NCSR 2008 - Urban Diversity and Religious Traditions
13-15 August 2008, Åbo Akademi University

Religion and social problems

Titus Hjelm, University College London

Religion is most often represented as a relief to different kinds of social problems, American faith-based initiatives being a prime example. However, the developments after September 11 have shown that religion is also increasingly regarded as the source of social problems. The aim of this session is to discuss the role of religion in alleviating social problems (e.g. poverty, ethnic conflict, gender issues, etc.) and perspectives on religion as a social problem (interreligious conflict, religion vs. secular identities, terrorism, etc.). Discussion on the role of the media, popular culture, law, and politics in the construction of religion and social problems is welcome. In light of the general theme of the conference, assessments of religion and social problems in the urban context are especially encouraged. Both theoretical and empirical papers are accepted, as are possible reports on ongoing research.