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Religion and Politics Unit

Call for Proposals for November Meeting

The Religion and Politics Section welcomes papers, full panel and roundtable proposals on any topic related to the intersections of religion and politics.  We are particularly interested in papers related to the presidential theme “Violence, Nonviolence, and the Margin.” We invite proposals on current events such as the US election, the Israel-Hamas conflict, the Russia-Ukraine war, religion and labor unions in the United States and US/China relations..  We also welcome reflections on the 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and the politics, prospects, and possibilities of nonviolence as a strategy for social change. Finally, we welcome reflections on contested and evolving definitions of American identity.


For a possible co-sponsorship with the Critical Approaches to Hip Hop and Religion Unit, we invite papers that consider the relationship between Hip Hop, Religion and Politics. As Hip Hop turns 50 (2023); crack cocaine turns 40 (c. 1984); and the 20 year old words of “Rap Snitch Knishes” remains true, the Religion and Politics Unit and the Critical Approaches to Hip Hop and Religion Unit invite paper, panel, or roundtable proposals that address the intersections of hip hop, religion, and politics through an interdisciplinary lens, with proposals that engage in the personal and the private, the sacred and the profane, issues of illegality and artistic expression, and the engagement in criminal enterprises as culturally, legally, politically, and religiously subversive.


For a possible co-sponsorship with the Religion and Human Rights Unit and the Quaker Studies Program Unit we invite papers that consider:

  • The religious logics of nonviolent protest in the U.S. and beyond;
  • Relationships between nonviolence and colonialism/dispossession: explorations of the ways in which nonviolent resistance might place actors at an advantage or a disadvantage in relation to regimes that have already dispossessed them of resources and/or rights;
  • Dynamics of enforcement of nonviolent protest: explorations of topics such as the use of the labels such as “violence” and “terrorism” to restrict nonviolent protest;
  • The question of what counts as “violence,” and who decides when this label is used.

Statement of Purpose

This Unit provides a forum for scholars and professionals interested in the relationships among religion, the state, and political life, both in the United States and around the world. Our members focus on the interaction between religious and political values, movements, and commitments, and the role of religious individuals and communities in bodies politic. This focus includes attention to the ways in which religion and religious actors participate in public discourse, contribute to debates over public values and social policy, and affect — and are affected by — activity in the political sphere. We welcome members doing both normative and descriptive work from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, including religious studies, political science, philosophy, social ethics, law (including church–state studies), history (as it relates to contemporary understandings), and theology. We seek to advance scholarly inquiry on religion and politics and we seek also to speak to broad and diverse publics about areas falling under the Unit’s purview. We also maintain a year-round Religion and Politics Google group, which is open to all AAR members here:!forum/aar-religionandpolitics


Steering Committee Members


Review Process

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