Letter from AASR Treasurer, Abel Ugba

Dear AASR Members,

I hope this mail finds you well. I am writing to remind you to pay your annual membership fee (2019 and 2020), and to confirm the two main ways you can make payments. I would also like to remind you of the payment requirements.

Member Fees:

  • The annual fee for members in North America, Europe and the global North is US$60.
  • The fee for members in Africa and the global South is US$30.
  • Students, retired academics and the unwaged will pay 50% of the fees that have been approved for the country or region where they are based.

OPTION 1: Payment into AASR Bank Account: You can pay directly into the AASR’s bank account, using the following details:

African Association for the Study of Religions
Bank: Bank of Scotland
Address: The Mound, Edinburgh, EH1 1YZ
Branch Code: 80-20-00
Account No: 00208442
IBAN: GB05 BOFS 8020 0000 2084 42

OPTION 2: Payment via PayPal: You can pay into our PayPal account: treasurer@www.a-asr.org

Please contact the AASR Treasurer, Abel Ugba (a.f.ugba@leeds.ac.uk), if for technical or other reasons you are not able to pay into the bank account or through PayPal.

Deregistration of defaulters: The resolution that we adopted in Kenya in 2012 called for the de-registration of non-paying members. In line with this resolution, members who still haven’t paid their fee by August 1st will be sent a notice of de-registration at the end of August 2019.

National representatives who have collected annual fees from members in the past year or two should pay all monies into the account and send an updated list of payers to the Treasurer to prevent wrongful de-registrations.

As planning for our 2020 Conference in Senegal has started in earnest, your financial support is needed more than ever. I thank you all for your continued support for the AASR.

Abel Ugba
AASR Treasurer

Discount on new textbook Religions in Contemporary Africa

We are delighted to announce the upcoming release of an important textbook and teaching resource co-authored by Adriaan van Klinken, Laura Grillo and Hassan Ndzovu: Religions in Contemporary Africa (Routledge 2019). AASR members receive a discount of 20% when they purchase the book from www.crcpress.com. Simply enter the code HUM19 at the checkout to receive the discount.

Religions in Contemporary Africa: An Introduction

By Laura S. Grillo, Adriaan van Klinken and Hassan Ndzovu

Religions in Contemporary Africa: An Introduction, 1st Edition (Paperback) book coverReligions in Contemporary Africa is an accessible and comprehensive introduction to the three main religious traditions on the African continent, African indigenous religions, Christianity and Islam. The book provides a historical overview of these important traditions as well as focus on timely topical issues to illustrate the role that religion plays in African societies today.

With suggestions for further reading, discussion questions, illustrations and a list of glossary terms this is the ideal textbook for students in religion, African studies and adjacent fields approaching this subject area for the first time.

Job Post, Templeton Foundation

Program Officer Opening at John Templeton

We are currently recruiting for a new Program Officer position in Human
Sciences at the John Templeton Foundation. Full details are here:

Position Summary

Reporting to the Vice President, Programs, the Program Officer, Human
Sciences, will share responsibility for the two major types of grantmaking
activities of the John Templeton Foundation. First, the Program Officer will
assist with and/or lead the development of proactive initiatives that
advance scholarship in the social, behavioral, cognitive, and health
sciences, especially (but not exclusively) as applied to the scientific
study of religion. Second, the Program Officer will assist with the
recruitment, review, and management of grant proposals received through the
Foundation’s open submission process. This process begins with the review of
online funding inquiries, continues with the invitation, review, and
recommendation of full proposals, and ends with monitoring grants and
evaluating completed work in ways that that contribute to future program
development. During the life of a grant, the Program Officer will share
responsibility for managing the Foundation’s relationship with the grantee
and for official communications about the work of the grant.

Areas of Responsibility

* Manage the life cycle of the grant process, including the Foundation’s
relationship with a Principal Investigator, for initiatives that fall under
the purview of Human Sciences.
* Develop and implement new ideas for grants and projects, collaborating
with other program staff as needed.
* Communicate the “fit with mission” for Human Sciences grants and
projects, both internally and externally.
* Participate in all aspects of the grant submission and grant review
* Develop special projects in collaboration with the Vice President,
Programs and the Human Sciences department.
* Monitor and evaluate the performance of grants and grantees in
conjunction with the Office of Planning and Evaluation.
* Participate in site visits for active grants and attend relevant
professional conferences.
* Participate in outreach to potential grantees.
* Participate in professional development opportunities.

