2021 Virtual Events

Virtual 2021 Pre-Conference Panels

These exciting pre-conference panels will kick-off the 2021 SSSR annual meeting theme, Global and Comparative Perspectives on Religion.

American Christianity and the Legacy of White Supremacy 

Friday, February 12 

This panel will feature presentations and a conversation among three eminent scholars of religion who have each written a recent cutting-edge book on American Christianity and its racial legacy. 

Robert P. Jones, PRRI, is the author of White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity (2020), Anthea Butler, University of Pennsylvania, is the author of White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America (February 2021), and Khyati Joshi, Farleigh Dickinson University, is the author of White Christian Privilege: The Illusion of Religious Equality in America (2020). 

Faith Among Black Americans

Friday, March 12 

The new Pew Research Center study Faith among Black Americans examines a wide range of religious experiences, including congregational life, personal religious beliefs and practices, and the role of religious beliefs and institutions in public life. With over 8,000 Black American respondents, the survey is large enough to examine the rich diversity of Black religious experiences, including African immigrants, Black Catholics, young adults, religious unaffiliated Black Americans, as well as partisan and gender differences. In addition, the study incorporated focus groups and interviews with clergy to offer more depth and nuance to the findings.

R. Khari Brown, PhD, SSSR President-Elect and associate professor of sociology at Wayne State University


Besheer Mohamed, PhD, senior researcher at Pew Research Center and the lead researcher of the project

Kiana Cox, PhD, research associate at Pew Research Center focusing on race and religion

Ryon Cobb, PhD, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Georgia

F. Willis Johnson, DMin, fellow at Bridge Alliance Foundation and Walker Leadership Institute, Eden Seminary; adjunct faculty at Methodist Theological School of Ohio and pastor of Living Tree Church (Columbus, OH)

Global and Transnational Perspectives on Religion

Friday, April 9

The third pre-conference panel showcases the global links and transnational connections of religions in the U.S. 

Stephen Offutt, Asbury Theological Seminary, discusses the movement of the center of gravity of Christianity to the global South, as well as the connection between U.S. Christians and Christianity in the global South. 

Jacob Olupona, Harvard University, traces the connections between African immigrant religion in the U.S. and Africa, and the ‘reverse missionary’ phenomenon (Christian missionaries from the global South, in this case Africa, coming to the U.S. to spread Christianity). 

Bandana Purkayastha, University of Connecticut, focuses on transnational Hinduism and the links between India and the U.S. and Nazli Kibria, Boston University, examines connections between South Asian Islam and South Asian Muslims in the U.S. Both will also discuss what these religious links mean for communities in South Asia and in the U.S. 

2020 Events

Friday, October 23

10:00 am Eastern Time (GMT – 4:00)

Religion and Spirituality in a Frightening World: A Conversation with Rabbi Hazzan Jeffrey Myers

Jeffrey S. Myers is the Rabbi of Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. A teacher, scholar, and accomplished musician, he is ordained as both a rabbi and a cantor (hazzan) in the Conservative Jewish tradition. Ever since a gunman murdered 11 people during Shabbat morning services at his congregation, he has been an embodiment of how faith, love, and inclusion can defeat hate. SSSR President Laura Olson will speak with Rabbi Hazzan Myers about how religion helps individuals, groups, and societies confront terrifying circumstances.

Friday, October 30

2:30 pm Eastern Time (GMT – 4:00)

Religion, Race, and the Struggle for Justice: A Conversation with Rev. Dr. Nichole R. Phillips

A Joint Presentation of the SSSR and the Religious Research Association

Nichole R. Phillips is Associate Professor in the Practice of Sociology of Religion and Culture, and Director of Black Church Studies, at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Her scholarship treats religion, critical race, gender, and cultural memory studies. She is the author of Patriotism Black and White: The Color of American Exceptionalism (Baylor University Press 2018). RRA President Patricia Wittberg and SSSR President Laura Olson will speak with Dr. Phillips about how religion might help the United States confront and repair its long history of racial injustice.

Friday, November 6

2:30 pm Eastern Time (GMT – 5:00)

Religion and the 2020 U.S Presidential Election: A Panel Discussion

On the first Friday after the 2020 U.S. presidential election, SSSR President Laura Olson convened a panel of three expert analysts to discuss the ways in which religion affected the election’s outcome and how it might shape the political road ahead. Panelists include Michele Margolis, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania; Gerardo Martí, L. Richardson King Professor of Sociology at Davidson College; and Elizabeth Podrebarac Sciupac, Senior Researcher at the Pew Research Center.

Friday, November 13

2:30 pm Eastern Time (GMT – 5:00)

2020 Student Paper Award

2020 Distinguished Article Award

2020 Distinguished Book Award