BASR Annual Conference 2022

Call for Papers

BASR Annual Conference (Hybrid Event)

Co-Sponsored by INFORM

30 August – 1 September 2022 

Religion and Public Engagement” 

Online and In-Person at The Open University, Milton Keynes 

Deadline: 20 May 2022

Keynote Address

Becoming an accidental activist: Religion, Academia and Community Engagement”

Jasjit Singh, University of Leeds

This year the theme of the British Association for the Study of Religions (BASR) conference focuses on Religion and Public Engagement. We want to explore the many ways in which religion engages with various specific publics, and various publics engage with religion (however construed).

Religion can be used to motivate and inflame ‘the public’ – from encouraging support or opposition to war in the Ukraine, storming the US Capitol building in support of freedom, or to accept or refuse a vaccine. Although relevant aspects of current events may seem obvious to scholars of religion, we must proactively work to justify our subject of study as important and relevant to others. We are also increasingly expected to engage specific publics and demonstrate impact from our research. Reflections on how, why, where, when, and with whom we engage are very welcome.

Fittingly, this year’s conference is co-sponsored by Inform ( which exists to prevent harm based on misinformation by bringing the insights and methods of academic research into the public domain.

Proposed papers might consider:

  • how religious organisations and individuals have engaged with specific publics, both in recent times and historically
  • the exchange of knowledge and approaches between schoolteachers and scholars of religion
  • the results of the recent REF and its consequences for public engagement and impact
  • how new and minority religions have engaged publics for their aims, as well as how scholars researching these groups have navigated their relationships with relevant groups

We encourage proposals for both individual papers and panels that address the above themes and questions. Scholars who are based in the UK are welcome to submit proposals on any topic whether or not it relates to the conference theme.

Organisational matters

The in-person conference will run from lunchtime on Tuesday 30 August to lunchtime on Thursday 1 September at the Open University in Milton Keynes. There will be accommodation reserved for conference participants within walking distance to the venue.

Standard panels will last 90 minutes. Proposals should include a 200 word abstract for the panel as a whole and should identify a panel chair as point of contact. A panel may be made up of three papers in the standard model—but we encourage panel organisers to propose creative ways of customising the structure of their panel to facilitate stimulating and meaningful engagement. Panel proposals can be for either in-person or online sessions—but we cannot accommodate hybrid sessions. However, there will be a dedicated room at the venue where online panels will be broadcast for those attending in person, and selected sessions will be streamed online.

Individual abstracts for papers are also welcome. They should be no longer than 200 words and carry a title plus author’s name and institutional affiliation (if applicable). Papers should last no more than 20 minutes. We will group individual abstracts into themed panels as far as possible. Please specify whether you intend to offer your paper in-person or online. We will group all the online papers together into online-only panels.

All papers and panels should contribute to the remit of the BASR as a member organisation of the International Association for the History of Religions: to advance research and education through the academic study of religions by providing a forum for the non-confessional, critical, analytical and cross-cultural study of religions, past and present. We plan to publish selected papers in the peer-reviewed Journal of the BASR.

Please submit proposals by 5pm on 20 May 2021 to, with BASR 2022 in the subject line.

Proposals will be considered by the conference committee and the BASR Executive Committee. Outcomes will be communicated in early June.

Costs for the conference are still being finalized but will be posted as soon as possible on the BASR website and updated call for papers. We will make several bursaries available for students and early career scholars.

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