12th International Symposium on Commercialisation of Religions in the Globalising World

Nikosia, 15.-17. September 2023

This symposium is organized by the University of Vienna, Institute for Islamic Theological Studies, Department of Islamic Religious Education and the University of Nicosia, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Theology.

Papers for the conference can still be submitted until June 22, 2023



Religion and rituals have been part of being human and interpreting human existence since time immemorial. Religion and the “sacred” belong together. Sacred places and times, objects and persons, symbols and signs, words and writings take people into the religious sphere.

Society and religions are always in motion in their relationship to each other. In secular societies, economic aspects of institutions not only play a role in politics and people’s personal lives, but are also in the interest of religious communities. This means that the spiritual world is no longer an island of the spiritual and is no longer protected from material power and greed. Due to far-reaching globalisation, the border between the material and the spiritual is becoming thinner and thinner.

Today, there is a danger that society will dissolve into highly independent individual segments. Religious communities then appear like an arbitrary sector among various areas of life, such as work, leisure, business, sport. As religious communities are assigned ever more narrowly defined tasks, religions are increasingly becoming a particular sector of social life.

The present is characterised by increasing religious pluralism and globalisation of all areas of life. Commercialisation not only challenges religions and a way of life rooted in faith, it also challenges the orientation of the individual as well as human society as a whole.

This international symposium will explore questions relevant to both religions and the future of the global community, shedding light on the consequences of commercialisation for society and religious communities.


For more information on the program, on how to register and on the call for papers, please visit the conference website.