Home Annual Meeting Call for Papers Groups Comparative Approaches to Religion and Violence
January 2013

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Call for Proposals

This Group provides a forum for interdisciplinary and comparative analyses of religion and violence. We are interested in individual papers, papers session, and roundtable proposals on the following themes:

  • Cognitive scientific approaches to religion and violence

  • Comparative Muslim–Christian violence — are there parallels between the ways Muslims and Christians justify and perform violence?

  • Sexual ritual violence — what role does ritual play in domestic and sexual violence, hate crimes, and sexual assault?

  • Religiously justified violence as performative — in what ways is religiously motivated violence or rhetoric of religious violence crafted for audiences?

  • Religion, violence, and social change — what role does religiously influenced violence have on pivotal societal changes such as de/postcolonialism, the Arab Spring, religious militias, or race relations

  • For a possible cosponsored session with the Cognitive Science of Religion Group, religion and conflict

  • Aspects of a single material theme with mixed methods and/or scale falling within our program mandate


Since the end of the Cold War, acts of religiously motivated violence have become prominent worldwide. Academics from various disciplines have attempted to account for these incidents, noting a resurgence of anticolonialism, poverty and economic injustice, the failures of secular nationalism, uprootedness and the loss of a homeland, and the pervasive features of globalization in its economic, political, social, and cultural forms. Yet the religious narratives that motivate these violent actors are too conspicuous to be ignored. Today, scholars no longer debate whether people’s use of religion has a role in violence; rather, the discussion has turned to what kind of role it plays, and how this role affects the nature and scale of the conflict. This Group contends that the theories, methodologies, and scales for studying the expanding field of religion and violence remain underexplored and require interdisciplinary work and collaboration to provide greater insights into the thorny issues involved. The sociology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, evolutionary psychology, cognitive science, economics, and political science of religion all have provided great insights into the nature of religion and violence over the last few decades and all are arguably interdisciplinary by nature. This Group provides a venue devoted specifically to interdisciplinary discussions of the subject. We hope to channel and enhance contributions from the historically delineated (albeit constructed) humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences. In that vein, we hope to hear papers presenting cross-disciplinary dialogue and research on the topic of religion and violence.

Anonymity of Review Process

Proposer names are anonymous to Chairs and Steering Committee members during review, but visible to Chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection.


Michael Jerryson
Eckerd College
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Margo Kitts
Hawai’i Pacific University
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Method of Submission


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