Home » 2022

Yearly Archives: 2022

NAASR 2022 Annual Meeting Program

Critique in the Study of Religion: Past, Present, and Future



Saturday, November 12, 2022 (Virtual Only), 3:00 pm EST (followed by a virtual happy hour)

NAASR Keynote Address:

Mitsutoshi Horii (Shumei University), Co-editor, Method and Theory in the Study of Religion (MTSR)

Title: “Critique for What? Critical Religion and the Problems of Modernity”



November 18-20, Denver, CO

Friday, November 18, 2022

8:30 am – 9:50 am (MST) Executive Council Meeting

Convention Center, Mile High Ballroom 3C

10:00 am – 11:50 am (MST) Theory Panel

Convention Center, 103

This session features panelists who explore various theoretical formations that are
specifically relevant or applicable to the critical study of religion. What existing theoretical
frameworks should critical scholarship enlist? What unique opportunities for theory-building
does the critical study of religion present to scholars?


Julie Ingersoll (University of North Florida)


Lina Aschenbrenner (University of Erfurt)

“Assemblage thinking and theory for a critical study of religion”

Jacob Barrett (University of Alabama)

“Ru Paul and Religious Freedom? What we stand to gain when we borrow from our critical
disciplinary neighbors”

Michael DeJonge (University of South Florida)

“What is constructionism? Theory for the critical study of religion?”

Lauren Horn-Griffin (University of Alabama)

“Mediatizing Religion”

Sean McCloud (University of North Carolina, Charlotte), Presiding

1:00 pm – 2:50 pm (MST) Teaching Panel

Convention Center, 103

This session considers the role of critical religious studies in classrooms. To what
degree does the critical study of religion differ from the critical pedagogies in religion? What
distinguishes critical from non-critical approaches to teaching religion? How do these
pedagogies enhance student learning?


Leslie Dorrough-Smith (Avila University)


Jenna Gray-Hildenbrand (Middle Tennessee State University)

Beverly McGuire (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)

Hussein Rashid (Independent Scholar)

“Practicing What We Teach—Critical Religious Studies in the Classroom”

John McCormack (Aurora University)

“Still in Search of Dreamtime? Finding a Pedagogical Logic for the Study of Religion”

Steven Ramey (University of Alabama)

“Pedagogical Description as Method: A Non-Linear Approach”

Andrew Durdin (Florida State University), Presiding

3:00 pm – 4:50 pm (MST) Scholar Panel

Convention Center, 103

This panel examines the relationship of the critical study of religion to its primary
constituents. The papers consider various themes, including the politics of so called critical
methodologies and assumed distinctions between critical scholarship and activism.


Jennifer Selby (Memorial University)


Jason WM Ellsworth (Dalhousie University)

“Scholarly Identification in the Field: Critical Scholars and Theoretical Methodological

Lucas Johnston (Wake Forest University)

“Scholars in Their Natural Habitats: Criticism, Vulnerability, and Exposure”

Daniel Miller (Landmark College)

“Critical Religious Studies and Engaged Scholarship”

Matt Sheedy (University of Bonn)

“Critical Religion Versus Critical Islam and Indigenous Studies: Insiders, Outsiders, Activists”

Merinda Simmons (University of Alabama)

“Speaking Theory to Power”

Emily Crews (University of Chicago), Presiding

7:00 – 9:00 pm – NAASR Reception – Henry’s Tavern, Denver (co-sponsored by Equinox Publishing)

Saturday, November 19, 2022

9:00 am – 10:50 am (MST) ROUNDTABLE: On the Very Idea of “Critique”

Embassy Suites, Crestone Ballroom Salon A

This roundtable brings together a wide-ranging group of senior and established
scholars to reflect on the concept of “critique” in the study of religion. What are the contours of a
critical study of religion? What role(s) can it serve for the wider field of religious studies? What
challenges confront it?


Kathryn Lofton (Yale University)

Craig Martin (St. Thomas Aquinas College)

Kevin Schilbrack (Appalachian State University)

Winnifred Sullivan (Indiana University)

Robyn Walsh (University of Miami)

Rebekka King (Middle Tennessee State University), Presiding

11:00 am – 11:50 am (MST) NAASR Business Meeting

Embassy Suites, Crestone Ballroom Salon A

Sunday, November 20, 2022

12:30 PM – 2:30 PM (MST) Moving Body as Foundational to the Proper Study of Religion: A Response to and Celebration of the work of Sam Gill

CO-SPONSORED SESSION with Body and Religion Unit and Comparative Studies of Religion Unit

Convention Center-Mile High 4C (Lower Level)


Mary Corley Dunn (Saint Louis University)

Aaron W. Hughes (University of Rochester)

Kimberley Patton (Harvard University)

Seth Schermerhorn (Hamilton College)

Jeanette Reedy Solano (California State University, Fullerton)

John Thibdeau (University of Rochester)

Hugh B. Urban (Ohio State University)

Michael Zogry (University of Kansas)

Sam Gill, Responding

Jeffrey Stephen Lidke (Berry College), Presiding

NAASR 2022 Annual Meeting: Call for Papers


2022 Annual Meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Religion

Call For Papers

Critique in the Study of Religion: Past, Present, and Future

The 2021 Annual Meeting addressed the idea of “crisis” as an organizing principle for practitioners and scholars of religion. Krínein (Gr.), from which the English term “crisis” derives, also gives us the word “critique.” Many of our members have sought to position NAASR as an intellectual space that emphasizes and facilitates the critical study of religion across a wide range of specializations. However, what counts as “critique” remains highly contested, as does the question of whether such a term best encapsulates the primary mission of NAASR. What exactly does “critical religious studies” imply? Is it a distinctive set of analytic approaches or rather rhetorics deployed in defense of particular intellectual or professional positions? To what degree does adopting the moniker of “critic” help or hinder our scholarly vision? In what ways can the critical study of religion make important interventions in the current intellectual trends shaping the academic study of religion today?

