The AAR's Policy Statement on RSOs and information on how to apply for RSO status is available on the AAR Policy Statement on Related Scholarly Organizations page.
Adventist Society for Religious Studies
Zdravko Plantak, Secretary-Treasurer
The Adventist Society for Religious Studies (ASRS) is a scholarly community whose purpose is to “provide intellectual and social fellowship among its members and encourage scholarly pursuits in all religious studies disciplines, particularly with reference to the Seventh-day Adventist tradition.” Having met continuously since 1972, we formally organized in 1979 as the Andrews University Society for Religious Studies and in 1993 the society changed its name to the Adventist Society for Religious Studies. The Society’s organizational documents ensure independence from external oversight while remaining dedicated to the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s considerable venture in higher education. Our membership is made up of a diverse group of religious scholars from around the world. We believe that our connection to the America Academy of Religion is an important element of the professional development of these professors and our Society. We meet in conjunction with the AAR to share presentations and discussion of important issues in religion and higher education.
African Association for the Study of Religions
Benson Ohihon Igboin, Secretary General
The African Association for the Study of Religions is an academic association of the scholars of religions posted in universities in Africa, and of scholars of the religions of Africa posted in universities outside Africa. It was founded at an IAHR (International Association for the History of Religions) conference in Harare, Zimbabwe, in September 1992 for the purpose of promoting the academic study of the religions of Africa more generally through the international collaboration of all scholars whose research has a bearing on the subject. The AASR seeks to stimulate the academic study of religions of Africa in a variety of ways: providing a forum for multilateral communications between scholars of African religions; facilitating the exchange of resources and information; encouraging the development of linkages and research contacts between scholars and institutions in Africa, and between scholars in Africa and those overseas. The AASR also endeavors to assist scholars to publish their work and travel to professional meetings. The AASR is an affiliate of the IAHR since 1995. It meets at the IAHR quinquennial congress and organizes conferences in Africa. Its members participate in panels at conferences outside of Africa. The AASR publishes the bi-annual AASR Bulletin and peer-reviewed an online journal.
Association for Public Religion and Intellectual Life (APRIL)
S. Brent Rodríguez-Plate, Executive Director
Tracing its roots to the 1930s, the Association for Public Religion and Intellectual Life has worked with universities, churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and nonprofit groups. It was incorporated as a 501(c)3 in 1987. The association's continual aim is to bring together leading voices of the time to advocate for justice and to examine global spiritual and interreligious currents in both historical and contemporary perspectives. Through the journal CrossCurrents, the online magazine The Commons, and summer colloquia, APRIL explores religious life, engages in intellectual inquiry, and leads ethical action in the world today.
Association of Practical Theology
Katherine Turpin, Iliff School of Theology, President
The purpose of the Association of Practical Theology (APT) is to promote critical discourse that integrates theological reflection and practice. Reconstituted from its predecessor organizations in 1984, the APT was sparked by the understanding of practical theology as an integrative hermeneutical endeavor at the heart of theological education that includes critical examination of religious traditions and practices and exploration of the contributions of ministerial sub-disciplines. The APT meets annually in conjunction with the AAR and biennially for a comprehensive conference. APT meetings at the AAR draw national and international scholars from a variety of disciplines (members of APT and non-members) and the biennial meeting allows for more in depth study of specific issues and the conduct of official business. The APT posts proceedings, membership information, and other news on its website and welcomes new members from all areas of religious and theological study.
Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions
Ada Taggar-Cohen, Director
The Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions (CISMOR), established in 2003, conducts comprehensive and interdisciplinary research and educational activities related to the monotheistic world. It fosters specialists who can help to achieve coexistence among different civilizations and at the same time makes the results of its research available to the world at large, with the goal of becoming a mediator between the Islamic, Judaic, and Christian worlds. Although, the three Abrahamic religions that originated in the Middle East–Judaism, Christianity, and Islam–are closely related as brothers, Western countries have a long history of repeated conflicts and antagonism with the Islamic world. In order to achieve peace, security, and the coexistence of civilizations in today’s world, we must undertake comprehensive and interdisciplinary educational and research activities from a civilizational perspective. CISMOR is unlike any other research institute in the world because it centralizes in-depth interdisciplinary research on all three Abrahamic religions and also because of its unique location in Japan, a country that is free of historical or cultural constraints on such studies, thus allowing the institute to take an entirely objective point of view. Research on Abrahamic religions is still a comparatively new field in Japan, and there is still a lot to be learned. By increasing our understanding of Abrahamic religions, we will at the same time contribute to a deeper understanding of Japanese religion. We try to find the way to contribute to reform the Abrahamic religions from the stand point of Japanese religiosity.
