Home Annual Meeting Call for Papers Groups Religions, Medicines, and Healing
January 2012

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Call for Proposals

This Group invites papers on topics related to the intersection of religious traditions, rituals, philosophies, and healing. In particular, we invite paper proposals on the following topics:

  • For a possible cosponsored session with the Body and Religion Group — the ideal/ized body, not limited to material bodies, as goal or problem, and practices for achieving wholeness, healing, or control in nonideal bodies
  • Immigration, religion, and the migration of healing practices — how do religiously-informed healing practices migrate across borders with or without the communities in which they develop and have meaning?
  • Interrogating PTSD through religious studies lenses — how do cultural and religious constructions of suffering and healing challenge psychological and biomedical responses to a range of past and ongoing violent situations?


The study of religions, medicines, and healing is a growing field within religious studies that draws on the disciplines and scholarship of history, anthropology (particularly medical anthropology), phenomenology, psychology, sociology, ethnic studies, ritual studies, gender studies, theology, political and economic theory, public health, bioscientific epidemiology, history of science, comparative religion, and other interdisciplinary approaches, to interpret meanings assigned to illness, affliction, and suffering; healing, health, and wellbeing; healing systems and traditions, their interactions, and the factors that influence them; and related topics and issues. As a broad area of inquiry, this field incorporates diverse theoretical orientations and methodological strategies in order to develop theories and methods specific to the study of illness, health, healing, and associated social relations from religious studies perspectives. Although religious texts serve as important resources in this endeavor, so do the many approaches to the study of lived religion, religious embodiment and material culture, and popular expressions of religiosity. Finally, like its sister field of medical anthropology, the field of religions, medicines, and healing encourages examination of how affliction and healing affect social bodies through fractured identities, political divides, structural violence, and colonialism. We support the work of graduate students, religion scholars, scholar-activists, and scholars in allied fields. We promote collaboration with other interdisciplinary Program Units and those focused on particular traditions and/or regions.

Anonymity of Review Process

Proposals are anonymous to Chairs and steering committee members until after final acceptance/rejection.


Lance D. Laird
Boston University
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Stephanie Y. Mitchem
University of South Carolina
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Method of Submission


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