Special Issue "Gender, Religion, and Disasters: Experiences, Practices, and Transformations in the 21st Century"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2023 | Viewed by 426

Special Issue Editor

Department of Women and Gender Studies, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB T1K 3M4, Canada
Interests: gender; religion; migration; disasters; island countries
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

The year is 2023 and our world continues to face enormous challenges and existential threats to human survival. From the global COVID-19 pandemic to wars, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, floods, and other forms of disasters, our daily realities amidst multiple layers of uncertainties create further anxieties, foster resilience, and test our personal and collective capacities to endure. Central to this complexity of the indomitable human spirit is religion. Women, men, and 2SLGBTQIA or gender-diverse persons have long manifested different ways of religiosity and spirituality; these expressions continue most especially in times of distress and disasters. However, the interrelatedness of gender, religion, and disasters has not been addressed in the current English-language literature, with no contemporary anthology. Given the global challenges posed by climate change and the frequency of disasters worldwide, examining these three variables is compelling. There is no absolute definition of gender as a social construct from different cultural perspectives. Hence, this Special Issue will be focused on how gender identities influence religiosity and spirituality in the context of disasters. 

The novelty of the Special Issue allows openness toward any topic related to the intersections of gender, religion, and disaster as experienced in the personal or collective spheres; the rich ritual practices related to disasters by diverse communities and the gendered roles or implications; the plethora of transformations that occur at the onset of disasters and during the rehabilitation of communities; and the many unique ways in which religion and spirituality shape the lives of individuals and communities impacted by disasters, whether human-induced or as a result of natural hazards. We welcome any critical insights and interrogation of gender, religion, and disaster in the 21st century from emerging scholars, established scholars, and practitioners in the field. The selected papers will form part of a special edited book publication. 

This Special Issue will focus on the intersections of gender, religion, and disasters in the 21st century. Disasters are caused by natural and technological hazards, as well as human-induced like wars, and result in large-scale disruptions to the affected communities. Global climate change has compounded the severity and impact of disasters in vulnerable communities, such as island countries, low-lying coastal areas, places experiencing extreme drought, and developing countries (Law 2019). Despite the challenges caused by extreme weather events, for example, religion remains central to coping and building resilience. Recent studies indicate that “people become more religious when hit by natural disasters” (Bentzen 2019). Do women, men, or gender-diverse individuals demonstrate differences in religiosity before, during, and after disasters occur? Examining gender identities and differences in the context of disasters has not been fully explored, or, according to Sohrabizadeh and Jazani (2018), has “attracted very little attention”. This Special Issue intends to fill in the gap in the scholarly literature at this most compelling time when wars, pandemics, and natural catastrophes are in our midst.

Religion is construed in its broadest application to encompass organized religion, folk traditions, and spiritualities, to name a few, in different cultural contexts in the world. There is an emerging scholarship on gender and disasters and an established literature on gender and religion. However, the intersections of gender, religion, and disasters remain scarce in English, with no book published yet on the selected theme and period of interest in the 21st century. This interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach to the contemporary manifestations of religion in the context of disasters and the differential expressions of women, men, and gender-diverse individuals, groups, and communities would provide much-needed scholarship and inspiration to situate the personal and intimate affinities to religious beings or rituals in today’s world of growing climate change anxieties, adaptation, and disruptions.

Prof. Dr. Glenda Tibe Bonifacio
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • gendered experiences
  • religion
  • spiritualities
  • faith traditions
  • disasters
  • transformations
  • contemporary rituals and practices
  • climate change

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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