Organization, uniting scholars of religions from various disciplines in Lithuania

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3rd International scientific conference of LSSR announced


3rd International Scientific Conference of the Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions

Vilnius, Lithuania
23-24 October, 2015

with Vilnius University and Vytautas Magnus University

Call for Papers

Life here and hereafter is considered to be one of the core concerns of an individual throughout the history of humanity. Quest for the meaning of life, role of death, possibilities of life after death are challenged with a broad scope of perceptions, reflections and expressions among various spiritual and religious traditions, emerging spiritualities, groups and individuals.

This conference addresses the topic of life here and hereafter and focuses on beliefs and practices of diverse origins, their formation, spread and expressions. It also focuses on the past and current representations of the phenomenon in specific regions and worldwide, discussing its diverse manifestations and changes concerning institutional and individual religiosities on (trans)national and (trans)regional levels.

Meeting with Death

The conference welcomes both empirical and theoretical contributions from various disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary approaches towards beliefs and practices within the domain of life here and hereafter. Of particular interest are those that combine perspectives and methods drawn from all social sciences and humanities on historical, present, and newly emerging approaches towards conceptions, manifestations and representations, as well as research methods, issues and problems, and new directions in studies of this phenomenon.

The 3rd Conference of the Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions Life Here and Hereafter: Beliefs and Practices will be held on October 23-24, 2015 at Vilnius University, Vilnius. We welcome scholars from religious studies, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, political science, and other disciplines to contribute to historical and contemporary studies of the role and manifestations of the phenomenon of life here and hereafter, in this way enriching its academic understandings. We expect individual paper proposals as well as panel proposals with three to four presentations.

We invite papers and panels including, but not limited to the following topics:

  • Methodological implications, challenges and issues;
  • Life here and hereafter and their socio-cultural representations;
  • Death and dying related beliefs and practices;
  • Divinations, predictions and prophecies;
  • The role of individuals and institutions in practices related to beliefs in life here and hereafter;
  • Life here, hereafter and cultural memory;
  • Life here and hereafter: religious and secular approaches;
  • Life, dying and afterlife in traditional religious groups and churches in the past and in the 21st century;
  • Life here and hereafter within contemporary spirituality, individual religiosity, combined forms of organized and individual religions;
  • Institutional arrangements, development and changes of beliefs and practices within the domain of life here and hereafter;
  • Afterlife and social imagination;
  • Life here and hereafter in the public sphere;
  • Life here and hereafter in the popular culture.

Please submit a 250-300 words abstract of your presentation accompanied by a short CV by e-mail to: by July 1, 2015. If you are interested in another topic related to the study of life here and hereafter, we encourage you to organize a session/panel. In this case, please submit a 200-300 words proposal by July 15, 2013 to the same email address.

Key dates

  • Submission of paper and session/panel proposals – July 1, 2015.
  • The authors of accepted proposals will be notified by July 15, 2015.
  • Notification of acceptance and opening of the registration – July 15, 2015.
  • The final date of the registration for the conference –September 15, 2015.
  • Final program – September 20, 2015


Conference fee (50 Euro) may be paid by bank transfer or in cash (not by card) at the registration desk.

The costs of travel and lodging should be covered by the participants.

Special events

Participants of the conference will be offered excursion in Vilnius city.

Organisers: dr. Eglė Aleknaitė (Vytautas Magnus University), assoc. prof. Milda Ališauskienė (Vytautas Magnus University), prof. Audrius Beinorius (Vilnius University), assoc. prof. Aušra Pažėraitė (Vilnius University), dr. Rasa Pranskevičiūtė (Vytautas Magnus University), prof. Egdūnas Račius (Vytautas Magnus University), assoc. prof. Annika Hvithamar (Copenhagen University).

Any conference related queries are to be sent to the conference email address. More information is available at

Please feel free to spread this message.

Download this call for papers as a PDF file.

To see updates, see the Conference 2015 page.

2014 ISORECEA conference in Kaunas – call for papers

The International Study of Religion in Eastern and Central Europe Association (ISORECEA) in cooperation with the Vytautas Magnus University and the Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions is organizing a conference “RELIGIOUS DIVERSIFICATION WORLDWIDE AND IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE”.

The conference will take place in Kaunas, Lithuania, April 24-27, 2014. The deadline for paper proposals is 15 November 2013.