Criteria & Relevant Skills

* Master’s Degree required in the social, cognitive, behavioral, or
health sciences; Ph.D. preferred.
* Candidates with a demonstrated interest in at least one of the
department’s current key projects are strongly preferred.
* A track record of scholarship in scientific study of religion and/or
clinical research is strongly preferred.
* Experience of interdisciplinary research would be an advantage.
* 3 – 5 years of professional experience in a foundation or academic
* Highly organized with strong analytical skills.
* A proven track record of writing and editing program-related content,
proposals, papers, and presentations.
* Skilled communicator able to work with scholars and members of the
academic community, as well as across internal departments.
* Adept relationship builder able to forge and maintain professional
* Experience in grantmaking preferred.
* Willingness to participate in regular domestic and international
travel is essential.
* Strong personal interest in the Foundation’s mission is essential.

Visit https://www.templeton.org/about/careers to learn more and submit your

Nicholas J. S. Gibson, Ph.D. | Senior Program Officer, Human Sciences | John
Templeton Foundation

300 Conshohocken State Road, Suite 500 | West Conshohocken, PA 19428, United

P: +1-610-941-2828 | F: +1-610-825-1730 | www.templeton.org

CfP: African Language, Literature, Music & Prayer Repertoires

Nagel Legon International Conference 2019

African Language, Literature, Music and Prayer Repertoires:Exploring Indigenous Epistemologies and Spiritualities

Date: JULY 24th–26th, 2019
Contact/Queries: nagel.legon.conference@gmail.com


Christianity in Africa offers an abundance of linguistic resources that serve as a wellspring for African spirituality and values. However, while current scholarship that engages African Christianity often focuses on the rapid growth and diverse expressions of the faith on the continent and in the African diaspora, the role of language, music, film, and literature as significant articulations of African spirituality and values remains largely unexplored.
The language that is appropriated to convey experiences of faith and spirituality, including names, attributes and the language used to describe supernatural entities and deities may be seen to represent the embodiment of the contemporary experiences of people’s perceptions. African literature, proverbs, songs, prayers, and appellations are not only repositories of these names and attributes but also fuller expressions of African experiences and perceptions of supersensible entities and their interactions with humans, but also important expressions of indigenous spirituality and values. Similarly, in praise genres we find what has variously been called grassroots, oral, spontaneous, or implicit theology, and represents a type of “reflective theology” in its own right. Film, home videos and African literary works are yet other mediums in which aspects of African religious values and Christian spirituality are regularly featured.

By engaging religious studies, theology, social sciences, and the arts, this conference seeks to explore indigenous epistemologies and spiritualities through the prism of African language, literature, music, and prayer repertoires. We solicit contributions that explore, engage and analyze African literary works, music, prayers, oral histories, appellations, film, or praises in Africa and the African diaspora, in order to discern ways in which African spirituality and values are perceived and expressed by individuals and religious institutions and local communities. Contributions that raise issues of gender, ethnicity, identity, and colonialism/post-colonialism would be welcome. The conference seeks to demonstrate the importance of inter- and cross-disciplinary scholarship between the arts, humanities, and social sciences for more well-rounded, holistic engagement with African religions and spirituality.

This conference is hosted by the University of Ghana’s Department for the Study of Religions in partnership with the Nagel Institute’s African Theological Advance Initiative, which is generously supported with funding from the Templeton Religion Trust. For further details, check here:

Please note: for all of the sub-themes below, references to Africa or African refer equally to the African diaspora. Papers engaging issues of gender and marginalized voices are particularly welcome. Sub-themes and potential topics around which the conference is organized include but are not limited to the following:

• African spirituality and values from African theological and/or indigenous epistemological lenses
• African religions and spirituality as portrayed in African literature (colonial/post-colonial novels, dramas, poetry,
biography/autobiography, etc.)
• African values and spiritualities in historical context
• Contemporary expressions of African religions, spirituality and values in film and media
• African indigenous agents and the promotion of African values and spirituality within African Christian mission history
• Oral expressions of African religions, spirituality, and values (prayer, proverbs, parables, storytelling, idioms, etc.)
• African spirituality and values expressed within African music (gospel music; reggae; worship music; popular cultural music etc.)
• African spirituality, gender and sexuality explored within language, literature and worship contexts

