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The 2013 CESNUR Conference co-organized by Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) International Society for the Study of New Religions (ISSNR) Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University Finyar (The Nordic Network for the Study of New Religiosity) Dalarna University




Dalarna University Falun (Sweden),

21-24 June 2013


2013 celebrates the 25th anniversary of the first CESNUR conference, held in Southern Italy in 1988, and the opening of INFORM (Information Network Focus on Religious Movements) in the UK.

How has the religious scenario evolved within the context of a changing world over the past 25 years? How are religious movements different today? How does society react differently to religious pluralism?

These will be the themes of the 2013 conference, with special attention being paid to the Nordic countries, contemporary spiritual and esoteric movements in a globalized and transnational perspective, and the reactions of the media, the mainline churches, the law and society in general to the new religious pluralism.

The conference will start on Midsummer Night’s Eve, Friday 21 June 2013, when participants will congregate in Stockholm in the morning and board a bus for a field trip that will take them to culturally significant locations throughout the Swedish region of Dalarna.

Dalarna is famous for its small and picturesque villages, beautiful nature, traditional culture and handicraft. We will first visit Falun’s World Heritage Site and the 17th century part of the town. At that time, Falun was one of the most important towns in Sweden because of its copper mine.

Then we will continue to the old traditional villages around Lake Siljan, stopping on our way at some other places of traditional and cultural importance. The journey will culminate with a traditional Swedish Midsummer Feast in the village of Leksand, before our arrival in Falun late that evening.

The sessions of the conference will run from the morning of Saturday 22 June to the morning of Monday 24 June. On Monday 24 June buses will leave Falun at lunchtime (box lunches will be provided), taking participants either directly to Arlanda Airport in Stockholm or to a visit to Kalle Runristare, a neo-Pagan rune-carver on an island outside Stockholm. This island, Adelsö, is a World Heritage Site with historical importance, where the king lived in the Viking era. The journey ends in Stockholm in the evening.

In this package is included the field trip (including meals) on Friday, lunches from Saturday to Monday, the reception on Saturday night, and the journey back to Arlanda/Stockholm on Monday. Price: 220 euro.

An option will be offered for those who only want to participate in the conference, have the lunches on Saturday and Sunday and attend the banquet on Sunday evening as well as the reception on Saturday night. Participants opting for this package will not be included in any of the field trips and these participants will have to make their own arrangements to reach and leave Falun by train and plan their transfers privately. Price: 120 euro.


Option 1
Full package, including transportation from Arlanda airport, Stockholm, the field trip on Friday (including meals); lunches; the reception on Saturday evening and the banquet on Sunday evening and either transportation back to Arlanda only or the field trip with arrival in Stockholm on Monday evening: Euro 220.

Option 2:
Conference attendance only, including lunch on Saturday and Sunday, the Saturday reception and the Sunday banquet (but no field trips or transportation) at: Euro 120.
Papers and sessions proposals should be submitted by email before the close of business on 10 January 2013 to, accompanied by an abstract of no more than 300 words and a CV of no more than 200 words. Proposals may be submitted either in English or in French.


We urge you to make your travelling and lodging arrangements as early as possible, as midsummer is a very important holiday in Sweden. Journeys will be cheaper and more available if you book early. For those who arrange their own train journey between Arlanda and Falun, please observe that it is possible to buy train tickets from about three months before the journey, and that the tickets from that time on becomes increasingly expensive. See .


Scandic Hotel, just beside the university, is offering special prices for our conference guests. The price, inclusive of a generous breakfast, is 700 SEK for a single room (en suite), 800 SEK for a double room (en suite). To get this price, please write the code “Changing Religious Movements”. See Hotels/Countries/Sweden/Falun/ Hotels/Scandic-Lugnet/ . Write to


A cheaper option is an old prison which has been converted into a youth hostel. Three nights, inclusive of breakfast, in a single room, costs 1250 SEK (sharing a common bathroom). Rooms with several beds cost 950 SEK per person for three nights. To get this price, write the code “Changing Religious Movements”. See Write to


The youth hostel is situated about a 20-minute walk from the university, but is, on the other hand, closer to the town center.
Registration for the conference will open on 15 February 2013.

