World Religions, American Religions, the Object of Study, and an Ode to Bruce Lincoln

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by Charles McCrary

This post originally appeared, in a slightly different version, at the group blog Religion in American History.

This year I’ve been teaching “world religions” for the first time. I knew I would be required to do it at some point, and I dreaded it. My position was familiar and wholly unoriginal: Religion doesn’t exist; it has no essence. The word wouldn’t even make sense to any of our non-Western and/or pre-modern subjects. It is a recent invention, a product of what has been largely an imperialist, colonialist, racist project. Less insidious but just as dissuasive, many world religions textbooks are $120 assemblages of Wikipedia articles couched in thinly veiled liberal Protestant theology. At any rate, the discourse of “world religions” is something we can and should study—and, as Mike Graziano recently pointed out, we can study it in the context of American history. But it’s not something we engage in.

Nevertheless, we have classes called “world religions.” Some institutions still call theirs something like “religion in the human experience.” So, how can we teach these classes in ideologically and methodologically responsible ways? Should we teach only a history of World Religions discourse itself—a meta-history? This is a viable option. Equipped with histories like Tomoko Masuzawa’s The Invention of World Religions and David Chidester’s Empire of Religion, intellectual frameworks from Wendy Brown and Russell McCutcheon, and maybe a few methodological tools from Foucault or Marx, students can use their textbook as a primary source, historicizing it and interrogating its normative assumptions. This would make for a good class. But I fear I have neither the patience nor the aptitude to accept total failure that this task would require, as I address a room full of students who are not well prepared for critical thinking and quite hesitant to give it a try. (Also, I know that “millennials” are supposedly marked by their ironic self-awareness, but that mood is characteristically absent from large portions of the demographic. My students resoundingly hate anything “meta.”) So what can we do?

Last semester I sat in on a seminar co-taught by Nicole Kelley and Matt Day designed to answer this very question. Is there any responsible and defensible way to talk about “religion” that identifies it, even if hesitantly and provisionally, as a thing in the world? If anyone can do it—and help us do it—it’s Bruce Lincoln. I read Lincoln’s Discourse and the Construction of Society in my first few weeks of grad school, and it remains one of the most influential books for my work. What I failed until recently to understand, though, was that Lincoln provides us with a framework for using “religious” as an analytic term (an undertaking of which I was once pretty churlishly dismissive.)

This semester my world religions class began with a close reading of Lincoln’s “Theses on Method,” and we cribbed from it—supplemented by selections from Discourse and Authority—our definition of religion: “that discourse whose defining characteristic is its desire to speak of things eternal and transcendent with an authority equally transcendent and eternal.” We also find a definition of our job: “History, in the sharpest possible contrast, is that discourse which speaks of things temporal and terrestrial in a human and fallible voice, while staking its claim to authority on rigorous critical practice.” Their first assignment was to rewrite this thesis in their own words. The course has thus transpired, like many of Lincoln’s books, as a series of historical studies of people utilizing religious discourse, with close attention to what is at stake in their use of that discourse.

Aside: Last weekend, we had the pleasure of welcoming Bruce Lincoln to Florida State as the keynote speaker for our annual Graduate Student Symposium, directed by Andy McKee. Because I was nervous and have nothing interesting to say, I didn’t meet Dr. Lincoln, but I’ll remember his visit for a long time. His keynote address, “A Seventeenth-Century Werewolf and the Drama of Religious Resistance,” was an excellent example of the way a close textual reading in context can produce microhistories that demonstrate broader societal trends. He illustrated how “religious resistance” is a particular strategy of the dominated wherein they use the authoritative logic and vocabulary of the dominators, but modify its orientation or moral implications. I could say more about this, but I understand it was recorded and should be available soon. You should watch/listen to it. At a roundtable discussion also featuring Matt Day and Cara Burnidge, Lincoln spoke with an openness and even vulnerability that I have never seen from someone of his stature. It was an amazing display of conceptual precision, methodological integrity, and yet generosity. I’ll stop the ode here, since reverence “is a religious, not a scholarly virtue.”