***Abstracts/Panel proposals: Each prospective presenter should submit an abstract of not more than 250 words by email to nagel.legon.conference@gmail.com by January 31st, 2019. Abstracts must be prepared as Microsoft Word documents and should include the presenter’s name, title of paper, institutional affiliation, and contact information (mailing address, phone number, and email address). Panel proposals should be sent as one document with an overall abstract, and should also include the abstract and personal information for each panel member/presenter. Participants will be notified about the status of their proposals by February 20th, 2019.

***Conference Registration and Rates: (*including selected refreshments, lunches, and the conference banquet)

Early Bird Rates (March 1st–30th):
• Participants from the Global North: $100USD
• Participants from the Global South: $80
• Students/unwaged: $50USD

Late Registration Rate (April 1st–May 10th):
• Participants from the Global North: $150USD
• Participants from the Global South: $110USD
• Students/unwaged: $50USD

Accommodations: bookings will be available at African Studies Yiri Lodge (Legon Campus):
• Single room @$70USD
• Standard Room $50–$80USD
• Deluxe room @ $100USD
• Suite @ $120USD

Participants may also choose to make their own bookings at the nearby  Erata hotel. Prices are subject to change depending on conference discounts:
• Single Room @$100USD
• Double Room @$120USD

**Delegates should be aware that traffic within the city to/from the University can be very heavy and time-consuming; therefore we encourage you to stay on campus!

Additional Extras:
We are planning excursions before/after the conference to Cape Coast and Elmina Castles, as well as within Accra. We are also in discussions with the hosts of “Panafest 2019” to see how our participants might join in some of their events. Panafest is an event dedicated to African dance, music, and other performing arts to be held in Cape Coast, 25th July to 2nd August. Further details and costs for these extras will be posted as they become available.

Call for Applications: Leiden ASA Visiting Research Fellowship January-February-March 2019

Call for Applications:
Leiden ASA Visiting Research Fellowship January-February-March 2019

The Leiden African Studies Assembly calls for applications for a three-month (90 days) visiting fellowship at Leiden University (African Studies Centre) from September up to and including November 2018. Applications from all academic disciplines are welcome. An application must include an element of collaboration with a researcher of the African Studies Centre Leiden and a researcher of another faculty/department of Leiden University. The output of that collaboration can be a joint seminar or workshop, a joint research proposal, or a joint publication.

Requirements for a visiting fellowship
In order to be eligible for a LeidenASA 90-days Visiting Research Fellowship, the applicant has to fulfil all of the following criteria. He or she must:
1. Hold a PhD degree, by the time of applying;
2. Have conducted research, as part of the PhD and/or in later projects; with a focus on Africa;
3. Be actively pursuing an academic/research career;
4. Have published books, book chapters and/or journal articles in recent years that meet international standards;
5. Propose a research project for the fellowship that is likely to contribute to interfaculty collaboration at Leiden University; as shown in statements of collaboration (enclosed with the application) from one African Studies Centre Leiden scholar and (at least) one other Leiden University scholar. Overview of scholars to be found here: http://www.ascleiden.nl/sites/default/files/leidenasaresearchmembersmay2018.pdf
6. In accordance with visa regulations, be ready to return to the country of which he/she is a citizen and/or a current resident upon completion of the fellowship.

In the assessment of applications that meet these requirements,
A. Preference will be given to applicants based in Africa. ‘Africa’ here refers to the member states of the African Union. ‘Based in’ Africa is understood to have lived in Africa during at least two of the last four years; and
B. Emphasis will be placed on the quality, intended outputs and feasibility of the research project proposed for the fellowship.

A fellowship includes
– A return ticket (economy class).
– A daily stipend to cover living expenses.
– Single accommodation in Leiden with shared facilities.
– The use of (shared) office facilities and of library facilities.

How to apply?
Please complete application form below and send it, together with all required additional documents, to:

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Applications must be submitted in English or French.
However, Visiting Research Fellows may pursue their research in any language(s) of their choice, in agreement with their ASCL/Leiden University counterparts.
The deadline for applications is 25 August 2018.

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