Religion’s role in conflict has been the subject of recent media and academic scrutiny, while religion’s part in peace building has received comparatively less attention. This conference analyzes the multiple ways in which religion may contribute to fostering cooperation and conflict in diverse societies. Religion can be a source of tension and conflict just as it can be a resource for resolving societal tensions. And cooperation and conflict on a societal level may have important impacts on the emergence or diminishing of religious diversity and vitality.
Some of the questions examined at the conference are:
- What different kinds of influence can religion (religious ideology, religious groups, individual religiosity, lived religion) have on the creation or resolution of societal tensions and conflicts? Under what political/economic conditions are such influences to be observed?
- How and under what conditions does religion intersect with other factors (e.g. ethnicity, gender, politics, social structure, social closure) in creating or resolving such tensions and conflicts?
- What are the specific potentials of religion for the furthering of cooperation and peace in society and under what conditions may such potentials be activated?
- What different types of influence can religious diversity have under different conditions on the creation of tension and conflict or the cooperation and peace?
- How does religious diversity intersect with other factors in its influence on cooperation or conflict under different conditions?
- How, and under what conditions, can the state, politics, communities and law govern tensions in religiously diverse societies?
- What is the relationship between religious cooperation/conflict and religious vitality under different societal conditions?
- How do various religions interact with democratic ways of political participation, in secular or non-secular arenas, within diverse societies?
- Do different ways of emergence of religious and cultural diversity (e.g. migration, globalization, post-colonial state formation) correlate with different types of conflict/cooperation between religions?
These questions, and others like them, will be the focus of our 2017 conference. We welcome papers on these and other topics of interest to sociology of religion and the social sciences of religion more generally.