The conference

Old religion and new spirituality:
continuity and changes in the background of secularization

University of Tartu, Estonia, 26-29 May 2015

Estonia is an extremely secularized European country, characterized by the diminishing institutionalization of religion (de-institutionalization) and the decline of the Christian practices and beliefs (de-Christianization). In order to investigate the historical roots of the situation and clarify the characteristics of the current picture, the research project about religiosity in Estonia was started in 2011. The staff of the project welcomes the researchers dealing with the religious situation in Europe in order to make comparisons of certain features of the changing religious landscape. Papers that address contemporary developments or provide a historical perspective will be accepted.

Particularly interesting aspects may include:

  • historical process of secularization, its specific features in different countries;
  • combinations of religion and nationalism, effects of nationalism on public religion;
  • changes in the traditional religious groups and churches in 21st century;
  • atheism and nonreligion, their organized and individual manifestations;
  • new spirituality, “New Age” and individual religiousness, mixed forms of organized and individual religion.

Invited speakers include:

  • Paul Heelas (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
  • Abby Day (University of Kent)
  • Detlef Pollack (University of Münster)

The language of the conference is English. The organizers plan to publish a selection of papers.

NB! See updated conference program here

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+372 5344 1310 (Riho)