About AAR

The AAR is the largest scholarly society dedicated to the academic study of religion, with more than 8,000 members around the world. The AAR's mission is to foster excellence in the academic study of religion and enhance the public understanding of religion.

Eddie Glaude speaking

Mission and Values

The American Academy of Religion's mission is to foster excellence in the academic study of religion and enhance the public understanding of religion. The AAR is committed to promoting academic excellence, professional responsibility, free inquiry, critical examination, diversity, inclusion, respect, and transparency within the academic study of religion and in the work of the AAR itself.

History of the AAR

Initially an association for scholars of Biblical Studies, today the AAR supports those who study any and all religions. The AAR is not a faith-based organization. The expertise of its membership spans virtually all religions, and the AAR neither endorses nor condemns any religious belief or practice.

Award Programs

The AAR administers several award programs each year. These awards recognize extraordinary contributions to the academic study of religion and the public understanding of religion as well as service to the AAR membership.

Public Engagement Programs

To fulfill its mission of enhancing the public understanding of religion, the AAR develops and facilitates programs designed to engage a variety of publics, including a biennial lecture series, and resources for public scholars.

Grant Programs

The AAR maintains several grant programs for members. Eligible applicants can seek funding for regional development grants, travel grants to attend the AAR Annual Meeting, public engagement fellowships and seed grants, and research grants for international dissertation work, collaboration with other scholars, and individual projects.

AAR Regions

The AAR's ten regions focus on creating a community of scholars of a special character based on regional size, ethos, cooperation with other scholarly societies, and potential. The special size and character of regions encourages accessibility, adaptability, service to scholars at various career stages, collegiality, and flexibility of program.

Governance and Staff

An affiliate of Emory University, the AAR is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Leadership groups include the AAR Board of Directors, five committees of the board, and numerous working groups, such as juries, committees, and task forces.

Policies and Key Documents

Key documents of the AAR include the bylaws, statements and resolutions passed by the Board of Directors, financial documents, and information on privacy and AAR elections.


The AAR is affiliated with a number of organizations and institutions, including the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Humanities Alliance, and the International Association for the History of Religions. The AAR welcomes opportunities to cooperate with organizations that have similar missions to its own; such organizations may apply for formal recognition as Related Scholarly Organizations.

Media and Advertising Inquiries

The AAR works to connect journalists with scholars of religion whose expertise can provide valuable insight. The AAR also offers many opportunities to advertise in print and online communications, at the Annual Meeting, and on the job board managed jointly with the Society of Biblical Literature.

Take Action with the AAR

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Join a nation-wide group of advocates for the humanities by signing up for news from the National Humanities Alliance, an advocacy coalition the AAR has been a member of since 1983.