religious people, because it excludes them from the political and public sphere (denying funds to faith-based welfare or education services, prohibiting the wearing of religious symbols in public spaces, or forbidding ‘religious arguments’ in political debates). Taking forward discussions initiated by Okin and continued recently in works of scholars including Saba Mahmood, Joan Scott, Nilüfer Göle, Nadje Al-Ali, Linell Cady and Tracy Fessenden, we will look at this in European and global contexts.

These workshops, funded by the International Society for the Sociology of Religion and led by Coventry, Uppsala, Helsinki universities and the Center of Social Studies (Coimbra), invite participants to join us in turning Okin’s ‘Is multiculturalism bad for women?’ question on its head, debating the benefits and drawbacks of secularism. Looking at the question this way around will, we hope, enable us to discover whether secularism is the best political system to ensure gender equality and religious freedom, and if so, which form of secularism? Or if secularism is not the best solution, how should governments work with and through religious people, without compromising women’s rights?

We will debate these questions in three workshops

Workshop 1 (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Women’s religious agency: negotiating secularism and multiculturalism in everyday life

This workshop explores how on the individual or everyday level, women today are negotiating religion, secularism, multiculturalism and non-religion.

Workshop 2 (Coventry University, UK)

Negotiating secularism and multiculturalism through civil society organisations

This workshop investigates what women’s and religious organisations and groups are doing to address faith, secularism and multiculturalism.

Workshop 3 (Center of Social Studies, Lisbon, Portugal)

Political and public approaches to gender, secularism and multiculturalism

This workshop will analyse political debates on religion and women’s in the public sphere. It will explore how political and public institutions, including the media, education, law and employment, are formulating and negotiating women’s and religious rights.

These workshops will bring together academics, activists and policymakers involved in legislating about religion and gender, so that together we can contribute to policy and activism by women and religious communities. We are planning to publish some of the papers in a book.

The workshops are subsidised by the ISSR, Coventry University, Uppsala University and Center of Social Studies, Coimbra and there will be a small fee to pay to attend and participate.

For workshop 1 (1.5 days): 30 euros standard, 15 euros for charities, activists, PhD students, the unwaged and early career researchers.

For workshop 2 (1.5 days): 20 euros standard, 10 euros for charities, activists, PhD students, the unwaged and early career researchers.

For workshop 3 (2.5 days): 50 and 20 euros respectively. Participants should arrange their own accommodation and travel (we will provide suggestions).

Dr Kristin Aune (Centre for Trust, Peace & Social Relations, Coventry University)

Professor Mia Lӧvheim (Department of Theology, Uppsala University),

Dr Terhi Utriainen (Department of Comparative Religion, University of Helsinki)

Dr Alberta Giorgi (Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra; GRASSROOTSMOBILISE, Eliamep)

Dr Teresa Toldy (Fernando Pessoa University, Porto; Centre of Social Studies, University of Coimbra)

https://womenreligionandsecularism.wordpress.com/

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