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Religion and Division: Causes, Consequences and Counters

30 April, 2017 18:12
Religion and Division: Causes, Consequences and Counters

79th Annual Meeting of the Association for the Sociology of Religion

Date: August 13-14, 2017 (with Opening Reception on Aug. 12th)

Venue: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Program Chair: Di Di, Rice University, dd20@rice.edu

Nearly daily, it seems, religion makes news across the globe.  From long-term conflicts, to terrorist acts, to racial segregation, to conflict with other social institutions, to intra-religious battles, we witness the dividing power of religion. But though perhaps reported less, religion also daily counters division.  From movements to create diverse congregations, to peace movements, to non-violence, to demonstrations of forgiveness, to massive movements for justice, we witness the uniting power of religion.

What is the impact of religion on division and unity? Why and when does one or the other occur? The very same religion can be used for divergent purposes. As social scientists of religion, our responsibility is to understand the role of religion in the social world. We must understand when it tends toward division and conflict, why, and the implications. And we must understand when religion tends toward unity, peace, and justice, why this occurs, and the implications.

This year’s annual meeting is open to all topics within the sociology of religion, but especially welcomes sessions and papers focusing on any aspects of religion and division, conflict, or violence; religion and unity, peace, justice, and other social movements. In so doing we can move to greater knowledge on these central issues, issues impacting humanity around the globe.

Source: The Association for the Sociology of Religion (ASR)

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