College Theology Society
Johann Vento, President
The College Theology Society is a non-profit professional society of college and university professors of religious studies and theology. Founded in 1954 as the Society for Catholic College Teachers of Sacred Doctrine, it adopted its current name in 1967. Each year, from the Thursday after Memorial Day to the following Sunday, the Society convenes its annual meeting at a college or university campus. From 1996 to the present, the at-large region of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion has convened its annual meeting in conjunction with the College Theology Society’s annual meeting. The College Theology Society also has a long history of scholarly publications. First, beginning in 1955, it has produced an annual volume based upon papers delivered at the annual meeting. Today the volume is composed of peer-reviewed essays and is published by Orbis Press. The Society’s peer-reviewed journal, Horizons, first appeared in 1974 and is currently published biannually through Cambridge University Press. Members receive a copy of the annual volume and Horizons as part of their dues. The College Theology Society remains committed to its role as a professional society that welcomes all those who serve as professors of theological and religious studies at colleges and universities.
Colloquium on Violence and Religion
Chelsea King, Sacred Heart University
The Colloquium on Violence and Religion is an international association of scholars founded in 1990. It is dedicated to the exploration, criticism, and development of René Girard’s mimetic model of the relationship between violence and religion in the genesis and maintenance of culture. In promoting research in mimetic theory, COV&R welcomes scholars and others from diverse fields and theoretical orientations who are interested in the foundational role of imitation in individual human lives and cultures. In addition to gathering at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, the Colloquium meets each summer, alternating between North American and European venues. COV&R’s publications include a website), a book series, Studies in Violence, Mimesis, and Culture, published by Michigan State University Press, the journal Contagion and a biannual newsletter, Bulletin of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion. The coordinator of COV&R at the AAR is Professor Grant Kaplan, Saint Louis University ([email protected]). View the COV&R membership information.
European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism
Henrik Bogdan, University of Gothenburg, Secretary
The European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE) was established in 2005 to advance the academic study of the various manifestations of Western esotericism from late antiquity to the present, and to secure the future development of the field. To these ends, the ESSWE holds an international conference every two years in a major European city, publishes an affiliated journal, Aries, a related book series, and a Newsletter (normally appearing twice a year), and provides various resources on its website. Occasional workshops, prizes and travel bursaries are also used to advance the ESSWE’s objectives. Full membership is open to scholars of Western Esotericism based at European institutions and to scholars based elsewhere who are interested in Western Esotericism in Europe, and non-voting associate membership is open to all. Membership provides free access to some of the ESSWE’s activities and discounted access to some other activities. Student members and scholars from economically disadvantaged countries receive further discounts.
Feminist Studies in Religion
Kathleen Gallagher Elkins, Secretary/Treasurer, JFSR Inc.
Feminist Studies in Religion, Inc. (FSR, Inc.) is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to foster feminist studies in religion in all of its variety and diversity. We understand “feminist studies in religion” to encompass global critical feminist work in religious studies, theology, and spirituality both inside and outside the academy and at the grassroots level. We seek to generate new feminist scholarship in religion and to create spaces for such scholarship to emerge. Founded in 1983, FSR, Inc. pioneered the development of feminist studies in religion as a field through its establishment and sponsorship of the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. More recently, we have expanded our work to include publishing books through our FSR Books series. We have also broadened our work in developing a dynamic website and providing other contexts and spaces in which feminists can come together to explore and develop new initiatives such as sponsoring conferences or the FSR Blog.
