AAR Annual Meeting
November 18-21, 2017
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The African Association for the Study of Religions (AASR) is an academic association that promotes the study of religions in Africa through international collaboration in research, publishing, and teaching. AASR was founded in 1992 in Harare, Zimbabwe at a Regional Conference of the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR). The AASR has been an affiliate organization of the IAHR since 1995.
In particular, the AASR aims to stimulate the academic study of religions in Africa in the following ways:
• By providing a forum for multilateral communications between scholars of African religions
• By facilitating the exchange of resources and information
• By encouraging international collaboration in research between scholars and institutions in Africa and those outside the continent
• By developing publishing opportunities particularly for scholars based in Africa
• By establishing a travel fund to enable scholars to attend academic conferences
• By organising conferences in Africa and panels on the religions of Africa
• By establishing a newsletter and website to increase communication between scholars of African religions
• By creating a directory of scholars in the field of African religions
Crossing Borders: Interaction of Healing Practices of Religions in modern Africa
African traditional medicine, and faith healing practices of Pentecostalism, the Charismatics and Prophet Churches have had quite some history of interactions in Africa. The interactions have manifested as conflicts, separatism, dialogue, and integration in forms of syncretism. These models of interaction assume that there are conditions under which interaction of therapeutic ideas and practices occur, increase or diminish. The realities of geography, history, socio-cultural factors, the state of a religion, the level of development of health services in a society, or other causes may create such conditions
The Panel looks at theories of border crossing in general and their relevance in the history of interaction of religiously based therapeutic traditions in Africa. It examines conditions under which interaction of therapeutic ideas and practices occur, increase or diminish. It also will focus on when and how religious practitioners and healers construct, synthesize, blend, negotiate; that is to say; cross religious borders in matters of healing practices.
The State of Teaching Religious Studies in African Universities
We invite proposals that examine the present state of religious studies in African Universities. Recently, several African scholars have critiqued the Western and colonialist history of African religious studies and proposed that the study of religion in Africa is in need of Africanization. Hence, we seek papers that examine the import of departments and programs of religion in African universities to the academic study of religion in general and the study of religion in Africa in particular. We are also interested in papers that interrogate how African universities’ religious studies departments and programs are either addressing or overlooking the Western legacy of African religious studies. We furthermore invite papers that examine pedagogical issues related to teaching religious studies and the study of religion in Africa in African university settings.
For a co-sponsored session with the Quaker Studies Unit: we invite papers that explore Quakerism, Quaker identity formation, and Quaker spiritualities in central and eastern Africa using postcolonial perspectives.