For full details see


Call For Papers/ Presentations/ Performance: 

Hosting 6: “Absence – Haunted Landscapes”

Hosting 7: “Presence – Manifesting Ghosts

GHost invites proposals for papers, presentations, or performances of 30 minutes exploring the desire and attempt to materialise what is absent via the medium of haunted landscapes or through the manifestation of a ghost. We would like to hear from researchers within all fields – anthropology, art history, cultural studies, film studies, history, science, law, literary studies, parapsychology, psychology, philosophy etc. as well as practising artists.

The Hostings will take place in the Court Room, University of London, Senate House between 6.30 – 9.00pm on the 29th February and 14th March.

Please send a (working) title and an abstract of approximately 300 words, also include which Hosting you are submitting to and, if applicable, one or two pictures.  

Send these to Sarah Sparkes at: 

More about GHost:

Deadline for submissions of proposals: 13th January 2012

Hostings 6: Absence – Haunted Landscapes

The Key Of Solomon, a medieval grimoire instructs magicians to seek out “places that lie concealed, distant and removed from the haunts of men. Wherefore desolate and uninhabited regions are most appropriate, such as the borders of lakes, forests, dark and obscure places, old and deserted houses, whither rarely and scarce ever men do come, mountains, caves, caverns, grottos, gardens, orchards…”

Could it be that this instruction suggests a common topography of the haunted landscape that such venues operate as amplifiers for achieving rapport with the dead? Perhaps it is the absence of life and the nature of our own loneliness that in fact haunts the landscape? Are places of tragedy imbued with spirits of their victims or is this just a romantic engagement, an imaginative association with a past event? Is it possible to use a particular landscapes to facilitate the experience of paranormal phenomena – in this respect can landscape serve like the séance room for the natural channelling of the spirit of place, or the dead souls of its past? Moreover, have artists and writers intuitively apprehended these landscapes to manifest a haunted aesthetic?

GHost invites submissions exploring these or other ideas associated with the Haunted Landscape.

Hostings 7: Presence – Manifesting Ghosts

Ghost Seance has the potential to summon spirits at any given location and time although 3:00 a.m. usually produces the best results.” (Taken from a website advertising a séance app. for smart phones)

Writers, psychical investigators, mediums, parapsychologists, illusionists, artists all have manifested ghosts in their own way. The writers mind conjures up ghostly apparitions, pinning down their fleeting forms with words. In the darkened séance room both psychical investigator and audience witness phenomena produced by the medium. Whether witnessed by believer or sceptic, the spirit announces itself, with a common ghostly language: wraps, moving furniture, unexplained scents, temperature changes, phosphorescent lights etc. In more recent times visual and auditory ephemera has been described and captured by paranormal investigators with the help of technological devices. This new language of the ghostly reappears in the haunted aesthetics of films such as Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape and in the work of contemporary artists such as Susan Hiller. When attempting to document ghosts, is it us or the ghosts who are controlling the means by which we describe and measure their presence?

GHost invites submissions exploring ghost-makers; their means, methods and their reasons for manifesting ghosts.

About GHost

GHost is a visual arts and creative research project which explores the various roles ghosts play in contemporary culture by bringing artists, writers, curators, researchers and others together. In homage to Duchamp’s wordplay “A guest + a host = a ghost”, we take on and explore the various roles of ghosts, guests and hosts in our activities. The project has been running since 2008 and we have organised exhibitions, performance nights and so-called Hostings, seminar-style workshops which serve as a forum for exchange between thinkers and makers, audience and practitioners. As a research project, GHost blurs the boundaries between the diverse research groups and audiences that exist for the paranormal and hosts events in which these groups can explore their various beliefs. As a visual arts project, GHost explores the illusionary power of art and artists to create what could be seen as a ‘haunted aesthetic’. Visual art exhibitions have been hosted by a John Soane church in East London, at the London Art Fair and the Folkestone Triennial Fringe while the Hostings have been held at Senate House, University of London.

GHost has been organising Hostings in association with the IGRS, School of Advanced Study, University of London since 2009.

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