2022 Call for Papers
Religion, Racial Unrest and Pandemics

Society for the Scientific Study of Religion

Call for Papers

November 11-13, 2022 | Renaissance Baltimore Harbor Place Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland USA

As of January 14, 2022, the global coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 846,000 Americans and over 5.52 million worldwide and contributed to a worldwide recession. Racial-group membership determines who is most at risk to exposure and dying from COVID. In the USA and globally, concerns about surviving the pandemic coincide with increased awareness and worry about the police’s disproportionate use of lethal force against citizens of African descent in countries such as the United States, Columbia, France, and Great Britain.

A deep concern for the public health and the safety of socially vulnerable people is leading religious leaders and laity to participate in social forums and protest marches and to contact elected officials placing a high priority on the social welfare, health, and safety of communities. There is evidence of increased online Zoom congregational meetings about racial tolerance, friendships across racial and ethnic lines, as well what must be done to eradicate racialized policing and surveillance. Moreover, multinational entities such as the United Nations, Target, General Motors, the World Council of Churches, and the U.S. Department of State are publicly avowing to support anti-racism policies.

The SSSR encourages proposals for its 2022 Annual Meeting that examine the role that religion plays in the positions that individuals and groups take on these and other quality of life issues in the USA and globally. We also encourage proposals that examine the degree to which religion influences individual and collective behaviors in response to these issues. We are particularly interested in how race, class, citizenship, and nationality determine the saliency of religion to how individuals think and respond to the pandemic, anti-Black police violence, and other quality of life issues. We, of course, also welcome proposals on any topic on the scientific study of religion.

Please direct all inquiries to the SSSR 2022 Program Chairs: Paul Djupe, Denison University, and Amy Erica Smith, Iowa State University at program@sssreligion.org

Religious Research Association

Call for Papers

The theme of the SSSR+RRA annual meeting is Religion, Racial Unrest, and Pandemics. We enter 2022 still amid a global pandemic and social unrest in countries around the world. Religious communities worldwide are being called upon to respond to these challenges. The RRA encourages paper and panel submissions to the annual meeting that highlight congregational and faith-based responses to the ongoing realities of our time.

Many religious traditions maintain commitments to serve marginalized and underprivileged populations, and these times of significant social upheaval highlight the particular challenges faced by these members of society. The RRA call for papers encourages proposals that specifically consider the ways that religious communities – both leadership and members – are responding to these continued times of unrest, with special attention on those most impacted by extant racial, socioeconomic, and health disparities. More broadly, we are interested in understanding how religious communities are adapting to our changing social environments and the extent to which they understand themselves as having a role to play in the lives of those on the margins.

Presentations and panel sessions are welcome at this meeting on all topics related to the social dimensions of religion and particularly on topics related to applied and organizational aspects of religion that reflect the traditional applied research focus of the RRA. In addition to sharing research findings, this call also encourages presenters to share experiences, strategies, and best practices in disseminating research to applied audiences. Please submit individual paper proposals, author-meets-critics session, and full session proposals through the online portal at www.sssreligion.org, choosing the RRA option on the submission form.

For more information or with questions, please contact the RRA Program Chair, Cory Anderson, at dranderson@amishstudies.org.

SSSR+RRA Submission Information

Please submit individual papers, panels, and author-meets-critics proposals through the online portal at www.sssreligion.org, choosing either SSSR or RRA (for applied research).

Submissions Open: January 15, 2022

Submissions Close: April 15, 2022

Decision Notification: May 15, 2022

Submit Your Proposal

Submit an Individual Paper Proposal      Submit a Session Proposal      Submit an Author Meets Critics Proposal


The annual meeting will include paper sessions, author meets critics panels, and roundtable sessions. Paper sessions comprise three to four papers and may be proposed as a complete session. Individual paper proposals are built into sessions by the program chairs. Author meets critics panels include the author(s) of a recent book and three to four panelists. Roundtable sessions may be submitted as individual papers or as a complete session.

When submitting your annual meeting proposal, you will need to indicate your preference of format for your paper or session. You will choose from the following options:

Meeting Room: three or four presentations given in a meeting room with seating for thirty people, a projector, and screen.

Roundtable: three presentations given around an eight-to-ten-person table, allowing for in-depth discussions of research.

No Preference: your presentation would work just as well in a meeting room or roundtable format.