CFP: critical geographies of religion, AAG 2014

Call for Papers for 2014 AAG: Critical Geographies of Religion 

Session Convenors:

Kate Botterill (Newcastle University)
Peter Hopkins (Newcastle University)
Caroline Nagel (University of South Carolina)

Geographers have developed a strong interest in religion and religiosity in recent years as they have come to acknowledge the centrality of faith, religion and belief to people’s identities, ways of life, and spatial practices. In approaching geographies of religions from a critical perspective, scholars are concerned not only with patterns of religious practice and belief, but also with the ways that religious discourses, institutions, and practices mediate social relationships and are woven into the exercise of power and authority at multiple scales. Geographers’ critical engagements with religion have raised challenging questions about relationships between ‘secular’ and ‘sacred’ belief systems, spatialities, and forms of social and political organization.  For instance, how do faith-based organizations participate in the production of urban space, and to what extent do these organizations provide alternatives to—or support for—dominant, neo-liberal forms of citizenship and development? How does religious belief and discourse inform ideas about citizenship, multiculturalism, progress, and development, and what are the implications for society-at-large of intersecting secular and spiritual norms? To what extent are religious identities and beliefs subordinated by secularism, and what does this mean for the socio-spatial mobility of religious people? How do faith-based groups participate in the production of (post)secularism, as well as in the production of religion?

This session on the Critical Geographies of Religion is intended to bring together scholars who are grappling with the meaning and significance of faith in societies that have typically been understood in terms of secularism and modernity.  Papers in this session will address a multitude of theoretical questions and empirical contexts but will be connected by recognition of the ambiguity and complexity of religious beliefs and identities as practiced and implemented in everyday life. Possible paper topics/themes include:

  • Religion and multicultural discourse/practice
  • Religion and economic/urban development
  • Faith-based organizations and social movements
  • Religion, civic identity, and citizenship
  • Embodied religious practices
  • Religion and sexual/race/gender/class relations
  • Religion, poverty and social exclusion
  • Faith-based responses to austerity and social justice
  • Children, youth and religiosity
  • Religious built environments, institutions and governance
  • Religion and nationalism
  • Religion and immigration/minority politics
  • The politics of missions and evangelization
  • Religion and everyday geopolitics
  • Faith-based discrimination and religious intolerance

Please send abstracts of 250 words to Caroline Nagel ( by October 1, 2013.  Please note that the conference registration fee increases after October 23, so we must receive abstracts by the October 1 deadline.  Selected participants will need to register for the conference, submit their abstracts, and use their PIN to link their abstract to this session.