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Religion and Disability Studies Unit

Call for Proposals

The Religion and Disability Studies Unit invites proposals that critically examine the relationship between disability and religious thought, practice, or history. We welcome papers on all topics, especially from non-Christian perspectives and/or as they relate to this year’s conference theme on Religion and Catastrophe.

We especially seek proposals on the following:

  • How the lens of disability and religion provides a distinctive and necessary understanding of persistent, disabling conditions at both the international (migration, warfare, creation of refugees, etc.) and interpersonal level s (long COVID, chronic illness, etc.).
    Intersections of disability and race, particularly (but not limited to) the role racial, ethnic or cultural perspectives have played in challenging or reforming religious communities with regard to disability issues.


Persons with disabilities are often depicted as passive or weak in many socioreligious contexts. Such depictions overlook instances where these persons actively use arts and literature as either forms of religious expression or means of religious experience. This panel will include papers that discuss how the arts and literature of various religious traditions present disability, as well as particular ways in which persons with disabilities utilize arts and literature for religious expression or experience.


What distinct insights are available when catastrophic events are experienced and analyzed from within a disability perspective? What kinds of responses to trauma are needed to adequately grieve, mourn, and flourish? How do disability perspectives (from within and without religious communities and their sacred texts) imagine and practice a different world and collective future in which mutual care in vulnerability is possible? Which histories, theologies, cosmologies, or theories of grief and flourishing in times of catastrophe need to be centered?

We seek proposals for a session that engages science-fictional imaginings of the dis/abled body in tandem with theories or tropes of religion and/or science fiction. We are receptive to a wide range of critical approaches that engage issues of disability in catastrophic situations like a post-apocalyptic world, alien invasion, or a pandemic.

Statement of Purpose


Steering Committee Members


E-mail without Attachment (proposal appears in body of e-mail)



Review Process

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