CfP: Digital religion meets politics: pushing boundaries and opening-up new perspectives

Special Issue in the Journal “Frontiers in Political Science”

New digital technologies change all kind of societal spheres, including the landscape of religion and religious practices. “Christianity influencer”, faith tweets, digital chaplaincy, or online Islamic hate speech are popular examples in place. The rapidly growing scholarship, known as digital religion studies, explores the extent to which traditional religious practices are being adapted to digital environments and how aspects of digital culture are informing offline religious groups and institutions. While the young field profits from interdisciplinary collaborations and perspectives, the political dimension of this transformation process is still underdeveloped. For instance, we know very little about how digital religion influences formal state-church relationship. Will states respond to newly created religious online communities? And if so, with which governance tools? Furthermore, how do political actors adjust religious practices in digital times? How do digitalization processes in public administrations affect religious minorities? And in what ways do religious welfare organizations adapt to cope with the new conditions of a digital welfare market?

This Research Topic aims to contribute filling the existing gap and to offer first-hand empirical, theoretical as well as conceptual knowledge about the intersection between religion, digitalization, and politics. For this purpose, we intend to bring together scholars from different social science disciplines (e.g. communication studies, religious studies, sociology or theology) as well as political science sub-disciplines (e.g. public policy, public administration, political theory and comparative politics).

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Digitalization of religious practices of political actors (e.g. use of spiritual apps, religious blogs, chats etc.)
  • Digital communication strategies of religious political parties (e.g. Tweets, videos)
  • Digital hate speech by or about religious groups in the political sphere (e.g. Islamic hate speech)
  • Algorithmic governance & (religious) discrimination
  • Digitalization of religious welfare state organizations and their service provision (e.g. digital spiritual care / digital chaplaincy)
  • New forms of religious engagement via social networks by majority churches and their members (e.g. offline-online formats of religious services)
  • Public policy and regulation of digital religion
  • Reflection on the need to reconceptualize typologies of state-church relationship
  • Digital protest of (far-right) religious actors (e.g. anti-gender-campaigning)
  • Reflections on transhumanism and artificial intelligence from the perspective of human right and religious values
  • Reflections on new types of “religious authority” promoted by algorithms and bots

We welcome different types of manuscripts – theoretical, methodological, empirical, qualitative and quantitative – from a micro, meso or macro approaches as well as country-specific research also in comparative perspectives.

Why publish in our Special Issue? Alongside a top group of authors, your work will be published in Frontiers in Political Science, a leading journal in the field with a confirmedJournal Impact Factor and a CiteScore of 1.6. As an open access journal, publishing fees are applied to accepted articles. There is the opportunity to discuss fees, institutional waivers (see at the homepage, if your home institution has an agreement), and discounts with the journal manager.

We will organize a workshop to discuss the papers beforehand, which will take place from the 10-11th of May 2024, most likely at the “Evangelische Akademie Landau” (close to Heidelberg/Mannheim in Germany). Online participation is also possible.

The paper workshop is jointly organized by the “AK Religion & Politik” and the “Sektion Policy-Analyse und Verwaltungswissenschaft” of the German Political Science Association.

If you are interested, please send us an abstract of about 500 words until the 1th of December
2023 via the journal homepage. [please
consider the bottons “submit” & “participate in the topic”]

Provisional Timeline

  • 1st of December 2023: Deadline Abstracts
  • Mid-December 2023: Information Authors about the selection process
  • 2nd of May 2024: Circulation of paper drafts among the participants
  • 10-11th of May 2024: Workshop
  • 15th of September 2024: Deadline for manuscript submission to the journal

Team of Topic Editors: