Olomouc conference – call for papers

ISORECEA in cooperation with the Czech Association for the Study of Religions,

Palacký University Olomouc and Masaryk University

14th ISORECEA conference

Religion on the Periphery
Olomouc, Czech Republic, 23-25 April 2020


Individuals or groups on the periphery have always been part of various societies, not only today but also in the past, in ancient times. Modern Europe, including Central and Eastern Europe, pays more and more attention to and exhibits increasing sensitivity about minorities, to people on the periphery, to those who are marginalized because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, religion or lack of religion. Attitudes of society and individuals to such persons or groups can be seen as an indication of the state of their culture and civilization, as an indication of the prevailing values, as a touchstone, which can not only unite but also divide the society. Numerous religious traditions throughout history demonstrate, however, that peripheral areas of social life, as well as peripheral areas of faith, are phenomena that involve special treatment and special attention by religious authorities as well as by ordinary believers.
Science and the humanities are also aware of peripheries and have peripheral areas, certain methods or theories can play a crucial role, some marginal. It is the same within the academic study of religions. Traditionally, the historical approach and the study of the history of religion have played a significant role. Many other approaches have emerged, however, since the nineteenth century. Some of these, such as the study of the origin and development of religions, have lost their popularity and then regained it later. Some approaches have been marginalized, others favored. In other words, science, including the study of religions, also creates different stratifications, exclusions, and the ostracism of individuals and groups of scholars.
The aim of this conference is to encourage scholars from Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Western scholarship, to reflect on the variety of such peripheries – in particular, peripheries in/of religions as well as in the study of religion; for instance, various forms of heresy, apostasy and blasphemy, ways and forms of religious and social exclusion, and types of power and powerlessness within religious traditions. At the same time, it is considered important to draw attention to the peripheral areas of religious studies, the reasons for the marginalization of certain scholars, and the exclusion of some approaches, methods and concepts. If religious studies is to be a discipline creating its own peripheries, it is undoubtedly important to take them into account.
We want to address these issues in the forthcoming international conference and encourage scholars from various parts of Europe and elsewhere to share their theoretical and empirical insights about religious diversification and varieties of approaches to it.
The conference topics include but are not limited to:

•  Non-believers and atheists in religious societies  
•  Religious people as a minority  
•  Dominant and peripheral discourses on religion
•  Exposing the explicit and implicit in religions
•  Transformations of the New Religious Movements: from the periphery to the mainstream or disappearance
•  Peripheral religious practices in history and modern times: magic, divination and ritual healing
•  Religious diversification and social exclusion  
•  Theories and methods on the peripheries: marginal approaches in the study of religion

Keynote speakers

Prof. Milda Ališauskienė (Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania)
Dr Jonathan Lanman (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)
Dr Marta Trzebiatowska (University of Aberdeen, UK)

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Please submit the abstract of your presentation (max. 200 words) through the conference website isorecea2020.upol.cz by 15 December 2019.

If you are interested in a specific topic related to the theme of religion on the periphery, you can organise a session/panel composed of 3–5 presentations. In this case, please submit a 200-word proposal followed by full session details (names and affiliation of contributors, titles of their presentations) by 15 December 2019 to the email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please note that participants in your session should individually send their abstracts (like all other conference participants) through the conference website isorecea2020.upol.cz by 15 December 2019.

Key dates

Submission of paper and session/panel proposals: 15 December 2019
Notification of acceptance and opening of registration: 15 January 2020
Final date for registration for the conference: 15 February 2020
Final programme: 15 March 2020