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Call for Papers: Religious Communities and Sustainable Development in the Middle East

Workshop by the Research Programme on Religious Communities and Sustainable Development Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Submissions until 17 January.

The Research Programme on Religion and Sustainable Development of Humboldt University invites the submission of abstracts for the international Workshop Religious Communities and Sustainable Development in the Middle East. The workshop will take place as an online or hybrid event depending on future corona regulations. Accepted papers will be considered for publication in a dedicated issue of the new open access journal Religion & Development, a forthcoming interdisciplinary and international publication outlet in the field of religion and development.

The workshop is transdisciplinary in nature. It seeks to bring together scholars from various disciplines (inter alia theology, religious studies, anthropology, economics, sociology, political science). Qualitative and quantitative approaches are welcome; all contributions are expected to be open to inter- or transdisciplinary conversation.

In line with the Research Programme’s mission, the workshop seeks to facilitate mutual dialogue between academia, policy and practice. Extra-academic experts and practitioners are encouraged to submit contributions and participate.

The workshop will discuss the state of research, policy and practice in the emerging field of religion and sustainable development with a regional focus on the Middle East. Papers might discuss the relevance of religion and religious communities to all aspects of sustainable development in local or regional contexts. This could include (but is not limited to) four levels of analysis:

  •  Individual level: How does religion change and shape individual behaviours and attitudes towards aspects of sustainable development, e.g. issues of gender, economy, labour, migration?
  • Social and socio-political level: How do religious communities and their leaders change and shape social structures? How do social structures of religious communities contribute to integration of migrants and displaced persons? How do political, financial and cultural traditions of religious communities advance or hinder sustainable development?
  • Institutional level: What is the contribution of religious communities to the landscape of institutional structures, e.g. in the education or health sector? What institutional shapes does the social action of religious communities take? Who are the main actors? What are typical profiles, goals and practices of institutions?
  • Ideological level: What notions of a good life and sustainable development are advocated by religious communities? What are their implications for the global development discourse? The programme will include one session on religion, migration and displacement and one session on religion and the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Research Programme invites submissions pertinent to both topics. They especially encourage excellent young researchers to bring forward innovative research approaches and findings.

They invite to submit an abstract of 200-300 words to Ms Indah Harahap ( until 17 January 2021.

Notice of acceptance will be sent out shortly thereafter. Accepted contributors will be asked to submit their full papers and/or presentations until 14 March 2021. For more information about the Research Programme on Religious Communities and Sustainable Development, please visit

For further information and inquiries, please contact Ekkardt Sonntag (

Call for proposals