Call for Papers: The Social Psychology of Religion

Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

Special Issue: Call for Papers
The Social Psychology of Religion: The State of the Art

Editors: Adrian Coyle & Evanthia Lyons

In the Western world in recent years, concerns about the (potential and actual) social and political implications of the rise of 'fundamentalist Islam' have seen a range of questions being raised and culturally debated concerning the social risk/value of Islam in particular and religion in general and its role within the state. These debates have often become polarised, with anti-religious definitive positions attracting considerable attention. Some of the questions raised in these debates invoke standard social psychological concerns such as identity, group processes and intergroup relations, with a focus on trying to understand what fosters pro-social and anti-social behaviours that appear to be motivated and justified by religion. These questions have been studied by scholars within social psychology and within the psychology and sociology of religion, even if the complexity of the issues identified in this research has not always been reflected in cultural debates. It therefore seems an opportune time to review the substantive foci, the theoretical and methodological approaches and the achievements of social psychological work on religion. This constitutes the primary aim of the proposed special issue - to offer a 'state of the art' appraisal of the area and to use this as a basis for identifying possibly fruitful future directions. In addition, it will consider what contributions the social psychology of religion can make towards cultural debates on and social policy and practice related to religion and religious communities and towards social psychology generally.

We invite submissions in the form of critical reviews of theory and empirical work or original reports of research relevant to the special issue's focal themes:

(1) religion as ideology (and its correlates)

(2) religion as identity and implications for inter-group relations

(3) religious practices and their social and psychological implications

(4) religions as social movements

We are also open to work on other relevant topics. Empirical (qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods) work should aim to obtain social psychological insight into the particularity of religion or to test social psychological theory in religious contexts. The special issue adopts an inclusive perspective on what constitutes 'the social psychology of religion'. Submissions are welcome not only from social psychology but also from the psychology of religion, political psychology, (the) sociology (of religion), anthropology, religious studies and other relevant domains.

To allow maximum efficiency in the review process, those interested in submitting a paper are asked to submit an outline abstract (no more than 250 words) by December 4th 2009. The editors of the special issue, in consultation with other researchers or practitioners where necessary, will review the abstracts in terms of their suitability and relevance to the themes of the special issue. Once selected, the deadline for submission of full papers is February 26th 2010 with a view to publication by the end of 2010. All full papers (no more than 7000 words including references and tables) will be subject to the usual process of peer review. Abstracts should be submitted electronically as a Word document to A.Coyle [at] surrey.ac.uk Please note that all submissions should
be in the house style of the Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology. For information for authors, please see:

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