Anna Harrison, Programming
The Hagiography Society was founded in North America in 1990 to promote communication among scholars in the world traditions who study the lives of holy figures, the communities dedicated to those figures, and the textual and material evidence of their cults. We are committed to interdisciplinarity, critical scholarship, and a comparative global approach. For more information about our annual meeting and our other affiliations, as well as our book series, “Sanctity in Global Perspective."
Institute for American Religious and Philosophical Thought
Michael Raposa, President
The Institute for American Religious and Philosophical Thought is a community of productive scholars contributing to the academic study of religion and philosophy through interpretive, critical, and constructive reflections on distinctively American religious and philosophical thought. It fosters broad discussion through its sponsorship of conferences, seminars, workshops, and publications (including the American Journal of Theology & Philosophy). The work of the Institute emphasizes: (1) the interface between theology and philosophy, especially as shaped by American empiricist, naturalist, process and pragmatic traditions; (2) the development of liberal religious thought in America. For further information about IARPT, please visit our website. Our journal, The American Journal of Theology and Philosophy, publishes articles and reviews that make scholarly contributions to these areas of focus.
The Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS)
The Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS), founded in 1954, is an independent society of natural scientists, social scientists, philosophers, religion scholars, theologians, and others who seek to understand and reformulate the theory and practice of religion in the light of contemporary scientific knowledge. IRAS cultivates informed and respectful inquiry and dialogue at the intersections of science with religion, spirituality, and philosophy in service of global, societal, and personal well-being.
IRAS evolved from the ideas of two pioneer groups: scientists from the Committee on Science and Values of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an interfaith religious coalition that hoped to revitalize religion for today's needs. Members of both groups saw the battlefield of conflicting ideologies of religion and science as a place of opportunity for a constructive relationship to emerge.
In 1954 the original group held a seven-day conference on Star Island, New Hampshire. The October 1 issue of Science reported on the conference: “While there were a number of both scientists and clergy who held that religious truth was hardly susceptible of being approached by scientific beliefs, there was a strong recognition that today we can increase the scope and validity of our understanding of our destiny and our relationship to that ‘in which we live and move and have our being,’ not only by reading ancient texts, but also by building up the science of theology in harmony with other science." On November 9, 1954, members of the two groups established the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science to work toward these goals.
Since its founding, whether through its sponsorship of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, its annual weeklong summer conference, or more recently through its well-received webinar series, IRAS has sought to bring to life the vision its mission statement expresses: “IRAS cultivates informed and respectful inquiry and dialogue at the intersections of science with religion, spirituality and philosophy in service of global, societal and personal well-being.” For more information, or to join, visit the IRAS website.
International Association for the Cognitive and Evolutionary Sciences of Religion
Eva Kundtová Klocová, Secretary General
The International Association for the Cognitive and Evolutionary Sciences of Religion (IACESR) was founded in 2006. The IACESR is an interdisciplinary association, including scholars from a wide variety of disciplines in the human, social, natural and health sciences that are interested in the academic, scientific study of religious phenomena. The objective of the IACESR is to promote the cognitive and evolutionary sciences of religion through international collaboration of all scholars whose research has a bearing on the subject. The IACESR pursues this objective through a wide range of scholarly activities and venues such as biennial conferences, interim local meetings, the facilitation of research networks, and by directing the Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion.
International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies
Scott Mitchell, Treasurer
The International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies (IASBS) has as its aim the development of international Shin and Pure Land Buddhist studies and the facilitation of exchange among its members. IASBS was founded in the spring of 1982 by a group of scholars in Kyoto in response to the mounting international attention to Shin Buddhism. The members include not only academics, priests, and laypersons affiliated with Shin Buddhism but also those of other academic expertise and religious tradition. IASBS welcomes participation of those with a wide range of interests and specializations within and beyond Pure Land Buddhism. IASBS annually publishes The Pure Land, an academic journal in English that contains articles (many from papers presented at IASBS conferences), essays, translations, and book reviews. This is the only scholarly journal specifically dedicated to the study of Pure Land Buddhism. The association also publishes a newsletter twice a year, in the spring and fall.
