2021 Conference

Living Rituals through Memory, Language, and Identity

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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.

General Call: 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.

Keynote

Virtual and open to public. Detailed information will be available soon.