Call for papers: First IPRA doctoral workshop

The Institute for Religious Pluralism and Atheism organizes, on Decembre 13 – 14, 2016, the first interdisciplinary doctoral workshop on religions at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Ange Guépin in Nantes

Theme “Religion at stake: representations and utilizations of religions”.

For Philip Larkin in 1955, religion was a relic of the past. In Church Going, the British poet stood in a small country church and wondered what would happen to such places when religion disappears from our societies: “wondering, when churches will fall completely out of use, what we shall turn them into”. Until the 1970s, many scholars in the humanities and social sciences thought that religion was going to become extinct and that technological and economical development would put an end to it: firstly in the industrial societies and then in the developing world. Then came the Islamic revolution in Iran (1979), the rise of religiously-inspired political discoursein the US and Israel, Hindu revivalism in India, the adoption of legislation against “blasphemy” in several Muslim states. Religion has made a powerful comeback in our societies and has become an actor in politics too. The reaffirmation of religious identities has put religion back in the public debate.

This “religious reawakening” is also an “to religious discourse”, which makes it, in different ways, an element of unity or cohesion or, on the contrary, a scarecrow.  In this workshop, we will focus on the place of religion (or religions, religious manifestations, atheism) and the different forms of institutionalization of secularization (including the French laïcité for instance) in representations, discourses and ideological constructions.

Practical details

Doctoral students from all disciplines, interested in the topic, are invited to submit a proposal for communication. Please send your proposal no later than April 30, 2016. It should include a recent CV and a Word document including the following information:

  • Surname, first name, discipline, date of inscription in PhD program, institution of affiliation
  • The title of your paper
  • A short abstract (2-3 paragraphs) presenting the subject you wish to present in a 20-minute talk. Please clearly state the point you wish to make and the sources you will be using. Because it is a pluridisciplinary workshop, please ensure that your presentation is clear and understandable for scholars and students from other disciplines.

Papers and proposals may be presented in French or English.

A round-table meeting between students and invited researchers will be organized by the MSH Ange-Guépin and the IPRA during this workshop. It will allow participants to exchange in detail on the themes and subjects they wish (research projects, career, etc.), outside of the constraints imposed by the formal framework of the workshop communications.

Please submit your proposals to:

This call for papers was also published (in French) on Calenda:

And is downloadable below:

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