5th Annual Religious Studies PhD Conference: WELLBEING, HARM, AND RELIGION (WH&RE 2021)

International Doctoral Conference 
in Religious Studies 2021



Wellbeing, Harm, and Religion

9-11 September 2021
Brno, Czech Republic

Organized by

Department for the Study of Religions
Masaryk University (MUNI), Brno


Center for Religious Studies
Central European University

Department for the Study of Religions
University of Pardubice

Department of Religious Studies
Charles University

About this Event

Specific ideas about what constitutes harm and wellbeing have been historically shaped by different religious traditions considerably. Throughout the history of the human species, illnesses, injuries, and diseases were often dealt with through religious rituals, as evidenced from the earliest Sumerian incantations from the 26th century BC to the contemporary evangelical faith healing. Some ritualized acts incorporate what can be seen as harm or violence, like genital mutilations or flesh hook insertions. Nevertheless, these same acts can be also perceived as leading towards wellbeing (of community, individual, deity, etc.). Alternatively, consider other practices more directly aimed at the wellbeing of mind and soul, that may even result in a feedback loop affecting the physical body, like shamanic trance induction, baptism, or meditation. But not only rituals – embracing of religious worldview as an interpretative framework may also substantially affect one’s wellbeing.

Different conceptions of harm and wellbeing derived from different religious traditions retain their relevance in many locales across the globe even today, as they did in history. They intertwine(d) with “secular” medical practices; religious actors can formulate stances towards modern medical technologies, like vaccination and blood transfusion; and religion sometimes articulates alternative theories about the nature and origin of various diseases and about their treatment.

Call for Papers

The Call for Papers is now closed.


We are planning the conference as an on-site event at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. However, due to the uncertainty of how long the Covid-19 Pandemic will last, for health and safety reasons, we may have to hold the event in a hybrid or on-line form.  Please stay tuned for updates.

If you would like to participate as a member of the audience, please contact us with your query at the e-mail address provided below.


For more details, visit the official conference website: 

For further information, please contact student organizer Jan Trtílek by e-mail at WHeRE2021@phil.muni.cz.