PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
San Diego, CA
November 23-26, 2019

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Program Book (PDF)

Preliminary Program Book (MS Word)

Floorplans of Annual Meeting Facilities (PDF)

Exhibit Hall Listing and Map (PDF)

Program Book Ads (PDF)

Annual Meeting At-A-Glance (PDF)

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Indian and Chinese Religions Compared Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit addresses two significant gaps in current scholarship on Chinese and Indian religious traditions. The first gap is in historical scholarship. India and China have been the two mother cultures of South Asia and East Asia. Historically, the two were connected through the transmission and transformation of Buddhism from India to China. This remarkably fruitful incorporation and assimilation of a foreign system of thought and cultural practice into another well-established civilization is one of the first of its kind in the human history of cross-cultural exchanges, especially at such a magnitude. Unfortunately, there has been inadequate scholarly attention paid to how Indian Buddhism — and its central Asian variants — introduced new issues and imaginations to the Chinese people and how the Chinese managed to appropriate the alien tradition into their own intellectual milieu, hence deeply enriching and reshaping the indigenous Chinese culture. Beyond Buddhism, we encourage comparisons between other native Indian and native Chinese traditions. Second, we also seek to redirect some of the attention of the comparative study of religion and philosophy away from the default Western-centered approach. India and China are profoundly important civilizations, both historically and contemporarily. Despite the historical connection of Buddhism, the differences in their cultural products — whether religious, linguistic, philosophical, artistic, or material — are so striking that comparing them would highlight the true richness, plurality, and diversity of human creativity and cultural productivity.

Call for Papers: 

We invite papers on the theme of mind and consciousness as understood in the religious traditions of India and China. Intangible yet ubiquitous, the locus of thought, emotion, and spiritual insight: what exactly are the mind and consciousness? Are they the same or different? What terms are used to express them? How are states of consciousness analyzed and classified? Can the intangible become tangible, and if so, how? What access or insight do Indian and Chinese traditions offer? Papers may focus on a single tradition or thinker, but comparative approaches are especially encouraged, whether between various Indian traditions, various Chinese traditions, or an Indian tradition and a Chinese tradition. 

We are also seeking papers for a co-sponsored session on ritual theory in India and China. What theories have Indian and Chinese intellectuals formulated to explain rituals? What function do rituals serve? How and why do they work? Are there necessary ingredients, and if so, what? To what extent are these theories context-specific, and to what extent might they yield insights that could be applied outside their original contexts? Comparative proposals are welcome, as are proposals focusing on a particular tradition or thinker from either India or China. Examples include (but are by no means limited to) ritual theory in the Brāhmaṇas, Mīmāṃsā theories, Confucian debates on li 禮, Daoist ritual theories, Daoxuan’s 道宣 theoretical framework, etc. Co-sponsored with the Ritual Studies Unit.

Questions may be directed to either of the co-chairs.

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Some people contacted the co-chairs prior to their submissions to inquire about whether their proposals fit the parameters of the CFPs.
ChairSteering Committee