PAPERS Resources

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

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Law, Religion, and Culture Group

Statement of Purpose: 

This Group is interested in the cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and comparative studies of the interrelationships of law and religion. The terms “law” and “religion” are broadly conceptualized and our interests have extended to include ancient and contemporary contexts and a wide variety of critical approaches. We hope to instigate consideration of religion and law issues at the AAR beyond issues concerning religious freedom and the United States Constitution.

Call for Papers: 

In consideration of the official theme for the 2015 AAR, Valuing the Study of Religion, the Religion, Law, and Culture Group invites proposals for papers or organized panels that explore the impact of religion scholarship in the courtroom. How is religious studies scholarship used to serve legal ends, and with what consequences? How have American models of religion been made universal (by international organizations for aid or development, religious freedom commissions, international legal mechanisms)?

Considering "value" in a narrower sense, our Group invites proposals that explore the intersection of law, religion, and economy. This theme might be approached in one of the following ways, among others:
How has a distinction between religion and economy been invoked, instituted, or contested in law, and with what consequences? Recent critical literature on secularism and secularity has attended to how the boundary is drawn between the "religious" and the "political", and how that boundary is contested, for example, by attempts to "deprivatize" religion for the sake of political critique. Less attention has been given to the politics of boundary-drawing as they apply to the "economic." 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? How does secular politics effect a distinction between "religious" and "economic" domains, as, for example, in the case of charity law? (For a possible co-sponsorship with the Secularism and Secularity Group).

or,

In what ways do law, religion, and economic practice intersect in colonial and postcolonial settings? For example, How have legal regimes governing economic practice shaped and transformed the institutions we now commonly understand to be religious (such as temples, mosques, monasteries, shrines)? How have the practices of such institutions worked in defiance of colonial legal expectations? (For a possible co-sponsorship with the Religion, Colonialism and Postcolonialism Group).

or,

What happens when religious expression enters the workplace, either through natural persons or corporate persons?

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the 1965 U.S. Immigration Act, the Law, Religion and Culture Group also invites proposals on Religion and Immigration. How have cultural practices been transformed in the North American legal context? How have views and constructions of Asians and their religions changed since the passing of transformative immigration legislation (e.g., the emergence of the “model minority” or “mindfulness”?) Proposals will be considered for a possible quad-sponsorship with the North American Hinduism Group; the Asian North American Religion, Culture, and Society Group; the Religion and Migration Group.

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee