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Celebrating SocRel at 45: Beyond Binaries in the Sociology of Religion

14–16 July 2020
University of York, UK

Keynote Speakers

  • Dr Sarah Jane Page (Aston University)
  • Dr Sam Perry (University of Oklahoma)
  • Professor Colin Campbell (University of York)

Special 45th Anniversary Panel

  • Professor Eileen Barker (London School of Economics)
  • Professor Jim Beckford (Warwick University)
  • Professor Grace Davie (Exeter University)
  • Professor Linda Woodhead (Lancaster University)
  • Professor Colin Campbell (University of York)

About the Event

Sociological writing about religion is replete with binaries: secular/post-secular, sacred/profane, religion/non-religion, western/non-western, spiritual/religious, theistic/non-theistic, cognitive/corporeal and private/public, to name just a few. Theories that consider the relationship between these seemingly opposing concepts have shaped the evolution of the discipline, reflected changing social realities, and supported the production of new knowledge.

Although many of these binaries have become highly fashionable within the contemporary study of religion, does the use of these types of analytical frames limit our capacity for critical sociological engagement? Do our understanding of the lived realities for individuals across different communities support or reject the use of binary concepts? In this conference that celebrates 45 years of SocRel, we invite you to consider the possibilities for the sociology of religion ‘beyond binaries’. We encourage you to think about the relationships that you make in your own research with these, and other, binary frames, and the ways in which you find them both useful and limiting to think with.

Conference Bursaries

A limited number of bursaries are available to support postgraduate, early career, low income or unwaged SocRel members to present at the conference. For more information on bursaries, including the application form, please email our PG/ECR Liaison Officers Joanna Malone and Emily Lynn. Bursary applications must be submitted by 24 January 2020.

Conference and Gala Dinners

The conference dinner will be held on Tuesday, 14 July 2020. This will be an informal buffet style 2 course dinner served with tea and coffee.

On Wednesday, 15 July 2020 we will host the gala dinner in the Roger Kirk Centre Galleria, west campus. Enjoy a 3 course dinner and finish with coffee and chocolates.

Bar facilities will be available both nights.

Important Information:

  • The conference and gala dinners are included in the full conference registration rate. If you register to attend the full conference you do not need to book and pay the additional dinner supplements.
  • Booking and payment of additional dinner supplements will apply to day delegates who wish to attend the dinner(s).


Event bookings are now OPEN. All presenters must be members of SocRel.

  • BSA Member Full Conference: £280*
  • SocRel Study Group Member Full Conference: £300*
  • Non-member Full Conference: £330*
  • BSA Member Day Delegate Rate: £110
  • SocRel Study Group Member Day Delegate Rate: £135
  • Non-member Day Delegate Rate: £185
  • Conference Dinner (Day 1): £20*
  • Gala Dinner (Day 2): £30*

Please note:

  • After Friday, 2 June 2020, a £50 late registration fee will apply to all bookings.
  • Accommodation is not included in any registration rate. Campus accommodation is available, click here for further details.

Should you have other questions about the conference please contact the conference organiser: Dr Rachael Shillitoe (University of Birmingham).

Key Dates

  • Early bird registration opens: 11 December 2019
  • Abstract submission closes: 11:59pm on 28 January 2020 *extended deadline*
  • Decision notification: W/C 17 February 2020
  • Presenter registration closes: 20 March 2020
  • Early bird registration closes: 2 June 2020
  • Registration closes: 30 June 2020

Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher Pre-Conference Day

A pre-conference day will be held Monday, 13 July 2020, further details will be announced in the new year.