6TH AASR CONFERENCE IN AFRICA
Religion, Ecology, and the Environment in Africa and the African Diaspora
University of Cape Town, South Africa
July 30-August 3, 2014
CALL FOR PAPERS
The African Association for the Study of Religion (AASR) invites proposals for individual papers, panels, roundtable, and poster presentations for its biannual conference to be held at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, from July 30 to August 3, 2014. The AASR returns to the theme: Religion, Ecology, and the Environment in Africa and the African Diaspora to underscore its commitment to the growing environmental crisis and the impact it has on all areas of life and society in Africa and the African Diaspora. As scholars of religion, we have an important responsibility, in collaboration with other scholars in other disciplines to study religion, ecology, and the environment. This conference offers participants to present research, engage in dialogue, develop relevant curricula and inform public policy on this vital and critical issue.
Religion and the study of religions, ecology, and the environment in Africa are a major concern for reasons that include radical climate change; the disappearance of vegetation and wetlands; extensive exploitation of natural resources; frequent and severe draughts; the impact of climate changes on population density in major cities; water and food crises. The field of religious studies offers a variety of methodological and theoretical approaches to understand and interpret such phenomena and developments.The academic study of religions as a field provides an opportunity to examine these issues on different levels: theoretical, methodological, experiential, pedagogical, and the pragmatic. We believe that unique insights will emerge if religion is deliberately made a lens through which to unlock the reality of the preceding themes within the context of the African continent and its Diaspora.
We invite papers from scholars of religions, the social sciences, the natural sciences, interdisciplinary research groups, and institutes focusing on ecological and environmental issues that will address, among other things, the state of knowledge and science on ecology and environment, ecological and environmental degradation, management and sustainability, and ways of establishing scholarly dialogue on ecological balance. Papers and round tables could also study and analyze current and past projects on the continent that relate to religion, ecology, and the environment. Examples of these would be the tree planting and ecological ministries of the Christian wing of the Zimbabwean Institute of Religious Research and Ecological Conservation (ZIRRCON), or large national initiatives like the Green Belt Movement. Papers might explore the aims of the projects, current status, their finances, as well as the environmental challenges that may be posed by the projects themselves and the prospects for sustainability.
Sub themes and related topics to be considered include the following:
Climate change and the debates on climate change
Nature, nature religions, and sacred spaces and environmental challenges
Religious authority and environmental challenge
Eco-feminism and religious dialogue
Religion, the environment, and food security
The environment and the crisis of safe drinking water
Ecology and economics in religious perspective
Religious, philosophical, and ethical perspectives on ecology
Comparative religious view of environmental action
Theology, ecology, and environmental challenges and promise
Faith Based Organizations and sustainable development
Ecology, environment, and political responsibility
Religion and the economics of climate change
Religious perspectives on pharmacopeia, health, medicine and the environment
Religion, biodiversity, and global bio-politics
Religion and environmental pollution
Religion Education and the Environmental Crisis
Critical Religious Terms (rituals, myths, spaces) and Ecology
We invite abstracts of proposed panels, papers, and poster presentations of two hundred and fifty (250) words. Abstracts should include the title of the presentation, indicate if audio-visual equipment will be needed for the presentation and include the author’s contact information (institutional affiliation, email address and phone number). All abstracts should be submitted online by November 30, 2013 and full papers and power point presentations should be submitted by March 30, 2014 on the following:
Papers submitted for publication after the conference will go through a peer review process when the editors find a publisher.
Accommodation, Registration and Meals
The Conference will be held in Cape Town at the Conference Facilities of the Breakwater Lodge. A number of rooms have been set aside for the Conference at this hotel at preferential rates. When booking, mention the AASR. There are also numerous hotels around this site. Further options will be posted here soon. Lunches and Dinners will be organized at additional costs. Arrangements are being made with the hotel management, and will be posted on this page.
Looking forward to your participation in Cape Town!