Call for Papers: JSR special issue 2017: The Role of Religion in Violence and Peacebuilding

The role of religion in political and socio-economic violence as well as peacebuilding has been theorised and analysed in diverse ways and contexts. Political violence has been conceptualised in a narrow way as collective acts of political significance that result in direct physical harm to persons and property. Approaches taking in broader contexts have drawn attention to the systemic violation of people’s rights and dignity in modern states that claim a monopoly on legitimate violence and that have often normalised colonialism, racism, classism and sexism. The different forms of violence – direct, cultural and structural – have also been facilitated or opposed by actors who have deployed religion to meet their ends. This has been done through both violent and non-violent means, which have made reflections on the ethics of violent resistance and peacebuilding particularly salient.

We would like to invite interested authors to submit articles for a special issue of JSR (Journal for the Study of Religion, official journal of ASRSA, Association for the Study of Religion in Southern Africa) on the role of religion in political and socio-economic violence and peacebuilding. Analyses should be theoretically informed and applied to pertinent case studies (networked societies on the internet are relevant as well).

The aim of this edition is to publish a coherent body of analytical articles that focus on, but are not limited to, the following questions:
– In which ways have religious beliefs, practices and institutions been instrumentalised in political, ethnic and/or resource-based violence?
– Which roles have religious movements and religious actors played in secular politics towards peacebuilding and reconciliation?
– In which ways do networked groups on the internet use religion in discourses of violence and peacebuilding?

1. Submission of abstracts: Abstracts for consideration should be submitted by 01 November 2016. Abstracts should be between 200-250 words, providing the research question, theoretical approach, methodology and case study / studies.
2. Notification of acceptance of abstract and invitation of full paper submission for consideration: 15 November 2016.
3. Full papers (6000 – 10 000 words), prepared according to the guidelines for authors at, are due by 31 January 2017.
4. Articles will be peer-reviewed during February and March 2017.
5. Authors will be notified of the outcome of peer-reviews by 31 March 2017.
6. Final revised papers are due by 30 April 2017.
7. Publication of first issue of JSR in June 2017.

Please send abstract submissions and all correspondence relating to this special issue to the guest editors:
Johan Strijdom (Religious Studies and Arabic, University of South Africa, South Africa). Email:
Joram Tarusarira (Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain, University of Groningen, The Netherlands). Email:

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