CFP: Inter-Religious Encounters in Architecture and Other Public Art

  • Dates: 20 May – 31 Dec, 2023
  • Location: United States
  • Contact: Timothy Parker
  • Email:

You are invited to submit an article for a special issue on “Inter-Religious Encounters in Architecture and Other Public Art” for the Journal Religions (ISSN: 2077-1444) (

Special Issue Link: 

Inter-Religious Encounters in Architecture and Other Public Art

Religious identity, practice, and meaning have long been profitably studied in the context of art and architecture. Among the expected results are concrete expressions that, over time, have solidified into typological forms. One may think of the development of Western Christian architecture from the house church to the basilica to the hall church to the meetinghouse to the megachurch, for instance, with all the attendant changes of art and liturgical furnishings along the way. Similarly, conceptions of sacred space, time, or action have been key themes in comparative religion. They have provided interpretive schemas for what is ordinary or universal amidst differences and how attribution may relate to or compete with experienced phenomena—all embodied in material and built forms.

However, spaces and places of inter-religious encounters demonstrate the limits of such apparent typological, analogical, or conceptual clarity. Specially designed environments for inter-religious cooperation, such as interfaith chapels, are exceptions to the rule of a greater, hardly comprehensible, complexity. Yet there is great potential here to reconsider typologies, incorporate material culture into studies of the built environment, and appreciate diffuse and subtle markers of religion as they help constitute public life. From the mental maps and images that someone may hold about definitions and functions of a mosque to how a row of churches dominates a streetscape to contested sites and images across media landscapes, inter-religious encounters happen in and through specific contexts of architecture and public art. These contexts are not only ripe for careful study; their diffusion and ubiquity—if attended to and noticed—make them promising focal regions for improving inter-religious understanding.

This Special Issue of Religions invites contributions to such understanding, focused on architecture and/or art in the public realm. Methodologies, themes, and discourses of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Permutations on the “public sphere” (multiple spheres, publics, counter-publics, networks, assemblages)
  • Role of civic religions
  • Importance and challenges of syncretism
  • Intersections of liturgy, theology, and religion across multiple traditions
  • Intersections of religion with other identities
  • Historical, theoretical, and critical approaches
  • Iconographic, iconological, and semiotic analyses
  • Phenomenological analyses
  • Typological analyses, especially if advancing new typologies
  • Patron/client/user/reception histories
  • Relevance of comparative and inter-religious theology
  • Ecumenism, pluralism, post-secularity
  • Constructive post-modernism
  • Mapping as a means of emplacement
  • Iconoclasm and word/image controversies
  • Demographic growth of the “nones” (including the religiously unaffiliated and the “spiritual but not religious”) and those of Multiple Religious Belonging

Dr. Timothy Parker
Guest Editor

The submission deadline is  31 December 2023. However, an abstract of about 250 words should be emailed to me at your earliest convenience:, cc. For further details on the submission process, please see the Instructions for Authors on the journal website ( 

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