While these issues have been most apparent for me when teaching world religions, I’ve started to consider their relevance for my own research, too. The problem of world religions extends to “American religions” as well, as Mike Altman argued on the Religion in American History blog last year. While I’m sympathetic to Mike’s point of view (and I did try to offer a solution based on the constitution of publics, but I suppose I ended up taking step one, as outlined here), perhaps Lincoln can help us salvage the project of talking about American religions, not just American “religions.” Of course, we all should be very aware of how the term itself is manufactured, employed, and policed, but if we use Lincoln’s framework, perhaps we can identify discourse and discursive communities that we would deem “religious” in defensible scholarly acts of classification. Surely, ideological persuasion by appeals to transcendent authority has been a common feature of American history. And certainly we can historicize these moves by identifying the various sorts of capital at stake. I think this could be a satisfying theoretical delineation of my field—its “object of study,” religion in American history. I suspect it could help others as well, including those working in the modern West.

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Call for papers: Special Issue of Secularism & Nonreligion: Intersectionality and Power

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Call for papers: Special Issue of Secularism & Nonreligion: Intersectionality and Power
Guest Editors: Penny Edgell, Evan Stewart, and Jacqui Frost, University of Minnesota

The past 30 years has seen a renewed interest in scholarship on secularism and non-religion, fostered by a variety of factors, including: the decline of religiosity and the visibility of “new atheist” groups and spokespersons in the United States and Europe, critiques of Western bias in scholarly secularization accounts, and growing awareness of the complexity and variety of non-religious identities, experiences, and movements across social contexts. This work shows the non-religious exist in sizable numbers when considered as a group, but has also done a remarkable job of highlighting the diversity and contextual embeddedness of the beliefs and practices of nonreligious individuals, the variety of secular organizations, and perceptions of the nonreligious.

​We see a pressing need for a more robust consideration of intersectionality: how do secular identities intersect with other identities? How are secular identities, organizations, and discourses embedded within relations of power?  For example, current scholarship focuses on the “gender gap” in religious involvement; an intersectional approach might consider how norms of religiosity are differentially enforced across genders, or what dimensions of masculinity allow for different expressions of secularity. For a special issue of Secularism & Nonreligion, we invite research articles and analytic book reviews concerned with the intersectionality of secularity with other social locations and structures of power in society. This could include a wide range of topics including discussions about stratification along lines of race, gender, or class, analyses of institutional dynamics that determine when secular perspectives are privileged and when they are marginalized, or accounts of how individuals and groups navigate secularism and nonreligion in relation to the rest of their social lives or organizational practices. Though our editorial perspective is predominantly informed by sociology, we invite contributions from a wide range of social science subfields and methodological approaches.

All manuscripts (7-10k words), research notes (2.5-6.5k words), and analytic book reviews (2,000 words) will undergo the double blind peer review process. General formatting and author guidelines can be found here:

http://www.secularismandnonreligion.org/about/submissions

The deadline for submission is August 15th, 2015. Please submit manuscripts in a Microsoft Word document or PDF file to Penny Edgell (edgell@umn.edu).

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“A Reluctance to Put the Religious Label”

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by Russell McCutcheon

Note: This post originally appeared on the Studying Religion in Culture blog at the University of Alabama.

Did you hear about the White House summit this past week? It was in the news a fair bit and was on “countering violent extremism” — not just those attributed to Muslims but, because such adjectives as Islamic or Jihadist are often glued pretty tightly, at least in some North American and European media and politics, to the words violence or terrorism, that angle on the event has received a lot of attention.

You might find this story, broadcast today at “On The Media,” to be a useful overview of some of the issues circling around the summit. (The link between classification and politics is pretty evident in the story.)

While the main and longstanding debate is over the extent to which so-called extremists do or do not represent all Muslims (i.e., whether so-called Jihadists are legitimately Muslim or not), very few are discussing why we tend to presume a specifically religious causality to such actions and thus why we gravitate toward understanding these events, for example, as Muslim, whether characterized as an extreme or mainline form. To rephrase, while social actors draw upon a host of conventions familiar to them and use them to represent themselves, their actions, motivations, and goals, what might be gained by not confusing the rhetoric with the causes?