Conference themes

For a long time the secularization thesis dominated the field of studies of religions in contemporary societies. Many definitions and even more explanations of the process of secularization in contemporary societies led scholars of religions to search for new theoretical insights about the rapidly changing global social situation. Opponents of this paradigm claim that we are witnessing growing religious vitality at religious market or change in religion itself – here we find the privatization thesis, precarious religion or religious bricolage. Independently of how we approach it from theoretical perspective religious diversification is the process that is evident in the majority of contemporary societies. It is manifested through numerous religious traditions and new emerging religious communities not only within the religious traditions, but also at the individual level, as well as by the increasing number of non-believers and non-adherents, etc.
In many cases Central and Eastern European societies have been analyzed as places where the monopoly of scientific atheism was replaced by the monopolies of national churches. But after more than twenty years of the post-communist period, religious diversification processes within these societies is visibly emerging, despite the fact that the dominance of the so-called national churches is still obvious.
How do worldwide and CEE societies adapt to religious diversification? How do religious communities approach the diversification of religion? How do states react towards the changing situation? How do worldwide and CEE societies differ from each other in relation to religious diversification?

We would like to approach these questions in the forthcoming international conference and to encourage scholars from various parts of the world to share their theoretical and empirical insights about religious diversification.

In this conference we also invite discussion of the following topics:

  • Religious diversification and Church and State relations;
  • Religious tolerance and discrimination;
  • Religious minorities and majorities;
  • Religious diversification and human rights;
  • Religious diversification and social participation;
  • Religious diversification and social exclusion;
  • Religious diversification and media;
  • Religiosity or Spirituality – within or outside religious institutions.

Please submit a 250-300 words abstract of your presentation by e-mail to: by November 15, 2013. If you are interested in another topic related to the study of religion in the CEE or worldwide, we encourage you to organize a session/panel. In this case, please submit a 200-300 words proposal by November 15, 2013 to the same email address.

Read more about the conference and participation fees – download a call for papers for the ISORECEA 2014 conference (PDF file).


The International Study of Religion in Eastern and Central Europe Association (ISORECEA) is an international scientific association established in December 1995, after a series of conferences organized since 1991 and devoted to the religious change in Central and Eastern Europe. The association focuses on the exchange of academic knowledge on the situation of religion in the Central-Eastern European area. Its members represent various disciplines, e.g. sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, and come from various countries, including Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Ukraine, and the USA.

The Programme of the 2nd national conference of the LSSR announced

The Programme of the 2nd national conference of the Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions was announced today on the page Conference 2012. Download the programme or read it online.

The 2nd National Conference of Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions “INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES OF RELIGIONS IN LITHUANIA: PROBLEMS AND TENDENCIES” will take place on  October 26, 2012 at Vilnius University Senate Hall, located on the main building of Vilnius University, University st. 3, Vilnius.

In memoriam Gintaras Beresnevičius (1961-2006), the founder of contemporary studies of religions in Lithuania and first chairman of Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions.

Lietuvos mokslo taryba: logotipas

The publication of the programme of the second national conference of Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions has been supported by Research Council of Lithuania. Project “Expansion of Religious Studies in Lithuania and Abroad”, agreement No. ACO-06/2012.

LSSR became a member of IAHR

On August 22, 2012 LSSR became a member of the International Association for The History of Religions.

In his welcome statement Tim Jensen, IAHR Secretary General, wrote to us from Copenhagen on September 14th:

IAHR Executive Committee at its meeting in Södertörn, Stockholm, Sweden, August 22, 2012, unanimously decided to recommend to the IAHR International Committee the adoption of the Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions (LSSR) as a member to the IAHR.

In accordance with the IAHR Constitution the LSSR though pending recommendation by the International Committee and admission by the General Assembly is thus considered a member of the IAHR.

I welcome you and your colleagues and the LSSR to the IAHR, and I look forward to future collaboration and mutual assistance in the common effort to further strengthen the academic study of religions.

Videos of prof. Eileen Barker lectures – on the VMU website

On May 2-3, 2012 the Department of Sociology was visited by Dr. Eileen Barker, who is professor emeritus at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Eileen Barker delivered two lectures: “Brainwashing, mind control, recruitment or conversion? The questions about influence and/or coersion in “cults”” and “Sociological research methods”. Below you will find the video recordings of those lectures.

Lecture “Brainwashing, mind control, recruitment or conversion? The questions about influence and/or coersion in “cults””:

Lecture “Sociological research methods”:

The lectures can also be viewed at the website of Vytautas Magnus University dedicated to video news and lectures:

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