PAPERS Resources

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

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Religions, Social Conflict, and Peace Group

Statement of Purpose: 

Relationships between religions and the causes and resolution of social conflict are complex. On the one hand, religion is a major source of discord in our world, but on the other, religious agents have often played a central role in developing and encouraging nonviolent means of conflict resolution and sustainable peace. While religion as a factor in conflicts is often misunderstood by military and political leaders, it is also the case that the popular call for an end to injustice is quite often a religious voice. We seek to add a critical dimension to the understanding of how religion influences and resolves social conflict. We want to develop and expand the traditional categories of moral reflection and response to war and also to investigate kindred conflicts — terrorism, humanitarian armed intervention, cultural and governmental repression, ecological degradation, and all of the factors that inhibit human flourishing. We also hope to encourage theoretical and practical reflection on religious peace-building by examining the discourses, practices, and community and institutional structures that promote just peace. Through our work, we hope to promote understanding of the relationships between social conflict and religions in ways that are theoretically sophisticated and practically applicable in diverse cultural contexts.

Call for Papers: 

This group welcomes individual papers and paper session proposals (presider, 3-4 papers, and respondent) on intersections of religion with violence, social conflict, and peace. For the coming Annual Meeting, we are particularly interested in the following:

We wish to convene a panel or session on incidents and histories of violence against marginalized bodies—including, but not limited to, police brutality, incarceration, religious violence, hate crimes, sexualized violence, and/or militarized, state-sanctioned violence. This might also include analysis of commemoration, social rituals, justice work, artistic practices, and peacemaking efforts that respond to violence. We are particularly interested in intersectional approaches to queer/gender/sexuality studies and African American religious history. (For a possible quad-sponsored session with the Religion and Sexuality Group; the Afro-American Religious History Group; the Queer Studies in Religion Group.)

For a co-sponsored session with the African Religions Group; the Lesbian-Feminist Issues and Religion Group: we ask for papers for a session entitled “Gendered Violence in Africa: The Place of Ritual and Ethics in Justification, Protest, and Adjudication”. We seek papers on all forms of gendered violence in Africa, whether against women, girls, boys, or men, and/or LGBTIQ persons. Among these forms we include domestic abuse, rape, pimping, sexual harassment, sex-trafficking, stalking, wartime violence, and violence against sexual minorities, whether in prisons or public, in church or secular contexts, for ritual or judicial purposes, etc. We invite proposals that explore distinctions and connections between institutional and interpersonal violence and address a broad range of instances in which gender and violence intertwine. In all cases, we seek some tie to religious or ethical reflection in African contexts.

--the state of methodology and pedagogy in the study of religion, social conflict and peace
--the role of religion in historical and contemporary violence affecting African Americans (e.g., faith-based responses to blue-on-black violence or the role of religion in challenging the criminalization of black and brown bodies)
--transnational rhetoric and tools employed by actors in religious conflicts, or by religious actors
in larger social conflicts
--religious dimensions of the resurgence of Russian power
--religion in social discord over public health (e.g. infectious diseases, experimental drugs)
--connections between theory-practice/lived experience connections, particularly proposals that reflect collaboration between scholars and practitioners

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members until after final acceptance/rejection
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee