CFP: Semiotics of Religion – EASR conference

Call for papers on semiotics of religion at the EASR 25-29 June 2019. Submission deadline 15 December 2018. The European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR) is holding its 17th Annual Conference “Religion – Continuations and Disruptions” at the University of Tartu, Estonia, 25 through 29 June 25 2019. One of the conference sessions is dedicated to approaches and methodologies in applying semiotics to the study of religious change. Conference session details below. You can also contact the session chair, Jason Van Boom, at for more information.

We invite proposals from by scholars in semiotics, religious studies, theology, philosophy, and cultural studies. Proposals should include the title, a maximum 300 word abstract, brief information about the presenter, and a couple of keywords.  Submit your proposal through the EASR 2019 ConfTool website: For more information about the conference: For more information about the submission of abstracts:


Reconfiguring concepts and methods for the semiotic understanding of religious change

The past decade has seen a revival in the application of semiotic theory to religious studies. From the 1960s through the 1980s, there was a modest surge of interest among religious studies scholars in semiotic methodologies. Due to several factors, such as criticism of the structuralist premises of much of 20th century semiotics and a lack of confidence in the fruitfulness of semiotic models, this interest fell into a general abeyance (Robert Yelle, 2013). In the 2000s, a revival in semiotic studies of religion began. Two signposts are worth a special mention:  The publication of the first monograph with a title Semiotics of Religion (Robert Yelle (2013)) and Mediation and Immediacy:  The Semiotic Turn in the Study of Religion, an international conference held in Turin in 2016. This session focuses on modifying or rethinking semiotic approaches and methodologies, especially for the study of religious change. Such reconfigurations are necessary to avoid the alleged problems associated with older semiotic approaches. For example, instead of attempting to establish universally valid semiotic structures, current semiotic studies of religion often look at explaining sign-making and sign-usage in particular historical periods. We welcome papers dealing with (but not limited to) the following topics in connection with religious studies:  semiosphere(s), Peircean semiotics, biosemiotics, modelling systems, Greimassian analysis, cognitive semiotics, social discourse theory, somatic semiotics, and the contemporary relevance of late ancient, medieval, and early modern semiotic systems.

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