For, as the following story on so-called “homegrown terrorism” (also posted at “On the Media”) makes clear, when violent social actors here say (as detailed in the following story) that they are “a priest in the fight against anti-god people,” the vast majority of people hearing the story do not conclude that the perpetrator’s references to discrete elements of, in this case, Christian theology — regardless where such claims may be placed along the admittedly wide theological spectrum — ought to be understood as the actual causes of the person’s actions. No, there’s a good chance that we’ll instead see such claims as secondary (regardless how sincerely they may have been made by the person in question — for the issue is no longer about their sincerity…), and, denying to this person the right to set the terms by which their actions will be understood by us, we’ll quickly opt look for our own explanation in such other domains as their psychological health, emotional stability, economic status, degree of social alienation, etc.

My point?

Studying when we do and do not understand religious identification or religious beliefs as an autonomous and thus a causal force in people’s lives — as opposed to seeing them as a convenient interpretive framework that some social actors use to represent and thereby understand their own actions — may shed some light on how we make sense of those actions ourselves and how we deal with them. For if we come to see that self-interpretations of actions are not necessarily the same as explanations for their causes then perhaps we will realize that conflating these two will never help us to develop an effective strategy to address actions that we feel endanger the worlds in which we live.

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Call for Papers: Secularism and Secularity Group, the AAR and SBL Meeting in Atlanta, GA, November 21-24

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Secularism and Secularity Group CFP

Deadline: Monday, March 2nd, 2015, 5:00PM EST, via https://papers.aarweb.org/

Statement of Purpose: 

This Group seeks to explore a set of questions associated with secularism, secularity, and secularization — questions that pertain to the shifting relationship between “the religious” and “the secular” — to the changing role of religion in law, politics, and public life, to the metamorphosis of personal identities, practices, and affiliations (figured as religious, spiritual, secular, or otherwise), and to a broader set of historical transformations that have conditioned and been imbricated in these and other changes. The Group seeks to promote and enable more sustained interdisciplinary engagement among scholars of secularism, secularity, and variously conceived forms of “nonreligion.”

Call for Papers: 

In its first two years, the Secularism and Secularity Group has explored the secular and its precarious, shifting boundary with religion. We now aim to take stock of its lacunae. Our group is especially interested in papers that investigate the secular’s complicated relationship with race and sex/gender. What new spaces has the secular opened up for women and people of color, and what new barriers has it created? What forms of activism does the secular enable that are not available in spaces governed by religious norms, and what forms does it foreclose? How does the divide between secular and religious map onto different kinds of feminism and struggles for rights and recognition? In turn, how do critical analyses of race and sex/gender disrupt that divide? And why are self-avowed nonbelievers disproportionately white and male? We invite paper and session proposals that engage these and related questions through original historical or social scientific research.

We also welcome papers that explore any of the following areas:

• Humanisms, religious and secular, historical and contemporary.

• The role of the secular in effecting a distinction between economic and religious spheres. For instance, how do “private” and “public” become constructed as religious and secular in the discourse and practice of economic development? And how does law work to disrupt or reinforce these distinctions?

• The spiritualization of the secular and the secularization of the spiritual in the context of health, healing, and medicine. For instance, how are certain “spiritual” practices being integrated into “secular” medical settings, and how has secular medical research influenced spiritual and religious practice?

Questions:

For more information, or to be added to the group’s email list, contact the group’s co-chairs, Joseph Blankholm and Jonathan VanAntwerpen, at secularism.secularity@gmail.com.

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Call for Papers: Religion, Affect and Emotion Group, The AAR and SBL Meeting Atlanta, Georgia November 21-24

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The Religion, Affect and Emotion Group 2015 Call for Papers

Deadline: Monday, March 2 2015, 5:00 PM EST, through http://papers.aarweb.org/

Statement of Purpose: 

This Group provides space for theoretically-informed discussion of the relationship between religion, affect, and emotion. The Group serves as a meeting point for conversations on the affective, noncognitive, and passional dimensions of religion coming from diverse fields, including anthropology, comparative religion, psychology, decolonial theory, gender and sexuality studies, cultural studies, philosophy, and theology. Proposals drawing on these theoretical resources to examine specific religious traditions, shifting historical understandings of religion and affect/emotion, comparative work that looks at affective forms across traditions, and broader theoretical reflections are all welcome.

