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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Religion and Economy Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit sponsors multidisciplinary conversations that explore intersections between religious and economic modes of social life. Building upon and extending scholarship that considers how economic terms and constraints orient religious activity, this Unit cultivates scholarship that asks how economic systems and orientations have developed through fields of thought, practice, and resistance that come into view through attention to the "religious." Encouraging conversations that traverse religious traditions, geographic locations, methodologies, and historical time periods, this Unit's collaborative explorations not only address and explore capitalist and non-capitalist economic systems but also consider how broader systems of "exchange" produce social relations among varied actors--from humans to spirits to material objects. By interrogating religion and economy, this Unit also encourages scholars to consider the stakes of other concepts with ongoing currency in the study of religion, including secularism, postsecularism, spirituality, affect, networks, ritual, agency, and subject formation.

Call for Papers: 

For the 2019 Annual Meeting, the Religion and Economy Unit welcomes any paper or panel proposals related to the group's mission, including but not limited to the following themes. We encourage proposals for sessions that adopt innovative formats of presentation and discussion (e.g., creative uses of media; brief presentations; larger panels).

● Religious Affects of Neoliberalism -
Weber long ago insisted that material conditions could not alone account for capitalism’s power; it required a system of meaning to motivate human action. What affects and ethics motivate the power of neoliberal/late/millennial capitalism today? Papers could explore these at work in empirical sites, including studies of popular culture.

Can Religion Save the World? Beyond Capitalism, Consumerism, and Systems of Exploitation Toward Ecological Civilization -
What role can religious and theological studies play in responding to the most important issues of our times? Can religions help cultivate the consciousness needed to avert catastrophe? How might theology contribute to the development of integrated approaches to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protect nature? In light of the 2019 AAR theme, “Scholarly Workers in Public Spaces: A Necessary Long-Term Focus in the Study of Religions,” this session will be an intersectional, interdisciplinary, interreligious exploration on religious responses to our world’s most pressing issues. This is a quad-sponsored session with the Open & Relational Theologies Unit, the Religion and Economy Unit, the Religion and Ecology Unit, and the Class, Religion, and Theology Unit.

● Economic Theology -
How have theologians made use of economic terminology in thinking about moments of intersection between the transcendent and mundane? Papers and panels might explore the theological value of economic concepts, as well as the economic function of theological concepts.

● Philanthropy -
How have philanthropic acts connected to visions of individual or social transformation? How have the wealthy imagined charity as a means of legitimating their privilege? In "gilded ages" present or past, why and how do people engage in projects they perceive as charitable?

● Religious Economies of South Asia -
How have religious groups in South Asia responded to capitalism’s recent expansion in the region? How have new class formations transformed religious concepts and practices? What do long-standing theological and economic concepts in the region help us to understand about the relationships between religious and economic life more broadly?

● Religion and Crisis on the Mexico/US Borderlands -
Economic factors are embedded in the religious landscapes of the border. Thomas Tweed demonstrated how “dwelling practices situate the religious time and space... drawing on human and supra-human forces to make homes and cross boundaries.” As the crisis deepens on the US/Mexico border, this panel asks how religious worlds intersect with economic reality/fantasy in crossing, dwelling and the in-betweenness of borderlife.

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ChairSteering Committee