International Bonhoeffer Society: English Language Section
Jennifer M. McBride, McCormick Theological Seminary, President
The International Bonhoeffer Society: English Language Section is an ecumenical scholarly organization. It was founded in 1971 to promote research in the theology, ethics, and life of the German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945). The English Language Section has members in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. It is governed by an elected board and society officers. Society membership is open to all persons interested in the theology, life, and spiritual influence of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and in constructive theological and pastoral studies inspired by his legacy.
International Society for Chinese Philosophy
Yong Huang, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Organizational Liaison
The International Society for Chinese Philosophy (ISCP) is a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of uniting persons affiliated with the study and research of Chinese Philosophy or interested in promoting the study and research of Chinese Philosophy in both academic and non-academic circles. By "Chinese Philosophy" is meant the whole philosophical tradition and heritage within the span of Chinese history and the spectrum of Chinese civilization. The term "Chinese Philosophy" also connotes the areas of logical, metaphysical, ethical, aesthetical, and epistemological thinking and reflection in reference to the Chinese philosophical tradition and heritage, Chinese language, Chinese society, and Chinese civilization. The society organizes and sponsors conferences and conference panels on Chinese philosophy. Its official journal is the Journal of Chinese Philosophy (Blackwell Publishers, Inc.). ISCP also sponsors and co-sponsors philosophical, educational, cultural or scientific activities in cooperation with educational, cultural, philosophical, or scientific institutions or organizations associated with the study and research of Chinese Philosophy.
International Society for Science and Religion
Michael Reiss, University College London, President
ISSR was established in 2002 for the promotion of education through inter-disciplinary learning and research in the fields of science and religion, conducted in an international and multi-faith context.
The International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC)
Elizabeth Allison, California Institute of Integral Studies, Secretary
The International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC) was established in 2005 to promote “critical, interdisciplinary inquiry into the relationships among human beings and their diverse cultures, environments, and religious beliefs and practices.”
Scholars from many disciplines are interested in how religion, spirituality, and cultural traditions interact with nature and the environment, and we seek to provide the network and infrastructure to support the interdisciplinary relationships necessary to this area of study. Since our founding, through the peer-reviewed Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture and at regular conferences, the Society has created a habitat for scholars from diverse disciplines and regions that nourishes the interdisciplinary opportunities, insights, and collaborative projects required for rigorous and exciting explorations of the evolving connections and transformations between environments and the religious dimensions of human cultures.
We believe that healthy scholarship, like a flourishing ecosystem, requires diversity. Our membership thus is home to a full spectrum of academic disciplines: from ethnobotany to theology, and from anthropology to zoology – anyone working at the nexus of religion, nature, and culture who finds their own silo of expertise too constraining. As a result, the excitement, enthusiasm, and effervescence that characterize our conferences have become a hallmark of our society and its collegiality.
If your work is drawing you into the field of interdisciplinary research at the intersection of religion, nature, and culture please visit our website for opportunities to participate in this dynamic conversation with like-minded scholars.
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies
Julia Liden, Program Coordinator and Rebecca Carter-Chand, Director, Program on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust
The Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum supports scholarship and publications in the field of Holocaust studies, promotes the growth of Holocaust studies at American universities, seeks to foster strong relationships between American and international scholars, and initiates programs to ensure the ongoing training of future generations of scholars specializing in the Holocaust. The Mandel Center accomplishes its mission through sponsorship of fellowship opportunities; seminars for teaching faculty at the college and university levels; research projects and publications; summer research workshops, conferences, lectures, and symposia; and the evaluation, collection, and making available of Holocaust-related archival materials. The Program on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust, an integral part of the Mandel Center, serves as a resource for individuals and groups grappling with the ethical and philosophical issues raised by the Holocaust and contemporary antisemitism, and through its panels, symposia, and workshops investigates the relationship of the Holocaust to the past history and future potential of Jewish/Christian relations. Please contact [email protected] for more information.
