AAR 2020 | Islamic Studies Panels

As a resource for our readers, the Maydan presents panel, session, paper, and other events/reception information related to Islamic Studies at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting 2020, taking place virtually between Sunday November 29- Thursday, December 10, 2020.

You can find the online program book here, and a PDF version of the complete program book here. Although we have done our best to be comprehensive, we are sure we may have missed some very cool sessions/panels / other events. Please do let us know by emailing publish@themaydan.com and we will update the 2020 resource.

Sunday, November 29

Monday, November 30

Tuesday, December 1

Wednesday, December 2

Thursday, December 3

Monday, December 7

Tuesday, December 8

Wednesday, December 9

Thursday, December 10

Sunday, November 29

Tour: Mapping Malcolm’s Boston

A29-214 Sunday, November 29, 2:00 PM–3:00 PM

Kayla Renée Wheeler, Xavier University, Presiding

This presentation will provide a virtual tour of my digital humanities project, Mapping Malcolm’s Boston: Exploring the City that Made Malcolm X. Participants will be introduced to sites within the Greater Boston area that were important to Malcolm X’s political development between 1941 and 1953. Through showing what these sites looked like when Malcolm X was alive and what they look like now, I will discuss the role that gentrification and urban renewal has played in shaping Black Muslim life in Boston. This presentation will also provide participants with tips on how they can engage in digital humanities and incorporate it into their classrooms.

Monday, November 30


Religion, Memory, History Unit |Theme: Religion, Memory, and the State: Commemorating Power from Inquisition to Empire

Monday, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM

Tim Langille, Arizona State University, Presiding

Pamela Stevens, Graduate Theological Union | “Ghostly Effigies, Suspended Shame: Assemblages of Garments of Shame in Churches During the Spanish Inquisition”

Rubina Salikuddin, Bryn Mawr College | “Saintly Shrines in Timurid Iran and Central Asia: Issues of State, Religion, and Collective Memory”

Maayan Raveh, Hebrew University, Jerusalem |”Witness in the Holy Land: The Formation of the Palestinian-Christian Narrative”

Verena Meyer, Columbia University | “The Agency of Memory: Modernism, Traditionalism, and Islamic Graves in Java”

Business Meeting: Rachel Gross, San Francisco State University, and Tim Langille, Arizona State University, Presiding


Islamic Mysticism Unit | Theme: Theoretical Sufism and the Lived Human Experience

Monday, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM

Maria Massi Dakake, George Mason University, Presiding

Adam Tyson, University of California, Riverside |”Religious Pluralism and the Philosophy of Wahdat al-Wujud in Bedreddin’s Revolt”

Mohammed Rustom, New York University, Abu Dhabi | “Fallen in Love: ‘Ayn al-Qudat’s Satanology in Context

Arthur Schechter, University of Chicago | “Nearness to the Real: Sainthood as Ontological Proximity in the Thought of Dawūd al-Qayṣarī”

Elizabeth Sartell, University of Chicago | “The Letters of Creation in Judaism and Islam”

Kabira Masotta, Catholic University of Louvain | “Spiritual Anthropology of the Border in the First Ascetics of Islam”

Business Meeting: Cyrus Zargar, University of Central Florida, Presiding


Political Theology Unit | Theme: Political Theology and Imagination

Monday, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM

Inese Radzins, California State University, Stanislaus, Presiding

Maria Tedesco, Seattle University | “Embodying Islamic Political Theology: Towards a Theory of Theological Imaginary”

Travis LaCouter, University of Oxford | “To Speak with Scorched Tongues: Denise Levertov’s Revolutionary Theopoetics”

Joseph Harroff, Temple University | “Reimagining Cosmopolitanism with Tianxia 天下: A Pluralizing Confucian Political Theology”

Syeda Beena Butool, Florida State University | “Liberation Without Reform? Mawdudi’s God and the Theopolitics to Decolonize the Muslims of India”

Responding: | An Yountae, California State University, Northridge

Business Meeting:

Inese Radzins, California State University, Stanislaus, and David Newheiser, Australian Catholic University, Presiding

Tuesday, December 1


Contemporary Islam Unit | Theme: The Ethics of Critique and Care

Tuesday, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM

Kirsten Wesselhoeft, Vassar College, Presiding

Sayed Hassan Hussaini Akhlaq, Coppin State University | “The Islamic (Sunni-Shia) Unity and the Contemporary Mujtahids, (Case Study of Ayatollahs Mohseni and Salehi Najafabadi)”

Donohon Abdugafurova, Emory University | “Adab and Elder Care: Islamic Values of Elder Care in Central Asia”

Adel Hashemi, McMaster University | “Martyrdom, Messianism, and Sectarianism in the Contemporary Twelver Shi’ism: The Case of Martyred Shrine Defenders”

Iman AbdoulKarim, New York, NY | “Black Feminist Theory and Analyzing Contemporary Muslim Ethics on Race and Gender”

Business Meeting:

Zahra Ayubi, Dartmouth College, Noah Salomon, Carleton College, and Kayla Renée Wheeler, Xavier University, Presiding


Qur’an Unit | Theme: Issues in Qur’anic Interpretation

Tuesday, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM

Aisha (Ash) Geissinger, Carleton University, Presiding

Syed Zaidi, Emory University | ” The Use of the Qur’ān in the Brethren of Purity’s (Ikhwān al-Ṣafā’) Conception of Theurgy and Magic”

