PAPERS Resources

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

2017 Annual Meeting Program (PDF)

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Preliminary 2017 Annual Meeting Program (MS Word)

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Psychology, Culture, and Religion Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

The PCR unit is a Related Scholarly Organization (RSO) of the AAR, comprised of scholars and practitioners in the fields of psychology, religious studies, and cultural analysis. The interests of our members range from Freudian and Jungian psychoanalysis to the practice of pastoral counseling, from object relations theory to cultural studies of trauma and healing. Our primary purposes are to foster creative research, encourage the exchange of ideas among the membership, and provide a forum within the AAR for people with shared backgrounds in the interdisciplinary study of psychology, religion, and culture. Please visit our Website at

Call for Papers: 

Religion, Psychology and the Most Vulnerable
In light of the 2017 AAR theme, “Religion and the Most Vulnerable,” we are asking: What is the role of religion in the harm or healing of Boston’s most vulnerable? The PCR is seeking papers that explore the psychological, spiritual, and/or theological dynamics that religion plays in local traumas and violence of the Boston area. Events worthy of exploration include historic events like the Boston Massacre and the Salem Witch Trials, as well as more contemporary situations: the sexual abuse scandal in the archdiocese of Boston; responses to the abuse and cover up by Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and other advocacy groups; the 2015 Boston Marathon bombing; the ongoing identification of Boston among the top 10 “most racist cities” list based on the number of hate crimes.

Fences, Walls and Bars: Belonging and Exclusion in Psychological and Religious Perspective
Major challenges of our time – immigration, religiously motivated hate crimes, and mass incarceration – use cultural and personal boundaries to control and exclude, punish and criminalize, shame and dehumanize others, while masking fear, anxiety, hatred and disgust among the more powerful. This call for papers seeks new insights and analysis of role that psychological and religious motivations play in both the construction and deconstruction of fences, walls, and bars.

Mysticism and the Self
We invite proposals that explore how mysticism constructs and deconstructs models of the self and subjectivity. Papers might consider how individual mystic thinkers or traditions have conceptualized the self, what mystical experiences suggest about how the self should be understood, or what philosophical or psychological implications mysticism might present for our understanding of subjectivity.

Possible co-sponsorship with Mysticism Unit:

Twenty-five Years of Judith Herman’s Trauma and Recovery
To honor the twenty-fifth anniversary of Judith Herman's landmark book, Trauma and Recovery: the aftermath of violence - from domestic abuse to political terror, we invite papers that explore the impact of Herman's insights and theory on current clinical practices, religious and theological understandings, and/or psychological treatments for trauma survivors and systems of violence. The session will include a response by the author.

Possible co-sponsorship with Moral Injury and Recovery in Religion, Society, and Culture Unit: Womanist Contributions in Psychology, Culture, and Religion
We are seeking papers and/or panel proposals that explore the contributions and critiques to theory and practice in psychology, culture, and religion from womanist perspectives.

Possible co-sponsorship with the Queer Studies in Religion Unit: Psychoanalysis and Religion: What Is the State of the Art?

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