I want to draw your attention to several upcoming events that we hope you will consider participating in.
Save the Date: On March 24 at 4 pm GMT we will host a virtual AASR General Meeting. A Zoom link and agenda will be provided closer to the date, but we kindly ask that you plan to join us as the new-ish executive shares updates and plans for the next few years.
AAR Call for Papers: You can find the AASR cfp for the 2021 AAR Annual Meeting here. The submission deadline is March 1, 2021, at 5 pm EST. We encourage members to submit proposals for these and the many other panels that create space for conversation about religion(s) in Africa.
Leeds University Short Term Virtual Fellowships: For association members based at African institutions, Leeds University is offering short-term virtual research fellowships to consider “African Knowledges for Global Challenges.” Those interested can find more information here.
Finally, this is a friendly reminder for all members to make sure to renew your membership for 2021. The improved Association website makes it easy to do so. Further, the executive has decided that 2021 fees are “pay what you are able”, ensuring, in light of the global pandemic, that membership is accessible to everyone.
Nathanael J. Homewood
AASR General Secretary
Organized by The World Christianity & History of Religions Program (Department of History & Ecumenics) at Princeton Theological Seminary, this virtual conference seeks to reflect on the state of the field of world Christianity, critique past practices, and explore innovative approaches that push the edge on world Christianity scholarship. This year’s theme is “Currents, Perspectives, and Methodologies for the Study of World Christianity and Its Interactions With Other Religions.” Presentations or panels on such themes as conversion, translation, identity, missions, materiality, migration, diaspora, intercultural theology, and interreligious dialogue are only a few of the many possibilities.
In short, the conference seeks to provide an interdisciplinary space for intellectual encounter and exchange. Register at https://www.ptsem.edu/events/world-christianity-conference.
The IAHR Congress due to take place in New Zealand in August 2020 has been cancelled. See below for the message sent from the IAHR Organizing Committee to partner organizations.
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Kia ora koutou
It is with great regret that we announce the cancellation of the 22nd World Congress of the IAHR which was to have been held in Otago, New Zealand.
Following our previous update on 10 March, we have continued to monitor the situation which (as we are sure you are all aware) has only become worse almost everywhere. Today, New Zealand has entered a period of total lockdown – no-one is permitted to leave their home except to fetch essential items of food and fuel, or for short walks in their neighbourhood. The borders are closed to all but New Zealand citizens, residents and their immediate family members.
The hope, of course, is that such a lockdown will eliminate the virus within New Zealand and allow a return to normal life. But there can be no certainty that this will succeed. Even (or perhaps especially) if New Zealand is successful in eliminating the virus here, there will continue to be tight restrictions on who can travel to New Zealand. It is already clear that we cannot possibly meet in August. We have considered a long postponement, but for many of us (including the local organisers) the first priority in the coming months will be providing teaching to our students in order to minimize the impact on their education. It is not at all clear even when we might begin to be able to plan with any certainty for a large international gathering in the near future. We have also considered also the possibility of holding a virtual Congress online, but New Zealand’s time zone and limited IT infrastructure means that we are not well-placed to do so.
We will contact separately those who have already registered for the Congress, to make arrangements to refund registration, accommodation and excursion fees paid in advance. In the current environment (everyone in New Zealand working from home) this may take a little while and we ask again for your patience.
The Executive Committee of the IAHR will make a further announcement about the consequences of the cancellation for the business meetings of the IAHR that would have been conducted in New Zealand.
We would like to extend our thanks to all those who submitted abstracts. We thank also the academic programme committee who reviewed the abstracts and to the many others who supported the Congress in different way, and in particular the officers of the IAHR Executive Committee. We look forward to meeting again in happier times!
Will Sweetman and Satoko Fujiwara
on behalf of the organising committee
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The Joint Societies conference in South Africa this summer has been cancelled. Please look out for further updates sometime after April 2020.