Western Region PDF-NOTE: Internet Explorer Users, right click the PDF Icon and choose [save target as] if you are experiencing problems with clicking. Print


Regional Coordinator:

Susan M. Maloney
4579 Ambrose Avenue #5
Los Angeles, CA 90027-1940
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Region's Website


This is just a gentle reminder that the Western Regional meeting is fast approaching! You can now register online.

March 24–26, 2012
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara, CA, USA

The AAR Western Region meets with the Society of Biblical Literature’s Pacific Coast Region. These two organizations make up the Western Commission for the Study of Religion (WECSOR). For details see http://www.wecsor.org/about.php.

Conference Theme: Sacred Texts, Sacred Communities

We invite members to explore sacred texts, both oral and written, as repositories for the "voice" of the sacred in religious communities around the world. Particular attention will be given to how community institutions — in their many forms and roles — exercise authority over texts, negotiate access to those texts, and ultimately shape the interpretation of oral or written sacred texts among adherents and outsiders alike.

In religious traditions and institutions, priest, imams, rabbis, monks, shamans, theologians, and judges, among others, are all charged as interpreters of sacred texts be they God’s eternal Word, the oral wisdom of the ancestors, or the transcribed sermons of an enlightened Master. How such institutions and figures take shape and claim special authority, distinct from other members of their religious communities, is a source of ongoing tensions, especially in the age of the Internet.

The growing availability of sacred texts, via the Internet or affordable printing technologies in multiple translations, has also meant that communities must deal with the interpretations of outsiders, which may be hostile to the community’s claims. How communities and their institutions maintain their authoritative positions in response to those challenges is an important area of study. In many cases, such interactions have proved to be catalysts for reform, sectarianism, or even violence.

Bruce Grelle, department of religious studies and the Public Education Resource Center, California State University, Chico, will give the AAR plenary address. He will speak on "Scholarship and Citizenship: Promoting Religious Literacy in Public Schools," a topic of growing importance in public education and an increasing focus of the AAR, both in the West and nationwide.

Print Your Own Program

Due to financial and environmental reasons, each registrant is responsible for his/her own program. It is very easy to print, or better yet, to download to your computer. Only those who register onsite at a higher registration rate will get a printed program. Additionally, a limited number of printed programs will be available onsite for those who wish to purchase them. There will be a $5.00 fee for these printed programs.

Sections at the Regional Annual Meeting

  • Buddhist Studies

  • Ecology and Religion

  • Education and Workshops

  • Ethics

  • Goddess Studies

  • History of Christianity

  • Indigenous Religions

  • Islamic Studies

  • Jewish Studies

  • Latino/a and Latin American (U.S.)

  • Nineteenth Century

  • Philosophy of Religion

  • Psychology, Culture, and Religion

  • Queer Studies in Religion

  • Religion and Social Sciences

  • Religion and the Arts

  • Religion in America

  • Religion, Literature, and Film

  • Religions in Asian America (Joint Session)

  • Religions of Asia

  • Womanist/Pan-African

  • Women and Religion

Caucus Events

Women's Caucus Workshop
Saturday, March 24, 2012
8:30 AM–1:00 PM

The theme for this year is "Living Texts" Celebrating Feminist Perspective and Theo/alogy, Authority, and the Sacred in the Academy." The workshop is $10.00 and includes lunch. If attending, you must select it as a choice during online regional meeting registration.

Preconference Event: QV Queer View Film Screening
Saturday, March 24, 2012
6:30 PM–11:00 PM

Reception from 6:30–7:30. Cost is $10.00. Contact John, QV Curator, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , to reserve a place at the reception.

Film screening from 7:30–11:00. Screenings of Johnny and Lyman and Contracorriente (Undertow), followed by a panel discussion. Screening is free and does not require a reservation.

Location: Arts Science Building #129

Queer Caucus Business Meeting
Sunday, March 25, 2012
8:30 PM–9:30 PM

This event includes food and will cost $10.00. If attending, you must select it as a choice during online regional meeting registration.

Location: Arts Science Building #135

Please note that the system for electronic submission of paper proposals is now closed.


This website contains archived issues of Religious Studies News published online from March 2010 to May 2013, and PDF versions of print editions published from Winter 2001 to October 2009.

This site also contains archived issues of Spotlight on Teaching (May 1999 to May 2013) and Spotlight on Theological Education (March 2007 to March 2013).

For current issues of RSN, beginning with the October 2013 issue, please see here.