PAPERS Resources

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

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Religious Conversions Group

Statement of Purpose: 

This Group studies the full spectrum of issues related to religious conversions, in any historical or geographic context, encompassing different forms of religious belief and practice. The scope of the issues we cover is broad and wide-ranging. We consider investigations into the reasons for various types of religious conversions including, but not limited to intellectual, theological, philosophical, historical, experiential, psychological, social, cultural, political, and economic causes. We also study the consequences of religious conversions, both individually and socially, and their implications. We encourage the methodologies of multiple disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary approaches. More narrowly focused areas of inquiry suggested by interested scholars include, but are not limited to the following:

Multiple conversions

Group and individual conversions

Forced conversions

The narrative and/or literary aspects of conversions


Ecclesiological consequences of conversion

The place and role of conversion in a specific religious tradition

Theories of conversions

Formulas of religious conversion (as step-by-step processes)

Call for Papers: 

The Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion, ed. Lewis R. Rambo and Charles E. Farhadian (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014): Both in a spirit of celebration and in the hopes of stimulating new research pushing converting studies to new levels of development, this session will include perspectives from editors and contributors to the The Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion as well critical assessment of the Handbook by other presenters.

Religious Conversion and Søren Kierkegaard. For a co-sponsored session with the Kierkegaard, Religion and Culture Group, we invite proposals that explore themes of conversion as they relate to the work of Søren Kierkegaard. We are particularly interested in papers that consider the narrative or literary aspects of religious conversion, the role of imagination and will in conversion, and formulas of religious conversion. One might, for example, consider the relationship between the Kierkegaardian “leap” and conversion, Kierkegaard’s concepts of transitions and stages in relation to conversion, or ecclesiological consequences of conversion as presented in Kierkegaard’s corpus. Authors might draw upon scholarship that explicitly or implicitly addresses these themes, whether from the standpoint of conversion studies, or from Kierkegaard studies. This session aims to bring together scholars of conversion and Kierkegaard in order to broaden conversation in both fields.

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members until after final acceptance/rejection
ChairSteering Committee