Upcoming Events

The study group organises a number of events and activities throughout the year, these are listed on this page. If you would like to organise an event with the study group, please use the form on the Contact Us page.

  • BSA Annual Conference 2016 - Global Societies: Fragmenting and Connecting
    Aston University, April 6-8 2016

    This year’s BSA Annual Conference explores the changes and transformations that have taken place across the globe, from the financial crisis to political upheavals. This conference is an opportunity for sociologists to question how we best understand such developments and what opportunities sociology has to contribute to policy making and public discussion on such subjects

    Stream Plenary: Professor Grace Davie & Professor Yvette Taylor

    Grace Davie is professor emeritus in the Sociology of Religion at the University of Exeter and a senior advisor to the Impact of Religion Research Programme at Uppsala University. She is a past-president of the American Association for the Sociology of Religion (2003) and of the Research Committee 22 (Sociology of Religion) of the International Sociological Association (2002 -06). Professor Davie’s research interests lie in the sociology of religion, with a particular emphasis on patterns of religion in Europe. She is the author of Religion in Britain since 1945 (Blackwell 1994), Religion in Modern Europe (OUP 2000), Europe: the Exceptional Case (DLT 2002), and The Sociology of Religion (Sage 2007/2013).

    Professor Yvette Taylor is Professor of Education, University of Strathclyde and was previously Head of the Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research at London South Bank University (2011-2014). She received the Lillian Robinson Fellowship, Concordia University, Canada (2009) and a Fulbright Scholarship, Rutgers University (2010-2011). Yvette has obtained a wide variety of competitive research funding, including from the Economic and Social Research Council, the British Academy and the Higher Education Academy, including projects on ‘Making Space for Queer Identifying Religious Youth’ (2011-2013) and the British Academy mid-career fellowship Critical Terrain: Dividing Lines and Lives (2013-2014).

    For further information contact the Sociology of Religion stream coordinator:
    Rachel Shillitoe. Email: r.shillitoe@worc.ac.uk
    Alternatively, contact the BSA Events Team. Email: events@britsoc.org.uk

  • Socrel Annual Conference - Construction and disruption: The power of religion in the public sphere

    Sociology of Religion Study Group (SocRel) Annual Conference
    Tuesday 12th – Thursday 14th July 2016
    Lancaster University

    Keynote speakers:
    Professor Lori Beaman (University of Ottowa)
    Professor Gordon Lynch (Kent University)
    Professor Robert Beckford (Canterbury Christ Church University)
    Dr Abby Day (Goldsmiths and Kent University)
    Dr Shuruq Naguib (Lancaster University)

    The last twenty years has seen a crisis of trust in major public institutions, from politics and media, to banking, to health, social care and education. Alongside this crisis has been a renewed visibility of religion in society, with religions often offering critical but contentious voices, as well as being key but contested contributors to political activism and welfare service delivery.

    In this context, prominent theorists such as Jürgen Habermas, Slavov Zizek, Charles Taylor and Manuel Vásquez have suggested that religion may hold the key to reenergising the public sphere. Yet religions are just as often seen as disruptive, as engulfed in similar crises of trust, as undermining shared values, or as presenting challenging practices. With societies now becoming more secular, more religious and more plural all at once, claims abound that one group or another is being favoured or presents a threat. This tension is further complicated by contested developments in the understanding of religion: some scholars have broadened the category of religion to include ostensibly secular ideas and practices; others have suggested that religions are acting less like states, with large bureaucracies and loyal citizens, and more like markets that cater to consumers, with belief less likely to be based on dogma than modes of belonging or self-expression; others still suggest that future success for religions will require greater recognition of ethnic minorities, women and LGBT communities.

    The purpose of the conference is to examine these and other characteristics of contemporary religion in order to achieve a greater understanding of its constructive and disruptive impact in the public sphere. What are the key categories, discourses, contexts and institutions through which this question can be explored? How do practitioners navigate these characteristics?

    The conference welcomes a wide range of topics relating to religion in society and hopes to encourage a space where different faith perspectives can come together.

    Registration to attend the conference is now open. To register please click HERE. Please note that after Friday, 3 June 2016, a £50 late registration fee will apply to all bookings.

    Possible topics could include (but are not limited to) the following:

    •           Religion constructing or disrupting the public sphere

    •           Religion and politics

    •           Religion and media

    •           Religion and economics

    •           Religion and health and social care

    •           Religion and education


    Key Dates:

    Abstract submission opens: 12 October 2015

    Early bird registration opens: 12 October 2015

    Abstract submission closes: 11 December 2015

    Decision notification: 27 January 2016

    Presenter registration closes: 22 March 2016

    Early bird registration closes:  10 June 2016

    Registration closes: 30 June 2016