From Oikonomia to Occupy: Intersections of the Religious and the Economic

Ayan Kassim's picture
Call for Papers
January 15, 2016
Ontario, Canada
Subject Fields: 
Religious Studies and Theology, Humanities, Social Sciences, Economic History / Studies

Economic and religious imaginaries often merge in ways that affect how socieities and individuals operate. Relations of power, hierarchies of knowledge, and the circulation of ideas are all entangled intersections between the religious and the economic, affecting the social and the political. In the social sciences and in the humanities, the idea of the 'neoliberal' now rivals most any other reasoning behind the forces of social and political change. From anthropological study of debt forgiveness in the Occupy Movement, to historical analysis of Roman economies in early Christianity, scholarship across disciplines is beginning to recognize the longstanding relation between religious and economic forms. In response, this graduate student symposium brings together research into how religions and economies overlap and co-constitute social and political worlds. How have different religious traditions engaged with the economic through history? Have contemporary economic practices, such as banking, consuming, and selling, conditioned the maintenance of religious sites? What are the implications of thinking religion through the purview of critical economic theory? What, indeed, are the practicial implications for scholarship in light of global political economies in crisis? In this conference, we will address constellations of the economic and religious in ways that crack open the deceptively isolated worlds of political economy and religion in the public sphere. We invite early career scholars and graduate students to explore the entangled production, circulation, and exchanges between the religious and the economic. Topics include, but are not limited to:

Exchange, circulation, and production of the religious

Credit and debt

Religious economies

Economies of Belief

Religious forms of capital and accumulation


Religion and political economy 

Ritual and the economic

Charity and the logic of Giving/The Gift

Theologies of money

Economics of pilgrimage

Austerity and the post-secular/ity


Values, Value, Validity

Accounting/ Accountability

Communism, capital, and the religious

Power, discipline, and the economies of the religious

Austerity in the academy: Job precarity/decreased research funding

Consuming religion/Religion and the market place


Deadline for proposals is January 15, 2016.

We will accept paper proposals of 150-200 words. We will also accept panel proposals for multi-person themed panels: please give a brief overview of the proposed panel theme and a 150-200 word abstract for each panel presenter in one document.

To submit an abstract or for further inquiries, please contact:


Symposium Conference Committee

Department for the Study of Religion

Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George St. 

University of Toronto

Toronto, Ontario, Canada




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