Sociology of Religion Study Group (SocRel) Annual Conference 2017

On the Edge? Centres and Margins in the Sociology of Religion

12–14 July 2017
University of Leeds, UK

Keynote Speakers:

  • Professor Bryan Turner (City University of New York)
  • Professor Kim Knott (University of Lancaster)
  • Professor Philip Mellor (University of Leeds)
  • Professor Sarah Bracke (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
  • Professor Nasar Meer (Strathclyde University)

The Sociology of Religion, as a distinct sub-discipline, has had a complex relationship with 'mainstream' sociology including experiencing periods of centrality and marginalisation. Beginning as a chief concern of the founding fathers of the discipline, but later relegated to almost insignificance until the so-called 'resurgence of religion', these changing fortunes have contributed directly to scholarship that can be dynamic, multi-faceted and responsive. In our search to understand the roles for religion in contemporary society, as scholars we frequently draw on multi-disciplinary methodologies and share a disciplinary platform with geography, politics, social policy, theology, anthropology, history and literature, to name but a few.  But where does this leave the sociology of religion as a distinct discipline?

The purpose of this conference is to investigate the boundaries and borders of sociologies of religion in an expansive and inclusive way. We want to ask, what do the centres of the sociology of religion look like in the 21st Century, and where are the margins and borders? Where are the new, and innovative subjects, methodologies and collaborations in our subject and how are they shaping the discipline?  How well do Sociologies of Religion intersect with other sociologies, such as of class, migration, ethnicity, sexuality and gender, and what are the effects? What about the geographical centres and margins of this historically Western-orientated sub-discipline, in our ever-changing world characterised by postcoloniality, globalisation and transnationalism? To what extent have any alternative Sociologies of Religion from the "edge", to use a term proposed by Bender et al (2013), re-interpreted or re-configured the concerns of the centre? Importantly, what light does the Sociology of Religion shed on the more general study of centres and margins in religious and social settings/institutions and identities/subjectivities? Ultimately we want to question where these expansive and multi-directional boundaries leave us as 'sociologists of religion' and as a distinct study group and highlight the challenges and the opportunities.  

Key Dates:

Abstract submission: CLOSED
Early bird registration opens: 3 October 2016
Abstract submission closes: 9 December 2016
Decision notification: 20 January 2017
Presenter registration closes: 10 March 2017
Early bird registration closes:  2 June 2017
Registration closes: 23 June 2017

Please note that after Friday, 2 June 2017, a £50 late registration fee will apply to all bookings.

Should you have other questions about the conference please also contact the conference organisers, Dr Caroline Starkey (University of Leeds) and Dr Jasjit Singh (University of Leeds) at