XXI IAHR World Congress 2015 in Erfurt
World Congress of the International Association for the History of
The deadline for panel proposals has been extended by the organizers to
merge with the deadline for paper and poster proposals on *December 15,
2014*. Any proposals submitted after this date can no longer be considered
by the Academic Program Committee for inclusion into the IAHR World
Congress Program. Make sure to submit your proposals by using therelevant
You will receive note concerning the status of your proposal as soon as
possible and certainly before March 1, 2015. If your panel, paper or poster
proposal has been accepted by the Academic Program Committee, please note
that you will have to register as Congress participant
May 15, 2015 to be included in the Congress program.
Call for Papers
The organizers of the XXI IAHR World Congress, Congress presidents Prof.
Dr. Jörg Rüpke (Erfurt) and Prof. Dr. Christoph Bochinger (Bayreuth) and
Congress coordinator Dr. Elisabeth Begemann (Erfurt), invite contributions
from all disciplines of religious studies and related fields of research to
allow for broad, interdisciplinary discussion of the Congress topic. Papers
should address one of the four thematic Congress areas
Papers should be limited to 20 minutes. Individual papers on related topics
will be joint into a panel of 120 minutes. Panel chairs will have to make
sure that a minimum of 30 minutes is reserved for discussion. We strongly
suggest to further academic exchange by forming trans-national and
All paper proposals will be evaluated by the Academic Program Committee
of the Congress program. Proposals of papers should not exceed 150 words,
as indicated on the proposal form.
The deadline for submission of proposals is *Monday, December 15, 2014*.
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the IAHR 2015 website.
As part of the submission process, you will be asked to indicate the area
in which you would like your proposal considered. Your proposal will then
be forwarded to the appropriate member of the Academic Program Committee.
You will receive notice concerning the status of your proposal as soon as
possible and certainly before March 1, 2015. If your paper has been
accepted by the Academic Program Committee, please note that you will have
to register as Congress participant
May 15, 2015* to be included in the Congress program.
Register your paper or poster proposal.
Dynamics of Religion: Past and Present
Religion is a human, historical, social and cultural phenomenon. As such,
religious ideas, practices, discourses, institutions, and social
expressions are constantly in processes of change. The Congress will
address the processes of change, the dynamics of religions past, present,
and future, on several interconnected levels of analysis and theory, namely
that of the individual, community and society, practices and discourses,
beliefs, and narrations.
These will be addressed within four areas:
*Religious communities in society: Adaptation and transformation*
Embedded within complex cultures, characterized by social change and
intercultural exchange, religious communities constantly adapt to their
changing environments, developing practices, discourses, and institutions
conceptualized as “religion”. These concepts are subject to social and
cultural influences. They also shape political and economic environments.
Religious traditions are invented and re-invented, imperceptibly
transformed, violently reformed or emphatically defended. How, then, do
religious communities and institutions adapt to cultural change? How do
they affect social change? Does interreligious contact and dialogue lead to
religious change? How do religious communities react to the possibilities
and threats of new media? Does globalization transform public religions? To
what extent do states and public law affect religions?
*Practices and discourses: Innovation and tradition*
Founding figures, schisms and revivals characterize the dynamics of
religion in past and present. Institutions develop or are dissolved. This,
again, poses questions: How are religious traditions established,
standardized and canonized? What are the mechanisms and agents of religious
innovation? How do religious traditions repel religious change? How is
sacred time and space established? Does religious individualization lead to
innovation? What are the mechanisms of transformation and innovation of
rituals and other practices? Do rituals create and perpetuate religious
traditions? Are new religious movements or esoteric currents innovative?
Does fundamentalism protect religious traditions? Does the internet lead to
religious innovation? What are the dynamics of gender traditions?
*The individual: Religiosity, spiritualities and individualization*
Individuals, too, are agents of change. Privatization, patchwork
religiosity and religious deviance are not restricted to the present. Can
“religiosity” or “spirituality”, popular in many contemporary
self-descriptions, be used as descriptive terms of our meta-language? Under
what circumstances do individuals obey or deny religious traditions? How
and why do individuals converse, or gradually change their religious
convictions and affiliations? How can plural religious identities or
patchwork religiosities be explained, what effects do they have on
religious traditions? How important are religious experiences in religions?
What are individual reasons for religious deviance? How do religions
control the individual? Is the privatization of religion a modern
phenomenon? Do biographic developments explain individual religiosity?
*Methodology: Representations and interpretations*
Religious change is registered and narrated by outsiders and insiders. Emic
representations influence academic interpretations. Scholarly paradigms and
theories are therefore as dynamic as their object. Which master narratives
about religious change need to be revised? Are all religious traditions
invented? What is the current status of the secularization debate? Is there
some scientific value in old paradigms of religious change (e.g. decline,
fall, rise, axial age)? How can theories of cultural and religious
evolution be applied in historical sciences? How do new approaches in
historiography conceptualize religious change (e.g. entangled or
transcultural history, postcolonial history, discourse analysis)?