RELIGIOSITY, SECULARITY AND PLURALISM IN THE GLOBAL EAST
The Inaugural Conference of the East Asian Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
July 3-5, 2018, Singapore
Call for papers
East Asia is felt throughout the world. Whilst the region’s economic and political power has been a reason for both global integration and resistance in recent decades, its presence within the rest of the world has been forged over centuries of migration and the establishment and strengthening of diasporic communities. Such communities have helped to shape the societies and cultures of their host countries, of their home countries, and, through such interplay, of the diasporas themselves. To unify these constituent parts (host country, home country, diasporic community), and to represent both the expansion of East Asian influence around the world, and its reflexive relationship with the places in which it has taken root, Yang Fenggang’s concept of “Global East” has been most helpful. The Global East encompasses not just the countries of East Asia – China, Korea and Japan – but these countries’ diasporic communities, and the transnational linkages that serve to connect and shape both country and community as well. Additionally, East Asia is also host to diasporic communities of its own, which adds another layer of connectivity and influence to the framing of the Global East.
The effects of the Global East are felt in many walks of life, but one of the most transformative has to be religion. The religious landscapes of China, South Korea and Japan (including but not limited to state-sponsored atheism, shamanism, Shintoism, resurgent Buddhism/Christianity) are replicated and challenged in their diasporic communities, which, over time, have been shaped by the religious traditions of Southeast Asia, Europe, North America, and beyond. For the diasporic communities located within East Asia, the reverse is also true. These linkages between home country and diasporic community, and between community and host country have led to the circulation and sharing of religion and religious idea(l)s, and to the sharpening or dilution of (anti-)religious sensibilities. Greater religious diversity is an invariable outcome of such processes, yet the extent to which such diversity leads to religious co-operation, competition or conflict within and between individuals, families, communities, organisations and territories still deserves much more research attention.
Accordingly, there is a need for more focussed consideration of the topics of religiosity, secularity and pluralism in the Global East. This conference, to be held from July 3-5 in Singapore at the Singapore Management University, will advance such consideration. It will be the Inaugural Conference of the East Asian Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (EASSSR) (see www.easssr.org for more information). While all topics on religion are welcome at the conference, we especially invite abstracts that address one or more of the following research questions:
• How do the constituent parts of the Global East influence the strengthening, weakening or changing of religion and religiosity at different social scales (from the individual to the community and nation)?
• How does secularity intersect with religiosity within the Global East, and how does each inflect the other?
• How does the religious diversity associated with the Global East lead to greater (or lesser) inter-religious and religious-secular co-operation, competition or conflict?
• How does an understanding of the Global East develop or challenge existing theoretical and empirical understandings of religiosity, secularity and pluralism?
Beyond addressing these questions, we seek a range of papers that draw on different geographical contexts and (non-)religious traditions.
• Paper presentation proposals are due by February 28, 2018.
• Notification of acceptance of paper presentation proposals will be sent out by March 31, 2018.
• For questions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org