Modern societies can be characterized by a high social dynamic. Different social networks develop a significant (and potentially conflictual) mobility through the interconnection between social spaces and blurred social boundaries. Social mobility includes the actors’ participation in achieving common goals, their specific strategies and patterns. Furthermore the access to important resources and the establishment of legitimacy for the actions are part of the process. Sociological research of interwoven processes within figurations has to address the cognitive orientations, their structures and individual, just as collective-level, developments that represent forms of mental mobility, as third type of mobility next to social and spatial.

Here, religion is known to be an important identity marker for social orders and potential power relations. The religious factor contributes to the definition of the self and the foreign or other. On the one hand the religious component as legitimising social construct constitutes the establishment of certain social and cultural spheres and their boundaries. On the other hand it operates as a connecting element across geographical, ethnic, social or political boundaries. Religious dogmas and norms constitute individual as well as collective orientations, codes of conduct and behavioral practices and the interdependences between social and religious processes have to be considered.

This conference aims to assess forms of social, spatial and mental mobility and networks from the perspective of different disciplines as well as to work out the role religion plays in these:

  • Religion as a mobilizing factor in conflicts,
  • Religious elements as symbolic capital in exchange processes in networks/figurations,
  • Religious institutions/networks as part of translocal figurations,
  • Religious aspects in the cognitive concepts of “migration”, “belonging” and “home”.

We invite scholars in Area Studies as well as in systematic disciplines (religious science, anthropology, sociology, political science, geography, history etc.) to attend the conference and to discuss the issues in relation to the above mentioned aspects. Please register by June 30, 2013 with Fabian Falter (s5fafalt@uni-bonn.de)