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17.09.2018 07:23 Alter: 155 days

Religion and Resistance

Call for Papers

Theme: Religion and Resistance
Type: 2019 Annual Conference
Institution: American Academy of Religion, Western Region (AARWR)
  Arizona State University
Location: Tempe, AZ (USA)
Date: 2.–3.3.2019
Deadline: 1.10.2018

The overall focus of the 2019 conference is Religion and Resistance.
In several senses, all religion and religious expression contain
forms of resistance, whether having to do with faith and particular
beliefs (e.g., the very claim of revelation, or the transcendent) or
their prescriptions for conduct. Beyond the theological and ethical,
however, while simultaneously being artifacts of culture, religious
material expression is also countercultural.

We invite our colleagues to consider how might resistance best be
understood within religious traditions. Where might underexplored
figures, movements, and ideas be found for better understanding how
resistance has worked historically and in the contemporary moment?
Resistance may relate to particular acts (e.g., resistance to
particular sins via violent/non-violent action), or resistance to
other operative powers and principalities, or to other normative
orders in relation to dominant social structures.

Religion has also expressed alternative public and private forms of
political resistance. Calvin explained to the King of France that “we
must not only resist, but boldly attack prevailing evils.” Buddhism
came about through a realization of the need to oppose and remove
suffering from the world’s normal order. Judaism and Islam were
birthed amid cultural decadence and idolatry, responding to their
cultures by creating new orders and ways of living in the world. And
various radical dissenting groups have defined themselves by outright

But how is this done? What does resistance look like and how is it
facilitated and strengthened? How does it “rock the nation” and lead
to demands like, “freedom now,” as Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of?
What is resistance ultimately for? How does religion enable its
participants to overcome through resistance? What role does religion
play? And should religion always be defined in forms of resistance to
dominant power structures? Or is religion better-oriented in its
enabling and informing of these structures? How may religion function
as resistance in both contexts? How also does internal resistance
(reform, disruption, redevelopment) take place within traditions?

Beyond the traditional, what does religious resistance look like
today? What are various cultural norms and wider external
prescriptions that various religious traditions provide antibody (or
alternatives) to? And how do these work when various traditions (and
their theologies) are co-opted for other ends, be they nationalistic,
political, or otherwise foreign to the ontologies and close readings
of a tradition’s more radical features? How do religious traditions
bring together visions of collaboration with other traditions for
collective resistance to larger structures that may threaten ideas of
religion, or freedom of religion, and what sort of ontologies and
anthropologies are these affirming in order to work? What is lost or
gained in these questions of religion and resistance?

Please see the individual unit call for proposals at our website:

Interested scholars and students should consult the general
directions on the AARWR website and e-mail proposals and participant
forms as an attachment to respective unit chairs.

Make sure to submit the Program Participant Form when submitting your
proposal. Click here to download it:

Deadline for Papers Proposals: 1 October 2018

Conference Units

- Asian American Religious Studies
- Buddhist Studies
- Catholic Studies
- Ecology and Religion
- Ethics
- Education and Pedagogy
- Goddess Studies
- Graduate Student Professional Development
- History of Christianity
- Indigenous Religions
- Islamic Studies
- Jewish Studies
- Latina, Latino, and Latin American Religion
- Nineteenth Century
- Pagan Studies
- Philosophy of Religion
- Psychology, Culture, and Religion
- Queer Studies in Religion
- Religion and the Arts
- Religion, Science, and Technology
- Religion and Social Sciences
- Religion in America
- Religion, Literature, and Film
- Religions of Asia
- Womanist/Pan-African
- Women and Religion

Co-Sponsored ans Special Sessions

- New Book Session – That All May Flourish: Comparative Religious Environmental Ethics
- Resisting Climate Dystopia with Spiritual Activism
- Queer Studies in Religion Unit with Black Studies in Religion
- Pre-Conference Queer Caucus & Queer Studies in Religion – “Queer View”
- Resisting ‘Religion’ – Ad hoc session on Worldview Studies

Conference website: