[Skip to Content]

The purpose of the Sociology of Religion Unit of the American Academy of Religion is to generate cross-fertilization between the Sociology of Religion and Religious Studies. We are open to papers in all areas and therefore encourage submissions of any topic relevant to the sociology of religion. This year, we are particularly interested in the following topics:

• Topics related to the AAR presidential theme of religion, poverty, and inequality
• Topics related to Texas and borderlands (e.g., religion and politics, religious identity and voting patterns, Latinx and Asian migration, evangelical-Catholic interactions) [for possible co-sponsorship with Religion and Politics Unit]
• Sociology of religion in a time of crisis (Covid-19, Black Lives Matter, climate change, political division): could include effects on research methods, institutions, individuals
• Digital technologies, social media, and mediated religion (e.g., data collection, modes of research, religious use of technology, technology’s influence on religion)
• Transnational and comparative research (including modernization, migration, geopolitics, religious nationalisms, public sphere, etc.)
• The social construction of religio-racial identities and other intersectional identities
• The influence of funding sources and IRBs on research
• Quantitative research
• Method and theory in the sociology of religion


All proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria: a descriptive title; a clearly formulated argument; clearly identified methodology and sources; engagement with relevant secondary literature; explicit articulation of an original contribution to the field; relevance to our unit’s CFP; potential for co-sponsorships with other units. Further suggestions for AAR proposal writers can be found in Kecia Ali’s “Writing a Successful Annual Meeting Proposal.” Anonymity: Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during initial review, but visible prior to final acceptance or rejection.

Diversity and Inclusion:

Diversity and inclusion are core values of the Sociology of Religion Unit. For this reason, we encourage organizers of pre-formed panels to invite participants that are diverse in race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, age, religion, region, discipline, methodology, professional status, and type of institution. In addition, we especially welcome proposals that focus on communities that have been historically underrepresented, including African, Latinx, Asian, Indigenous, and non-Christian communities, as well as on regions outside North America and Europe. In panel and paper proposals, we also welcome a diversity of methodologies, including quantitative, qualitative, historical, and theoretical. When preparing your panel or roundtable proposal, please include the demographic data you provide to the AAR and explain how your panel’s participants instantiate diversity.


The Sociology of Religion Unit regularly co-sponsors panels with the peer-reviewed journal Critical Research on Religion (http://crr.sagepub.com), published by SAGE Publications. Presenters of promising papers in SOR panels may be invited to turn their papers into articles and submit them for peer review to CRR.


Mission Statement:

The Sociology of Religion Unit of the American Academy of Religion serves as a bridge between religious studies and the subdiscipline of sociology of religion. It functions as a two-way conduit not only to import sociological research into religious studies but also to export the research of religious studies into both the subdiscipline and the broader field of sociology. Only through a cross-fertilization transgressing departmental boundaries can there be breakthroughs in research in both fields. The unit has a wide conception of sociology of religion. It is open to a multiplicity of paradigms and methodologies utilized in the subfield and sociology more broadly: theoretical as well as empirical, quantitative, qualitative, and comparative-historical. By liaising with other Program Units, the Sociology of Religion Unit is able to bring the rich diversity of critical and analytical perspectives that are housed in the American Academy of Religion into mainstream sociology of religion. Conversely, it aims to provide scholars of the study of religion with a deeper understanding of the landscape of sociology of religion.

Method of Submission:




Elaine Howard Ecklund, ehe@rice.edu

Dusty Hoesly, hoesly@ucsb.edu


Steering Committee:

Tricia Bruce, triciabruce@gmail.com

Wendy Cadge, wcadge@brandeis.edu

Jonathan Calvillo, calvillo@bu.edu

Rebecca Catto, rcatto@kent.edu

Di Di, ddi@scu.edu

Amidu Elabo, amidu.elabo@ptsem.edu

Warren S. Goldstein, goldstein@criticaltheoryofreligion.org

Gustavo Morello, morellog@bc.edu


Session Allotment: Tier 2 – Two 2-hour sessions

Next Review: 2021