Critical Theory and Discourses on Religion Group: Call for Papers For 2016 AAR/SBL Annual Meetings in San Antonio, November 19-22


The CTDR group offers an interdisciplinary and international forum for analytical scholars of religion to engage the intersection of critical theory and methodology with a focus on concrete ethnographic and historical case studies. Critical theory draws on methods employed in the fields of sociology, anthropology, history, literary criticism, and political theory in order to bring into scrutiny all kinds of discourses on religion, spanning from academic to nonacademic and from religious to nonreligious.

CTDR’s Call for Papers s available as a PDF.

CTDR invites proposals on the following topics:

  • The death of Michel de Certeau: Thirty years later, what is de Certeau’s impact on the study of ‘lived religion,’ history, and death? How does de Certeau’s work inform our analysis of religious ‘strategies,’ ‘tactics,’ and rituals? (Please note: We expect papers that use de Certeau’s work and critically explore the boundaries of its utility and applicability.)
  • “Revolutionary Love” and Foucault: We welcome papers that draw on the works of Michel Foucault (especially the History of Sexuality series and the relevant parts of Foucault’s College de France lectures) so as to engage critically the notion of “Revolutionary Love.”  (When is love transformative or liberatory? What are the powers of the erotic? How is power/love bodily negotiated?) Papers can be focused around theoretical, methodological, and/or empirical issues/approaches. For potential co-sponsorship with the Religion and Sexuality Group.
  • E-Racing Durkheim in American Religious History: We are looking for papers that explore the co-constitutive nature of race and religion in the making of American history(ies), particularly through an engagement with Karen and Barbara Fields’ recent book, Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life (2014), and through discussion of how Emile Durkheim’s work has – or has not – been used to query formations of race in religionFor a potential co-sponsored panel with the African American Religious History Group.
  • Social Hierarchy and Power. With an eye to a formation of a seminar on this topic, we invite proposals with strong foundations in historical, ethnographical, social scientific, and/or textual research on a clearly demarcated aspect of the intertwinings of social hierarchies, class, power, and religion. Proposals should rigorously contextualize all deployments of the terms social hierarchy, class, power, and religion as components of research design.
  • Discursive formation of key categories in the study of religion. CTDR invites proposals on research in progress where experiments with theory applied to data of various kinds compel us to rethink categorization and concepts deployed in the analysis of religion.

Method: PAPERS:

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection


Co-Chair David Walker, [email protected]

Co-Chair William E. Arnal, [email protected]

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