Welcome to the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions (ISASR) website.

“A Buddhist Crossroads” just out from Routledge

The proceedings of the September 2012 UCC conference “SE Asia as Buddhist Crossroads“, published as a 2013 special issue of the journal Contemporary Buddhism, are now being made available in book form by Routledge as “A Buddhist Crossroads: pioneer western Buddhists and Asian networks 1860 – 1960“. Items of Irish interest include Brian Bocking’s chapter on Charles Pfoundes, Alicia Turner’s chapter on U Dhammaloka, and Laurence Cox’s chapter on Irish and other “poor whites” going native in Buddhist Asia. The book is currently only available in hardback but a paperback should follow if sufficient library copies are sold.


ISASR 2014 conference UPDATE

“Religion and remembering” cross-disciplinary conference

Queen’s University Belfast (Fri – Sat 23 – 24 May 2014)

Keynote address: Prof James L Cox (Edinburgh)
“Religious memory as a conveyor of authoritative tradition:
the necessary and essential component in a definition of religion”.

A full timetable, list of panels and abstracts and registration information are now available via the conference page here.


ISASR 2013 Student Essay Prize

We are very pleased to announce the winners of this year’s ISASR Student Essay Prize.

The 1st Prize of a €75 book token goes to Malcolm Kelly (Study of Religions Department, UCC)  for his essay “Discuss the challenges Sufism has faced in the modern Muslim world.”

The two runners up – each with a €25 book token – were Eimear O’Sullivan (Early and Medieval Irish, UCC) for her essay “The Irish Monks in Europe: An Analysis of their Influence on Christianity and Learning, 6th – 12th Century” and Chris Heinhold (Study of Religions Department, UCC) for his  essay “Why might the figure of U Dhammaloka ‘The Irish Buddhist’ be of interest to Buddhist Studies?”

The standard of essays was very high so well done indeed to all those who entered essays to the competition.

The ISASR Committee

ISASR 2013 conference:
Ireland, America and transnationalism: studying religions in a globalised world

Clinton Institute, University College Dublin (10 – 12 May 2013)

Keynote speakers:

Prof. Crawford Gribben (Queen’s University Belfast)
“Ireland, America and the End of the World”

Prof. Alicia Turner (York University, Toronto)
“Religion, the Study of Religions and other Products of Trans-locative and Trans-colonial Imaginations”

Public lecture:

Prof. Brian Victoria (Antioch University)
“Reflections in a Catholic Mirror: The Struggle to Create a Buddhist Chaplaincy in the US Military”

Full details including timetable, programme and practical information here.

ISASR 2012 conference “Emerging perspectives: religions and Ireland”

The keynote lecture by Prof. Tadhg Foley (NUI Galway),
“Max Arthur Macauliffe: Irishman, Sikh scholar, reformer, and evangelist” can now be viewed online here.

Prof Tariq Ramadan (Oxford) launched the Zaki Badawi collection of Arabic books on Islam and the Middle East at the Boole Library, UCC: more details on the events page.

A report on the conference is available here. The full conference programme, with abstracts, is available here.


The Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions was founded on Feb 19th 2011 with an action committee comprising scholars from a wide range of disciplines, specialities and institutions. The Society held its first general meeting and elected its first regular committee on May 26th 2012.

To find out more about ISASR’s purpose look here; the committee’s membership is here and the constitution here. Details on how to apply for membership are here. Contact details are here.

Announcements of events related to the academic study of religions can be found here; resources for the study of religions are here; links to sister societies etc. are here and some basic information on jobs and courses in the area is here.

Discussion of what the academic study of religion means can be found here.

The blogroll to the right contains some study of religions-related blogs.

The ISASR is a member association of the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR) and the European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR.)

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