Religions and Environment: Methodological Reflection and Contribution from Social Sciences

International Workshop

Call For Papers

Religions and Environment:
Methodological Reflection and Contribution from Social Sciences

June 27–28, 2024, Warsaw, Poland

Organizer: Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences

Major religious leaders advocate for environmental awareness and action. However, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, and Pagan communities have responded to their leaders’ appeals unevenly, ranging from eco-theology and deep ecology to climate change denial and indifference.

How does environmental awareness change the life of contemporary religious communities? How do they accept and reject, contest and engage with environmental topics? And how can social studies contribute to understanding the greening of religions? The workshop intends to discuss the environmental engagement of faith-based communities from a social science perspective and provide the reflection on the methodology of research involving such groups. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • the examples of sustainable living in religious communities and the barriers scholars face when conducting participatory research,
  • the conflicts that arise at the intersection of religion and environment and the challenges to interpret them in emic vs. etic categories,
  • religious vs. secular ecological discourse and the difficulties of conceptualizing and reporting on research findings,
  • expectations from the studied communities and various ways to respond, informed by social studies on minority and marginalized groups that have a developed reflection on power dynamics in fieldwork,
  • the cases of faith-based environmental concern leading to political demands, research responsibility and activist research.

Fieldwork-based empirical research providing a methodological reflection from a social science perspective is especially welcome.

Participation is onsite. Accommodation and travel expenses for presenters will be covered by the organizer. The working language of the workshop is English.

Please submit a ~350-word abstract and a one-page CV till March 4, 2024 to Ksenia Medvedeva at  

Key dates: Deadline for submitting proposals: March 4. Notification of acceptance of selected papers and preliminary program: April 7. Participants’ confirmation: April 15. Final program: April 20.

Organizing committee: Ksenia Medvedeva, IFiS PAN, Dorota Hall, IFiS PAN.

The workshop is funded from the Fellowship agreement concluded with the Polish Academy of Sciences to implement and finance the Fellowship funded under the PASIFIC Call 2 which is co-financed by the Horizon 2020 within the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Actions (COFUND).

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