PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Atlanta, GA
November 21-24, 2015

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Comparative Studies in Religion Section

Statement of Purpose: 

This Section provides the opportunity for significant cross-traditional and cross-cultural inquiry. We traditionally solicit paper sessions that provide occasions for comparative inquiry seriously engaging two or more religious traditions around a common topic and we ensure that critical reflection is given to the conceptual tools therein employed.

Call for Papers: 

The Comparative Studies in Religion Section encourages thoughtful comparative research across different religious traditions and communities that yields insights into individual religious traditions, distinct individual and community experiences of religion, and the art and craft of religious studies itself. We solicit panel session proposals (not individual papers) that discuss comparison explicitly, rather than loose collections of discrete papers from different traditions. In order to support this, we encourage paper session organizers to be in touch with the unit co-chairs to help formulate the strongest paper session proposals possible.

In 2015, the unit invites paper sessions on any topic that will lead to a richer understanding and appreciation of comparison. In particular, we are looking for paper session proposals focused on the following: religious vs. secular; exorcism, contagion, and pollution; understandings of indigeneity; Martin Luther King., Jr. and comparative pacifisms (in anticipation of the meeting in Atlanta); how do we do comparison? (a session on comparative methodology); death with dignity; comparative religion in the workplace setting; lament/women's laments; the work of mourning.

We also welcome co-sponsored sessions. We are considering a co-sponsored session with the Western Esotericism Group on the following topic: Western esotericism has been considered by specialists as a culture-bound phenomenon, related to a specific cultural context, roughly corresponding to the Euro-American and Mediterranean geographical area and to the historical development of monotheisms. However, it would be interesting to consider in which way it could be compared to phenomena, movements, currents, and traditions from other religious cultures. Both theoretical proposals about possible approaches for comparative work on western esotericism and proposals on specific case studies are welcome.

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs and steering committee members at all times
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee