Founded in 1891 to encourage path-breaking scholarship through a lecture and book series, the American Lectures in the History of Religions flourished under the auspices of the American Council of Learned Societies and Columbia University from 1936. At the request of the ACLS, the American Academy of Religion assumed administrative responsibility for the series in 1994.
2019 Lecturer: Jeffrey Stout, The Cinematic Sacred (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, and Winston Salem, NC, February 18–27, 2019)
2016 Lecturer: Fatemeh Keshavarz, Unsilencing the Sacred: Poetic Conversations with the Divine (Notre Dame, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois, October 24–28, 2016) | Final Lecture Video | Radio Rumi Podcast
2014 Lecturer: Catherine L. Albanese, In an American Kaleidoscope: Revisiting Two Centuries of American Religious History (Atlanta, Georgia, April 7–11, 2014)
2013 Lecturer: John G. Gager, Jr., Winners and Losers in the Making of Early Christianity (Atlanta, Georgia, April 1–5, 2013)
At the conclusion of the lectures, many of the lecturers have had their lectures published through Columbia University Press. Some of these publications are:
The lecture series operates under the auspices of the AAR's American Lectures in the History of Religions Committee.