European Sociological Association Conference, Murcia, Spain Sept 23-26 2003


Under the general theme of the ESA Conference, " Ageing Societies, New Sociology ", the Research Stream on " Sociology of Religion " will focus on empirical and theoretical or conceptual aspects of research in this field.

At the empirical level, many questions may be raised. How do Ageing societies influence religious evolutions ? Is cultural or " patrimonial " approach to religion tied to this general phenomenon ? If so, how can we relate it to the secularization process ? And also : Is that phenomenon of ageing societies, associated to valorization of youthness and growing power of biological sciences, at source of renewed aspirations to overcoming death, to " re-birth " ? At the same time, how young generations involved in religious activities, though more fewer than their parents, do influence societal conception of religion as " spirituality " ? Is this evolution in continuity with previous process ? How convergence of mainstream religions on " liberal values " do interact with radicalization streams, either inside their own sphere or outside ?

At the theoretical and conceptual levels, classical and fundamental topics of Sociology of religions may be addressed, with special attention to new approaches. Process of secularization, either societal or institutional ; Comparative studies (between religions, between countries, between periods or generations) ; Sociological definitions of " religion " and societal ones ; etc.

Eight thematic sessions, each of 2 hours, will be organized (4-5 papers in each one). Some topics are proposed here, but other themes are possible. Subjects will be grouped hereafter in thematic sessions.

Ancient and new religions : how to cope with ageing societies ? how to attract new consumers ? Religious and secular Associations : dynamics of values and evolving identities Lacit, Secularity, and State managment of pluralism Enlargment of Europe : Religion and National Identities Religion : Believing or Belonging ? Faith or Identity ?


Deadline for submitting an abstract is February 28th 2003. Abstracts should not exceed 200 words. Notification of acceptance will be sent by April 30th 2003.



Registration should be made on the form at : Please note that a reduced rate conference fee is available for those registering by June 15th 2003. More information concerning the Conference is available on the same website.

Organizer :

Martine Cohen (CNRS, France),