Law, Religion, and Culture Print

Call for Proposals

This Group invites individual paper, papers session, and roundtable panel proposals, including author-meets-reader sessions, on any aspect of the cultural, historical, critical, and comparative study of the intersections of law and religion, including legal categories in religious traditions, the treatment of religion within legal traditions, human rights, and freedom of religion and belief. We especially welcome submissions on the following themes:

  • State/legal moderation and management of religious diversity and conflict

  • Comparative formations of religious freedom in various times and places

  • The conflicts between such formations of religious freedom and other human rights

  • Situations of legal pluralism as a point of departure for reflections on law, religion, and culture. In many colonial contexts, European systems of law were not just introduced in place of existing legal practices, but functioned alongside them or sought to encompass them. In many states today, legal pluralism is often accommodated under the rubrics of “religious law” or “personal law.” What do such pluralist situations have to teach about the cultural limits of the language of religion or about the varied ramifications for local or global politics of invoking the religious/secular divide?

  • For a cosponsored session with the Native Traditions in the Americas Group, we particularly invite proposals on indigenous religious and legal traditions. Topics might include the significance of First Nations traditions for land claims, the fraught relationship between indigenous traditions and Western constructs of law and religion, or comparative work on the status of indigenous law in the United States, Canada, and Mexico


This Group is interested in the cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and comparative studies of the interrelationships of law and religion. The terms “law” and “religion” are broadly conceptualized and our interests have extended to include ancient and contemporary contexts and a wide variety of critical approaches. We hope to instigate consideration of religion and law issues at the AAR beyond issues concerning religious freedom and the United States Constitution.

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.


Kathleen M. Sands
University of Hawai’i, Manoa
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Tisa Wenger
Yale University
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Method of Submission