Happy New Year from AASR President Elias Bongmba

Dear Colleagues,

Happy new year to you.

I write to thank you for your service AASR in 2013 and give you some updates. Because of the nature of the updates, I have taken the liberty to copy colleagues who are not members of the executive or country or regional representatives but involved with the conference planning.

We look forward to 2014 with excitement as we will all gather in Cape Town July31-August3 for the 6th AASR conference. The Co-Chairs, Abdulkader Tayob and Madipoane Masenya are doing an excellent job and I am very pleased to be working with both of them on a daily basis.

As we celebrate the new year permit me by way of summary to pass on information to you on different things that relate to AASR and the conference.

First, I encourage you to renew your membership and also encourage all members in your country and region to renew their membership for 2014. We plan to update our membership rolls by listing those who are current on their membership dues.

Second, if you plan to arrive in Cape Town early, and choose to stay with friends, relatives, or at another hotel, please consider booking the conference hotels for the duration of the conference. This is important for us to keep the special rates that have been arranged for us.

Third, the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC) who are co-sponsoring the conference with us will post an announcement on their website that Professor Bron Taylor is the keynote speaker at the conference. We will give the same information to Melissa to post a on our website. We will also pass on to Melissa information about two plenary speakers when we receive biographical information from them.

Fourth, we hope that a senior member of the South African Government will address the conference. We have made initial contacts and will follow up with out invitation after elections are held in the Spring of 2014 in South Africa.

Finally, I had a conversation with Afe and Damaris about progress on the publication of selected papers from the Kenyan Conference, and I am glad to report that Afe is working on it and when all papers are in and decisions have been made, he and the editorial team will submit a book proposal to an editor for consideration. I must apologize to all of you and to Afe that I did not pass on this information earlier. Afe reminded me in a recent correspondence that he gave me that information in Liverpool.

Thank you again for your hard work on behalf of ASSR.

Sincerely,

Elias K. Bongmba
President of ASSR