Lecture on Gulen movement made available online

Lithuanian society for the sudy of religions invites you to watch a recording of a public lecture The Gülen Movement Unfolding: Turkish Islam in (Eastern) Europe.

Dr. Ismail Mesut Sezgin (Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford, and Centre for Hizmet Studies) presented the origins of the Hizmet movement and its development after the failed 2016 coup d’état, including current resettlement of its members in European Muslim communities, while Prof. Dr. Egdūnas Račius (Vytautas Magnus University) commented on the Turkish Islam within the landscape of Islam in Eastern Europe. The lecture and discussions were in English, moderated by Dr. Eglė Aleknaitė (Vytautas Magnus University).

Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions expresses solidarity with Ukrainian colleagues

We absolutely condemn the unprovoked and unjustifiable cold-blooded aggression and actions of war against the free, peaceful, and democratic European country of Ukraine launched by Russia on 24 February 2022.

We stand in solidarity with Ukrainian academic colleagues – individual scholars of the study of religions and Ukrainian Association of Researchers of Religion, the Workshop for the Academic Study of Religions (former Youth Association for the Study of Religions), as well as the people of Ukraine, who currently face the largest land invasion in Europe since World War II because of Russia’s shocking aggression.

Dear colleagues, you are not alone! Lithuanian society and the Lithuanian academic community are continuing to work on multilayered support for your country and your people. Lithuanian society has mobilised in support of the Ukrainian people and spread the word about the current deeply painful and extremely difficult situation throughout Europe. Financial aid for Ukraine has been gathered via various campaigns. The Lithuanian academic community has reached out to Ukrainian academic colleagues to demonstrate its solidarity and to offer its help. It has addressed leaders in Europe and worldwide. It has ceased cooperation with all academic institutions and programs, affiliated with the Russian and Belarusian governments. Groups have been formed for coordinating aid to Ukraine. Information campaigns promoting unity and solidarity with Ukraine have been started in Lithuania and other countries and will be continued.

On behalf of the Society, we strongly encourage Russian scholars of the study of religions as well as other Russian scholars speak out against the war and the regime responsible for it. The ongoing events are deadly not only for Ukraine, but for Russia, all Europe and the entire world. We call on you to speak out openly regarding your opposition to the war. Today it is crucial that everyone, in whatever position, makes every possible effort to stop the war.

We also invite European Union policy makers and the directors of European academic institutions to open all existing research opportunities within the European Union to Ukrainian scholars, thereby fully welcoming the Ukrainian academic community into the European space of EU science. We encourage all European scholars to work together with our Ukrainian colleagues in a collaborative and supportive manner to ensure their success as new members of the European academic community.

February 28, 2022
(Updated: March 6, 2022)

International Association for the History of Religions Executive Committee statement concerning Russian war against Ukraine

In the wake of renewed Russian invasion of Ukraine we express our solidarity with the suffering Ukrainian people and our academic colleagues – scholars of the study of religions, who instead of conducting research and teaching students have to seek a safe haven against the bombing of their homes and cities. The scale and brutality of the military aggression unleashed by the Russian state against its peaceful neighbour demands that we take a stance and act without delay. In strong solidarity with the suffering Ukrainian nation we recommend that all member associations of the International Association of the History of Religions:

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The position of the board of the Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions regarding refusal to grant a status of state recognized religious association to Romuva

To the President of the Republic of Lithuania, Gitanas Nausėda
To the Speaker of the Seimas, Viktoras Pranckietis
To members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania
To the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania, Saulius Skvernelis
To the Minister of Justice, Elvinas Jankevičius

27 September 2019

In response to the decision of the Seimas (Parliament) of the Republic of Lithuania to not grant the status of state recognized religious association to the Religious Association of Ancient Balts Romuva (hereafter Romuva) on 27 June 2019, the Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions hereby expresses its grave concerns regarding compliance of this decision to the main principles of the rule of law and democracy and the upholding of human rights, as well as the implementation of the principle of separation of state and religion.

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Religion(s) and Power(s) Conference Abstracts and Programme now available

You can find the programme and the book of abstracts of the upcoming international conference  of the Lithuanian Society for the Study of
Religions “Religion(s) and Power(s)” below. The conference is co-organized by the Estonian Society for the Study of Religions, the Latvian Society for the Study of Religion. The Conference has been financially supported by the Research Council of Lithuania.

The conference will be held on October 5-6, 2017 at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Putvinskio str. 23.

A poster for the conference is also available for download below:


Call for papers published for the LSSR conference of 2017

Religion(s) and Power(s)

Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania
October 5-6, 2017

The Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions in cooperation with Latvian Society for the Study of Religions and Estonian Society for the Study of Religions invites proposals for its upcoming international conference “Religion(s) and Power(s)”. To encourage new directions in the critical research of interrelations of religion(s) and power(s) from a broad range of approaches, we are seeking proposals on a wide range of topics including:

  • Private and public religions;
  • Religions and politics;
  • Non-religion and power;
  • Religious inequalities and discrimination;
  • Religions, human rights and justice;
  • Powers of/within religions;
  • Religion and nationalism;
  • Mythology, divine kinship and power;
  • Religion and colonialism;
  • Religions and education.

Other topics related to the conference theme are also encouraged.

Conference paper and session proposals must be sent by June 15, 2017. Please send your 250-300 word abstract and a 200-word personal bio to email: religiousstudieslt@gmail.com

Important conference dates:

  • June 15, 2017 – submission of conference papers and sessions proposals;
  • July 15, 2017 – notification of paper/session proposal acceptance;
  • July 15, 2017 – opening of registration for the conference;
  • August 15, 2017 – closing of registration for the conference;
  • September 1, 2017 – announcement of the conference program.

Conference Registration Fees:

  • Members of national associations of Baltic States associations for the study of religions – 30 EUR;
  • Permanent/full-time faculty and non-affiliated participants – 80 EUR;
  • Graduate students and emeritus faculty – 50 EUR;
  • Late bird conference fee – 100 EUR.

2014 ISORECEA conference in Kaunas – call for papers

Old Town of Kaunas

Old Town of Kaunas

The International Study of Religion in Eastern and Central Europe Association (ISORECEA) in cooperation with the Vytautas Magnus University and the Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions is organizing a conference “RELIGIOUS DIVERSIFICATION WORLDWIDE AND IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE”.

The conference will take place in Kaunas, Lithuania, April 24-27, 2014. The deadline for paper proposals is 15 November 2013. Continue reading

The Programme of the 2nd national conference of the LSSR announced

The Programme of the 2nd national conference of the Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions was announced today on the page Conference 2012. Download the programme or read it online.

The 2nd National Conference of Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions “INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES OF RELIGIONS IN LITHUANIA: PROBLEMS AND TENDENCIES” will take place on  October 26, 2012 at Vilnius University Senate Hall, located on the main building of Vilnius University, University st. 3, Vilnius.

In memoriam Gintaras Beresnevičius (1961-2006), the founder of contemporary studies of religions in Lithuania and first chairman of Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions.

Lietuvos mokslo taryba: logotipasThe publication of the programme of the second national conference of Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions has been supported by Research Council of Lithuania. Project “Expansion of Religious Studies in Lithuania and Abroad”, agreement No. ACO-06/2012.

Videos of prof. Eileen Barker lectures – on the VMU website

On May 2-3, 2012 the Department of Sociology was visited by Dr. Eileen Barker, who is professor emeritus at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Eileen Barker delivered two lectures: “Brainwashing, mind control, recruitment or conversion? The questions about influence and/or coersion in “cults”” and “Sociological research methods”. Below you will find the video recordings of those lectures. Continue reading