Karl Barth Society of North America
Paul Dafydd Jones, University of Virginia, and Cambria Kaltwasser, Northwestern College, Co-Presidents
Founded in 1972, the Karl Barth Society of North America (KBSNA) exists to encourage exploration of—and critical and constructive engagement with—the theological legacy of Karl Barth, one of the most important and influential figures in twentieth century Christian theology. The Society typically hosts two public sessions during the AAR/SBL meeting each year, with the first often scheduled on the Friday afternoon before the official start of the annual meeting. In addition, the Society works in close collaboration with the Center for Barth Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary to foster engagement with Karl Barth’s life and work. Membership is open to all those interested in and supportive of the Society’s aims and is secured by an inexpensive annual subscription; a discounted student rate is available. Enquiries can be directed to the Society’s general secretary, Philip Ziegler (University of Aberdeen, [email protected]).
La Comunidad of Hispanic Scholars
Lauren Frances Guerra, Loyola Marymount University, President, and Roberto Mata, Harvard University, Vice President
La Comunidad is an ecumenical association of Hispanic scholars of religion. La Comunidad proactively advances the interests and scholarship of Latinas and Latinos in biblical, theological, and religious studies. For more information, please contact Lauren Frances Guerra, [email protected], or Roberto Mata, [email protected].
K. Healan Gaston, Harvard University
The Niebuhr Society was organized in 2003 as a non-profit organization. “The Society is dedicated to historical, critical, and constructive study of the thought of Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) and … scholarly engagement with the moral, political, and theological questions that were central to his work. The Niebuhr Society serves these purposes through presentations and discussion at its annual meeting, dissemination of information about relevant programs and activities, and support for the collection, preservation, and publication of material related to Reinhold Niebuhr’s life and work …. The Society encourages participation by persons from a wide variety of religious backgrounds, academic disciplines, and political viewpoints and seeks to develop a program that reflects the breadth of Niebuhr’s interests and concerns.” Since its founding in 2003, the Society has expanded its purview to include all members of the Niebuhr family. It attracts a wide array of scholars who are committed to the value of thinking with the Niebuhrs, whether in concert, conflict, or both. The Society remains in contact not only through its annual meetings but also through occasional emails updating membership on recent developments in Niebuhr studies, and through our Society webpage.
North American Association for the Study of Religion
Craig Martin, President and Merinda Simmons, Vice President
The North American Association for the Study of Religion (NAASR) was founded in 1985 to encourage historical, comparative, structural, theoretical, and cognitive approaches to the study of religion; to represent North American scholars of religion at the international level; and to sustain communication between North American scholars and their international colleagues engaged in the study of religion. NAASR was affiliated to the IAHR at the XVIth congress in 1990. NAASR holds meetings concurrently with the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and has been a Related Scholarly Organization of the AAR since 1998. NAASR sponsors a quarterly journal published by Brill, Method & Theory in the Study of Religion (MTSR), which is the only international periodical devoted exclusively to methodological and theoretical topics in the academic study of religion. NAASR also sponsors a book series, Key Thinkers in the Study of Religion, which is published by Equinox.
North American Paul Tillich Society
Ilona Nord, University of Würzburg, President
Founded in 1975, the 250-member NAPTS is concerned with Paul Tillich's (1886-1965) philosophical-theological thought, with its analysis, critique, and revision; with the implications and the use of this thought in political, social, psychotherapeutic, scientific, artistic, and ethico-religious spheres; the application of Tillich’s thought to questions he himself could never have imagined in his lifetime; finally, with the impact and the creative extension of Tillich's legacy. The Society meets annually in conjunction with AAR, organizes international conferences, collaborates with the German, French speaking, and several other Tillich societies, awards an annual student paper prize, and sponsors publications. The quarterly Bulletin carries papers from meetings and other information on Tillich, publication, letters, et al. Dues $50/year. Membership: Frederick Parrella, Religious Studies, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA, 95053-0335 or [email protected].
