We are now accepting abstracts for an AAR papers session around the area of methods for the study of religion and/or theories of religion that grow from or respond to the study of religion in the North American West. At the conclusion of the Religion in the American West Seminar at the AAR in Chicago last year, a significant number of seminar participants voiced a desire to consider how our regional vantage point can and does alter how the category “religion” itself is defined, imagined, and academically employed. In addition to considering these “theories of religion of the American West,” the proposed session will also reflect on methods of study of religion that are suited to (and respond to) the study of religious people, practices, and institutions in the region.
The following suggested topics are meant to aid your reflections on the proposed session theme, but, of course, other related topics are welcome:
• the influence of western geography on the study of religion;
• understanding religion across North American borders;
• explorations of the notion of “frontier” in American religions;
• western demographic realities and the study of religion;
• the West and the formulation of national identity/civil religion;
• research data and analysis unique to the North American West;
The session will feature four short presentations (15-minute maximum) and a respondent, leaving ample time for audience participation. “We will be submitting the session proposal to the AAR as an exploratory session and to the AAR program unit(s) most appropriate to the chosen papers.
Two hundred-word abstracts are due by Monday, February 18. If you are chosen for the session, you will then be asked to write a longer description of your project which will be due Monday, February 25.
Please email your abstract and any questions to both Brandi Denison (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Brett Hendrickson (email@example.com).
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