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Music and Religion Unit

Call for Proposals

The Music and Religion section is perpetually interested in panels that combine performance and scholarly reflection, and/or book panel discussions that help to advance the field. These ideas can be incorporated into any of the other ideas below.

  • Indigenous Religious Musics from around the World
  • Religious Music at the Borderlands and/or Religious Music and Immigration
  • Music in Theocracy/Christian Dominionism
  • Religious Music in Spanish-Speaking N. America
  • Emerging technologies in worship
  • Hank Williams (born 1923) and Southern/Country Gospel Music
  • Music and Mysticism
  • Theoretical and Theological Articulations of Music’s Meaning and Purpose from Asian and African religious systems – we are especially interested in Japanese Buddhist, Confucian, South Asian, African Islamic traditions (including chanting), and indigenous African cultures African American Music at the Turn of 21st century
  • Anniversary-themed presentations surrounding musical works and music scenes
  • Texas-themed presentations on musical works and music scenes

We are also soliciting submissions for a panel cosponsored by the Music and Religion and the Arts, Literature, and Religion units:

Religion, Music, and Text: Music plays an integral part in religious rituals and performances. It facilitates the religious experience of those performing and participating in the ritual. However, this music is written and composed based on religious texts and informs the music and/or performance. This panel will explore the theme of religion and music, musical texts and performance, and its representation in artistic and literary forms.

Statement of Purpose

The discipline of religious studies has expanded beyond linguistic rationality to include the importance of musical phenomena in the development of religious communities and religious consciousness. Meanwhile, theological aesthetics is moving beyond the textual to include music as a resource in its own right for constructive and transformative meaning-making. Music, religiously speaking, is no mere adjunct to the study of sacred space, ritual, visual art, liturgy, or philosophical aesthetics; rather, it is a distinct field in its own right — with its own particular content, methods, and norms. By placing the relationship between music and religion at the center of our endeavor, this Unit seeks to serve scholars who operate out of this ubiquitous, but ironically unrepresented, realm of academic pursuit within the guild.


Steering Committee Members





Review Process

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