Events

2019 Annual Meeting, Nov 23-26

The 2019 Annual Meeting will be in San Diego, CA, November 23-26. Register Now!

2020 Regional Meetings

Open Calls for Papers:

Rocky Mountains-Great Plains
Deadline: November 15, 2019

Southeast
Undergraduate Deadline: December 15, 2019

Mid-Atlantic
Deadline: December 16, 2019

Upper Midwest
Deadline: December 31, 2019

Pacific Northwest
Deadline: January 3, 2020

Midwest
Deadline: January 10, 2020

New England-Maritimes
Deadline: January 19, 2020

Eastern International
Deadline: February 1, 2020

Open Registration:

Mid-Atlantic

Midwest

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Member Notes

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Awards and Accomplishments

Gina A. Zurlo, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Dr. Gina Zurlo, Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton, MA, USA), has been named one of the BBC’s 100 Women of 2019. Dr. Zulo is recognized as a scholor of religion and expert in religion statistics. As a part of the BBC's 100 Women program, Dr. Zurlo gave a lecture in Delhi, India on October 22, 2019 on the future of religion worldwide. Her talk focused on the role that women play in religion worldwide, as research consistently finds that women are more religious than men. Her talk also highlighted new methodologies for looking at the future religious landscape and the unique contributions women can make.

Books and Major Publications

Sarwar Alam, University of Arkansas

Cultural Fusion of Sufi Islam: Alternative Paths to Mystical Faith, Routledge, 2019. The focus of this book ranges from reflecting Sufi themes in the Qur’anic calligraphy to movies, from ideals to everyday practices, from legends to actual history, from gender segregation to gender transgression, and from legalism to spiritualism. Consequently, the international panel of contributors to this volume are trained in a range of disciplines that include religious studies, history, comparative literature, anthropology, and ethnography. Covering Southeast Asia to West Africa as well as South Asia and the West, they address both historical and contemporary issues, shedding light on Sufism’s adaptability.

Edward Curtis, Indiana University, Indianapolis

Muslim American Politics and the Future of DemocracyNYU Press, 2019. This book argues that the future of American democracy depends on whether Muslim Americans are able to exercise their political rights as citizens and whether they can find acceptance as social equals. Since the 1950s, and especially in the post-9/11 era, Muslim Americans have played outsized roles in US politics, sometimes as political dissidents and sometimes as political insiders. Curtis argues that policies, laws, and political rhetoric concerning Muslim Americans are quintessential American political questions. Will America choose freedom over fear, justice over prejudice?

Travis Erika and Harris Gault, University of Arizona & Virginia Commonwealth University

Beyond Christian Hip Hop, co-edited by Travis Erika and Harris Gault, Routledge, 2019. This book explores the intersection of Christians and Hip Hop. It lays out the ways in which Christians and Hip Hop overlap and diverge. The work brings together African diasporic cultures, lives, memories and worldviews that exist at the crossroads of faith and Hip Hop.

Manon Hedenborg White, Södertörn University

The Eloquent Blood: The Goddess Babalon and the Construction of Femininities in Western EsotericismOxford University Press, 2019. This book contributes to the understanding of modern esoteric movements as dynamic and "lived" religious traditions, which evolve over time and are shaped in interaction with broader societal trends. It analyzes a range of materials never previously discussed in academic research including unpublished archival sources, ethnographic fieldwork, and unpublished interviews with contemporary practitioners. It is also one of the first book-length scholarly works to analyze the ideas and legacy of Aleister Crowley.

Mary Nyangweso and Jacob K. Olupona, East Carolina University & Harvard University

Religion in Gender-Based Violence, Immigration, and Human Rights, co-edited by Mary Nyangweso and Jacob K. Olupona, CRC Press, 2019. This book builds on work that examines the interactions between immigration and gender-based violence, to explore how both the justification and condemnation of violence in the name of religion further complicates our societal relationships. An international panel of contributors take a multidisciplinary approach to investigating three central themes - the intersection between religion, immigration, domestic violence, and human rights. 

Margaret Kamitsuka, Oberlin College

Abortion and the Christian Tradition: A Pro-Choice Theological EthicWestminster John Knox Press, 2019. Abortion remains the most contested political issue in American life. A common perception is that abortion is contrary to Christian teaching and values. Margaret Kamitsuka challenges this claim. The book begins with a careful examination of the church’s biblical and historical record and offers carefully crafted ethical arguments about the pregnant woman’s authority to make reproductive decisions and builds a theological rationale for seeing abortion as something other than a sin.

Mohammad Hassan Khalil, Michigan State University

Muslims and US Politics Today: A Defining Moment, ILEX and Harvard University Press, 2019. This edited volume explores the various representations of Muslims in American political and civic life, the myriad ways American Muslims are affected by politics, and how American Muslims are engaging political life as individuals and communities. Contributors include Evelyn Alsultany, Donna Auston, Mucahit Bilici, Sylvia Chan-Malik, Edward E. Curtis IV, Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, Juliane Hammer, Salah D. Hassan, Sally Howell, Mohsen Mostafavi Mobasher, Alisa Perkins, and Junaid Rana.

Evan Francis Kuehn and Matthew Ryan Robinson, North Park University & Friedrich Wilhelm University of Bonn

Theology Compromised: Schleiermacher, Troeltsch, and the Possibility of a Sociological Theology, Fortress Academic, 2019. What is the relationship between social transformations and the development of religious ideals, as these are measured by doctrinal formulations? Robinson and Kuehn approach this question by focusing on the sociological methodological orientation of Friedrich Schleiermacher and Ernst Troeltsch in the nineteenth century context of the rise of theological liberalism, the history of religions, and the German churches’ confrontation with social and political challenges. They connect this history with the work of Hans Joas and Niklas Luhmann, arguing for a functional focus in theological research.