Paul Lewis, Mercer University
The Polanyi Society, formed in 1972, includes in its membership scholars and students who, inspired by the thought of Michael Polanyi (1891-1976), seek to explore and expand upon his seminal ideas. A Hungarian by birth, Polanyi began his distinguished career as a physical chemist in Germany and England, but it is his later work in economics, social thought, and especially philosophy that continues to be influential today. Polanyi’s Gifford Lectures, Personal Knowledge, was a pioneer work demonstrating the contextual, theory-laden, faith-shaped, and passionate character of all human endeavors, including theology and religious practice as well as science and the arts. The Polanyi Society holds its Annual Meeting Friday evening and Saturday morning at the beginning of the AAR Annual Meeting. Papers to be discussed are posted prior to the meeting on the Society website. Archived copies and current issues of the Polanyi Society’s peer-reviewed journal, Tradition and Discovery (three issues a year), information about joining the Society, upcoming meetings, and links to Polanyi essays will be found on the website. Personal Knowledge is sub-titled “Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy,” and the Society invites all those who are interested in exploring postfoundational versions of epistemology, philosophy of religion, ethics, and theology to join with us. Polanyi’s notions of tacit knowing, heuristic passion, and conviviality are among the many contributions he makes to this ongoing venture.
Public Religion Research Institute
Melissa Deckman, CEO
Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to conducting independent research at the intersection of religion, culture, and public policy. Since its founding in 2009, PRRI’s mission has been to help journalists, scholars, pundits, thought leaders, clergy, and the general public better understand debates on public policy issues, and the important cultural and religious dynamics shaping American society and politics.
PRRI research has been cited in thousands of news stories and academic publications, and plays a leading role in deepening public understanding of the changing religious landscape and its role in shaping American politics. In addition to regular surveys conducted in partnership with The Atlantic and our annual flagship American Values Survey, PRRI conducts a number of major national surveys focused on a range of issues at the intersection of religion, values, and public life. Each year, the PRRI research team and a growing group of affiliated scholars also publish peer-reviewed articles based on our research in leading academic journals and books.
Société internationale d'études sur Alfred Loisy
C.J.T. Talar, University of St. Thomas, Houston
The Société is a non-profit association formed to foster study of the French exegete and scholar of religion, Alfred Loisy (1857-1940) and of the Roman Catholic Modernist movement in which he figured so prominently. It was formed to foster international communication and contact among scholars from a variety of disciplines as well as other interested parties whose work and interests bear upon issues that surfaced in the latter decades of the nineteenth century and remain of enduring religious significance.
Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy
Michiko Yusa, Western Washington University, AAR Program Chair
The SACP was established in 1967 as a nonprofit organization aimed at advancing the development of the disciplines of Asian and comparative philosophy in the international academic arena, and bringing together Asian and Western philosophers for a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas. It holds panels in conjunction with the American Philosophical Association, the Association of Asian Studies, and the American Academy of Religion. Annual individual membership dues for the SACP are $35 ($20 for students and professors emeriti) and include a subscription to the SACP Forum. The Society also sponsors a monograph series on specialized topics published by the University of Hawai'i Press. For more information about the SACP and about the Journal, Philosophy East and West.
Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies
Kristin Johnston Largen, United Lutheran Seminary
The Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies was founded in 1987 to provide an ongoing organization for those committed to study, reflection, interchange, and practice arising out of Buddhist-Christian encounters. The purposes of the Society are 1) To serve as a coordinating body supporting activities related to the comparative study of, and the practical interaction between, Buddhism and Christianity, by groups and individuals; 2) To encourage those who report on Buddhist-Christian dialogue and comparative study to employ analytical and theoretical tools and to set their discussion within the framework of our larger human history; 3) To be as inclusive as possible in all its activities, seeking a balance with regard to geography, ethnicity, age, sex, denomination or lineage, cultural tradition, and leadership in both academic and religion institutions, and in the public and private sectors. The Society meets annually in conjunction with the national AAR meeting, having its board meeting and a program session one day prior (Friday) to the start of the AAR schedule (Saturday), and an additional program session during the AAR conference proper. The Society publishes a scholarly journal, The Journal for Buddhist-Christian Studies (University of Hawaii) and a biannual newsletter. The Society’s website includes membership information, upcoming dialogue events, conference summaries, newsletters, and links.
