Field Notes: SORAAAD 2012: The Analytical Handling of Norms and Values in the Study of Religion

Friday, November 16, 2:00-6:00 pm

Registration ($25) is for an hour long high tea service. Registration is limited and we are within sight of full capacity. (

In our second SBL/AAR pre-conference workshop, the Study of Religion as an Analytical Discipline (SORAAAD) will take up how analysts of religious phenomenon observe the norms, values, and mores of the people they study and the politics of presenting such work; how we handle issues of representation and power claims, and remind ourselves of the importance and impacts of research ethics in our encounters with the subjects of our studies and in the training of researchers.

To enable a productive discussion centered on how these issues effect the design and implementation our research, readings on each topic (and the workshop generally) will be the assumed point of reference for all discussions.  The Reading list for each section of the workshop will be staged off of the SORAAAD website ( and posted earlier in September

Issue One: The Problem of “Genuine Religion” and Dominant Normative Claims


Sean McCloud (UNC- Charlotte)

Katja Rakow (University of Heidelberg)

Issue Two: Analytical Research in the Eye of a Normative Claims Storm.


Randall Styers (UNC-Chapel Hill)

Monica Miller (Lewis & Clark College)

Afternoon High Tea

Smoked salmon with cream cheese, cucumber with watercress and egg salad tea sandwiches accompanied by cookies, scones, whipped butter, assorted jams, and hot tea

Issue Three: Human Rights and Researcher Responsibilities toward Threatened or Minority Populations 


Robert Baum (University of Missouri – Columbia)

Jorunn Buckley (Bowdoin College)

Issue Four: Falsifiability, Method, Theory and Norms


Ipsita Chatterjea (Vanderbilt University)

K. Merinda Simmons (University of Alabama)

Issue Five: A Research Ethics Policy in the Analytical Study of Religion

Speaker: TBA

Business Meeting – Randy Reed.

The workshop is co-sponsored by the SBL’s Ideological Criticisms of the Bible Group and the Bible and Cultural Studies Section and the AAR’s Critical Theories and Discourses on Religion Group, Cultural History of the Study of Religion Group and the Sociology of Religion Group.

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