AAR Japanese Relgions Group

American Academy of Religion Japanese Religions Group

The Japanese Religions Group is a forum for scholars of different disciplines, including textual, historical, anthropological, sociological, ritual, artistic, and other areas of study, using different methodological approaches, to present their research findings on various aspects and forms of Japanese religious life in the past and in the contemporary setting, within Japan and other areas of the world where these forms have been transplanted or have come to exert influence.



Asuka Sango (Carleton College)



Mark Rowe (McMaster University)



Steering Committee:

Heather Blair (Indiana University)



Michael Como (Columbia University)



Hank Glassman (Haverford College)



Bryan Lowe (Vanderbilt University)


Levi McLaughlin (North Carolina State University)


Jessica Starling (Lewis & Clark College)


2015 Call for Papers

The Japanese Religions Group invites panel and individual proposals related to all aspects of Japanese religious practice and thought, both historical and contemporary. For 2015, we welcome proposals relating to, but not confined by, the following topics: 1) Tourism and Travel, 2) Deployment of Non-Buddhist Motifs in Buddhist Representation, 3) Gendered Spaces/ Restriction of Women from Sacred Places, 4) Religion and Popular Culture, 5) The Culture of Writing and Textual Production in Medieval Japanese Buddhism, 6) Medicalization of Religious Practice, 7) Religion and Education, 8) Religion, Electoral Politics, and Law, 9) Religion and Sexuality (for potential co-sponsorship), 10) Selling or "Vending" Religion, 11) Women in Contemporary Japanese Religious Practice, 12) a potential quad-sponsored session with the American West, the Buddhism in the West, and North American Hinduism groups that examines the history and impact of Asian religions and the religions of Asian Americans in the Pacific Rim and the North American West, and 13) A joint panel with the Korean Religions Group on Religious Responses to Disaster. How do religious traditions, organizations, communities, and/or individuals respond to tragedies or calamities caused by such things as nature or the foibles of humanity? For example, religious groups have had to provide both meaning and charitable assistance in response to the earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan in 2011 and the Sewol Incident in Korea in 2014. How have religious traditions in these countries responded, helped individuals and families cope, and made meaning for their followers? Topics may also be drawn from earlier periods of Korean and Japanese history.

The JRG is also keenly interested in proposals for screening a film or documentary and then building a panel around discussions with the director. In submitting proposals, please follow the AAR guidelines carefully. Panel proposals should include a panel abstract and individual paper abstracts, to be submitted as a complete package by the panel organizer. Proposals that include explicit reflection on the study of religion more broadly are preferred. Creative formats - film, organized discussion, pre-circulated papers/texts, workshop, etc. - are encouraged.