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Contemporary ‘spiritual’ practices

Ethnographic and comparative approaches of a transnational field

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Published on Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Abstract

Situated at the crossroads of therapy, science and politics, the field of “contemporary spiritualities” challenges analytical frameworks as demonstrated by the debates around its designation itself (New Age, Self Religion, Western Esotericism, etc.) and the eclectic practices it covers, from neo-paganism to eco-spirituality, from neo-traditional movements to alternative medicine. This panel will be focused on the circulation of contemporary spiritual practices and on their interconnections through transnational movements. It will emphasize ethnographic studies and historical perspectives essential to the understanding of the global deployment of spiritual practices. 

Announcement

17th European Association of Social Anthropologists Biennial Conference (26-29 July 2022)

Argument

Situated at the crossroads of therapy, science and politics, the field of “contemporary spiritualities” challenges analytical frameworks as demonstrated by the debates around its designation itself (New Age, Self Religion, Western Esotericism, etc.) and the eclectic practices it covers, from neo-paganism to eco-spirituality, from neo-traditional movements to alternative medicine. Beyond these wide-range practices, contemporary spiritual practices share commonalities through an emphasis on individual and collective transformation, holistic therapy, cosmic energy, the body, and the sacredness of nature.

This panel will be focused on the circulation of contemporary spiritual practices and on their interconnections through transnational movements. It will emphasize ethnographic studies and historical perspectives essential to the understanding of the global deployment of spiritual practices. We will give particular attention to the context of their emergence, and the different ways in which they relate to and/or engage with the networks – spiritual, therapeutic, medical, environmental, political, etc. – in which they are situated in an effort to highlight the transversal dynamics at stake.

We welcome proposals based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork and/or historical studies which will focus on the identification of distinctive mechanisms of circulation through the study of circuits of practices. Key places such as festivals, conferences, workshops, training programs, websites, among other forms, will highlight the complementary uses of those practices, their continuities and the porosity of their networks.

Submission guidelines

Paper proposals must consist of:

  • a paper title
  • the name/s and email address/es of author/s
  • a short abstract of fewer than 300 characters
  • a long abstract of fewer than 250 words

All proposals must be made via the online form, not by email. There is a 'Propose paper' button in the title section of each open panel. Navigate to the panel you are interested in and click on this button to propose directly to that panel. If you then decide you’d like to propose to another panel, first click ‘Cancel’ on the proposal form, before returning to the panel explorer (otherwise you’ll remain locked into that panel).

On submission of the proposal, the proposing author (but not the co-authors) will receive an automated email confirming receipt. If you do not receive this email, please first check the login environment (Cocoa) via the link in the toolbar above, to see if your proposal is there. If it is, it simply means your confirmation email got spammed/lost; if it is not, you will need to re-submit, as for some reason the process was not completed. Co-authors cannot be added/removed nor can papers be withdrawn by the proposers themselves – for that, please email conference(at)easaonline.org

Proposals will be marked as pending until the end of the Call for Papers (21/03/2022). Convenors will then be asked to make their decisions over the papers proposed to their panel by 04/04/2022 and to communicate those to the proposers, marking them up within the login environment (Cocoa).

Please note that this Conference is fully hybrid: delegates will have the option to attend in person or online. Presenters must be members of EASA and pay their subscription before the Conference.

For more information

Deadline: 21 March 2022

Propose a paper

Panel convenors

  • Thomas WITZELING (University of Lausanne)
  • Sara LE MENESTREL (French National Centre for Scientific Research)
  • Nicolas BOISSIÈRE (University of Quebec in Montreal)
  • Marie MAZZELLA DI BOSCO (Paris Nanterre University)

Places

  • Belfast, Britain

Event attendance modalities

Hybrid event (on site and online)


Date(s)

  • Monday, March 21, 2022

Keywords

  • anthropology, ethnography, history, sociology, contemporary spiritualities, New Age, mindfulness, neo-paganism, shamanism, altered states of consciousness, new religious movement

Contact(s)

  • Thomas Witeling
    courriel : thomas [dot] witzeling [at] unil [dot] ch

Information source

  • Thomas Witzeling
    courriel : thomas [dot] witzeling [at] unil [dot] ch

License

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

To cite this announcement

« Contemporary ‘spiritual’ practices », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, March 01, 2022, https://doi.org/10.58079/18cl

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