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Japanese Religions Unit

Call for Proposals

We invite papers sessions, individual papers, and roundtables that address all aspects of Japanese religious practice and thought. All time periods are welcome. To facilitate maximal exchange within and beyond Japanese religions, we prefer proposals that include explicit reflection on the study of religion. Creative formats are encouraged (film, organized discussion, pre-circulated papers/texts, workshop, etc.).

Our Unit is committed to diversity and inclusion. We strongly encourage considering balance in terms of gender, areas of specialization, and time periods, as well as balance between graduate students, junior scholars, and senior scholars. Showing little or no regard for such diversity will exercise an adverse effect on the likelihood that your proposal will be accepted.

In submitting proposals, please follow the AAR guidelines carefully. First-timers are encouraged to contact the co-chairs for additional advice (Levi McLaughlin at and Jessica Starling at

This year's AAR theme is "Religion and Catastrophe.” Of course, proposals need not be limited to this theme.

Our Unit is allotted two two-hour sessions. Co-sponsorship adds an additional two-hour session.

We would like to remind you about the Women in the Study of Asian Religions website ( This website was created to facilitate greater representation of women in scholarly activities by providing a crowdsourced list of female scholars working in Asian Religions. We encourage everybody to use this website and to otherwise go beyond old networks to seek new one and to help us further strengthen our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Below are possible topics proposed by our members this year. We welcome proposals on other topics as well. Please contact the proposers if you are interested in participating in these proposals:

  • Lived religion in Japan / East Asia (premodern / modern mix, with an eye to a journal special issue). David Quinter (
  • Apotropaic religion. Kristian Burhman (
  • Grief and mourning in Japanese religions (premodern / modern technologies, techniques, teachings). Eric Swanson (
  • Prophecies and oracles in Japanese / East Asian religions (premodern / modern). Marta Sanvido (
  • Court and countryside / religion on the peripheries. Abigail MacBain (

Statement of Purpose


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

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