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Language Policy & the Reconceptualization of Religions as and in Institutions
The journal Language Policy invites papers for a thematic issue highlighting innovative research on the role of language policy in reconceptualizing religions both as and in institutions. In recent years, religious language policy research (cf. Liddicoat, 2012; Omoniyi, 2010; Spolsky, 2009) has focused on the ways that religion is a central element that shapes language forms, literacy practices, language ideologies, and language management in a range of global, national, state, family, and other interactional environments. Building upon this significant research, this thematic issue considers the complex ways that language policies shape and are shaped by communities' ideologies about the role (or lack thereof) religion in their lives and institutions. This special issue therefore provides a forum for analyses of how language practices, beliefs, and management intersect with religious beliefs, convictions, and ideologies at the local and global levels.
As traditional religious practices are interpreted in novel modes and contexts in the globalizing world, it becomes necessary to reconsider the role that religion may or may not play in how communities define themselves, and the ways in which boundaries between categories of religiosity, secularism, and spirituality are negotiated through language policies. One primary interest is in exploring how these processes of religious interpretation and negotiation embodied in language use may take place in traditional institutions (e.g., houses of worship, religious schools) as well as in settings in which groups of people use and/or think about religion (or lack thereof) as an organizing principle for their everyday lives. An additional area of interest is how individuals and groups negotiate, define, appropriate, and
creatively employ language in ways that may counter the policies of religious institutions or nations. Lastly, we are interested in how individuals and groups create their own religious language policies in schools, homes and communities that structure how they interact with others in both religious and nonreligious environments.
Submissions are invited from anthropological, sociological, linguistic, and/or historical perspectives, across methodological frameworks, and focus on both historical and contemporary sites. The issue assumes language policy as practice, ideology and management. Potential topics include but are not limited to:
-The boundaries/differences between and within religious groups and how these are negotiated through language policies
-The ways that language practices may complement and/or replace other religious practices
-How and why particular languages (e.g., endangered languages) get sacralized and the roles this may play in language maintenance and revitalization efforts
-The role of religious language management in missionization/evangelical Christianity, the spread of Islam, the Arab Spring, and post-communist nations
Those interested in contributing should submit a title and abstract (up to 300 words) to the thematic issue guest editors, Netta Avineri & Sharon Avni at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5/1/13. After an initial abstract selection process, authors will be invited to submit full papers by 11/1/13. All papers will undergo double-blind peer review. Though part of a thematic issue, each paper will get reviewed individually. For information about the journal and author guidelines, see: