PAPERS Resources

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

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Religion and Politics Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit provides a forum for scholars and professionals interested in the relationships between religion, the state, and political life, both in the United States and around the world. Our members focus on the interaction between religious and political values, movements, and commitments, and the role of religious individuals and communities in bodies politic. This focus includes attention to the ways in which religion and religious actors participate in public discourse, contribute to debates over public values and social policy, and affect — and are affected by — activity in the political sphere. We welcome members doing both normative and descriptive work from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, including religious studies, political science, philosophy, social ethics, law (including church–state studies), history (as it relates to contemporary understandings), and theology. We seek to advance scholarly inquiry on religion and politics and we seek also to speak to broad and diverse publics about areas falling under the Unit’s purview.

We also maintain a lively, year-round Religion and Politics Google group, which is open to all AAR members here:!forum/aar-religionandpolitics

Call for Papers: 

In addition to receiving paper or panel proposals on topics generally in the purview of the Unit (which encompasses both domestic and global interconnections of religion and politics, in practice and theory), we especially welcome proposals that address the following (and we are open to additional co-sponsorships beyond those listed here):

We are interested in papers that explore the role of religion in the 2018 midterm elections and the religious dimensions of shifting party landscapes in the United States (e.g., major fissures within the two major parties; reappraisals of what it means to be "evangelical"; emerging new coalitions and political configurations). We are particularly interested in considering religious intersections with "third way" movements that push beyond brittle binaries (liberalism vs. conservatism; globalism vs. populism; multiculturalism vs. nationalism, liberalism vs. neoliberalism). As 2018 is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we are also interested in papers reflecting on current issues related to religion and human rights from an international perspective.

We are also inviting paper proposals addressing issues of religion and politics in the Mountain West region, including “bodies and borders.” This includes religious responses to ecology, guns, drugs, immigration, gender, and sexuality. Denver is home to sacred land, the Columbine and Dark Knight massacres, marijuana legalization, growing Latino and Muslim communities, and the 2017 Supreme Court same-sex marriage cake case.

Please submit a detailed abstract and more in-depth description to the AAR PAPERS online system.

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