[Skip to Content]

Call Text:

All proposals for both panels and papers are welcome and will be given careful consideration. We encourage panel organizers to take various forms of diversity into account, including race, gender, rank, kind of institution, region, etc., especially for presenters and respondents. For gender diversity, you can look for participants in the database Women in the Study of Asian Religions (http://libblogs.luc.edu/wisar/). Please feel free to direct any general questions about panel and paper submissions to the co-chairs.

If you wish to contribute to the following themes, please get in touch with the contact person attached to the theme:

Efficacy and Agency in Chinese Religions -- Gil Raz, gil.raz@dartmouth.edu

Superstition as a Category in Chinese Religions -- Katherine Alexander, katherine.alexander@colorado.edu

Chinese Religious Novels and Fictional Figures -- Chloe Starr, chloe.starr@yale.edu

Religious Diversity in Sichuan/Southwest China -- Elena Valussi, evalussi@luc.edu

Poverty, Misfortune, and Failure: Reflections on the Opacity of Karma -- Kate Hartmann, Catherine.Hartmann@uwyo.edu; and/or Brandon Dotson, dotson.brandon@gmail.com
The Buddhist doctrine of karma is often invoked to explain present misfortune. But individuals do not generally know their own karma, or what they might have done, whether in this life or a past life, that has led to current circumstances. In their paper "Narrative, Sub-ethics, and the Moral Life," Charles Hallisey and Anne Hansen refer to this idea as the opacity of karma. This panel takes up the Presidential Theme of “Religion, Poverty, and Inequality” by asking how Buddhists at various places and times have used ideas of karma in making sense of their difficult circumstances. How do they talk about their own karma, try to discern the causes for present situations, or reflect on how karma relates to poverty and misfortune generally? The panel asks, moreover, how these articulations of karma might reframe the way scholars think about or teach about karma. We welcome scholars specializing on Buddhism in any geographical area or time period. Depending on the level of interest, we may propose a panel in the Buddhism Unit, the Tibetan and Himalayan Religion, Chinese Religions Unit, or propose a co-sponsored panel.


Mission Statement:

This Unit is dedicated to the academic, comparative study of Chinese religions in all forms, both historical and contemporary. The Unit makes every effort to recognize Chinese voices in religious practice as well as scholarship, and applies rigorous standards of linguistic, cultural, historical, and social-scientific understanding to the study of religion in China.

Method of Submission:




Rongdao Lai, rongdao.lai@mcgill.ca

Anna Sun, annasun1754@gmail.com


Steering Committee:

Katherine Alexander, katherine.alexander@colorado.edu

Stephanie Lynn Balkwill, s.balkwill@uwinnipeg.ca

Elena Valussi, evalussi@luc.edu

Richard Wang, rwang1@ufl.edu

Wei Wu, wei.wu@emory.edu

Stuart Young, stuart.young@bucknell.edu


Session Allotment: Tier 3 – One 2-hour session and three 90-minute sessions

Next Review: 2023