Call for Papers: 

  • The Genealogy of Religion and Affect (for a possible co-sponsorship with the Cultural History of the Study of Religion Group): We seek papers reflecting on the longer history of studying religion and emotion (i.e. James, Durkheim, etc.) in conversation with recent theorists such as Ahmed, Berlant, Cvetkovich, and Sedgwick. What does the study of affect give us that Jamesian psychology or Durkheimian collective effervescence does not?
  • Religion, Emotion, and Belief (for a possible quad-sponsorship with Cognitive Science and Religion Group; the Science, Technology and Religion Group; the Religious Experience in Antiquity Group (SBL): How can recent approaches from the natural and social sciences help scholars of religion to better understand the religious experience of belief? Is belief a natural product of affective and cognitive processes? What role does emotion play in belief? Does the role of emotion and belief function differently in “science” and “religion”? How do religions use emotion in the cultivation of the believing religious-subject? Is there room for a model of self and subjectivity that goes beyond self-cultivation, in which a subject is being acted upon (ethics of passion)? How does work on emotions complicate or challenge the links between belief and religiosity? What are the distinct benefits and limitations to conceptualizing religious belief in these ways?
  • Affect and Activism: the politics of conviction: How are religious values linked to and altered by affective reactions to charged political issues like race, inequality, protest, and violence? How are the verbal and bodily practices of activism shaped and advanced by religious affect?
  • Affect and Literature: How does fiction help us to imagine relationships between religion and recent perspectives on affect? We are particularly interested in exploring attention to affect in recently published literature, popular and otherwise.
  • The Affects of ‘Spiritual Health': How do Sara Ahmed’s critiques of happiness and other affect theories help us to critique the intersections of religion and medicalization or analyzing the affects of “spiritual health.”
  • Focus on Recent Scholarly Work: We seek papers critically examining Sianne Ngai’s Our Aesthetic Categories, or Eugenie Brinkema’s The Forms of Affect.
  • Affect and Race: the affective landscapes of hate: What is the role of affect(s) in the formation of racial and racist identities and relationships?

Method: 

http://papers.aarweb.org/

Process: 

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members

Comments: 

This method has helped us to ensure our group’s excellence in diversity throughout our panels.

Leadership: 

Co-Chairs

Donovan Schaefer, donovan.schaefer@theology.ox.ac.uk

Gail Hamner, mghamner@syr.edu

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Better get to know the AAR’s Religion, Affect and Emotion group!

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Ipsita Chatterjea: Thank you for taking the time to talk to the Bulletin for the Study of Religion Blog about your group and its work! What is Religion, Affect and Emotion’s origin tale?

Donovan Schaefer for Religion, Affect and Emotion (RAE): I was inspired by a panel I saw at the AAR in 2011 on affect hosted by the Philosophy of Religion group—where Abby Kluchin, Liane Carlson, and Jenna Supp-Montgomerie were presenting. We had an extraordinary conversation for over an hour after the presentations—one of the richest conversations I’ve seen after an AAR panel, a true dialog among audience members and panelists—and I had the idea of trying to create a venue at AAR to make room to keep talking. I approached the members of the panel and my mentor, Gail Hamner, who had introduced me to affect theory, and we pitched a “Wildcard Session” for 2012 in Chicago. We packed the house and our proposal for a full session was accepted a month later.

IC: Who are you people?

DOS for RAE:

Gail Hamner is Professor of Religion at Syracuse University, where she teaches, writes, and supervises grad students in the areas of American religion, gender, science, and film studies. She has published books on American pragmatism and viewing film as a practice of subject formation.

Donovan O. Schaefer is Departmental Lecturer in Science and Religion at Oxford. He works on affect theory, secularism, and questions of species, and his book on all of those things, Affect and the Animality of Religion: Evolution, Embodiment, Power, will be coming out with Duke in fall.

Jill Petersen Adams is Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Oxford College at Emory University. Her work is informed by Asian and Continental philosophy of religion, and her current project focuses on mourning and memorialization in postwar Japanese and Jewish religious practice.

Liane Carlson is a PhD candidate in the department of Religion at Columbia University. Her research interests include Continental philosophy, with emphases on German Idealism and French Phenomenology, the intersection of religion and literature, and the history of emotion.

Abby Kluchin is a Mellon CIE Postdoctoral Fellow at Ursinus College, where she teaches Continental philosophy and feminist theory. She is also co-founder and Associate Director of the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, an experimental school in New York City.

Tam Parker is Professor of Religion at Sewanee, where she teaches in the area of social ethics, Jewish and holocaust and religious violence studies.

