The theme for this year’s annual meeting is “Communicating Religion’s Relevance.” In light of the pandemic, our meeting will be a virtual one August 7-9, 2021.  Our President, James C. Cavendish, and Program Chair, Brian Starks, have promised to make this year’s meeting unique in terms of both its intellectual content and social gatherings.  We can look forward to unique Presidential sessions, our Presidential and Furfey lectures, and receptions.  In addition to our regular sessions and speakers, the Program Committee is working to provide a virtual café where people can visit and network.  Be sure to check the website ( for submitting completed sessions, paper abstracts, and meeting registration.

Keep an eye out for the ASR elections.  We will elect three new Council members.  The three new Council members elected will also begin their terms at the end of this year’s annual meeting and continue through the first Council meeting of 2024.  Just like last year, all members of ASR are eligible and encouraged to vote in the election through the Member Portal of the website.  An email will be sent when the portal is available.


Please consider applying or nominating people for any of the following grants and awards.  For instructions and details, visit the Grants & Awards section of the ASR website ( and select the grant or award of interest.

Joseph H. Fichter Research Grants are available to ASR members involved in promising sociological research on women in religion or on the intersection between religion and gender or religion and sexualities.  For the 2021 competition, a total of $12,000 is available to be awarded.  Dissertation research qualifies for funding, as does postdoctoral research by junior and senior scholars.

The Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributions to the Sociology of Religion is an award that recognizes a career or a long period of contribution – it is designed to consider an awardee’s corpus of work as a whole.  Candidates are nominated by their peers, so feel free to nominate someone you feel meets the criteria for the award.

Finally, the Robert J. McNamara Student Paper Award in the amount of $500 is given annually to recognize an outstanding graduate student member’s paper in the sociology of religion.

Thank you for your participation in our organization and your interest in Sociology of Religion.  Please feel free to contact me at if you have any questions or concerns regarding our association.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and successful 2021!