Senegal Conference Update

As previously announced, the 9th AASR conference in Dakar, Senegal was originally scheduled for 29 July – 1 August 2020. However, with respect for the holy festival of Eid al-Adha, we made the decision to move the dates of the conference. We had hoped to reschedule sometime during Summer 2020, or even January 2021, but this has proved too challenging given a variety of scheduling conflicts. The AASR International Council, which is made up of the Executive Committee, as well as national and regional leaders of the AASR, has therefore made the decision to reschedule the conference to be held in the Summer of 2021.

In the first instance, we will attempt to work with CODESRIA on holding the conference in Dakar, Senegal, using the agreed upon theme: ‘Religions, Governance, and Social Transformations in Africa and the African Diaspora’. However, if this cooperation proves to be unworkable for Summer 2021, we would also request your support to explore other partners and locations. We could then take up the cooperation with CODESRIA at a future AASR conference.

It is important to keep two things in mind with this change of plans. First, is that constitutionally, we have a mandate to two hold conferences in Africa every 5 years. Given that we held our last conference in 2018, we are not behind schedule. Secondly, the elections of AASR officers will proceed as scheduled in 2020, and we will announce the results of the votes during the IAHR Congress that will take place in New Zealand. Handing over the Association’s responsibilities to the new executive will take place at that time. The recent revision to the Constitution allows for casting an online ballot, so if there are counter nominations all AASR members will be able to participate regardless of whether or not they are attending the Congress. See below for a detailed description of this procedure.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

Elias Kifon Bongmba
President AASR

Join Us! AASR Panels & Events @ AAR/SBL Denver 2018


Friends and Colleagues,

2018 Slim AM AAR-750x150-etouches

It’s almost that time again! As you make plans for the upcoming AAR conference November 17–20, please do plan on joining us for our sponsored/co-sponsored sessions, annual dinner, and business meeting. We look forward to seeing you there!

AASR Annual Dinner: 

Sunday (18th), 6:30PM (restaurant closes by 10:00PM)
The Ethiopian Restaurant
2816 E. Colfax Ave, Denver, CO
Phone: 303-322-5939

AASR Business Meeting:
Monday (19th), 9:00AM–11:30AM, P19–100, Convention Center-Mile High 3B (Lower Level), following the session on Empire, Religion, Health, and Human Capital in Africa.

AASR Sponsored Sessions (AAR): 

  • P18-200

African Association for the Study of Religions
Theme: Power and Subversion African Religious Spaces
Elana Jefferson-Tatum, Tufts University, Presiding
Sunday (18th) – 1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center-Mile High 2C (Lower Level)
African Christianity and the Intersection Between Faith, Traditional And Biomedical Healing
Dying and Rising as the Moon Does”: The Keiskamma Art Project, the Persistence of the Xhosa People, and the Possibility of Impossibility
Individualism, Gender and Spirituality: The Nigerian Experience
Unregistered Participant
Unregistered Participant
African Christianity and the Intersection between Faith, Traditional, and Biomedical Healing
Susie Paulik-Babka, University of San Diego
“Dying and Rising as the Moon Does”: The Keiskamma Art Project, the Persistence of the Xhosa People, and the Possibility of Impossibility
Bolaji Bateye, Obafemi Awolowo University
Unregistered Participant
“The Church as Family, Things Are No Longer What They Used to Be”: Individualism, Genderization, and Scripturalization of Spirituality, the Nigerian Experience

  • P19-100

African Association for the Study of Religions
Theme: Empire, Religion, Health, and Human Capital in Africa
Elias Kifon Bongmba, Rice University, Presiding
Monday (19th) – 9:00 AM–11:30 AM
Convention Center-Mile High 3B (Lower Level)
Empire, Religion, Health and Human Capital in Africa
Colonialism, Traditional African Religion, and the Catholic Church in Kenya
Humanizing Rituals in the American Presbyterian Congo Mission
Muhammad, Capitalist Ethics, and Muslim Reform in Burkina Faso
Timothy Carey, Boston College
“Who do the crowds say that I am?”: Colonialism, Traditional African Religion, and the Catholic Church in Kenya
Jesse Miller, Florida State University
Muhammad, Capitalist Ethics, and Muslim Reform in Burkina Faso
Unregistered Participant
Humanizing Rituals in the American Presbyterian Congo Mission
Business Meeting:
Elias Kifon Bongmba, Rice University
Corey Williams, Leiden University

