PAPERS Resources

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

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International Development and Religion Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

Since its establishment as an academic discipline in the 1960's the field of International Development Studies (IDS) has evolved from a fragmented topic, contained within the many silos of different academic departments, into an interdisciplinary field that draws on knowledge from across the social sciences and humanities. While this is true for many of the social sciences and humanities; religious and theological studies are two silos that until recently have found it a challenge to contribute to this growing conversation. The International Development and Religion Unit was established at the AAR in 2009 as one avenue through which religious and theological studies could engage in this emerging constructive dialogue with development studies.
The primary objective of our Unit is to use the AAR’s interdisciplinary and international reach as a focal point to gather scholars from across the humanities and social sciences, including those outside the AAR, who are engaged in the study of the space and place of religion in the context of economic, political and socio-cultural development in the global south.

We wish to support theoretically robust and practically oriented research that interrogates the post/de/colonial, theological, religious and missionary assumptions and mentalities of the global confluence of international development and religion in the developing world, including, but not limited to the investigations of current faith-based NGO’s and their projects in the field, practitioner-based research and reflection from the field and the encounter between private and public religion(s) in the developing world.

Call for Papers: 

The International Development and Religion Unit invites proposals for individual papers and panels that address the intersection of international development and religion, broadly conceived. For the 2018 Annual Meeting, where the Presidential Theme is “Religion and Public Life,” we especially invite proposals engaging the following:

• Revolutionary Bioethics: Bioethics, Religion, and International Development
For a possible joint session with the Bioethics and Religion Unit and the International Development and Religion Unit, we seek papers concerning how questions about healthcare, health sciences, and health policy intersect with religious imaginaries in international development settings. In particular, how does bioethical theory and practice emerging from the global south challenge the dominant assumptions of mainstream bioethics? Papers of sufficient quality, including those that we are unable to include on the program, will be considered for inclusion in an edited volume in the Lexington monograph series, Revolutionary Bioethics. Revolutionary bioethics is a new series composed of scholarly monographs and edited collections organized around specific topics that explore bioethical theory and practice through the frameworks provided by feminist ethics, narrative ethics, and virtue ethics, challenging the assumptions of mainstream bioethics in the process. For details on the series see

• Islam in Development Contexts
How do Islamic principles such as zakat affect development programming? What is “Islamic” about Islamic charities doing aid and development work? How does this intersect with public funding and/or programming?

• Religion, Development, and Public Policy
How has a greater attention to religion shaped a shift in thinking in the post-Washington consensus era? How has a greater attention to religion shaped government policy in development? How has the greater dialogue about religion in development affected other policy areas, such as gender, education, and/or health?

E-mail without Attachment (proposal appears in body of e-mail)
E-mail with Attachment (proposal is in attachment, not in body of e-mail)
Papers of sufficient quality will be considered for publication in an edited volume on the same theme for the Routledge Research in Religion and Development book series. (see [])
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
ChairSteering Committee