The motto of the congress is: Belief – Imagination – Knowledge. New Paths of Religious Studies in the 21st Century. The speakers will include Tim Jensen from the University of Southern Denmark, President of International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR).
At the end of the second decade of the 21st century religion remains a vital object of empirical and theoretical research. Religious studies occupy a special place among the disciplines investigating religion,. The aim of this discipline is to provide intellectual tools to understand or explain how various religious systems have functioned in past and present socio-cultural contexts.
Contemporary religious studies engage in a dialogue with other disciplines: anthropology, ethnology, sociology, history, psychology, archaeology, culture studies, performance studies, literature studies, cognitive science, and political science – to name just a few of them. The Sixth International Congress of Religious Studies is aimed to become a meeting place where academics representing various perspectives within social sciences and humanities can exchange ideas and experiences.
As reflected in its motto, the Sixth International Congress of Religious Studieswill focus on three main areas of discussion:
1. Belief - for religious studies scholars, religion is not a personal credo, but an intellectual and research challenge. What psychological, social, and cultural mechanisms make people create and transmit concepts of supernatural beings or powers? In what way do religious beliefs shape individual and collective behaviours, both in ritual and everyday context?
2. Imagination - Religion may be a pivotal element of social imagination, shaping systems of meanings and values. In what way do religious ideas shape social practices, notions of affiliation and identity, and visions of past and present?
3. Knowledge - Reflecting on religion means also asking questions which emerge gradually together with the development of science and technology. From the cognitive point of view, for example, it is important to ask what is the place of religious concepts created within a discourse which attributed to itself a non-human origin in human cognitive schemes. The organisers would like to focus on a new issue: the transfer between religion and technology. As humanity has entered into the era of algorithms, quantum computing and Virtual Reality every field of our lives has changed irreversibly. What influence has it had on religion in the institutional, existential and cognitive aspect?
- Prof. Tim Jensen, University of Southern Denmark, President of the International Association for the History of Religions
- Prof. Volkhard Krech, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
- Dr hab. Agata S. Nalborczyk, Prof. UW, University of Warsaw
- Dr hab. Anna Niedźwiedź, Prof. UJ, Jagiellonian University
Papers will be presented in Polish or English.
More information about the congress can be found on its website.