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CALL FOR SHORT CONTRIBUTIONS ON SOUTHEAST ASIA
CoronAsur: Asian Religions in the Covidian Age
The research blog CoronAsur, launched by the Religion and Globalisation Cluster at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore in 2020, has turned into a vibrant site of documentation and reflection about religious responses to COVID-19. As we are planning a blog-based book publication with an internationally acclaimed academic publisher, we are looking for contributions at the interface of the COVID-19 pandemic and the life of religious communities and ritual practices that focus on ethnographic contexts in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.
Since the beginning of the spread of COVID-19 within and outside of China, every religious tradition has undergone radical changes. With the implementation of safety measures, some religious lives have gone digital. The enforcement of hygienic and ‘social distancing’ practices has dramatically changed aesthetic, affective and material dimensions of ritual acts. Religious leaders and congregations of followers have responded in innovative as well as controversial ways to the spread of COVID-19, producing new cultural phenomena that might be temporary, or long-lasting. Our research blog looks at ritual innovations and religious responses at the time of Coronavirus in Asia with a global and comparative outlook.
We are interested in contributions that can add to the understanding of the mutual shaping of religion and society during the COVID-19 pandemic, including and encompassing the following topics:
The use of new media, online platforms, and new modalities of sensory engagement following the digitization of religious gatherings
Religious and spatial innovations that change ritual praxis and creatively adapt discourses and ritual practices responding to the pandemic circumstances
Religious responses providing for rationalization, moral justification, divination, techniques of the mind-body complex that provide for comfort, healing and wellness in times of uncertainty and distress – and how these affect people’s choices and habits
The new instances of visibility of religious and spiritual dimensions in the public sphere from a post-secular vantage point
The use of religious identity politics to display conflicting ideologies of healing and socio-political tensions among communities occupying unequal positions of power
Transformations of local as well as transnational religious events and the economic impact of religious change across borders, including pilgrimage economy as well as religious networks of aid
We welcome contributions of about 2,000 words. If you are interested in sending a contribution, please send your personal details (name, affiliation, email address) and a short abstract describing the main focus of your contribution to Carola Lorea (firstname.lastname@example.org), Natalie Lang (email@example.com), and Alicia Chan (firstname.lastname@example.org) before 15th February 2021. Authors of successful proposals will be notified by 25th February and will be expected to submit their articles by 25th March 2021.