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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



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.


Because of the storms affecting many across the country, we have decided to extend the deadline for the 2021 Annual Meeting Call For Proposals to March 8, 2021 at 5pm EST. We hope the extra week will provide time for those who need it.

Our theme this year is Religion and the Study of Religion in Times of “Crisis.” And as always, we aim to approach this topic with an emphasis on method and theory. What happens when we classify something as a “crisis”? And what is at stake in linking these “crises” to “religion”? How does this designation illuminate or obscure certain political or ideological dynamics? At NAASR 2021, we are asking participants to theorize the relationship between “religion” (and/or the study of “religion”) and “crisis” broadly construed. NAASR invites submissions from individuals or full panels that address these concepts within the context of their research. For more information see the CFP, attached below or online.

Call for Proposals, NAASR 2021 Annual Meeting

November 20-22

We are pleased to announce the Call for Proposals for the 2021 Annual Meeting.

Religion and the Study of Religion in Times of “Crisis”

Call for Proposals

For the past several years, NAASR’s meetings have featured panels that reflect on various dimensions of the study of religion (theory, method, data, key categories, and field). As evidenced in numerous recent calls and conference themes, “crisis” has emerged as a preferred way many in the academic study of religion characterize elements of the current historical moment. COVID, systemic racism, rising fascist movements, the character of American evangelicalism, and even the integrity of higher education have all fallen under this banner of “crisis.” Moreover, religion figures prominently in public discourse surrounding these trends. Yet, what happens when we classify something as a “crisis”? And what is at stake in linking these “crises” to “religion”?  How does this designation illuminate or obscure certain political or ideological dynamics? 

 At NAASR 2021, we are asking participants to theorize the relationship between “religion” (and/or the study of “religion”) and “crisis” broadly construed. NAASR invites submissions from individuals or full panels that address these concepts within the context of their research. Submissions may focus on crises of the contemporary moment (pandemic, racism, patriarchy, neoliberal capitalism, authoritarianism, etc.) or explore the theme of crisis through other contexts, historical periods, or theoretical positions. Though we are open to a wide range of thematizations of ‘crisis,’ contributions should make explicit theoretical and substantive connections to understandings of crisis in our current historical moment.

NAASR is therefore issuing a call for papers and a call for full panels. 

Individual papers should include:

  1. A Working Title
  2. A brief abstract summarizing the scope of their argument and how it will address the theme (max. 500 words) 

Full Panel proposals should include: 

  1. A Working Title
  2. A list of participants (5-7 maximum, including a presider and a respondent, if appropriate)
  3. A summary of the broader topic the panel will address (max. 500 words)
  4. For each participant, a brief abstract summarizing their contribution (max. 500 words)

To allow for robust engagement, all panelists will submit conference papers for pre-circulation among members by July 31, 2021 and will be prepared to summarize their papers (10-15 min) during the in-person annual meeting. Summaries of papers will be followed by remarks from a respondent and extended discussion. 

Versions of the full papers will be included as chapters for an edited volume in the NAASR Working Papers Series with Equinox. Therefore, contributors are strongly encouraged to draft their pre-circulated papers in the format of chapters for eventual publication. 

We especially welcome submissions from graduate students, early-career scholars, and those employed in contingent positions, and as always, NAASR strongly encourages participation from scholars representing the full range of areas of expertise, backgrounds, and identities.  

Submissions should be emailed to dennislorusso@gmail.com no later than 5pm EST March 1, 2021.

#NAASR 2021