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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 “Religion and Catastrophe.”

  • Including religion and climate change, religion and the environment, inequality and climate change, migration and the environment, migration and violence, racial violence, religion, and economic inequality, apocalypticism, etc.


Religion, race, and ethnicity.

  • Including biracial or multiracial people and spaces, intersectional identities, religio-racial identifications, and related themes.


Sociology of Science, Technology, and Religion (Co-sponsored with the Science, Technology, and Religion Unit)

  • Including vaccines (and vaccine skepticism), virology, climate science, surveillance, virtual ritual/worship, social/digital media, big data, etc.  


Invited roundtable on applied sociology of religion.

  • Its history and its prospects for the future.
  • How will applied sociology of religion look like in the next twenty years considering the ongoing processes of secularization, individualization, pluralization, diversification, polarization, as well as the decline of mainline and evangelical denominations and recurring financial and sexual abuse scandals?


Invited roundtable on Joseph Blankholm’s The Secular Paradox (2022) (Co-sponsored with the Secularism and Secularity Unit).


Asian American Religions and New Works in the Sociology of Religion (Co-sponsored with the Asian North American Religion, Culture, and Society Unit)

Invited roundtable on recent books in the sociology of religion, with particular attention to works exploring Asian American religions and communities.


Diversity and Inclusion:

Diversity and inclusion 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.


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 CRR.


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.” Anonymity: Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during initial review, but visible prior to final acceptance or rejection.

Statement of Purpose


  • Elaine Howard Ecklund, Rice University
    1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026
  • Dusty Hoesly, University of California, Santa Barbara
    1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025

Steering Committee Members



Review Process

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection