PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Boston, MA
November 18-21, 2017

2017 Annual Meeting Program (PDF)

Preliminary 2017 Annual Meeting Program (MS Word)

To return to the Welcome Page, please click here.

For questions or support, email

To return to the AAR website, click here.

Law, Religion, and Culture Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit is interested in the cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and comparative studies of the interrelationships of law and religion. The terms “law” and “religion” are broadly conceptualized and our interests have extended to include ancient and contemporary contexts and a wide variety of critical approaches. We hope to instigate consideration of religion and law issues at the AAR beyond issues concerning religious freedom and the United States Constitution.

Call for Papers: 

As ever, the Law, Religion, and Culture Unit welcomes proposals for individual papers, papers sessions, and roundtable panel proposals, including author-meets-reader sessions, on any aspect of the cultural, historical, critical, and comparative study of the intersections of law and religion in Asia, Africa, Europe, or the Americas, including legal categories in religious traditions, the treatment of religion within legal traditions, human rights, and freedom of religion. We welcome explorations of "formal" law that directly intersects with states, and "informal" law that does not.

This year, our Unit particularly invites proposals that address the following broad themes:
• The number of people forced to leave their homes by war, conflict, or persecution is now the highest ever recorded. 1 in 131 persons is counted as "displaced" and living as a refugee, within or outside the boundaries of their home country, according to the Global Trends Report issued by the UN Refugee Agency, the UNHCR. Disputes over border security, immigration control, and national identity are pushing xenophobic politics to the fore around the world. We seek proposals that explore the role of law in struggles over religion, migration, and immigration.

• For a possible quad-sponsorship with the Religion and Ecology Unit, the Native Traditions in the Americas Unit, and the Native American Religious Traditions Unit:
When the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed suit in U.S. District Court against the Army Corps of Engineers in July 2016, they argued that the Dakota Access Pipeline "threatens the Tribe’s environmental and economic well-being, and would damage and destroy sites of great historic, religious, and cultural significance to the Tribe." We seek paper or panel proposals for a co-sponsored session on the intersections of law, ecology, and Native American traditions.

• For a possible co-sponsorship with the Religious Conversions Unit, we invite proposals that reflect on social, religious, legal, and governmental legitimization processes, or, who gets to decide if/when a conversion is “legitimate” or “real.”

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