Field Note: AAR: Comparative Approaches to Religion and Violence CFP and the Journal of Religion and Violence


Call for Papers 2015 PDF 

We are proud to announce that the Comparative Approaches to Religion and Violence has joined with the Journal of Religion and Violence. Future submissions to the AAR program unit will be considered for publication in the journal.

For the 2015 national conference of the AAR, we seek papers that examine the intersections of religion and violence, with attention to the condition in which religion lends itself to the justification and/or promotion of violence. Papers should demonstrate comparative or theoretical approaches. Below are recommended themes within this framework:

  1. Religion, Law and Violence: a look into the role of international law, humanitarian law, and regulations of interventions such as in the Middle East. If you are interested in submitting to this theme, please contact Nathan French ([email protected]) and Gregory Reichberg ([email protected]).
  2. Ethnographies of Religion and Violence: contemporary ethnographic analyses that track intersections between religious actors and violence, such as the role of religion in prisons, religious leaders in warfare, religiously motivated soldiers, or religious nationalists that foment violence. For possible panel inquiries, please contact Ryan Williams ([email protected]).
  3. Comparative Ethics of Violence beyond Texts: We seek studies that trace the way that religious authority becomes enacted outside of traditional scriptural mandates, such as by cultural leaders, rituals and media. For possible organized panel inquiries, please contact Torkel Brekke ([email protected]).
  4. Martyrdom: We invite examinations into martyrdom as a performative, disputed, and celebrated category.

In addition to these themes, we are soliciting papers for four co-sponsored sessions:

  1. Children, Violence, and Religion: This open session invites submissions that investigate violence by or toward children in “religious” contexts. Papers may address any form of verbal, psychological, or physical violence, real or imagined. Such violence might represent a normative requirement for entry into a given religious community, it might involve the use of child soldiers, child suicide missions, child sacrifice, or it might represent a despicable crime imputed to the religious Other, as in accusations of the ritual murder of children in antiquity or in medieval Europe. Papers may address evidence from any historical setting, from ancient to contemporary. This panel is co-sponsored by the SBL unit “Violence and Representations of Violence among Jews and Christians.”
  2. Religion, Ecology and Violence: we seek papers that examine cases such as eco-terrorism, environmental conflicts around extractive economies in Africa and Latin America, and the relationship between Islamism and petroleum economies. This panel is co-sponsored with the “Religion and Ecology” program unit.
  3. Genocide in the Balkans: we welcome papers that look at acts of genocide in the Balkans. This panel is co-sponsored with the “Religion, Holocaust and Genocide,” program unit.
  4. Cognitive Science of Religion and Violence: analyses of religion and violence through cognitive science methods and approaches.

In addition to these suggested themes and collaborations, we welcome other submissions that fall within our program unit’s mandate.

Our best to you in the winter weeks to come, and we hope to see you in Atlanta.


Michael and Margo,

Co-chairs of Comparative Approaches to Religion and Violence

Steering Committee: Mark Juergensmeyer, Hans Kippenberg, Julie Ingersoll, Phillip Tite, and Jamel Velji

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