Religion, Literacies, and English Education in Global Dialogue

Call for papers for: English Teaching: Practice & Critique

Submission deadline: 15th August 2021

Guest Editors (listed alphabetically by last name):

Denise Davila

Mary M. Juzwik (lead editor)

Robert Jean LeBlanc

Eric Rackley

Loukia K. Sarroub

Overview of special issue 

Religion continues to be an important part of global life in the 21st century, as it has been in centuries past. While the Eurocentric “secularization thesis” of the mid 20th century predicted its decline in sociocultural life as nation-states and their economies developed, religion and spirituality have not faded from the global scene. Indeed, they continue to significantly shape (and be shaped by) culture and politics as well as on our focal interests in this special issue -- language, literacy, and schooling.

In educational settings around the globe, students today grapple with tensions arising as they navigate academic, social, and spiritual life worlds. Literacy educators also face numerous challenges in understanding and enacting their roles and responsibilities in relation to often-contested terrain surrounding religion, spirituality, and literacies and language/ing in schools. From a scholarly standpoint, understanding and unpacking tensions, underlying assumptions, and influences of the religious in the lives of young people and teachers across diverse educational spaces is becoming increasingly important in today’s interconnected and rapidly changing world. As scholars have begun to turn attention to issues of religion and spirituality, much of the extant work has focused on clearly defined fields of study, on bounded religious communities, and on case studies of individual students. Some of these boundaries are beginning to blur as language and literacy scholars theorize new relationships, examine emergent religious phenomena in relation to literacy, and begin to take more seriously the role of the religious across students’ and teachers’ lives, experiences, communities, geographical locations, etc.

Global in scope, this special issue invites diverse perspectives on religion, literacy, and English education and seeks to invite them into dialogue with each other. While conversations around various intersections of religion, literacy, and English education have provided generative insights for English education and literacy scholarship, this special issue aims to stimulate a broader global dialogue across faiths, disciplines, and communities. We invite papers developing theory, reporting empirical work, narrating pedagogies, and expanding educators’ repertoires of instructional practice. We invite epistemological, ontological, and theological consideration of the religious in relation to language/ing, literacies, and English education. By cultivating a global dialogue about religion, literacy, and English education, this special issue is uniquely situated to generate new understandings across religious and educational traditions from around the world. This special issue aims to create a forum in which stakeholders will wrestle with boundary-crossings among areas of study that hold the promise of reimagined global possibilities in education.

In keeping with our theme, we are particularly interested in contributions from scholars studying religion/literacy/English education in connection with and across locales beyond the United States, including those foregrounding transnational perspectives. Because such work is relatively rare among US-based language and literacy researchers, we also invite papers from scholars working in related fields (e.g., anthropology, linguistics, religious studies, etc.) who take an interest in the intersections of language, literacy, learning, and the religious.

We invite manuscripts that address urgent questions and topics related to the new frontiers in religious practice, English, and literacy, including:

  • Religion, spirituality, and English teacher education
  • Digital faith and religious literacy practices
  • Motivations, practices, and ideologies shaping the reading of religious texts
  • English education in schools
  • Preparation of literacy educators with global religious knowledge and understanding
  • Gender, sexuality, and religious literacies
  • Insider/outsider perspectives on conducting research in religious communities
  • Transnationalism and ethno-religious global movements
  • Rising global ethno-nationalism and religious movements and their impact on literacy teaching and learning
  • Historical legacies of Christianity, White Supremacy, and anti-Black racism in relation to literacy education in US contexts
  • Relations among imagined religious communities, literacies, and schooling
  • Conceptions of the ‘good’ in religious literate traditions
  • Tensions in conducting literacy research in and across religious communities
  • Communities troubling or disrupting existing research conceptions of religion and/in literacies
  • Challenges to existing theories of religion and/in literacies
  • Religion and spirituality in relation to  equity issues confronting language, literacy, and English education
  • Emergent religious phenomena in relation to literacy studies
  • Other relevant topics

We will consider submission of research papers, practitioner narratives, conceptual/theoretical essays, and creative work pertinent to the theme.

Submission Details

Please see the ETPC “Author Guidelines” for guidelines on both kinds of submissions, including word limits:

Submissions for this Special Issue must be made through the ScholarOne online submission and peer review system. When submitting your manuscript please ensure the correct special issue title is selected from the drop down menu on page 4 of the submission process: 

For questions, contact Dr. Denise Davila ([email protected]), Dr. Mary Juzwik ([email protected]), Dr. Robert LeBlanc ([email protected]), Dr. Eric Rackley ([email protected]), or Dr. Loukia Sarroub (l[email protected]).

Submission deadline: August 15, 2021  

Publication date: Approximately July 2022