Religion in Motion: Between Borders and Belonging (Call for Papers)

The biennial conference of the Nederlands Genootschap voor Godsdienstwetenschappen
(NGG) – the Dutch Association for the Study of Religion

Nijmegen, November 1-3 2023

Keynote Speakers include Dr. Nadia Fadil (KU Leuven), Dr. Basit Iqbal (McMaster
University), Dr. Carly Crouch (Radboud University) and Dr. Birgit Meyer (Utrecht University).

Religiosity and mobility have been topics of research and debate for scholars working with
different theoretical, methodological, and disciplinary approaches. In this conference, we
explore how the study of religion might be transformed through a focus on mobility in its
various forms.

We ask, for instance: How is mobility an integral part of religious traditions? How does
religion inform experiences of belonging in migratory contexts? How do political,
geographical, cultural, and religious borders shape people’s lives? Their visions of the past
and the future? Their experiences of home and belonging? Their aspirations and
imaginations of destiny?

We examine how state and/or religious authorities classify migrants and consider the ends
towards which such categorization works. We ask how different kinds of borders influence
the lives and faiths of people on the move, and consider how these modern forms of mobility
have historical roots across a range of sociopolitical and geographical milieus.

Bringing together scholars who work at the intersection of mobility and religion, this
conference invites scholars of religion to converse with those working in anthropology and
sociology; history, law, and political science; and the study of transnationalism, borders,
migration, and refugees, to name just a few fields.

This conference therefore aims to broaden the theoretical and methodological repertoires for
future studies of religion in motion whereby mobility and religion are analyzed not as
separate themes, but as critical axes of people’s religious experiences across traditions,
times, and spaces, with mobility and religion acting as co-constitutive of beliefs, practices
and socialities.

We encourage graduate students, early career scholars, and established academics to use
this meeting as an opportunity to think through research agendas, challenges, and
inspirations for current and future research, particularly those that decenter Europe, or
rather, locate Europe as only one yet powerful bulwark, goal, and trajectory in a global world.
We also welcome contributions which explore less commonly explored religious and spiritual
traditions, alongside those better studied.
various forms.

Topics which might be explored can include (but are not limited to):

  • Transformations in refugee religiosity
  • Terror, death and dying en route or in migratory settings
  • (Social) life, resilience, humor and joy en route or in migratory settings
  • Religious lives of migrants
  • The role of religion in forced migration
  • Technologies of migration and religiosity
  • State governance of movement and religion
  • Religion, migration, and law
  • Religion in transit
  • Transnational networks of religious institutions
  • Migration, religion, and racialization
  • The role of religion in enforcing, transcending, or overturning borders
  • The role of borders, boundaries, and crossings in religion
  • Syncretism, hybridity or polyculturalism? Theories on the creation of new religions
  • (The implications of) definitions, including “refugee” and “migrant”
  • Pilgrimage
  • Missionary activities
  • Mobile relics and material religion
  • Theology of migration, with special attention for intercultural dialogue and
  • Migration and holy scriptures

We welcome submissions for individual papers or preorganized panels (including innovative
formats like author-meets-critics, roundtables, film screenings with discussion, etc).

Individual paper proposals should include: 1) a title of the presentation 2) the name and
institutional affiliation of the author 3) a 300 word abstract.

Panel proposals should include all the above for each paper included along with: 1) the
name and institutional affiliation of the organizer 2) a 300 word abstract for the panel itself.

Panels and papers will be considered for inclusion in a special conference issue for the
Dutch journal in the study of religion, NTT Journal for the Study of Religion.

Please send all paper proposals, panel proposals, or inquiries to the following email address:

Please find a timeline of important dates below:

  • April 15, 2023: deadline for individual papers or panel proposals
  • May 7, 2023: notification of acceptance
  • August 15, 2023: registration deadline for accepted presenters

The conference fee is: 75 euro (55 euro for NGG members) for the full conference and 30
euro (20 euro for NGG members) for a single day participation. There is potential funding for
colleagues from underrepresented regions and in precarious situations.

We welcome your submissions and look forward to a full, rigorous and fun conference in
November 2023!


Radboud University Network on Migrant Inclusion (RUNOMI)
The Netherlands School for Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion (NOSTER)
Radboud Reflects
European Research Council (ERC)
Race-Religion Constellation Project
Institute for Eastern Christianity
NTT: Journal for the Study of Religion
Departments of the Radboud Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies:
Comparative Religious Studies
Islam Studies
Empirical and Practical Religious Studies
Textual, Historical, and Systematic Studies of Judaism and Christianity
Center for Religion in Contemporary Society (CRCS)

Organizing Committee, Radboud University Nijmegen

Joud Alkorani
Justine Bakker
Jorge Castillo Guerra
Martijn de Koning
Christopher Sheklian
Eric Venbrux

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