Zadar Conference - Call for Papers


Theoretical, Empirical and Methodological Challenges for Research in Central and Eastern Europe and Beyond

Zadar, Croatia, April 21-24, 2016

The interplay between historical, cultural and political factors and events has contributed to processes where both religion and non-religion are features of contemporary societies. At the same time, religion and non-religion are integral to theories of secularisation and religious change. Faced with different empirical data around the world, secularisation theses have been debated for decades, while theoretical debates about religious change have occupied sociologists of religion. They have sought to better and more accurately understand and explain religious changes in different parts of the globe. Their points of view differ and include: privatization thesis, de-privatization thesis, religious economies thesis, religious bricolage, multiple secularities thesis. One angle, non-religion as religious counterpart, has been neglected in sociological research.  Indeed, until the end of the 20th century, it was only Campbell (1971) who gave a comprehensive insight into the sociology of non-religion, while many scholars wrote and published within the strand of the sociology of religion.

Non-religion has started to occupy the attention of sociologists since the beginning of this century, especially in the UK and USA. Its prominence has been influenced by its different appearances in the Western world: the rise of declared non-religious people, the appearance of a so-called New Atheism movement (inspired by books by R. Dawkins, S. Harris, D. Dennett, and C. Hitchens), numerous organizations and associations of non-religious people and their enhanced activities as an alternative to religious conservativism, the growing influence of religion in the public sphere and fundamentalist expressions of religion connected to terrorism. Researchers mostly based their work on theories of subcultural identities, identity politics and new social movements; yet, some authors also drew on the theory of religious economies. In spite of these strands, non-religion remains theoretically underdeveloped and under-researched. Interestingly, this refers particularly to former communist countries where atheism was enforced as part of the official ideology; more research would have been expected on non-religiosity and atheism there. Independently of the exact geopolitical context, non-religion and in particular the interplay between religion and non-religion in different dimensions seem to be a key for understanding contemporary religious changes.

This international conference would like to encourage scholars from various parts of the world to share their theoretical, empirical and methodological considerations on religion and non-religion and take part in discussion on different related topics, like:

  • Social theory of religion and non-religion
  • Comparative empirical data on religion and non-religion
  • Methodological challenges of research on religion and non-religion
  • Historical development of religion and non-religion
  • Non/religious minority and majority
  • Human rights, religion and non-religion
  • Religion, non-religion and State
  • Religion, non-religion and social inclusion/exclusion
  • Religion and non-religion in the intersectional perspective (involving gender, age, socio-economic aspects, etc.)
  • Religion and non-religion in everyday life
  • Religious and non-religious activism

Keynote speakers:

  • dr. Marjan Smrke, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • dr. Lois Lee, University Coledge London, UK

Please submit a 200-300 words abstract of your presentation by e-mail to: isorecea2016(at) by November 15, 2015.

If you are interested in a specific topic related to the study of religion and/or non-religion, we encourage you to organize a session/panel. In this case, please submit a 300-400 words proposal with full session details (names and affiliation of contributors, titles of their presentations) by November 15, 2015 to the same email address.

Key dates

Submission of paper and session/panel proposals - November 15, 2015.

Notification of acceptance and opening of the registration – December 15, 2015.

The final date of the registration for the conference – January 31, 2016.

Final program – February 20, 2016.

We are looking forward to receiving your papers!

ISORECEA President                                                 ESA RN34 Vice-President                       President of the Local Committee

Dinka Marinović Jerolimov                                            Roberta Ricucci                                               Siniša Zrinščak