CfP: Material Religious Culture

15. April 2024
Call for papers

Call for Papers – Swiss Journal of Religious and Cultural History (SJRCH) 2025

The thematic focus 2025 of the Swiss Journal of Religious and Cultural History (SJRCH), a multilingual, peer-reviewed journal for religious and cultural history covering all periods, is dedicated to the topic of "Material Culture of the Religious".

The thematic focus sees itself in the continuity of various cultural-historical emphases on the history of religion and church history, which the SJRCH has pursued over the past two decades, whereby it has also repeatedly taken up methodological and theoretical discussions. A cultural-historical shiftin perspective towards the materiality of the religious opens up thematic and methodological foci on

  • objects and their use, their ascribed meanings and creative forms (sacred writings, images and objects, the entanglement of everyday and transcendental meanings of objects, etc.),
  • ritual practices,
  • staging, whether in religious ceremonies or in the theatre, in music or art, in which religious interpretations and practical references are created,
  • the creation and the design of places and spaces (sacred buildings, memorials, places of remembrance, monuments or even "paths", such as those created materially in pilgrimages or processions),
  • the exhibition of religious materiality in museums, and thus the materiality of religious memory.

If the forms and functions of materiality in the construction of religious meaning, of references to transcendence and the construction of community are systematically examined in their complex relationship, then questions regarding

  •  practices of seeing and showing,
  • sensuality and emotionality,
  • inwardness and externalization

in the complex entanglement of individual and communal spaces of experience, and of communication and power relations, as well as in the interrelationship between human beings and objects, animate, organized and imagined spaces are of particular interest.

Specific case studies of "lived material religion", which take up one or the other of the aforementioned lines – also in a long-term perspective – are welcome, as are methodological-theoretical reflections in which questions about the specific source value of material objects – of devotional objects, staging, places and bodies – are explored, the role of the dimensions of memory and remembrance is reflected, theoretical approaches to emotions or to the dynamics between actor and actant are taken up and further developed.

With the thematic focus on the materiality of the religious, the SJRCH also intends to further strengthen the transdisciplinarity of religious and church history, in particular with respect to art history, historical anthropology, literary studies, theatre studies, museology and the didactics of history.

Guidelines for authors
A number of contributions, peer-reviewed, of no more than 25,000-40,000 characters (including footnotes and spaces) will constitute the main part of the SJRCH 119 (2025). Further information concerning the articles in the SJRCH can be found on the website

Abstracts and working titles with a maximum of 800 characters, accompanied by a short biography, are to be submitted by mid-April 2024 in German, French, Italian or English, to the editor in chief, Prof. Dr. Franziska Metzger (, and the scientific collaborator, Prof. Dr. David Neuhold ( The articles themselves should be submitted by December 1, 2024.

SJRCH will be published in November 2025 by Schwabe, Basel; and with a one-year moving wall, the articles will be available open-access, for example, via

Prof. Dr. Franziska Metzger, editor in chief, Luzern

Prof. Dr. David Neuhold, scientific collaborator, Fribourg/Chur

Organised by
Swiss Journal of Religious and Cultural History (SJRCH)


Prof. Dr. Franziska Metzger

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