Religion in Southeast Asia Print

Call for Proposals

This Group invites both individual paper and panel proposals on the following two topics:

  • Change and religious culture in Southeast Asia — how changes in the social, economic, and political climate have elicited changes in the nature of religious culture in Southeast Asia. Please note that this topic in effect reverses a common way of talking about religious culture; i.e., we are not interested in how changes in religious culture prompt other changes in society. Instead, we are particularly interested to learn about shifts in religious belief and practice relative to the wider social, political, and economic dynamics that prompt them. Papers can address any society or sociopolitical grouping in Southeast Asia and topics can relate to any element of Southeast Asian religious culture
  • Media and religious culture in Southeast Asia and in Southeast Asian diasporas — for a cosponsored session with the Religion, Media, and Culture Group. What roles do various types of media — comedic performances, film, television shows, digital medias, comic books — play in the constitution of local, national, and transnational religious cultures among Southeast Asian communities? Papers that address this question about media and religious culture in light of such topics as performative content, employment of tradition, use or development of new sources, the construction of authority, and institutional aspects of state and local control would be welcome


Situated at the nexus of several civilizational influences — including Indian, Chinese and Middle Eastern — Southeast Asia, as a region, remains understudied in terms of its relevance to the theoretical and methodological study of religion. This neglect is in part due to the tendency to reduce Southeast Asian religious systems to the named “world religions,” often identified with other regions. As a result, indigenous practices are not viewed in terms of their conceptual and other linkages, and in some cases the dynamic interactions between those practices and the religious practices brought over by different classes of immigrants are frequently overlooked. However, and especially in the last fifteen years, exciting materials addressing different religious cultures in Southeast Asia have emerged. Hitherto, there has been little scholarly conversation at the AAR on Southeast Asia. And, perhaps even less commonly, are Southeast Asian religious cultures (e.g., Buddhist, Islamic, Christian, Hindu, “animist,” Chinese, and Pacific) put into conversation with one another. In light of this need in the field, we strive to provide a context for this conversation as well as to foster critical thinking about Southeast Asia as a region.

Anonymity of Review Process

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


Vivienne Angeles
La Salle University
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Jason Carbine
Whittier College
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Method of Submission