AASR Co-Sponsored Sessions (SBL):

Ecclesiological Investigations Unit and African Association for the Study of Religion
Theme: Ecclesial Experiences in African Contexts
Aaron Hollander, Loyola University Chicago, Presiding
Monday (19th) – 5:30 PM–7:00 PM
Hyatt Regency-Capitol 5 (Fourth Level)

The three papers of this session present ecclesial experiences in three distinct African contexts that have made or ought to make substantial contributions to the wider life of the Christian churches and to their understandings of the church. The first paper starts from twentieth-century liturgical reforms in the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church, and analyzes the way in which local, national, and diasporic identity changed in relation to the transition between orality and textuality in these reforms. The second paper begins from the historic experience of the Christian descendants of slaves from the Kongo kingdom, and from that history makes a constructive theological argument for the importance of the “slave template” in undermining ecclesiologies of power and strength. The third paper, drawing on the work of Ghanaian Presbyterian Kwame Bediako and of Cameroonian Catholic Jean-Marc Éla, highlights the incorporation of ancestors in African theology and ecclesiology as a gift to be received by the wider communion of churches.

Andrew Salzmann, Benedictine College
Agency and Identity in Ethiopian Liturgical Reform
Elochukwu Eugene Uzukwu, Duquesne University
Liberation and the Slave-Template: Catholic Church, Religions and Cultures, and the Transformation of Society
Ross Kane, Virginia Theological Seminary
Enlarging the Cloud of Witnesses: Ancestors and the Church in Kwame Bediako and Jean-Marc Éla

  • S19–200

Joint Session With: African Biblical Hermeneutics; African Association for the Study of Religions
Monday (19th) 1:00 PM–3:30 PM
Room: Range Ballroom – Crowne Plaza (CP)
Theme: Scripturalization and Orality in/as African Spirituality

Althea Spencer Miller, Drew University, Presiding
A. Paige Rawson, Drew University
The Archipelogics of Africana Biblical Hermeneutics: Africana, Orality, and Transtextual Biblical Interpretation in the Twenty-First Century (35 min)
Madipoane Masenya (Ngwan’a Mphahlele), University of South Africa
Navigating the Collusions and Contradictions of African Orality and the Digital Age in Understandings of the Bible (35 min)
Knut Holter, VID Specialized University, Norway
Isak—the Son of the Rainmaker—and the Bible: An Example of Resistance Hermeneutics in Zululand in the 1860s and 70s (35 min)
Sara Fretheim, University of Edinburgh
“Kasakyerew ho nimdefo, mo!” (Those gifted in the knowledge of writing of language, congratulations!): Kwame Bediako, Mother-Tongue Theology, and Orality—African Epistemologies and Spirituality (35 min)
Discussion (10 min)


CfP: Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians July 2019

Call for Papers
Circle of Concerned African Women Theologian 5th Pan-African Conference
The Department of Theology and Religious Studies
University of Botswana
Gaborone, Botswana
July 2-5, 2019

Conference Theme
Mother Earth and Mother Africa in Theological/Religious/Cultural/Philosophical Imagination
As the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians celebrates thirty years of existence and impressive productivity, the fifth continent wide conference shall be held in Gaborone, Botswana in July 2-5, 2019. Given that the land is often constructed as female gendered and the oppression of women is interlinked with the oppression of the Earth; and given that it is widely acknowledged that we live in the era of global warming – which is humanly induced and of which many have also linked with anthropocentric religious/cultural/theological perspectives — the conference theme calls for research papers that interrogate the link between gender, land, race, class, ethnicity, colonialism, globalization and environmental sustainability. It solicits for papers that reimagine human relationships with the Earth from paradigms of liberation.

