Research School for Economic and Social History


11 - 13 December 2023
University of Antwerp

Workshop on Belief in Solidarity – Call for papers – deadline 24 June 2023

On 11-13 December 2023, UCSIA, the Urban Studies Institute (University of Antwerp) and Centre Pieter Gillis (University of Antwerp) organise an academic workshop at the University of Antwerp on interdisciplinary perspectives on the role of religiously inspired solidarity in modernising and post-secular contexts.

The organisers of this workshop aim to discuss the role of faith and religious inspiration in organizing solidarity in contemporary superdiverse and post-secular urbanized societies as well as in secularising societies from the nineteenth century on by proceeding from the observation that religiously inspired or faith-based organizations have played and continue to play a significant role in offering social support and protection to vulnerable groups. However, these organisations do not sit easily in their intellectual and political-ideological context. While religiously inspired solidarity is driven by inner motives and personal faith, in the historical development of European welfare states, solidarity has become institutionalized as a set of impersonal redistributive mechanisms such as paying taxes and social contributions.

Confirmed keynotes are Anne Birgitta Pessi (Professor of Church and Social Studies, University of Helsinki), Sigrun Kahl (Assistant Professor of Political Science and Sociology, Yale University) and Joan Stavo-Debauge (Associate Researcher, University of Lausanne).

The organisers welcomes papers on the following topics: 1) Definitions of solidarity and community, 2) Definitions of suffering and deservedness, 3) Solidarity beyond territories, and 4) (Inter)Religious plurality and community. Abstracts should be submitted via a dedicated online form ultimately 28 June 2023.