The International Society for Empirical Research in Theology (ISERT) promotes networking and activities to implement the application of empirical methods and approaches in theology and religious studies. We welcome and encourage all those who apply such research methods to meet in this virtual forum, to learn about past and ongoing projects, and to share your current ideas and developments.


News from ISERT: Next and Future Events

Because of the continuing impact of COVID-19 on our life and academic work, we have taken the sad decision to further postpone our physical meeting in Assisi. The scheduled conference dates will be used to organize an online symposium of two half days on 13-14 April 2021. The physical conference in Assisi will be postponed to 19-22 June 2022.

Please consider a financial donation to ISERT, to keep our society going.

ISERT Online Symposium: 13-14 April 2021 (both days 12.00-15.00 GMT)

Sadly, we have concluded that the already delayed Assisi conference (11-14 April 2021), will have to be postponed again. It is unlikely that a conference in April 2021 can take place smoothly, and the necessary traveling will be far from easy. Still, many of us are longing to meet and share our work. In addition, it is worthwhile to keep our small network alive.

That is why we will organise an ISERT Online Symposium of two half days with online presentation on two of the Conference dates. If you feel like we do, you probably have developed a love-hate relationship with online communication last year. To keep love and hate in balance, we will limit our ISERT Online Symposium to two half days of 3 hours each. We have chosen time slots 12.00-15.00 GMT that will make it possible for people to participate in different time zones (incl. America and in Asia). You are most welcome and we for sure will appreciate your presence.

Theme for the symposium is “Finding meaning in times of distress”. We have made a programme with few invited speakers, and two available time slots of 30 minutes lecture (+ 15 minutes discussion). Scholars who want to make use of this open time slots, are kindly invited to send a short abstract before 20 February 2021 to The ISERT Board will select two additional speakers from these submissions. All sessions in the programme are plenary.

Tuesday 13 April 2021 (12.00-15.00 GMT)

12:00: Jaco Dreyer

Welcome and opening

12:10: Tatjana Schnell (MF Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo; Universität Innsbruck, A)

Meaning in life in times of crisis: religiosity and spirituality during COVID-19 pandemic

13:00 : Paul Vermeer & Joris Kregting (Radboud University, Nijmegen, NL)

Religion and covid transmission in the Netherlands

14:00 Break (those who want can stay online)

14:15 Lecture to be chosen from submissions.

15:00 Closure.

Wednesday 14 April 2021 (12.00-15.00 GMT)

12:00: Suvi-Maria Saarelainen

Welcome and opening

12:10: Andrew Village (York St John University, UK) & Leslie Francis (University of Warwick, UK)

Findings of the Coronavirus, Church & You survey

13:00 : Kati Tervo-Niemala (University Eastern Finland, Joensuu, FI)

Fear of death, religion and meaningful relations

14:00 Break (those who want can stay online)

14:15 Lecture to be chosen from submissions.

15:00 Closure.

Registration and costs

Please, register for the symposium simply by sending an e-mail before 15 March 2021 to, and simultaneously transferring the symposium fee. You will receive the zoom link with access code in return at the latest a week before the symposium.

Symposium fee is 75 euro. Those who have difficulties to cover this (e.g. based on work place or income), are allowed a reduced symposium fee until minimum 25 euro. The judgement whether you are eligible for reduction is based on self-assessment – after all the information most of us trust upon in their empirical work as well :-). You will receive a written receipt for the amount that you have transferred. Please consider this contribution as a ‘financial donation’ to cover the costs of our web page.

Please transfer the symposium fee to:

Account holder: Lluis Oviedo

IBAN: ES32 2045 6105 7530 0017 4534


Mention in payment: ISERT Symposium + Name of the participant

Looking forward to meeting you online on 13 and 14 April 2021!