This conference takes place against the backdrop of an era of increased political authoritarianism and a noticeable rise in racial and religious intolerance across the world. Yet we increasingly find ‘race’ being dismissed or diminished as a category of oppression within wider social problems, dynamics and understandings. Race and Religion are intertwined in multiple ways. To understand how processes of racism, nationalism, and exclusion arise in different forms we need to view these developments as intertwined with religion and in the development of definitions of religion and religiosity. Race and Religion should also be included in analysis of actions such as the burning of the Amazon, attempts to lay pipelines in North Dakota, or conduct scientific experiments on indigenous sacred lands.

The 2020 Edward Bailey Lecture will be delivered by Dr Ipsita Chatterjea, Executive Director of the Study of Religion as an Analytical Discipline Workshop.

Respectability politics has a significant role in the interaction between race and religion and so must be brought into analysis with those categories. For centuries people of colour, Jews, Muslims, Indigenous peoples, Black Atlantic Religions have been denied the status of respectability whilst simultaneously having to continue to conform to white, Chrisitian norms in attempts to attain that status. This can be found in policies that ban certain types of hairstyles, religious clothing, even the clothing that sports-women like Serena Williams can wear or the policing of the bodies of sports-people like Caster Semenya and Colin Kapernick.

Implicit Religion was founded in the UK and as such is shaped by social history of it, which includes colonising lands and peoples, engaging in and profiting from the slave trade, selling arms and having a problematic relationship with immigration. As such then it is important that we consider how race has influenced, shaped and interacted with Implicit Religion. It is also important that we ask ourselves what role Implicit Religion can play in future interactions with race and representation, be that in the academia or public life.

Presenters are invited to submit abstracts for consideration on the theme of “Implicit Religion, Race and Representation”. These might include, but are not limited to:

  • Responses to race and social otherness
  • Race, Representation and Respectability
  • Race and Representation in the Age of New Social Movements / Resistance
  • Political and Religious Authoritarianism: Past, Present and Future
  • Methodologies for decolonising teaching and curricula in theology and Religious Studies
  • Implicit Religion in Social Struggle and Activism
  • Christianity and White privilege
  • Implicit Religion and artistic responses to racism
  • Counter Movements and Implicit Religion (civil rights, indigenous rights, anti-apartheid movements, Black Lives Matter, Say Her Name)
  • Race and Representation in religious academic writings, analysis and organisations

We invite submissions for proposals on these themes for #IR43, May 15-17th, at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, UK. Presenters are asked to submit a 400 word abstract by the 28th February 2020, the submission form will become available in early January 2020 

There will be a dedicated panel for undergraduates, MA and early stage PhD students to present at – called a scratch session. These will be shorter papers and rather than the usual practise of asking questions of the presenters, the audience will make suggestions for further reading, pathways for improvement, scholars to explore etc. If you wish to apply for the scratch session please submit a 250 – 300 word abstract by the 28th February 2020, including ‘scratch session’ in the topic line. 

Please note we are a small organisation and as such are not in a position to provide bursaries, travel grants or funds for visa applications. We can provide you with an official letter of invite and a subsequent letter of participation if your university or funding body requires it or if it is necessary for travel or visa requirements.