Research papers that are using various methods and theories; drawn from diverse religious, cultural, philosophical and theological traditions, are solicited to investigate the intersection of gender, religion and the environment, while analyzing the relationships between women and the land of the past, present and future. Papers that re-read religious/philosophical/cultural texts in the light of Sustainable Development Goals are invited. Researchers may seek to describe, expose, interpret, reinterpret, theorize, reimagine the link between social categories, religion and Earth oppression as well as propose liberating perspectives from traditions and sources of their choice such as African oral cultures, Quran, Bible, African creative works, World Religions, amongst others. Several volumes will be published, following the conference, as it is expected that contributors will receive and integrate constructive feedback from conference participants and through the process of peer reviewing.

Interested researchers are invited to submit abstracts from any one of the following sub-themes:

African Religion/Cultural/Philosophy/Oral Literature and the Earth
• Environmental Imagination in African rituals and taboos
• Oral Literature: Proverbs, folktales, sayings, myths and songs
• African Cosmology and Environmental Sustainability
• African Imagination of Community and Environmental Sustainability
• Botho/Ubuntu, Gender and Environmental Sustainably
• Gender, Religion and Access to Land Ownership
• African Colonial History and the Environment
• Globalization, Global Warming and Gender in Africa
• Sustainable Development Goals, Mother Earth and African Oratures

Biblical Literature and the Earth
• Creation Stories, Gender and Ecological Justice
• Environmental Imagination in the Pentateuch
• Earth constructions in prophetic literature
• Ecological Imagination in Wisdom Literature
• Markan/Lukan/Matthean/Johannine Green Christologies
• Ecological Imagination in Pauline and Deutro -Pauline Literature
• Ecological Imagination in Apocalyptic Literature (Revelation)
• Jesus//Paul, Gender and the Environmental Imagination
• Earth-friendly African Biblical Hermeneutics
• Sustainable Development Goals, Mother Earth and Biblical Texts

Earth and Theological Imaginations
• Salvation Reimagined
• Mission Reimagined
• Incarnation and ecological Justice
• Earth-centered Worship
• Creation-centered Eschatology
• Earth-centered Trinitarian models
• Earth Construction in Christian Hymns
• Creation-centered Theology
• Sustainable Development Goals, Mother Earth & Theological Imagination

World Religions and Environmental Imagination
• Islam, Gender and Construction of the Earth
• Christianity, Gender and Ecology
• Hinduism, Gender and Ecology
• Confucianism, Gender and Ecology
• Colonialism, Globalization, Gender and Earth Care
• Sustainable Development Goals, Mother Earth & World Religions

African Novels and Creative Non-Fiction Writers
• Environmental Imagination among African Women Writers
• Environment Imagination African Male Writers
• Colonialism, Land and Gender in African Creative Writers
• Globalization, Land and Gender in African Creative Writers
• Global Warming, Land and Gender in Creative Non-Fiction
• Sustainable Development Goals, Mother Earth & Creative Writers

Schedule of Production
1. Call for Papers: November 10, 2018
2. Deadline for Submission of Abstracts: March 1, 2019
3. Deadline for Financial Registration June 1, 2019
4. Arrival and Conference Registration Date: July 1, 2019
5. Conference Dates: July 2-4, 2019, University of Botswana
6. Submission of Reviewed Papers: September 1, 2019

Conference Fees and Registration
• Normal Registration: P800.00 ($80usd)
• UB staff member Registration: P600.00 ($60usd)
• Student Registration: P400.00 ($40 usd)

Conference Contact Persons:
Please send your registration fees and 400-word abstract and short bio to:
• Dr Sidney Berman:
• Malebogo Kgalemang:

19th Annual Africa Conference at The University of Texas at Austin – March 29 – 31, 2019


The 2019 Africa Conference will critically examine the highly intricate and contested processes of identity formation and its significance for African societies. Furthermore, the conference will engage with discussions on identities that are intimately linked to notions of African diaspora across the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Indian Ocean. The primary aim of the conference is to reflect on the varying and varied forms of social practices and processes through which identities are constructed, contested, negotiated, and reconfigured in relation to one another. Simultaneously, the conference intends to create an intellectual space for examining the politics of identity that systematically marginalizes, excludes, disempowers, and denudes certain social groups. Beyond the specific emphasis on Africa, the overarching focus of the conference is to engage with different theoretical inflections that have emerged in the existing scholarship on imbricated identities as well as to probe into the ways in which they have been challenged and reformulated within the academia.

