PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

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Body and Religion Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit aims to draw together scholars working with different methodologies who address body as a fundamental category of analysis in the study of religion. The Unit provides a forum for sustained discussion and critique of diverse approaches to body and religion that can encompass scholars working on a wide range of traditions, regions, and eras.

The Body and Religion Unit maintains a listserv for announcements about conferences, new publications and other items relevant to the field. To subscribe (or for other listserv information) go to and fill out the online form. Once subscribed you will be able to receive messages, control your subscription options, and access the archives.

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Call for Papers: 

The Body and Religion Unit aims to provide a forum for multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary conversations on issues of body and religion. We are especially interested in the overall question of “What is body?” We invite proposals or panels presenting diverse methodologies and understandings of the body, as well as traditional and alternative presentation styles. When reviewing your paper proposals, we particularly appreciate proposals that clearly articulate their methodological and theoretical frameworks, and its contribution to the field.

This year we are particularly interested in several topics:
1. Mediating Bodies (possible co-sponsorship with Arts, Literature, and Religion unit)
2. Body, Religion, and Film
3. Judith Butler, Body, and Religion
We are interested in papers that discuss Judith Butler's contribution to body and religion studies.
4. Bodies as Blueprint for Structures (possible co-sponsorship with Space, Place and Religion Group)
5. Embodied Pedagogy Teaching Tactics in Large Introductory Courses (e.g. World Religions, Introduction to Religion, etc.)
State succinctly the context within which you used the strategy including: characteristics of your students, the institution and the course, when in the semester you use this tactic, and how long it takes.
State the pedagogical purpose of the strategy.
Describe the strategy itself in brief, clear language -- demonstrating a quick version of the tactic is encouraged
State why and how the strategy was effective – i.e., how it supported student learning
Address potential challenges -- i.e., avoiding cultural appropriation, avoiding the appearance of 'practicing' religion

A possible joint session on the call on Decolonization as Healing with The Religion, Medicine, and Healing group on the theme of decolonization as healing, recognizing that colonization can be understood as an ongoing threat to health and wellbeing. We are looking for papers that address facets of this theme, such as, but not limited to: “Place, Land, and Environmental Degradation,” “Decolonization/Restoration of Identities and Access,” “Vocabularies and Pragmatic Applications of Rituals and Ceremonies,” “Tradition as Healer,” and "Religious Bodies in Healing."

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