Religions as Brands. The Marketization of Religion and Spirituality
Université de Lausanne, 13-15 octobre 2011
This international conference deals with religious markets and how religions try to market and brand themselves. In the market of religions paradigm, economic and marketing vocabulary are used to analyze the religious domain. Religious organizations are seen as "firms", while the faithful are seen as "consumers" of both this-worldly and otherworldly "religious products". Religions may then be analyzed as "brands" conveying specific brand experiences and images. Religious specialists engage in "branding" their specific group and market their specific offer, aiming for converts, participants, donators and public recognition. However, religions and religious groups may also have to face negative publicity due to scandals, suboptimal performance, lack of integration or religious conflict. Some religious groups may find it a challenge to adapt to modern conditions and to market themselves, while others may try to resist to see their offer as "products".
This conference welcomes papers dealing with the topics listed below. Papers may focus on all kinds of religions, "world religions" just as new religious movements or alternative spiritualities. The conference is an interdisciplinary academic venue between sociology, economics, marketing, and study of religions scholars, open to all, supporters as well as critics of the economic paradigm of religion and spirituality.