American Academy of Religion

April 2007 e-Bulletin



A Message from the Executive Director




Greetings from the Luce Center in Atlanta!  This month’s e-bulletin contains new about AAR programs regarding seed grants, international scholars from China who will participate in the Annual Meeting, nominations to AAR Committees and Task Forces, our new award in Religion and the Arts, and announcements about registration for next fall’s Annual Meeting and EIS center.  Also note the reminder about participation in our From the Student Desk column in the RSN


I particularly want to invite you to give some thought to participating in AAR Committees and Task Forces.  This is a terrific way to become more involved in our field.  Having attended a number of Committee meetings this spring, I can assure you that interesting projects are being considered and that creative things are afoot.  Feel free to throw your hat into the nomination ring, or to nominate a colleague.


With every good wish, I remain



Jack Fitzmier

Executive Director



Seed Grants


Seed Grants are available for departments to examine “The Religion Major and Liberal Education.” In conjunction with a grant from the Teagle Foundation to study the nature of the religion major and its role within a larger liberal education, the AAR is soliciting proposals from individual departments and programs to consider the religion major in their local contexts.  The intent is to award a total of 10 grants at $500 each, which could lead to a larger grant from the Teagle Foundation. To apply, see The deadline is April 15.


Co-sponsor a Chinese Scholar


The 2007 Annual Meeting’s international focus is on China. For information on ways to help bring a scholar to the Annual Meeting and to your institution, contact Kyle Cole, Director of College Programs, at


Committee Nominations


The following committees and task forces will have openings this year: Academic Relations Committee, Employment Information Services Advisory, Graduate Student Committee, History of Religions Jury, International Connections Committee, Nominations Committee, Program Committee, Public Understanding of Religion Committee, Research Grant Jury, Status of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession Committee, Status of Women in the Profession Committee, Teaching and Learning Committee, and the Theological Education Steering Committee. If you want to nominate a colleague or yourself, please send a letter explaining interest in serving on the particular committee, participation in the AAR, academic and professional interests, and a C.V. to; or by fax to: 404-727-7959; or mail to: Jack Fitzmier, Executive Director / American Academy of Religion / 825 Houston Mill RD NE STE 300 / Atlanta, GA  30329-4205 / USA. Deadline is May 1.


New Award in Religion and the Arts


The AAR is pleased to announce a new award in Religion and the Arts.  The annual award is for an artist, performer, critic, curator, or scholar who has made a recent significant contribution to the understanding of relations among the arts and religion, both for the academy and for the broader public.


We will be accepting nominations from AAR members, although nominees need not be AAR members.  Nominations must include a supporting letter (no more than 1,000 words), and any relevant supporting materials (images, DVDs, books, catalogs, etc).  Please no self-nominations.


To be considered for the 2007 award, nominations must be made by 30 April 2007 and sent to Brent Plate / Department of Religion / Box 298100 / Texas Christian University / Fort Worth, TX  76129 / USA.  Electronic submissions can be sent to


Annual Meeting


Annual Meeting registration and housing opens May 15! Information on the 2007 AAR Annual Meeting in San Diego will be in the May issue of Religious Studies News and online at  (You will need to log in to complete your registration, using your surname, "Gray," and member ID, "Z28679.")  To take advantage of the discounted member registration rates, you must be a current 2007 member by May 15. You can check your membership status at the bottom of this message.


Employment Information Services Center


Registration for the Employment Information Services Center opens May 15

and closes October 22. Register early to receive full benefits. For more

information, see


Especially for Students


Students interested in writing short, first-person narratives about issues of importance to students should consider writing a column for “From the Student Desk,” published thrice-yearly in Religious Studies News. Please contact Whitney Bauman, “FSD” editor, at with your interest.


Your Membership Status


Your membership is current for 2007. Thank you. Membership resources are available at