Society for Comparative Research on Iconic and Performative Texts (SCRIPT)
James Watts, Secretary-Treasurer
The Society for Comparative Research on Iconic and Performative Texts (SCRIPT) was founded in 2010 to foster academic discourse about the social functions of books and texts that exceed their semantic meaning and interpretation, such as their display as cultural artifacts, their ritual use in religious and political ceremonies, their performance by recitation and theater, and their depiction in art. The society sponsors programming at existing regional and international scholarly meetings and at colleges and universities. We welcome new members and ideas for programs and venues to host them.
Society for Hindu-Christian Studies
Arun W. Jones, Emory University, Secretary
The Society for Hindu-Christian Studies was founded in November, 1994 as a logical extension to the dialogue and scholarship being carried on in the Hindu-Christian Studies Bulletin (now the Journal of Hindu Christian Studies), which first appeared in 1988 under its founding editor, Dr. Harold Coward. The society is dedicated to the study of Hinduism and Christianity and their interrelationships. It seeks to create a forum for the presentation of academic research and study for the fostering of dialogue and interreligious conversation, carried forward in a spirit of openness, respect, and true inquiry. Areas of scholarly investigation include history, anthropology, theology, textual and comparative studies, and any other fields pertinent to the study of religions. Committed to scholarly interchange according to accepted traditional and contemporary methods, the society understands its scope broadly, so as to include issues related to religious practice, spirituality, and education; it is interested in supporting activities related to the comparative study of Hinduism and Christianity. Our membership includes Christians interested in the study of Hinduism, Hindus interested in the study of Christianity, and scholars – Hindu, Christian, and other – interested in the historical and contemporary interactions of Hinduism and Christianity. The words “Hindu” and “Christian” in our name indicate the general scope of our society, but their use is not intended to overlook the diversity within the several traditions, nor to reduce them to simplistic essences, nor to posit them as two exactly parallel traditions conformed to a single standard of religion.
Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies
Paul Myhre, Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, Wabash College
SARTS is a community of scholars and artists who seek to understand the deepest levels of relationship between works of art and religious sensibility. Our focus is concrete aesthetic encounter with the arts and their religious, ethical and theological interpretation. While originating in the Christian traditions of theological reflection, we seek constructive conversation and critical inquiry that will make sense of a world of increasing cross-influences, both in art and among religious traditions. Through scholarly exchange we explore how art shapes human ways of being in the world. At the same time we explore how the study of art at the intersection of religious and theological traditions leads to artistic vision and to aesthetic modes of perception, practice, and thought. The Society is committed to the implications of these discussions for the teaching of theological and religious approaches to art, and for the nurturing of both recognized and emerging artists and scholars whose work will shape the future of theological and religious understandings of human existence.
Society for the Study of Chinese Religions
Gil Raz, Dartmouth College, President
The Society for the Study of Chinese Religions is an international non-profit scholarly society dedicated to the study of Chinese religion. We seek to promote the study of all forms of religious belief and practice in China (and in Chinese communities around the world) and to provide opportunities for the sharing of research and materials for publication and teaching, especially through our bi-annually published Journal of Chinese Religions. To learn more about SSCR and to become a member, access our website. Alternatively, send a check payable in U.S. dollars to the SSCR Treasurer: Dr. Ori Tavor, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania, 255 S. 36th Street, 847 Williams Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305; e-mail: [email protected].
Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality
Michael O’Sullivan, President, [email protected]
Shannon McAlister, Vice-President/President-Elect, [email protected]
Rachel Wheeler, University of Portland, Secretary/Treasurer, [email protected]
The Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality promotes research and dialogue within the community of people interested in spirituality. Formed in 1991, the SSCS is ecumenical and strives to be inclusive of the widest possible range of expressions of Christian spirituality. It is interdisciplinary and welcomes the application of diverse disciplines to the study of spirituality. While the emphasis of the SSCS is clearly on Christian spirituality, it seeks to foster creative dialogue with other traditions of spirituality. Although the Society is comprised of people from diverse, academically oriented communities, the SSCS also appeals to nonscholars such as pastors, practitioners, and those in the helping professions. For more information please contact Rachel Wheeler at [email protected].
