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Body and Religion Unit

Call for Proposals

The Body and Religion Unit aims to provide a forum for multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary conversations that theorize the contribution of the body and embodiment to religions. We invite proposals or panels presenting diverse methodologies and understandings of the body, as well as traditional and alternative presentation styles. When reviewing your paper proposals, we particularly appreciate proposals that do not simply discuss bodily activities but also explicitly reflect on the difference this focus makes to the academic study of religions. This year we are particularly interested in proposals on the following topics:

(1) neoliberal or capitalist bodies in religious contexts
(2) the role of bodily senses in religion
(3) analyzing religious bodies using the work of Frantz Fanon
(4) immigrant and/or itinerant bodies
(5) bodies in artificial intelligence, games and/or virtual realities
(6) embodiment in African Religions (co-sponsored with the African Religions Unit)
(7) open call

In addition, the Body and Religion Unit seeks proposals for an interactive author(s)-respondent(s) book panel on one of the following books: Valuing Lives, Healing Earth (Dube, Hinga, et. al.; Jezebel Unhinged (Lomax) or Ezili’s Mirrors (Tinsley). The focus of the proposal should highlight the embodied religious aspects in one of these texts.

For further contextualization on our shared call for proposals on Embodiment in African Religions (co-sponsored with the African Religions Unit): African religious cultures, both historically and to date, are intricately connected to embodiment. The body appears as a locus of self, spirit and divinity, and it mediates morality, belief, and experience. The embodied nature of African religions – indigenous religions, Christianity, Islam and other traditions – calls into question longstanding Western dualisms such as of body and mind, spirit and matter, transcendence and immanence. Papers in this panel explore the complex and multifaceted ways in which religion and the body in African religions are intertwined.

If your proposal gets accepted and you agree to be on the program, we expect you to show up to participate in the annual meeting, barring unforeseeable exceptional circumstances. Please note that it is the policy of the Body and Religion Unit to refuse no-shows at the Annual Meeting from the program for up to the following two years.

Statement of Purpose

This Unit aims to draw together scholars working with different methodologies who address body and embodiment as a fundamental category of analysis in the study of religion. The Unit provides a forum for sustained discussion and critique of diverse approaches to body and religion by scholars working on a wide range of traditions, regions, and eras.

The Body and Religion Unit maintains a listserv for announcements about conferences, new publications and other items relevant to the field. To subscribe (or for other listserv information) go to and fill out the online form. Once subscribed you will be able to receive messages, control your subscription options, and access the archives.

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Steering Committee Membership
Those who take on the responsibilities of being steering committee members will participate in decision-making processes for the annual call for papers, respond to unit communication, and read, rank, and comment on submitted proposals in March. If a steering committee member finds that they are not able to fulfill these tasks in a given year, they should communicate with the co-chairs. If a steering committee member cannot participate in this work, the co-chairs may replace them.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

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

Review Process Comments

This choice does allow us to check on the overall diverse perspectives on panels after ranking and comments are complete.