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Call for papers

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:

  • Religious people as a minority
  • Non-believers and atheists in religious societies
  • 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

Please, submit the abstract of your presentation (max. 200 words) using the conference web page by 15 December 2019.

If you decide to organize a session/panel it should be composed of 3–5 presentations. In this case, please submit a 200-word proposal by 15 December 2019 through the conference web page At the same time send full session details (names and affiliation of contributors, titles of their presentations) to the organizers by e-mail:

Please note that participants of your session should individually send their abstracts (like all the other conference participants) through the conference web page by 15 December 2019.


Key dates:

Submission of paper and session/panel proposals: by 15 December 2019

Notification of acceptance and opening of the registration: 15 January 2020

Final date for registration for the conference: 15 February 2020

Final program: 15 March 2020



Please note that in order to present a paper you need to be a member of ISORECEA for the years 2020-2021. The conference fees and membership fees for two years are as follows (in EURO) for countries falling into the ISA categories, A, B and C*:



List of Countries* A B C
Regular members 80 60 40
Retired 40 30 20
Students and unemployed 30 18 12

* This is according to the Table of Economies used by the International Sociological Association:



List of Countries* A B C
Regular members 60 40 20
Retired, students and unemployed 30 20 10

* This is according to the Table of Economies used by the International Sociological Association:

Those whose papers have been accepted for the conference will be asked to pay their fees through the PayPal system at the ISORECEA website. For information on how to become a member of ISORECEA or renew your membership, please visit the organization’s website: Please follow this link to registration and payment:

Information about accommodation and the conference venue will be circulated in the second half of December 2019. In case of any earlier questions, please send an email to: 


Miklós Tomka Award
The ISORECEA Board has established the Miklós Tomka Award in honour of the memory of Miklós Tomka, the internationally acknowledged and widely esteemed scholar of religion specializing in the Central and Eastern European region, who died unexpectedly in 2010.

The Award is granted on a competitive basis for the best conference paper submitted to the Award Committee. The paper should refer to the conference theme. The competition is open to early-career scholars, with a special focus on PhD students. The Award comprises:

– Publication of the paper in the ISORECEA on-line journal Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe;

– Exemption from the conference fee;

– Accommodation costs during the conference.

Early-career scholars, interested in entering the competition, are invited to submit their completed papers to the email address by 15 January 2020. The winner will be announced by 15 February 2020, which is the final date for registration for being on the program of the conference. Papers submitted for the Award should be between 5000 and 7000 words in length and should strictly follow the rules applying to papers submitted to the ISORECEA journal Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe.

For details see:

Palacký University Conference Services
Biskupské náměstí 1
779 00 Olomouc

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