Présentation du laboratoire

History and Current Profile of the Unit

The GSRL (UMR 8582) (that is, the Group of Sociology of Religions and Secularism, the current name dating from 2006) was created on January 1, 1995 by Jean Baubérot, comprising of the members of the GSR (Group of Sociology of Religions) of the CNRS and the young team at HSL (History and Sociology of Secularism) of the EPHE-PSL. From that moment, it has expanded continuously by the increasing number of its members, and in the diversity of its objects of study and geographical areas. The GSRL has been successively directed by Jean Baubérot (1995-2001), Jean-Paul Willaime (2002-2008), Philippe Portier (2008-2018), Sébastien Fath (2019-2020), Pascal Bourdeaux (interim from September 2020 to March 2021), and Alfonsina Bellio since 2021. The present Deputy Director is Marie-Dominique Even. In these times, the social sciences of religious studies are confronted with a strong social demand for information and analysis on the mutations affecting religions, the characteristics and evolution of a particular religious world, identities of religions and their expression in social life and the questions and controversies they entail. Whether via participation in scholarly events or with involvement in national and international discussions, the members of the GSRL (UMR 8582) are always active in investing their scholarly contributions to discussions where the participants are themselves in need of analyses that demonstrate the situations and the diverse interpretations they present. The GSRL (UMR 8582) meets for a monthly internal seminar and during colloquia. Furthermore, it regularly organizes large international conferences. Members of the GSRL (UMR 8582) teach in various (graduate) institutions, notably at the École Pratique des Hautes Études. In addition to collective and individual works, the GSRL participates in the publication of the journal Archives de Sciences Sociales des ReligionsArchives of the Social Sciences of Religions.
[caption id="attachment_27652" align="aligncenter" width="542"] Alfonsina Bellio, director of GSRL, in the company of her predecessors. From left to right, Sébastien Fath, Jean-Paul Willaime, Jean Baubérot, Alfonsina Bellio, Phillipe Portier.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_9831" align="aligncenter" width="482"]Portrait GSRL Center : Philippe Portier (director from 2008 to 2018) and Isabelle Charleux, his deputy director. Right : Jean Baubérot, GSRL (UMR 8582) founder and first director (1995-2001). Left : Jean-Paul Willaime, director from 2002 to 2008.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_15471" align="aligncenter" width="482"] Left to right: Sébastien Fath (Director) and Pascal Bourdeaux (Deputy Director, then Interim Director from January 2019 to March 2021)[/caption]

Parent bodies and institutions

The GSRL (UMR 8582) is placed under the administration of the following two institutions:

Research programs

The research at the GSRL (UMR 8582) is deployed in four programs and in one transversal theme. Each of these programs as well as the transversal theme organizes their own seminars and scholarly events; however, there are many links between them, as researchers often participate in several programs:

Programs :



  The GSRL (UMR 8582) is associated with CéSor for the publication of the journal Archives de Sciences Sociales des ReligionsArchives of the Social Sciences of Religions.   The GSRL supports the publication of Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia (ACMECE).   Four researchers of the GSRL (UMR 8582) are involved in the publication of the journal Études Mongoles & Sibériennes, Centrasiatiques & Tibétaines (EMSCAT)Mongolian and Siberian, Central Asian and Tibetan Studies — (online via the portal of and its print supplement: Nord-Asie.    


EUREL The GSRL (UMR 8582), associated with the research laboratory Droit, religion, entreprise et société (DRES) — Rights, Religion, Enterprise, and Society, manages the Sociological and Legal Data on Religion in Europe (EUREL), a bilingual English-French database. Access to the database: EUREL  
JUNIPER Juniper is the database established on the initiative of the Center for Mongolian and Siberian Studies (CEMS) of the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE-PSL). This database gathers texts, images, and multimedia documents relating to the peoples of Mongolia and Siberia. Access to the database: unavailable at the moment
This site is registered on as a development site.