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The non-religious and the State

Choices and frameworks for seculars from the age of revolution to the current day

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Published on Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Abstract

The Secular Studies Association Brussels (SSAB) invites submissions for its inaugural conference to be held on 21 and 22 October. For this conference, we welcome contributions that shed light on the fields of activity of the non-religious at large – be it organizations, networks or even committed individuals – and explain how their goals and ambitions impact upon the interface between the state and the religious or the non-religious.

 

Announcement

Argument

In the past 15 years, secular studies have become an autonomous field of interdisciplinary scholarship. As humanists, seculars and the indifferent constitute an expanding group in society, understanding them and their ambitions and needs, becomes increasingly important. It is to be expected that the increasing numbers of non-religious people lead public authorities to redefine the formal frameworks in which the religious and non-religious can build and experience their lifestances.

For this conference, we welcome contributions that shed light on the fields of activity of the non-religious at large – be it organizations, networks or even committed individuals – and explain how their goals and ambitions impact upon the interface between the state and the religious or the non-religious. To what specific legal statuses have these processes led. What elements were taken into consideration when making these decisions? Who opted for a recognition of a non-confessional lifestance and why? Conversely, who opted for a wall of separation and why? Are things that clear cut? Doesn’t the variety of choices and frameworks offer a more varied spectrum? What continuities and discontinuities are to be observed in the history of seculars and their organizations since the end of the 18th century? How can these patterns, whether divergent or entangled, be mapped and framed within a broader conception of ‘multiple secularisms’?

The Secular Studies Association Brussels (SSAB) invites submissions for its inaugural conference to be held on 21 and 22 October. The Institute and its partners welcome abstracts for individual papers, panels, roundtables and other options. The conference is open to a variety of disciplines as papers are welcomed with, but not limited to, a historical, legal, sociological or political science approach. Generally speaking, research will be presented in English, but this call is open to other languages as well, i.e. French and Spanish.

Contributions may cover any organizations, networks or committed individuals that have existed within a specific context (national, regional, local) since the era of the revolutions. Apart from simply presenting a factual legal status, we further aim to understand the strategies made by freethinkers, rationalists, secularists, humanists and the ‘nones’ of today in order to function within the public sphere.

The general goal of this conference is to produce an open-access edited volume in the series New Perspectives on the History of Liberalism and Freethought (De Gruyter).

As the book will have a limited number of contributions, the organizers of this conference will support authors of papers that fall beyond the volume’s scope in identifying suitable journals for their contribution.

Submission guidelines

  • 15 March 2022: deadline Call for Papers (addressed to jeffrey.tyssens@vub.be)
  • April 2022: registration open to participants
  • Fall 2022: conference

Organizing partners

  • Centre for Academic and Secular Humanist Archives (CAVA, Brussels)
  • Liberas (Heritage Centre for the History of the Freedom Ideal, Ghent)
  • The International Society for Historians on Atheism, Secularism and Humanism (ISHASH)
  • Humanists International (HI)
  • Union of Secular Associations (deMens.nu, Brussels)

Organizing committee

  • Prof. Dr. Jeffrey Tyssens
  • Prof. Dr. Frank Scheelings
  • Prof. Dr. Christoph de Spiegeleer
  • Niels De Nutte

Academic committee

  • Dr. Silvia Baldassarre (University of Florence - Italy)
  • Prof. Dr. Joseph Blankholm (University of California Santa Barbara – USA)
  • Prof. Dr. Tina Block (Thompson Rivers University - Canada)
  • Prof. Dr. Callum Brown (Glasgow University - Scotland)
  • Dr. Leni Franken (Universiteit Antwerpen - Belgium)
  • Prof. Dr. Freddy Mortier (Universiteit Gent – Belgium)
  • Dr. Caroline Sägesser (CRISP - Belgium)
  • Dr. Stefan Schröder (Bayreuth University - Germany)
  • Prof. Dr. Valentine Zuber (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes – France)

Places

  • Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten - Hertogstraat 1
    Brussels, Belgium (1000)

Event attendance modalities

Full on-site event


Date(s)

  • Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Keywords

  • history, none, secular, secularism, freethought, freethinker, ethical society, ethical culture, laïcité, laicity

Contact(s)

  • Jeffrey Tyssens
    courriel : jeffrey [dot] tyssens [at] vub [dot] be

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Niels Tyssens
    courriel : jeffrey [dot] tyssens [at] vub [dot] be

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« The non-religious and the State », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, https://doi.org/10.58079/189f

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