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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