PAPERS Resources

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

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Religious Conversions Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit studies the full spectrum of issues related to religious conversions, in any historical or geographic context, encompassing different forms of religious belief and practice. The scope of the issues we cover is broad and wide-ranging. We consider investigations into the reasons for various types of religious conversions including, but not limited to intellectual, theological, philosophical, historical, experiential, psychological, social, cultural, political, and economic causes. We also study the consequences of religious conversions, both individually and socially, and their implications. We encourage the methodologies of multiple disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary approaches. More narrowly focused areas of inquiry suggested by interested scholars include, but are not limited to the following:
• Multiple conversions
• Group and individual conversions
• Forced conversions
• The narrative and/or literary aspects of conversions
• Hybridity
• Ecclesiological consequences of conversion
• The place and role of conversion in a specific religious tradition
• Theories of conversions
• Formulas of religious conversion (as step-by-step processes)

Call for Papers: 

Individual paper or full paper/panel session proposals (with a preference for the latter) are welcome on any topic related to religious conversion, including, but not limited to the panel topics proposed at the 2016 business meeting (the person whose name is listed in parentheses has expressed an interest in organizing the panel). They are:

• The somatics/embodiment of conversion, or "Reason" vs. "Marrow" (Intuition/Instinct) in conversion (Terry Rey;

• Conversion/deconversion in the contemporary American political context (Linda Mercadante;

• Social, religious, legal, and governmental legitimization processes, or, who gets to decide if/when a conversion is “legitimate” or “real” (Possible co-sponsorship with Law, Religion, and Culture Unit; Alex Hwang;

• Conversion in Southeast Asia (Possible co-sponsorship with Religion in Southeast Asia Unit; Vivienne Angeles;

• Conversion in contexts of social/government restrictions (Taunalyn Rutherford;

• Conversions/deconversions of Academics and in relationship to their areas of scholarship (Marc Pugliese;

• Conversion and Mormonism (Possible co-sponsorship with Mormon Studies Unit; Colleen McDannell;

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