The program for 2022 will explore the role of “critique” in the study of religion as it applies to four areas:

1.     Theory: What theoretical frameworks have been or currently are productive/useful for performing “critique” in the study of religion? And which theoretical frameworks have critical religion scholars not adequately engaged with? 

2.     Method: What methodological criteria should constitute a “critical” approach to studying religion — and what’s the case for these rather than others? 

3.     Teaching: How should critical religious studies manifest in pedagogy? Is the critique deployed in producing scholarship about religion the same as the critique used in teaching that scholarship, i.e., in religious studies pedagogy? If so, in what sense? If different, how are they different?

4.     Scholar: Does being a critical scholar require distance from or disinterest in our data? If so, to what degree? Is being a critical scholar of religion incompatible pursuing other political and activistic commitments? If not, how does one balance these responsibly?

NAASR invites submissions that substantially respond to any one of these four provocations and explore the implications for the field. Submissions for possible respondents must each:

1.     Identify the area (one of the four immediately above) on which they will focus

2.     Provide a brief (500-word max) statement that outlines the basic elements of their response to the identified theme.

The sessions for the annual meeting will follow a roundtable format exploring each of these four (4) themes. Participants will submit full papers that apply their expertise to the designated topic one month prior to the meeting (approximately early October 2022). Each session will feature an invited scholar who will introduce the panelists and offer substantive remarks on the topic. Participants will have six minutes to summarize their papers and will be followed by informal discussion between panelists and general audience for roughly one hour. Ultimately the aim is to publish these sessions as an edited volume under the NAASR Working Papers series with Equinox publishing.

We welcome scholars from diverse areas of expertise and disciplinary training.

Please upload submissions on our Google Form: https://forms.gle/tBGymCaYpdT9MwJ89 no later than 5pm EST March 8, 2022.

Email any questions to dennislorusso@gmail.com

2022 Membership

NAASR membership has more benefits than ever.

It’s that time of year again! Please be sure to renew your membership early so that you are able to take advantage of all the benefits NAASR has to offer. By renewing early, you will have longer access to MTSR online, and you will ensure that you receive hard copy versions of the Bulletin’s Volume 51 issues.

Other benefits:

As a NAASR member, you receive an online subscription to NAASR’s journal Method and Theory in the Study of Religion. This includes advanced articles online. Members can access the content on the Brill website https://brill.com/ with either existing account details (for renewing members) or by setting up a new account (new members). If you are a lifetime member and would like to get the online membership to MTSR, you may pay for it on the membership page using the bottom “pay now” option.

New in 2021, NAASR began partnering with The Bulletin for the Study of Religion (Equinox Publishing) and the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, along with a generous donation from a supporter, to provide all NAASR members with a subscription to The Bulletin. This will include a print subscription, mailed to each member, in addition to online access. You will receive an email from Equinox with login information for your online account.

As a NAASR member, you also receive a 25% discount on books at Equinox.

To renew or join, simply go to the membership tab on our website.

Annual dues:

  • $75 for faculty members
  • $39 for graduate students, contingent/adjunct faculty, and retired faculty
  • $400 for a six-year faculty membership

Please also be sure to fill out the google form with any updates to your email and mailing addresses.

We look forward your continued support in 2022.



NAASR Media and Communications Coordinator

NAASR is looking for a graduate student or early career scholar to coordinate its social media and other online communications. Under the supervision of NAASR President, Vice-President and Secretary/Treasurer, this individual will support social media content creation and operations.

This position will come with a Travel and Conference honorarium.


  • Monitor NAASR social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).
  • Create cross-platform content promoting activities, publications, and other initiatives by NAASR and NAASR members.
  • Promote NAASR’s position as a scholarly society dedicated to historical, critical, and social scientific approaches to the study of religion, as well as a relentlessly reflexive critique of the theories, methods, and categories used in such study.


  • Enthusiastic and knowledgeable about social media.
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills.
  • Ability to take and upload digital photos.
  • Initiative, sound judgement, and ability to work independently and complete assigned tasks within identified timeframes.
  • Keen attention to detail when proofreading, copyediting, and fact-checking.
  • Comfortable utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, WordPress.
  • Familiarity with Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Excel, and Email template program.


  • Gain valuable social media experience and proficiency in communicating to a large audience.
  • Learn how to participate in a creative and collaborative content-production process.
  • Network with NAASR members and other scholars in the field of religious studies and cognate fields.


Email applications to NAASR President, Rebekka King (rebekka.king@mtsu.edu) by January 31, 2022.

To apply, send your CV, a brief cover letter describing how you can contribute to NAASR communications, and how the position might be beneficial to you. Please attach 2 – 3 examples of your best work on any social media platform.

This position is a volunteer position, which includes a travel stipend to attend the NAASR annual meeting.