Call for Papers

Sociology of Religion Unit, 

American Academy of Religion

Denver, Colorado, November 17-20, 2018

Statement of Purpose:

The Sociology of Religion Program Unit of the American Academy of Religion serves as a bridge between religious studies and the subdiscipline of sociology of religion. The group operates as a two-way conduit to bring sociological research into the field of religious studies and to make findings in the broader study of religion available to sociologists. Through cross-fertilization transgressing disciplinary boundaries there can be breakthroughs in research in both fields. The group has a wide conception of sociology of religion. It is open to a multiplicity of approaches utilized in the discipline of sociology. We work to cultivate theoretical contributions founded upon empirical data from a variety of established methodologies such as quantitative, qualitative, and comparative-historical approaches. By liaising with other Program Units, the Sociology of Religion Group is able to bring the rich diversity of critical and analytical perspectives that are housed in the American Academy of Religion into mainstream sociology of religion. Concurrently, it aims to provide scholars of the study of religion with a deeper understanding of the landscape of sociology of religion.

Call for Papers:

Sociology of Religion as part of a larger discipline is marked by a canonization of its theory and its division by paradigms and methodologies–whether these be the classics (Weber and Durkheim), the old paradigm (functionalism and social constructionism), or the new paradigm (rational choice) on the one hand and quantitative, qualitative, or historical-comparative sociology on the other. As it intersects with sociology of religion, the study of religion has drawn from theories and methodologies in conversation with anthropology, critical theory, psychology, history, and other related disciplines. We are interested in papers that utilize the methods and theories in the study of religion and bring them into the sociological canon as well as those that help religious studies gain a better grasp of the sociological theory of religion. We encourage papers that draw from both the theory and methodology of sociology of religion and religious studies and use them as frames for analysis of concrete cases. We invite papers covering both historical and contemporary topics pertinent to the sociological study of religions. In particular, we request papers that touch upon social divisions examining race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, region, age, etc.

Critics of sociology of religion have pointed out that the field is dominated by North American scholars primarily interested in Protestantism. The discipline of religious studies provides a clear antidote to these perceived limitations. Therefore, we encourage contributions from academics who study the various religious traditions around the world as well as those studying North American religious communities. In particular, we would like submissions from scholars from all academic ranks across the lines of nationality, region, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

The purpose of the Sociology of Religion program unit of the American Academy of Religion is to bridge the gap and generate cross-fertilization between the Sociology of Religion and Religious Studies. We are open to papers in all areas and therefore encourage submissions of any topic relevant to the sociology of religion. This year, we are particularly interested in the following topics:

1) Measuring Religiosity and Secularity

2) Religion in the Public Sphere (theme of the conference)

3) Appropriation and Limitations of Western Sociological Theory

4) Politics and Religious Demographics (Demography of Religion) (i.e., voting)

5) Regionalism: Issues relevant to Colorado (water rights, religion and ecology, indigenous religions, etc.)

6) Networks approach (metatheoretical analysis)

7) Global Religions and the Media

8) Christian Nationalism

9) Discourse, Religion, and Law

The Sociology of Religion Group of AAR regularly co-sponsors panels with the peer-reviewed print and online journal Critical Research on Religion (CRR) ( Published by SAGE Publications, the journal has over 8000 subscriptions worldwide. Presenters of promising papers in SOR panels will be invited to turn their papers into articles and submit them for peer review to CRR.

Please submit paper and panel proposal through on-line system at: