Call For Papers: Asian American Religious Studies - AAR Western Region

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Asian American Religious Studies Unit: American Academy of Religion – Western Region
contact email: 

The Asian American Religious Studies Unit (AARSU) is inviting scholars of religion to attend the coming American Academy of Religion – Western Region’s (AAR-WR) Annual Conference 2022, which be held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) on March 18-20, 2022.

We are inviting scholars of all levels to join and participate in AARSU’s discussions. Following the main theme for the conference, AARSU’s theme is Religion and Asian American Hate: Reconciliation, Healing, and Forgiveness.

 Our Call for Papers:

The year 2020 has been a difficult year for many Americans due to the global coronavirus pandemic, as well as some significant events that captured intense moments of racial, social, political, and economic injustices. The Asian American community is no exception to these sufferings due to strong feelings of animosity against them. Asian American hate is not new in the US but the recent pandemic, compounded by the explicit racialization of the virus, has reignited anti-Asian sentiments causing an upsurge of incidents. Experiences of violence caused many Asian Americans to feel threatened. In addition, Asian American businesses have been hit especially hard during the pandemic, giving rise to economic hardship.

 However, many are looking to move past the year 2020 in search of renewed hope. This year’s conference theme pays attention to healing and atonement, and the role that religion and religious studies play in helping us to better understand the creative, ritualistic, and social action demonstrated by Asian American religious communities through unity, compassion, reconciliation, and forgiveness. By examining how these concepts are related to Asian American religious traditions and communities, we will develop a deeper understanding of how Asian Americans will be able to move forward with a unified front.

 A common understanding of forgiveness is that it calls for the renouncement of particular negative emotions towards the wrongdoer, as well as the restraint for retaliation against the wrongdoer, and sometimes even mending the relationship with the wrongdoer. As people become more aware of racial injustice and Asian American hate during these past months, how has this affected Asian American communities? Does it draw them closer to forgiveness? What role do religious traditions and institutions play in moving towards forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation? What does religion teach about forgiveness and how is this essential to religious discourse? When is one in a position to forgive a wrongdoer? What norms govern forgiveness? If hate and injustice have long been part of Asian American history, would forgiveness (and/or forgetting) be possible? What follows forgiveness once it has been attained– where do we go from there? How is forgiveness a performative ritual and how does it affect one’s spirituality?

Please submit abstracts (250 words) to The deadline for submission is on October 31, 2021. All participants must submit a Program Participant Form (attached). Participants at AARWR must be members of the AAR. The AAR membership information is found here:

 Thank you and we look forward to receiving your proposals.



 Shannon Toribio

Unit Chair

Asian American Religious Studies Unit