See the Call for Papers for further information

CfP: 2018 Fela Anikulapo Kuti Int’l Conference on African Homelands and Social Theory (10-11th Oct)




(A 2-Day International Conference in Honour of Fela Anikulapo Kuti)

Religion-State Relationship in Postcolonial Africa: Issues, Contexts and Perspectives

DATE: 10 -11TH OCTOBER, 2018

CONFERENCE OVERVIEW: Fela Anikulapo Kuti International Conference on African Homelands and Social Theory is an annual international conference that brings together academicians and research scholars in African and Diaspora Studies and importantly researchers in the Fela phenomenon. The international conference provides the medium and opportunity to exchange ideas, share knowledge, and develop academic researches done in the gear of decolonizing knowledge in the African educational system and with the sole aim of adding values to knowledge production in its Africanity. The conference seek to promote intellectualism in its Africaness, Culture education and traditions of African homelands and the diaspora. In fulfilling this, while the international conference provides an environment for cross- fertilization of ideas to produce knowledge and new thoughts and philosophies, the conference as well accommodates political education for the decolonization of African homelands as a step to rescue the westernization of education in Africa.

The 2018 FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AFRICAN HOMELANDS AND SOCIAL THEORY is planned to feature paper presentations on some selected thematic issues relating to the concept note. Participants are invited from different fields and practices including: religious studies, music, theatre and film, literary and cultural studies, political science, sociology, history, philosophy and other related areas. The paper abstract must not be more than 300 words.

Professor Toyin Falola, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Prof. J.K Ayantayo, Prof. of Christian theology, Head, Department of Religious Studies, U.I
Prof. Anthony Akinwale, Vice- Chancellor, Dominican University, Samonda, Ibadan
Emeritus Professor Femi Osofisan, University of Ibadan.

THEMATIC ISSUES: Conference papers will cover the under listed thematic issues:
a. Religion, International political system and Africa
b. Religion, Ideology and Nationalism
c. Religion and Philosophy
d. Religion and Music in the African Context
e. Religion and Language in the African Perspective
f. Religion and Conventional Thoughts
g. Religion, Education and Law
h. Historiography of Religion within the African Context
i. Comparative Approach to Non-African and African Belief Systems
j. Religion and Emerging Gender Issues
k. Religion, Terrorism, Peace and Strategic studies
l. The Foreign in African Traditional Religions
m. Religion and Humanity in the African Context
n. Political economy of religion
o. Comparative Study on Religion, Spirituality and Culture
p. Religion and African mystery system
q. Religion and Secret societies
r. Religion, methodology and politics of knowledge production
s. Religion, Postcolonial Africanities and human development
t. Religion, Secularism and globalization
u. Religion and Environmental issues
v. Religion, Archaeology and social Anthropology
w. Religion and classical studies
Prospective paper presenters are to adhere strictly to the APA Format for writing‎ research papers.

Abstracts and full papers can be submitted by email to the Conference Convener, Olusegun Michael Ogundele at or to the official conference email address:

Publicity: 15th May, 2018
Deadline for submission: 5th August, 2018
Notification of acceptance: 19th August, 2018
Deadline for final paper submission: 5th September, 2018
Conference date: 10- 11 October, 2018

The international conference will have as part of its special features A FRENCH PANEL. This French panel is being sponsored by IFRA- NIGERIA and Alliance Francais, Ibadan. Papers to be presented at this French panel will be submitted in French Language, especially to encourage participation from African research scholars in Francophone countries. Presentation at the panel will be in French language. There is as well a possibility for a French translator to English Language so that the parallel session will not close its door against other participants in the conference.
Dr. Nicolas Michelland, Director, Alliance Francaise, Ibadan, Nigeria
Dr. Elodie Apard, Director, French Institute for Research in Africa, University of Ibadan, Ibadan.
Prof. Tunde Ayeleru, Head, Department of European Studies, University of Ibadan, Ibadan.
Prof. Anthony Akinwale, Vice Chancellor, Dominican University, Samonda, Ibadan.

Conference Convener

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