Society for the Study of Japanese Religions
Pamela D. Winfield, PhD, Elon University
Heather Blair, Indiana University
The Society for the Study of Japanese Religions (SSJR) is an international association of approximately 200 scholars committed to the academic study of the religions of Japan. Membership is open to students and scholars of Japanese religions or related fields. In addition to the AAR, the Society is also affiliated with the Association for Asian Studies (AAS). The Society publishes newsletters in the fall and spring of each year notifying members of upcoming meeting schedules, recent member news, publications of interest, and so forth. In addition, the Society publishes an annual Supplement based on sponsored presentations at the AAR and AAS.
Søren Kierkegaard Society
Tom Millay, AAR Liaison, [email protected]
Founded by Robert L. Perkins in 1979, the Søren Kierkegaard Society (SKS) exists to encourage study and discussion of the thought of Søren Kierkegaard in all its dimensions and ramifications, including its sources, influences, and implications for contemporary thought. SKS is affiliated with the American Academy of Religion and the American Philosophical Association and usually holds a business meeting at the AAR, though sometimes at the APA. The Society normally host a dinner meeting on the Friday evening at the start of the AAR annual convention; this includes a distinguished guest speaker. The Society also normally organizes a session at the AAR, and encourages scholarship on Kierkegaard in connection with meetings of the AAR, SBL, and APA through an executive committee that includes members of both organizations. Membership in SKS is open to all who are interested in Kierkegaard, and we have members and speakers from around the world. An annual newsletter, a website, and emails inform members of calls for papers and upcoming programs. To join the SKS, please contact the Society's Secretary Treasurer, Joseph Westfall, University of Houston-Downtown, at [email protected].
Theta Alpha Kappa
Eric F. Mason, Judson University
Theta Alpha Kappa is the national honor society for religious studies and theology and is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies. Founded in 1976 at Manhattan College, the society has chartered more than 350 chapters in institutions ranging from small religiously affiliated colleges and seminaries to large public research universities. Theta Alpha Kappa exists to encourage, recognize, and promote student excellence in the academic study of religion and theology through its local chapters, multiple scholarship opportunities offered by the national organization, publication of student articles in Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa, and other national programs. For more information, visit the website, or contact [email protected].
Thomas F. Torrance Theological Fellowship
The Thomas F Torrance Theological Fellowship is a research organization devoted to the exploration, development, and dissemination of the theology of Thomas F. Torrance and other scholars contributing to this endeavor. Membership in the Fellowship is open to anyone interested in research in Torrance’s theology and related disciplines, who pays dues, and who is in agreement with our mission as stated above. We support free inquiry and critical examination of the many facets of theology and religion, especially as these relate to issues that concerned Torrance himself, such as the relationship between Science and Religion and how to interpret specific Christian doctrines and their implications for today. We seek to bring T. F. Torrance's important thinking into conversation with other significant theologians in an academic way so as to advance a better understanding of the nature of and meaning of contemporary Christian theology. Our website contains information about membership, meetings, the Board of Directors and about T. F. Torrance himself. An online peer reviewed journal, Participatio, edited by Todd Speidell, is published annually. At present we are planning to meet as an Additional Meeting at the AAR Annual Meeting on Friday afternoon. Please check our website for the most up-to-date information.
William James Society
Sami Pihlström, University of Helsinki
The William James Society (WJS) is a multidisciplinary professional society which supports the study of, and communication about, the life and work of William James (1842–1910) and his ongoing influence in the many fields to which he contributed. The William James Society was founded in 1999 by Randall Albright and quickly grew to include members from across the USA and around the world. In 2001, the Society ratified an organizational constitution, held its first annual meeting, and elected executive offices. For many years, WJS published the in-house newsletter and scholarly outlet Streams of William James. In 2006, the society shifted gears and began publishing the academic, peer reviewed, online journal William James Studies. Membership in the Society is open to anyone interested in issues related to the thought and character of William James, and joins you to a growing community of scholars and others with related academic interests.