PAPERS Resources

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

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Session Index (PDF)

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Exhibitor Index and Exhibit Hall Maps (PDF)

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Music and Religion Group

Statement of Purpose: 

The discipline of religious studies is expanding beyond linguistic rationality to include the importance of musical phenomena in the development of healthy religious communities and religious consciousness. Meanwhile, theological aesthetics is moving beyond the textual to include music as a resource in its own right for constructive and transformative meaning-making. Music, religiously speaking, is no mere adjunct to the study of sacred space, ritual, visual art, liturgy, or philosophical aesthetics; rather, it is a distinct field in its own right — with its own particular content, methods, and norms. By placing the relationship between music and religion at the center of our endeavor, this Group seeks to serve scholars who operate out of this ubiquitous, but ironically unrepresented, realm of academic pursuit within the guild.

Call for Papers: 

The Music and Religion Group invites papers or panels on the relationship between music and religion in the context of contemporary or historical cultures. We seek proposals that bring innovative methodological considerations to the study of musical phenomena in relation to the following 2015 themes. Papers or panels which incorporate/demonstrate live performance as part of the session are particularly welcome.

• Gospel Music of the American South: Gospel Music of the American South: We invite proposals that explore the distinctive forms of gospel music that have developed in the American South and how they have shaped or been shaped by traditions of spirituality, biblical interpretation, theological reflection, or socio-political perspectives within the black church. Proposals featuring performed music especially welcome. (for a potential quad-sponsored session with the Christian Spirituality Group; the Bible in Racial, Ethnic, and Indigenous Communities Group; the Pentecostal-Charismatic Movements Group.

• Rap Music and Religion in the American South: Part of the "Dirty South," Atlanta has been called Hip Hop's center of gravity. We welcome submissions that engage regional and geographic impact and influence on the cultural production of rap music (with attention to religion) and its cross-cultural pollinations among musical modalities such as folk and country on rap music or vice versa. Examples might include groups such as Nappy Roots and Arrested Development or the more recent growth in popularity of white rap celebrating Southern culture. (Co-sponsored with Critical Approaches to Hip Hop and Religion).

• Sacred Harp and Shape Note Singing Traditions: Explorations into the ritual, musicological, and theological phenomenon of nineteenth-century American shape note and four-part singing schools and traditions and/or their contemporary manifestations.

• Music, Religion, and Migration: How does the intersection of music and religion help to shape identities and socio-political perspectives in the context of migration and newer immigrant communities? Co-sponsored with Religion and Migration.

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