“Looking Backward – Looking Forward”

deadline for submissions: 
August 31, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Arc: Journal of the School of Religious Studies at McGill University
contact email: 

Call for Papers: “Looking Backward – Looking Forward”


The editors of Arc: Journal of the School of Religious Studies are pleased to announce a call for papers and book reviews for our forthcoming volume (Vol. 50). As the 50th anniversary of the journal presents a unique opportunity to think both retrospectively and prospectively, Arc is asking for submissions that engage with the theme of looking backward – looking forward.  


Transformations and interventions in theory, method, and practice, along with evolving and shifting dimensions of social, political, and cultural life, have marked both the study and experience of religion since Arc’s founding in 1973. Arc’s archives provide a rich sense both of past concerns, and of the imagined futures they shaped. We are inspired by the impulse of Joseph C. McLelland, the editor and Dean of the McGill University School of Religious Studies at the time of the 1978 issue, to locate the scope and demands of the study of religion within the “present imperative; future conditional.” How, for example, does past scholarship frame current analysis; and how, likewise, might we reimagine the possibility of future analysis via an intervention into those past conversations? We welcome reflections on the past, the future, and/or their generative possibilities for the present. 


The theme of looking forward – looking backward resonates across diverse and inter-disciplinary interactions with religion. Submissions are welcome from any area within the study of religion, including: Theology; Comparative Religions; Theory and Method; Philosophy of Religion; History of Religions; Sociology of Religion; Anthropology of Religion; Psychology of Religion; Religious Ethics; Critical Race Theory; Religion and Literature; Religion and Art; Religion and Linguistics; Religion and Health; Textual Studies. Submissions may focus on traditions from any time period or geographic area. General submissions that do not engage with the theme are also accepted.


The submission deadline for Vol. 50 is 31st August, 2022. Submissions received after this date may be considered for subsequent volumes. Articles should fall between 5,000 and 10,000 words in length, including footnotes. Longer items may be considered, but should be discussed with the journal editors prior to submission. Book reviews should not exceed 1,500 words. For detailed submission guidelines, please consult the Guidelines for Contributors (PDF) on our website (https://www.mcgill.ca/religiousstudies/research/publications). All electronic correspondence should be sent to the editors at the following email address: arc.relgstud@mcgill.ca


Arc is an interdisciplinary, refereed journal published annually by the School of Religious Studies, McGill University. The journal combines the talents of professors and graduate students in offering space for scholarly discussions on various aspects of the academic study of religion.