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Sociology of Religion Unit

Call for Proposals

The purpose of the Sociology of Religion Unit of the American Academy of Religion is to generate cross-fertilization between the Sociology of Religion and Religious Studies. We are open to papers in all areas and therefore encourage submissions of any topic relevant to the sociology of religion. This year, we are particularly interested in the following topics:


Topics related to the AAR presidential theme of “La Labor de Nuestras Manos (The Work of Our Hands).”

Including religion in workplaces, labor within religious organizations, religion and labor unions, religion and direct action, gendered labor within religions, racialized labor within religions, communicating our work to the public, and more.


Religion, race, and ethnicity

Including racism, white supremacy, biracial or multiracial people and spaces, intersectional identities, religio-racial or religio-ethnic identifications, multiracial/multireligious coalitions, Latinx religions, and related themes.


Religion, materiality, and embodiment

Including artifacts, home shrines, dress, comportment, the body, technologies of the self, and more.


Public Understanding of Religion (Co-sponsored with the Religion and the Social Sciences Unit)

Including applied sociology of religion, scholars’ responsibilities to diverse publics, and more.


Religion and Politics (Co-sponsored with the Religion and Politics Unit)

Including issues such as abortion, healthcare, LGBTQ+ rights, religious freedom, immigration, education, guns, climate change, courts, crime, voting, and more.


Sociology of Religion and Science

Including views of science and science education, religion and atheism among scientists, comparative views of religious and scientific authority, etc.


Crisis in Quantitative Methods

What is quantitative data good for? It’s cited often, but its accuracy is declining due to very low response rates and increasing heterogeneity. Survey categories remain Protestant-centric, and the rise of the “Nones” is evidence of fossilized measures. What can we really say about (or with) quantitative data? What novel or experimental approaches could help resolve this crisis?


Review Process

All proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria: a descriptive title; a clearly formulated argument; clearly identified methodology and sources; engagement with relevant secondary literature; explicit articulation of an original contribution to the field; relevance to our unit’s CFP; potential for co-sponsorships with other units. Further suggestions for AAR proposal writers can be found in Kecia Ali’s “Writing a Successful Annual Meeting Proposal.” 



The Sociology of Religion Unit regularly co-sponsors panels with the peer-reviewed journal Critical Research on Religion (, published by SAGE Publications. Presenters of promising papers in Sociology of Religion Unit panels may be invited to turn their papers into articles and submit them for peer review to Critical Research on Religion.

Statement of Purpose

The Sociology of Religion Unit of the American Academy of Religion serves as a bridge between religious studies and the subdiscipline of sociology of religion. It functions as a two-way conduit not only to import sociological research into religious studies but also to export the research of religious studies into both the subdiscipline and the broader field of sociology. Only through a cross-fertilization transgressing departmental boundaries can there be breakthroughs in research in both fields. The unit has a wide conception of sociology of religion. It is open to a multiplicity of paradigms and methodologies utilized in the subfield and sociology more broadly: theoretical as well as empirical, quantitative, qualitative, and historical. By liaising with other Program Units, the Sociology of Religion Unit is able to bring the rich diversity of critical and analytical perspectives that are housed in the American Academy of Religion into mainstream sociology of religion. Conversely, it aims to provide scholars of the study of religion with a deeper understanding of the landscape of sociology of religion.

Statement on Diversity and Inclusion:

Diversity and inclusivity are core values of the Sociology of Religion Unit. For this reason, we encourage organizers of pre-formed panels to invite participants that are diverse in race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, age, religion, region, discipline, methodology, professional status, and type of institution. In addition, we especially welcome proposals that focus on communities that have been historically underrepresented, including African, Latinx, Asian, Indigenous, and non-Christian communities, as well as on regions outside North America and Europe. In panel and paper proposals, we also welcome a diversity of methodologies, including quantitative, qualitative, historical, and theoretical. When preparing your panel or roundtable proposal, please include the demographic data you provide to the AAR and explain how your panel’s participants instantiate diversity.


  • Di Di, Santa Clara University
    1/1/2023 - 12/31/2028
  • Dusty Hoesly, University of California, Santa Barbara
    1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025

Steering Committee Members



Review Process

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