Religion and Non-Violent Social Movements

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 17:30-19:20
RC22 Sociology of Religion (host committee)

Language: English

The difficulty of sociologists to account for religious interventions in and engagements with social movements has been well-documented (Zald 1982; Hannigan 1990; 1991; 1993). Despite the now-clichéd call to bring religion back into the study of social movements, assumptions about the nature of religious involvement in social change remain: interventions in civil society by religious groups are typically cast as acts of religious charity or humanitarianism, not as political dissent or resistance; alternatively, religious groups and actors are typecast as staunch advocates for conservative politics and social policy. Meanwhile, progressive political activists are stereotypically presented as secular, despite influential work acknowledging the ‘moral’ nature of protest (Jasper 1997). Given the growing polarization of the contemporary global political landscape: the rise and popularity of ethno-nationalist, neo-fascist, and far-right political parties and groups; and the concomitant emergence of anti-fascist groups, new movements for racial and gender equality, as well as the continuation and maturation of environmental and democratic movements, this panel examines religion and non-violent social movements from across the political spectrum. Papers may investigate, for example, religious engagement in any global non-violent social movement; the religious dimensions of ‘secular’ non-violent social movements; movements or groups that blur the boundaries between the religious and the political; the relationship between the spiritual and political goals of religious activists; how social and political movements transform religious institutions and practices; the tensions and difficulties of integrating religious groups and activists into ‘secular’ movements; and the theoretical limitations of the category ‘religion’ in researching grassroots politics.

Session Organizer:
Rosemary HANCOCK, University of Notre Dame Australia, Australia
Rosemary HANCOCK, University of Notre Dame Australia, Australia
Oral Presentations
Beyond Narcissism: Holistic Spirituality, Political Engagement and Social Transformations
Mar GRIERA, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain; Anna CLOT-GARRELL, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
Minority Politics and Transnational Networks of Religious Social Activism
Joanildo BURITY, Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, Brazil
Religion and the Peace and Environmental Movement in Southern Philippines
Maria Cecilia MEDINA, Asian Center, University of the Philippines, Philippines