AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE STUDY OF RELIGION

AASR

2019 CONFERENCE

Conference Theme: Religion and Violence

The 2019 AASR conference will be held from December 5-6 at the city campus of the University of Newcastle, co-hosted by the AASR, the Centre for the Study of Violence and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Conference Theme

We invite scholarly reflections on the complex and diverse relations between religion and violence, incorporating counter discourses of peace and social justice.

The relationship between religion and violence continues to be contentious and marked by significant changes in global and domestic politics including humanitarian crises, displaced peoples particularly asylum seekers, the rise and fall of extremist religious movements, the status of hate speech, the role of social media and the ongoing threat of religious terrorism.  

These major upheavals, particularly the claims to religious authority and legitimacy through violent means, have led to a growth in collective anxiety threatening global and local security.  Religious violence can be direct and institutional; aimed against individuals or groups; administered by the state or by non-state actors; material and symbolic.

A counterpoint is provided by religiously-motivated peace and social justice movements, including those for welcoming religiously-diverse refugees and migrants, interfaith initiatives and movements for gender and sexuality equality and animal rights. For example, values of religious diversity, social solidarity and pluralism have been notable in responding to recent expressions of violence including the events in Christchurch in March 2019 and provide notable moments of hope in moving towards religious diversity as a global value.

The conference invites papers engaging these issues from relevant disciplines including religious studies, politics, history, philosophy, law, theology, sociology and anthropology, social work, criminology, gender and women’s studies and education. Of particular interest are contributions examining:

·         the relationship between religious identity and violent extremism

·         state management of religious violence including the regulation of social media and hate speech

·         state perpetration of religious violence

·         perceptions and constructions of religious violence

·         theoretical approaches to the meaning of religious violence including examples of scapegoating and symbolic forms of violence

·         the relationship between gender, sexuality, religion and violence with particular attention to current issues of clergy abuse and domestic violence

·         representations of religious violence in popular culture

·         race, ethnicity, otherness and religious violence

·         religion and animal rights

·         religious movements for peace and social cohesion

How to Submit

Send proposals to the conference convenor Kathleen McPhillips: Kathleen.mcphillips@newcastle.edu.au


Please include Title, Author, Abstract (maximum 150 words) and university affiliation by 1st August 2019.

We are particularly interested in panel proposals on the conference theme, which must include no more than 4 panel members with a theme, paper titles, abstracts and authors.

Confirmations of acceptance will be sent by 1st September 2019. Late papers will not be considered.

Membership

Please note: submissions will only be considered if authors are members of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion.

For membership please visit the AASR website https://www.aasr.org.au/join-us. Members of NZASR do not need to also have AASR membership.

Conference Venue

The University of Newcastle is Australia’s leading regional university and has a record of global excellence in enquiry and engagement. The School of Humanities and Social Sciences supports the interdisciplinary study of religion including via the Centre for the History of Violence, where researchers work on projects across a breadth of themes including religion. The University’s city campus– Newspace – is located in the centre of the business district close to transport, accommodation, the harbour, beaches and the entertainment area. See https://www.newcastle.edu.au/about-uon/our-environments/new-space

Newcastle is located 2 hours north of Sydney and is easily accessible by road, air and train.  Transport to and from Newcastle airport provides easy access into the city and hosts international flights, including direct flights from Auckland and most major Australian cities.