PAPERS Resources

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

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Religion in Europe Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit is designed to serve as a forum for the examination of religious issues related to the social, cultural, and political development of both Eastern and Western Europe. Its guiding principles include a commitment to scholarly dialogue across disciplines, a comparative spirit sensitive to Europe’s religious diversity, and a transhistorical appreciation of the full trajectory of the European experience.

Call for Papers: 

This unit analyzes religion in both Eastern and Western Europe or related to Europe in any historical period. We encourage interdisciplinary, interreligious, and comparative approaches to the topic.

For the 2018 meeting we especially seek proposals related to one or more of the following themes:

• The Relationship between Right-Wing Politics, Religion, and European Identity
This topic can be either historical or contemporary and could include discussions of negotiating boundaries of/within Europe (e.g., regional or separatist movements), the relationship between religion and foundational laws/constitutions, and the exploitation of religious terms (internally or externally) in relation to the far-right. Co-sponsored session with the Law, Religion, and Culture Unit and the Religion in Europe Unit.

• The use of feminist and gender theory in analyzing the challenges and responses of religious communities in Europe: In addition to concerns over religious or legal regulation of women’s attire, this can include religious debates over wider gender issues of equal rights and meaningful participation in decision-making, safety, the recovery of hidden/forgotten/suppressed female historical narratives, and the work of interreligious women’s coalitions, for a co-sponsored session with the Feminist Theory and Religious Reflection Unit and the Religion in Europe Unit.

• Religious Conversion and European Identity, Both Historical and Contemporary
(Elissa Cutter, Co-sponsorship with the Religion in Europe Unit and the Religious Conversions Unit.

• The role of religion in migration both to and within Europe, either historical or contemporary. This includes the religious ramifications of forced migration to Europe and the rise of the alt-right in Europe in relation to non-majority religious groups and migration. Co-sponsored with the Religion and Migration Unit and the Religion in Europe Unit.

• Recognizing the Armenian Genocide
At a 2017 United Nations General Assembly meeting, President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, invited "all member States to support a new initiative toward the international recognition of the Armenian genocide" ( In light of President Sargsyan’s invitation and the Annual Meeting theme of "The Civic Responsibilities, Opportunities, and Risks Facing Scholars of Religion," we invite proposals that address the role of religion in the politics of recognition and denial with regard to the Armenian genocide. We are particularly interested in the following themes: (1) the politics of denial and recognition of the Armenian genocide in Turkish and European contexts with attention to religious language involved, and/or (2) the role of religious and or secular rhetoric, as well as the implications and political influence of international recognition of the Armenian genocide by various religious groups (such as Pope Francis in 2015 and the Central Council of Jews in Germany), (3) and/or the risks facing scholars of the Armenian genocide, especially Turkish scholars or scholars based in Turkey. Co-sponsorship with the Religion in Europe Unit and the Religion, Holocaust, and Genocide Unit.

We also welcome proposals that do not correspond to these themes, as well as proposals for complete sessions related to Europe in some fashion. Successful proposals will be considered for publication in the peer-reviewed Journal of Religion in Europe.

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection
ChairSteering Committee