NRMs and alt.spiritualities in Ireland: October2009

Conferences, meetings, publications
Sen McGlinn
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 7:11 am
Location: Leiden, the Netherlands

NRMs and alt.spiritualities in Ireland: October2009

Postby Sen McGlinn » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:28 pm

Alternative spiritualities, the New Age and New Religious Movements in
Ireland:an interdisciplinary conference
National University of Ireland, Maynooth
October 30th - 31st 2009
Conference website:

Call for papers
In recent decades, the religious landscape of the island of Ireland
has transformed dramatically. New religious movements and what is
sometimes called the "New Age" have flourished, along with the
arrival of religions long-established elsewhere. Ways of being which
classify themselves as non-religious or as consciously resisting religion
(new spiritualities, humanism, skepticism, anti-cult organisations etc.)
have also become far more significant. (The "newness" of any movement or
group, and the "New Age" classification, are of course both often strongly
contested, but are used here for practical purposes.)

This is the first conference to bring together academic research on
these topics in Ireland. We are interested in work on religious
groups and movements, as well as more diffuse expressions of
spirituality and religious organisation which have arrived,
(re)emerged or flourished in Ireland after 1945.

These developments raise big questions for the study of religion, but also
have important implications in fields as wide-ranging as gender relations,
roads protests, the politics of church and state, immigration, tourism,
funeral practices, education, youth cultures, health and regulation,
globalization, and our relationship to the past, physical or imagined.
They shed light on the transformation of religion in contemporary Ireland
as well as providing us with insights into the nature of the society we
live in.

With this in mind, we welcome theoretical and empirical papers in a
range of disciplines on all aspects of these new movements in
Ireland, including but not limited to "New Age" groups, pagan /
Celtic movements, other new religious movements, world religions in
Ireland, alternative medicine and bodywork, "cults" and schisms
within established Irish churches, non- and anti-religious groups,
and new religious movements abroad which have strong Irish roots or

Suggested themes
We welcome papers by established researchers and graduate students in all
academic disciplines (including but not limited to anthropology,
archaeology, cultural studies, economics, English, health research,
history, neuroscience, philosophy, politics, psychology, sociology,
religious studies, tourism studies, women's studies …) as well as
cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary papers and work by researchers
outside of academia.

Papers may be theoretical or empirical in their approach, and include
historical, qualitative and quantitative studies, documentary and case
study approaches, and other methodologies and approaches. The only
limitation is that this is a research conference rather than a place to
debate the truth or religious value of particular religious beliefs or
practices, and we are looking for papers which advance understanding
rather than simply describing, celebrating or condemning.

Some suggested themes for papers include:

The New Age and understanding religion: concepts and theories,
understanding "experiences" and techniques, biography and religion etc…
New religious movements and social change in Ireland:
secularisation, class, Celtic Tiger and prosperity consciousness,
modernity and post-modernity etc…
Alternative spiritualities and identity: ethnicity, feminism,
bodies, ecology, landscapes, globalisation, "Celticity", counter-
culture etc…
The organisation of the New Age: new religious structures, the
Internet and new religions, credentialism, seminar spirituality etc…
Contesting religion: media coverage, mainstream religious
responses, moral panics, anti-cult movements, secular movements etc…
Institutional implications of new religious movements:
education, health, policing, funerals, marriages, conflicts over
regulation etc…
The economics of new spirituality: commodification, publishing,
spiritual tourism, alternative health etc…
Historicising new religious movements: reading the pre-
Christian past, Orientalism in Ireland, literary aspects etc…

We also welcome proposals on other topics related to the conference

[see the Conference website:
for more details ]

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