SMRE Session at the ISSR 2017 in Lausanne

The SMRE team is organizing a session together with PEW at the next ISSR in Lausanne (4-7 July 2017). The title of the session is "Contested Religious Belonging in Europe. Measuring Old Traditions and New Identities in Comparative Perspective". The session is organized instead of a separate SMRE Conference 2017 since the ISSR Conference 2017 has moved to Lausanne (Switzerland). Therefore we decided to go for a joint event at this outstanding conference on research on religion.


Abstract of the SMRE Session (STS #52)

The role of religion in European societies has become a prominent topic of public and academic de-bate. Questions concerning religion figure large when it comes to identities, politics and social inte-gration. Historically religion in Europe is a highly territorial feature of social structure. Its standard form is an exclusive social membership role. Currently Europe’s religious landscape is changing rap-idly. The number of religious bodies and communities is growing. Muslim minorities and persons without religious affiliation take a larger share within many countries. In addition, religious affiliation and religious belonging have gained a new prominence as categories of social identification. Consequently, the importance of statistics on religious affiliation has grown. Data on religious affiliation are regularly brought forward in debates about the strength, predominance and acceptance of various religious groups. Frequently, these numbers are doubted and disputed.
How different are countries and regions of Europe religiously? How religiously pluralized is Europe? And how and why do these differences and changes interplay with social conflicts concerning reli-gious identities and state religious policies? Any scientific assessment must start with clarifying conceptual issues and giving data on religious affiliation.


Call for Papers

This thematic session intends to explore these questions in interdisciplinary perspective. Thus, we invite researchers to send proposal on these topics. The papers could be based on large n compari-sons across Europe or could deal with selected country cases or present case studies in a compara-tive manner. Conceptual and/or methodological contributions dealing with problems of measuring religious belonging and its societal impact are also welcome. A spatial or geographical approach is of interest as well. The session includes recent results and improved estimates of the religious composition of European countries originated by the “Swiss Metadatabase of Religious Affiliation in Eu-rope (SMRE)” (

The deadline for submitting paper proposals is 10 January 2017.

To submit your paper, please use the online form on the ISSR website.


Travel Grants

The SMRE is sponsoring supportive travel grants for participants from Eastern Europe who present a paper at the SMRE/Pew session at the ISSR conference 2017 in Lausanne (generally limited to a maximum of 300.- EUR per person).

Please fill in this application form and send it to