Bart Scott is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Montana State University, where he teaches courses in cultural studies, critical theory, and South Asian religions. His book Spiritual Despots: Modern Hinduism and the Genealogies of Self–Rule is forthcoming with University of Chicago Press.

IC: What does RAE do and how does RAE do it?

DOS for RAE: There’s a lot of potential right now for rethinking the role of emotion in the study of religion. It’s been a major part of the field since the 19th century, but the latter third of the twentieth-century saw a backlash against experience-centered approaches. I think that there are now many more resources on the table for thinking about religion and emotion in a more sophisticated way, from Manuel Vásquez’s notion of “materialist phenomenology” coming out of postcolonial anthropology of religion to affect theory to brain-mind science. I’d say that the liability of earlier experience-centered approaches was that they took the experiencing subject as a given—as autonomous, individuated, and irreducible. These new approaches look at subjects as things that are formed in histories, whether cultural histories, political histories, or biological histories. RAE is a platform to bring those different bodies of work and different frames of reference into conversation with one another and ask how they can help us understand religion.

IC: What have been your favorite RAE sessions, or session moments, or separately most memorable (famous or infamous) moments ever?

DOS for RAE: This is hard—sort of a frontal assault on the natural shyness of academics. I guess I’m invested in what I see as the ongoing cultivation of a conversation in the group rather than individual moments, where questions, problems, and methodological issues are being raised and mapped out. Part of what’s exciting about it is that affect theory is a young subfield that is still getting a sense of itself, and it’s been great to see religious studies take ownership for a corner of that. I will sound a note of immodesty and say that our group sessions have some of the best Q&A’s that I’ve seen at the AAR. They draw out seams of thought happening in the audience in very exciting ways and lead to many after-session hallway chats and connections.

IC: I apologize for savaging a fellow academic, thank you for rallying and answering. Could you talk to us about books or articles that have appeared in the last few years that RAE’s Committee recommends, or publications that embody RAE’s editorial line, including those that the RAE has had some hand in producing?

DOS for RAE: There are different streams to draw on. On the one hand we’re talking about books coming out of affect theory, where I think most people would agree that affect theory as a field starts with separate publications by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Brian Massumi in the mid-1990s (though Ann Cvetkovich and others have pointed out that you can’t really pinpoint a starting point for studies of affect, which have been going on in feminist and queer scholarship for at least a generation). In terms of things that have been published in affect theory in the past few years, certainly Sara Ahmed’s The Promise of Happiness and more recently Willful Subjects, Mel Y. Chen’s Animacies, Jose Muñoz’s Cruising Utopia, Sharon Patricia Holland’s The Erotic Life of Racism, Elizabeth Grosz’s Becoming Undone, and Ann Cvetkovich’s Depression have been generating a lot of discussion and have been/can be brought into conversation with religious studies in very interesting ways, though there’s so much that’s come out in the last 2 years alone it would be really risky to try to rein it all into one list. We hosted a panel session in San Diego last fall exploring the links between Ahmed’s work and anthropology of religion, which did very well. There are dozens of others exploring affect from different angles—cultural studies, race/postcolonial studies, performance studies, sex and gender studies, obviously…

Then there are texts that come out of religious studies more specifically, some of which look directly at affect theory, and some of which are more generally about reconceptualizing relationships between religion and emotion. In the former category, you have Constance Furey’s “Body, Society, and Subjectivity in Religious Studies” or Kevin O’Neill’s “Beyond Broken: Affective Spaces and the Study of American Religion,” both in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. Ann Pellegrini’s work is hugely important for this, as well. If we’re restricting ourselves to the last five years, I very much like her essay “Movement” in the journal Material Religion’s “vocabulary” issue in 2011.

In terms of our work, certainly Gail is a prolific publisher. Her book on religion and film, Imagining Religion and Film, sets up the idea that there are specific affects associated with both nostalgia and transcendence, and that we can track the working of these affects in a variety of contemporary films, and that those affects have implications for processes of subject-formation, as well as a companion journal article piece on methodological approaches to religion and film, and has become particularly interested recently in the American director Terrence Malick (see here). The early formulations of my secularisms and affects project came out in an article in Hypatia called “Embodied Disbelief” a couple years ago.

IC: What journals do you find scholarship in your area citing most frequently?

What journals do you think religion, affect and emotion scholars should be reading?

DOS for RAE: Tricky because affect and emotion studies is transdisciplinary and has implications and shoots all across the humanities and social sciences. I polled our steering committee and heard back things like Critical Inquiry, Social Text, Cultural Anthropology, Body and Society, and Theory, Culture, and Society. In religion its come up not only in JAAR but in area studies—lots of Americanists are getting into it but also affect and emotion studies have appeared in positions: asia critique. But you can see from the response to the last question that it’s coming from everywhere, because it’s turning out to be such an interesting and productive approach.

Moreover, there’s a split in affect theory between approaches to affect stemming back to the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze (and his readings of Spinoza, Nietzsche, and Bergson) and approaches that focus more on “psychological” elements. Eve Sedgwick was very interested in a 20th-century psychologist named Silvan Tomkins as a way of moving past the pathologization of queer sexuality in psychoanalysis via affect. That divergence makes it even more difficult to pin it to a single journal or subfield.

IC: What fields outside of religion do you find have the most resonance for producing innovative interdisciplinary work on religion, affect and emotion? Separately or as an extension of that last question, what are RAE’s corollaries outside of the AAR, study of religion-centered or not?

DOS for RAE: Queer theory and gender theory are in the background of affect theory, as well as poststructuralism and postcolonial theory, and those areas (increasingly in conversation with brain-mind sciences) still tend to dominate affect studies. I think that in all of those approaches you find a vivid awareness of the way that something that is being called “Rationality”—which is presumed to be universal—is being used to place certain bodies on the margins. I think that alone gets a discussion of affectivity and all the others of rationality off the ground as a critical machine that rebuffs the demand to subordinate oneself to “reason.” And it helps us understand how what gets called “reason” is composed not just out of cognition and perception, but a very thick tissue of desires.

IC: Beyond those listed in your CFP, could you talk about scholars who have forthcoming work you think we (as generalists, or specialists) should be looking at?

DOS for RAE: I’d be afraid of leaving out something important.

IC: In keeping with your earlier answers, that religion, affect and emotion is among other things a newly rejuvenated area of work and that there is a split, roughly put between philosophy and psychology, that seems fair. On behalf of the Bulletin, thank you for letting us get to know the Religion, Affect and Emotion group. Is there anything else we should know?

DOS for RAE: No, but thanks so much!

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Call for Papers: Cultural History of the Study of Religion Group, The AAR and SBL Meeting Atlanta, Georgia November 21-24

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Cultural History of the Study of Religion Group CFP

Deadline: Monday, March 2 2015, 5:00 PM EST, through: http://papers.aarweb.org/

Statement of Purpose:

This group is devoted to historical inquiry into the social and cultural contexts of the study of religion and into the constructions of “religion” as an object of scholarly inquiry.

Call for Papers:

The Cultural History of the Study of Religion Group seeks papers that examine the formation and transformation of “religion” (together with other related categories) both in social, cultural, and political practice in various historical periods and in relation to the scholarly study of religion as that study has evolved over time. We seek to explore diverse geographical areas and historical moments. For the 2015 Annual Meeting, we particularly welcome proposals exploring:

  • A genealogy of the current cognitive science of religion. We hope for papers that examine either the specific intellectual and cultural antecedents of this approach (in religion or other fields) or a history of the more general phenomenon of the medicalization of religion (For possible co-sponsorship with the Critical Theory and Discourses on Religion Group).
  • Responses to David Chidester’s Empire of Religion (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2014). For possible co-sponsorship with the Critical Theory and Discourses on Religion Group and the Religion, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism Group;
  • The genealogy of religion and affect (for a possible co-sponsorship with the Religion, Affect, and Emotion Group). We seek papers reflecting on the longer history of studying religion and emotion (i.e. James, Durkheim, etc.) in conversation with recent theorists such as Ahmed, Berlant, Cvetkovich, and Sedgwick. What does the study of affect give us that Jamesian psychology or Durkheimian collective effervescence does not?  

This group regularly uses its sessions to develop new models for conference conversation. Toward that end, we ask that participants be prepared to write shorter papers, which we may circulate mid-October in order to focus our discussions at the Annual Meeting in a more collaborative and interactive way. We also welcome further suggestions for new conversational models (please e-mail the co-chairs with your ideas). 

Method: 

http://papers.aarweb.org/

Process: 

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection

Leadership: 

Chairs

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