James McGrath, Butler University

Mandaean Book of John: Critical Edition, Translation, and Commentary, collaboration between two AAR members, Charles Häberl of Rutgers University and James McGrath of Butler University, DeGruyter, 2019. Supported by generous funding from the NEH, this publication represents the first work of its kind, providing a critical edition based on all known manuscripts of the work, a direct translation into English, and commentary discussing the religious, historical, and linguistic significance of its contents. 

Elizabeth (Liz) Gillan Muir, Retired professor

A Women's History of the Christian Church: Two Thousand Years of Female Leadership, University of Toronto Press, 2019. This book is an examination of women's contributions to the Christian Church, both in the Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions around the world, from its beginning until today. The 415-page monograph includes illustrations, time-line, glossary and index and is formatted for use as a text for church history, women's studies or other courses. Dr. Muir taught at University of Toronto (Emmanuel College) and University of Waterloo. You can visit her at www.lizmuir.ca.

Dorina Parmenter, Spalding University

Miniature Books: The Format and Function of Tiny Religious Texts, co-edited by Kristina Myrvold and Dorina Miller Parmenter, Equinox Publishing, 2019. Miniature books, handwritten or printed books in the smallest format, have fascinated religious people, printers, publishers, collectors, and others through the centuries because of their unique physical features, and continue to captivate people today. The small lettering and the delicate pages, binding, and covers highlight the material form of texts and invite sensory engagement and appreciation. This volume addresses miniature books with a special focus on religious books in Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
 

L. Benjamin Rolsky, Monmouth University

The Rise and Fall of the Religious Left, Columbia Univeristy Press, 2019. In this book, L. Benjamin Rolsky examines the ways in which American liberalism has helped shape cultural conflict since the 1970s through the story of how television writer and producer Norman Lear galvanized the religious left into action. Rolsky offers engaged readings of Lear’s iconic sitcoms and published writings, considering them as an expression of what he calls the spiritual politics of the religious left.

Rubén Rosario Rodríguez, Saint Louis University

The T&T Clark Handbook of Political Theology, edited by Rubén Rosario Rodríguez, T&T Clark, 2019. This book is a comprehensive reference resource informed by serious theological scholarship in the three Abrahamic traditions. The engaging and original contributions within this collection represent the epitome of contemporary scholarship in theology, religion, philosophy, history, law, and political science, from leading scholars in their area of specialization. Complete with select bibliographies for each topic, this companion features the most current overview of political theology that will reach a broader, global audience of students and scholars.

 

Eugene Schlesinger, Santa Clara University

Sacrificing the Church: Mass, Mission, and Ecumenism. Fortress Academic/Lexington, 2019. This book presents an ecclesiological vision in which every aspect of the church’s life flows from and expresses the one sacrifice of Christ. This sacrifice is the basis of every ecclesial experience, the form and content of the church’s life, a life which shares in the eternal Trinitarian life of God. By and as Christ’s sacrifice we are introduced into the divine life. This participation plays out in three areas that set the church’s agenda in the contemporary world: its worship of God (Mass), mission to the world (mission), and efforts toward the unity of all people, beginning with divided Christians (ecumenism).

 

Perry Schmidt-Leukel, University of Muenster / Germany

Buddha Mind – Christ Mind: A Christian Commentary on the Bodhicaryāvatāra, Peeters Publishers, 2019. The Bodhicaryavatara (“Entering the Course towards Awakening”) is an Indian Mahayana Buddhist companion to the path of a Bodhisattva, someone motivated by the altruistic “spirit of awakening”. Unlike many other Buddhist scriptures, much of this text is written in the very touching form of personal reflections. After many commentaries by Buddhist scholars throughout the centuries, this is the first commentary from a Christian perspective, exploring the deep resonances between the “spirit of awakening” and the “spirit of Christ”.

Robin Veldman, Texas A&M University

The Gospel of Climate Skepticism: Why Evangelical Christians Oppose Action on Climate Change, University of California Press, 2019. Drawing on qualitative fieldwork, this book reveals the extent to which climate skepticism and anti-environmentalism have in fact become embedded in the social world of many conservative evangelicals. Rejecting the common assumption that evangelicals’ skepticism is simply a side effect of political or theological conservatism, the book further shows that between 2006 and 2015, leaders and pundits associated with the Christian Right widely promoted skepticism as the biblical position on climate change. 

Joshua Dubler and Vincent Lloyd, University of Rochester & Villanova University

Break Every Yoke: Religion, Justice, and the Abolition of Prisons, co-authored by Joshua Dubler and Vincent Lloyd, Oxford University Press, 2019. The book argues that changes in the U.S. religious landscape enabled the rise of mass incarceration, and that religious ideas and practices offer a key for ending mass incarceration. Break Every Yoke weaves religion into the stories about race, politics, and economics that conventionally account for America's grotesque prison expansion of the last half century, and in so doing it sheds new light on one of our era's biggest human catastrophes. Break Every Yoke is an effort to stretch the American moral imagination and envision alternative ways of doing justice.

Career Transitions

David Decosimo, Boston University

Dr. David Decosimo was promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure, at Boston University, where he teaches in the School of Theology and in the Graduate Program in Religion.