AASR Annual Conference 2022 (Virtual) – Call for Papers
July 26 and 27
Topic: “Religion in Times of Crises”
Call for Papers
What is the impact of a crisis on religion and spirituality? The coronavirus pandemic has drastically impacted religion in Africa and the world. In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic. Since then, social distancing, vaccines, lockdown, virtual meetings, work from home, and face masks have entered into the global vocabulary. They are also increasingly deployed in religious communities and for the study of religion. The current pandemic has very multidimensional and serious effects on religion and spirituality.
In Zimbabwe, many “Muslims were content with their exclusion from the major Muslim shrines”. “Historical knowledge of previous cancellations and public health perceptions helped Muslims appreciate the multiple cancellations of pilgrimages to the holy shrines.” (Dube, 2022:208) For Christian Pentecostalism J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu states: “There has not been a monolithic response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic among African Pentecostal/Charismatic figures.” (Asamoah-Gyadu, 2021:172) Reflecting on the influenza pandemic of 1918, this present crisis has transformed into an opportunity for spiritual awakening and for innovations in doctrines and theological instruction for some African-initiated churches (Fagunwa, 2020:61.52).
This year’s AASR conference will focus on religion in times of the COVID-19 crises. It will explore the challenges for, and transformations of, religion in the current pandemic and beyond that. Its broad themes are: Doing religion during COVID-19; Studying religion during COVID; Religion and society during COVID; and Religion in a post-COVID-19 society. We invite proposals for formal papers and poster presentations that reflect on the following questions, among others:
- How does the conceptualization of religion change in times of crisis?
- Which methodological innovations and approaches have emerged from studying religion during COVID-19?
- How are educational curricula and teaching as well as learning methods affected?
- How do religious communities handle the challenges of social justice, health care and calamity?
- What is the role of religion in defining a pandemic and formulating coping strategies?
- How are religious values and imaginations consulted and their meaning emphasized?
- To what extent do religious-inspired responses to a pandemic affect vulnerable groups of people (e.g. women, children, old people) disproportionately? Has the crisis aggravated their vulnerability?
- What are the effects on religion, culture, economy and politics, and how have those interacted in times of crisis?
- Are there positive aspects in the realm of crises? What are they?
Submission Information: Please submit any paper and poster presentation proposals for the virtual conference by April 1, 2022. Proposals should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposals should be approximately 300 words in length. Please include your name, institution, and email address in each proposal.