2009 Annual Meeting in Montréal
We congratulate and celebrate … those who have carried on the fruitful work of this worthy organization. May you all be blessed as you meet together for this Centennial Celebration. --Harry and Esther Buck
Each year at the Annual Meeting our membership has the privilege of hearing leading scholars offer addresses to the entire AAR membership. Our President offers his or her Presidential Plenary and invites three or four other prominent scholars to offer additional Plenary addresses. To help kick off our Centennial in Montréal, President Mark Juergensmeyer has arranged for a series of speakers who will focus on timely topics in the study of religion.
President Juergensmeyer’s Presidential Plenary is entitled Beyond Words and War: The Global Future of Religion (Nov. 7, Saturday, 8-9 pm). In his address he will explore how the study of religion will likely evolve during the twenty-first century. He will argue that while many current approaches will endure, there will be new syntheses and collaborations that will emerge, and that religious studies will increasingly be seen at the center of understanding our contemporary global world.
In addition to his address, President Juergensmeyer has arranged for several other speakers to address the AAR membership.
Tariq Ramadan will offer an address entitled Contemporary Islam: The Meaning and the Need of a Radical Reform (Nov. 8, Sunday, 11:45 am-12:45 pm). Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most important innovators of the 21st century, Ramadan occupies a unique place among leading Islamic thinkers. A Swiss national, he is a professor of theology at the University of Oxford. Ramadan has explored the difficult issues of reinterpretation and reform within Islam itself and between the Islamic world and its neighbors around the globe.
Reza Aslan (University of California), Tariq Ramadan (University of Oxford), Nilüfer Göle (L'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales) and Robin Wright (United States Institute of Peace) will discuss the theme of Islam and Modernity (Nov. 7, Saturday, 4-6:30 pm). They will explore how Islamic thinkers and activists are facing the great social changes associated with modernity. They will probe how Islamic responses to modernity differ from responses of other religious traditions, and seek to address the future of Islamic ideas in a postmodern world.
Another panel, featuring Charles Taylor (McGill University), José Casanova (Georgetown University), Saba Mahmood (University of California, Berkeley), and Craig Calhoun (New York University) will explore the theme of Rethinking Secularrism (Nov. 8, Sunday, 9-11:30 am). This panel brings together some of the most articulate social theorists writing on the subject. They will explore the roots of the secular ideal in eighteenth century European Enlightenment thought, the way it is diversely reconceived in the present day around the world, and how the concept is changing. They raise the question of whether we are moving into a new moment of history marked by resurgent religion in public life — a post-secular age.
Azyumardi Azra (Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University), Shrivatsa Goswami (Radha Raman Temple), Koichi Mori (Doshisha University), Kim Knott (University of Leeds), and Sylvia Marcos (Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos and Claremont Graduate University) and Vasudha Narayanan (University of Florida) will participate in a panel entitled Global Perspectives on Religious Studies (Nov. 9, Monday, 1-3:30 pm). These scholars will address questions like these: Are there differences between the European and American paradigms of religious studies, and is the field of religious studies conceived differently in India, Indonesia, Mexico, and elsewhere? Is there resentment over what may be regarded as the intellectual colonialism of transported analytic frameworks from the West around the world, and are there new currents of intellectual creativity in disparate parts of the world that may be appropriated by Western scholars? Panelists will describe how religious studies as a field fares within their own regions, how it is changing and becoming innovative, and how it interacts with the scholarship from the European and American academic community.
In addition to lectures and addresses, in Montréal we will hold a special Centennial Reception Gala Reception (requires PDF), Saturday, 9-11 pm, that will honor past AAR presidents, executive directors, and this year’s distinguished guests.
For a complete listing of the events in Montréal, please see the 2009 Annual Meeting Program Book.
The AAR would like to thank its 2009 Centennial Sponsors:
Platinum Level Sponsor
Gold Level Sponsor