The 17th Annual Conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR) takes place at the University of Tartu this summer. The conference is organized by the Estonian Society for the Study of Religions in cooperation with the School of Theology and Religious Studies and the Institute of Cultural Research of the University of Tartu.
David Thurfjell is professor in the Study of religions at Södertörn university, Stockholm. His research spans across several empirical fields and circles around themes pertaining to religious revivalism, religion as a means of social mobilisation and the discursive authority surrounding religion and secularity. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Iran, he has published on the grass roots activists of Iranian Islamism and on charismatic Shi’ite revivalism, (for instance see Living Shi’ism, Brill 2006). His second empirical field is charismatic Christian revivalism among Romani people. Based on ethnographic research, Thurfjell has here written on the role Pentecostalism plays in establishing an organisational and conceptual platform for social struggle, (Faith and Revivalism in a Nordic Romani Community, Tauris 2011). Moving away from his focus on charismatic religious expressions and minority communities, Thurfjell’s more recent publications have dealt with views on religion among the secular mainstream majority populations in Scandinavia (Godless people (Swedish: Det gudlösa folket, Molin & Sorgenfrei 2015)). The plenary lecture at the EASR-conference in Tartu will present results from his two last projects. It will address the question of what happens when a country of self-proclaimed seculars becomes increasingly multi-religious.