2021 Call for Papers
Global and Comparative Perspectives on Religion

October 22-24, 2021 | Hilton Portland Downtown Hotel, Portland, Oregon USA

Following on the 2019 SSSR strategic plan and recent world events including the Covid-19 pandemic and the mobilization around racism and state-sanctioned violence in many countries around the world, this year’s call for papers invites scholars to think about the global nature of religion and its implications for their research. Religion has always been global— religious communities, traditions, beliefs, and ideas move, shift, and interact with one another around the globe. How does the global nature of religion shape and impact its local manifestations, including religious institutions, leaders and members, lived religion, social movements, religion, culture, politics etc.? How does the power and the resources of religious institutions and religious communities in “core” countries influence religions, social institutions and inequalities in other parts of the world? How does large scale international migration and the transnational involvements of immigrants affect religion in receiving and sending countries?  And in this current moment, what role do religion and religious institutions play during a global pandemic and civil unrest that cuts across borders?

We also encourage studies that examine religion in a comparative framework across religious traditions. Does the social scientific study of religion rest on paradigms and frameworks that better fit some types of religion (e.g., White Christianity) than others? How does examining religion from a comparative perspective spur us to rethink the categories and assumptions of religion that we may have been working with?

We particularly solicit papers and panels that address the global nature of religion or approach religion from a comparative perspective, but proposals on any topic in the scientific study of religion are also welcome.    

Submissions Open: February 1, 2021

Submissions Close: March 31, 2021

Decision Notification: April 30, 2021

Please submit individual papers, panels, and author-meets-critics proposals through the online portal at www.sssreligion.org, choosing the SSSR option on the submission form.

Please direct all inquiries to the SSSR 2021 Program Chairs: Andrea K. Henderson (Department of Sociology, University of South Carolina) and Aida I. Ramos (Department of Social Work, Sociology, and Criminal Justice, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor) at program@sssreligion.org


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.