Cfp: Engaging African Realities: Re-assessing African values, spirituality; religious innovationand competition

A two-day conference jointly organized by the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity and the African Association for the Study of Religion (AASR), in Abuja, Nigeria, April 10 – 11, 2024

Religions constitute some of the most dynamic forces in contemporary Africa. This claim is mostly evident in the ever-increasing number of sacred ritual sites on the continent and religion’s mounting and diverse entanglements with all the facets of African realities. Such is the depth and breadth of the dialectical relationship between contemporary African realities and religion, spirituality and African values that it is impossible in the 21 st century to critically discuss one without the other. Like other religions in the continent, Christianity is innovative, diverse and competitive. Diversity and competition are often vehicles, if not drivers, of creative change and innovation.

This two-day international conference marks the culmination of a three-year project by the Nagel Institute on the theme of ‘Engaging African Realities.’ It brings together scholars from various disciplines and faith practitioners to, on the one hand, critically examine the multi-layered ways that religion, spirituality and African values impact how Africans innovatively interpret and engage with their multi-faceted realities, and on the other hand, assess the extent to which contemporary realities in the continent are impacting and creatively remaking religiosity, spirituality and African values.

Presenters are invited to submit proposals that respond to these questions, and others:
 To what extent do new religious developments reflect African values, agency, and creativity?
 How do the changing realities of African life affect traditional African values and spiritual proclivities?
 What can religions in the continent gain from a deeper knowledge of, and engagement with, African values and spiritualities?
 In what ways do African spiritualities and values impact how Africans interact with their daily and contemporary realities?
 How are women and young people creatively appropriating spiritual resources and African values to negotiate contemporary challenges and opportunities in Africa?
 To what extent are religious diversity and competition drivers of creative change in Africa?
 What is the relationship between religious innovation and commercial entrepreneurship?
 How do new religious forms and patterns relate to broader social and institutional changes in contemporary Africa?
 What are the implications of new developments in African religions for the study of contemporary Africa?
 What are the implications of contemporary developments on the African religious landscape for how religion and theology are taught in African educational institutions?

How to submit your proposal:
Send proposals for individual papers, panels or roundtables to:
The proposal should not exceed 300 words for an individual paper and 500 for a panel or roundtable. The deadline to submit a proposal is December 20. Abstracts submitted after this date will not be considered.

Proposal Submission Criteria

 Presenter(s) Name(s) & Affiliations.
 An email address for correspondence.
 The maximum word count for the proposal is 300 words.
 The Conference Committee does not encourage more than one submission.

Proposal Review Criteria

The Conference Committee will prioritise original proposals that:
 address the above-listed conference themes and closely related ones.
 are underpinned with solid evidence of research and scholarship.
 demonstrate reflectivity and criticality by its author/s.
 have research, practice or pedagogical relevance.
 suggest an engaging, creative, and insightful presentation.

Conference Fees:
Standard Fee: USD 80 per participant (AASR member); USD 120 (non-AASR member)
Concession Fee: USD 40 (AASR member); USD 60 (non-AASR member). Concession rate applies to students and retired persons)
The conference registration fee covers entrance to the conference, tea breaks, light refreshments, and daily lunches.

Participants are required to make their accommodation arrangements. The conference organisers will recommend the conference hotel with a negotiated discounted rate but will also provide a list of reasonably priced accommodations near the conference venue, but each participant will have to book the accommodation.

9th AASR Conference, University of Nairobi, Kenya 2-4 August, 2023

The African Association for the Study of Religions (AASR) invites proposals for individual papers, panels, roundtables, and poster presentations for its biennial conference to be held at the University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya from 2-4 August 2023.

Conference theme “Creativity, Innovation, and Imagination in African Religions”.

This conference is co-sponsored by the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR) and is recognized as an IAHR Regional Conference.

Kindly register here.

Further details below in the Cfp (PDF).


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

Proposals should be approximately 300 words in length. Please include your name, institution, and email address in each proposal.

Society of Christian Ethics (SCE) – 2022 Conference Scholarship

The Society of Christian Ethics (SCE) International Scholarly Relations Committee wishes to announce that two $500 scholarships will be available to support conference-related expenses for international scholars who wish to attend the 2022 Annual Meeting scheduled for Thursday, January 6 – Sunday, January 9 in Costa Mesa, CA. Please note at this time we are planning on a fully, in-person Annual Meeting.

Priority will be given to:

  1. Applications from the global South
  2. Those presenting at the meeting

Applications will be due by Monday, June 21, 2021, with notifications on or about Friday, July 9, 2021.

In addition to filling out the Subsidy Application, these are the expectations we will be working with:

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. International residence
  2. Financial need
  3. Current status as PhD student or faculty member in Christian ethics or related field

Applicants should provide:

  1. Current curriculum vitae
  2. 300-word statement of need, description of other forms of assistance being received, and expectations of how attendance at the conference will benefit vocation.

Please contact the SCE office at if you have any questions.

Update: Virtual Conference, July 21-23

Dear Colleagues,

At our March 24 General Meeting, it was announced that the AASR will host a virtual conference this summer from July 21-23, 2021. This conference will include the AASR Women’s Caucus launch, a keynote address from the AASR President, and opportunities for Graduate Students and Early Career Scholars. Please find the Call for Papers for Graduate Students and Early Career Scholars linked here.

If you are not a graduate student or early career scholar, there are still plenty of opportunities:
– please pass the cfp onto eligible colleagues
– please consider volunteering as a mentor (email me at if interested)
– attend the sessions during the conference and provide constructive feedback

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank those who have been diligent in paying their dues and remind everyone that doing so crucially contributes to the vitality of our Association.

Nathanael J. Homewood
AASR General Secretary
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