In ritual, histories are made present, identity is conferred, community is constituted. Rituals mark life—births, deaths, and milestones in between. They connect some to the gods, send others to the Pure Land, and cast out devils and demons. Ritual remains one of the more enigmatic categories in the study of religion. Choices abound in defining, categorizing, and describing ritual and ritual spaces. Where do rituals happen, or not? What are the defining characteristics of “ritual”? Must religious traditions be inherently ritualistic? Do rituals abound outside of religious conceptions? What are the results of removing rituals from the traditional contexts? These considerations can be seen in a new light given the Western decline of institutional religion and its attending rituals.
How are rituals operative for religious communities today? What questions are raised, refocused, or answered in ritual encounters across religious boundaries? How do rituals mark—or subvert—insiders and outsiders, participants and observers? In what ways are memories handed down through ritual to communities of religious traditions?
Engaging Particularities XVIII invites scholars working in the fields of comparative theology, interreligious dialogue, theology of religions, religious studies, and missiology, to submit comparative proposals that consider the place of ritual in our world today, paying particular attention to the role rituals play in the formation of our identities, both personally and communally.
We also invite proposals on critical issues and themes from various disciplinary perspectives (such as but not limited to ethics, systematics, historical studies, biblical studies, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, etc.) in four areas: comparative theology, interreligious dialogue, theology of religions, and missiology.
To submit a proposal, please email an abstract of no more than 250 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 31, 2019. Please indicate whether you are submitting for the special focus or general call, and include your contact information, institution, and program. Funds are available on a limited basis for participants to help supplement travel expenses. For more information, please contact the Conference Director, Katie Mahowski Mylroie at email@example.com.