Zarif Rahman, University of Virginia | “Al-Māturidī’s Typology of Waḥī: Towards a Nuanced Understanding of a Central Islamic Term”

Younus Mirza, Shenandoah University | “Islamic Mary: Between Prophecy and Orthodoxy”

Business Meeting: Gordon D. Newby, Emory University, and Lauren Osborne, Whitman College, Presiding


Qur’an Unit | Theme: Boundaries and the Qur’an

Tuesday, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM

Lauren Osborne, Whitman College, Presiding

Johanne Louise Christiansen, University of Southern Denmark |”“I Would Just Light a Fire in my Backyard and Burn It” (Imām from Arab Mosque in Denmark, 2018): A Qualitative Study of the Material Qur’ān”

Pieter Coppens, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam | “Tafsīr and a Silent Print Revolution: Book Culture in Early 20th Century Damascus”

Shuaib Ally, University of Toronto | “Policing the Discipline in late 8th C Mamluk Cairo – Sirāj al-Dīn al-Bulqīnī and Qur’ānic Interpretation”

Omer Awass, American Islamic College | “The Quran and Its Structural Influences on Early Islamic Theological Discourse”


Religions, Medicines, and Healing Unit | Theme: Responding to COVID-19: A Comparative Religion & Healing Perspective

Tuesday, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM

Linda L. Barnes, Boston University, Presiding

Panelists: William McGrath, Manhattan College | Marcus Harvey, University of North Carolina, Asheville | Matilde Moros, Virginia Commonwealth University | Shin Kwon Kim, Ajou University Medical College | Amy DeRogatis, Michigan State University | Isaac Weiner, Ohio State University | Rahimjon Abdugafurov, Emory University


Asian North American Religion, Culture, and Society Unit and Women and Religion Unit | Theme: Asian and Asian American Women in Theology and Religion

Tuesday, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM

Grace Kao, Claremont School of Theology, Presiding

Panelists: Rita Brock, Volunteers of America | Su Yon Pak, Union Theological Seminary | Najeeba Syeed-Miller, Claremont School of Theology | Sharon A. Suh, Seattle University | Lisa Cunningham, Drew University


Kelly Brown Douglas, Episcopal Divinity School | Kwok Pui Lan, Emory University


Religion and Cities Unit | Theme: Emerging Scholarship in Religion and Cities

Tuesday, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM

Elise Edwards, Baylor University, Presiding

Fatimah Fanusie, Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies | “Mapping Islam and Justice onto the City of Boston: Mohammad’s Temple No. 11 and the Economic and Social Empowerment of 1948– 1998″

Joe Pettit, Morgan State University | “Blessing Oppression: The Support Given by Churches for Housing Apartheid and Racial Inequality”

Sher Afgan Tareen, Florida State University |”Rhythmanalysis of Cities and American Islam”

Christy Randazzo, Haddonfield Friends Meeting | “The Place of Reconciliation in Divided Cities: A Theological and Practical Framework for Reconciliation in Baltimore”

Abel Gomez, Syracuse University | “Defending Indigenous Sacred Places: Perspectives from Ohlone Territory/San Francisco Bay Area”

Katie Day, United Lutheran Seminary, Philadelphia | “Emerging Themes and Methods in the Routledge Handbook of Religion and Cities”

Business Meeting:

Elise Edwards, Baylor University, Presiding


Study of Islam Unit | Theme: “Physiology is Theology”: Gendered Bodies in Sufi and Islamic Discourses of the Self

Tuesday, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM

Laury Silvers, University of Toronto, Presiding

Rose Deighton, Emory University | “Reading the Self Through a Sufi Hermeneutic of Divine Immanence: A Case Study of Shaykha Fariha al-Jerrahi”

Sara Abdel-Latif, University of Toronto | “Emaciation and Menstruation in Sufi Hagiographies of Women: Men Reading Female Piety and Self-Discipline in Corporeal Terms”

Arpan Bhandari, University of North Carolina | “A Space for the Truth: Mansur Hallaj, His Utterances, and His Attempts at Deconstructing and Redefining the Physical Body Through Sound and Space”

Garrett Kiriakos-Fugate, Boston University | ““Be Content with the Decree of Allah”: The Cisheterosexual Nafs in Shi’i and Sunni Fatwas on Transsexuality and Intersexuality”


Comparative Studies in Religion Unit | Theme: Darwinism in Asia: Panel Discussion of the Book, Asian Religious Responses to Darwinism (Springer, 2020)

Tuesday, 4:00 PM–6:30 PM

Mackenzie Brown, Trinity University, Presiding

Panelists: Justin R. Ritzinger, University of Miami | Brianne Donaldson, Rice University | Roger Jackson, Carleton College | Taner Edis, Truman State University | Kuan-yen Liu, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen

Responding: Hyung Park, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Business Meeting: Oliver Freiberger, University of Texas, and Ivette Vargas-O’Bryan, Austin College, Presiding

Wednesday, December 2


Contemporary Islam Unit and Islam, Gender, Women Unit and Islamic Mysticism Unit and Qur’an Unit and Study of Islam Unit and Constructive Muslim Thought and Engaged Scholarship Seminar | Theme: Mentoring and Networking Session

Wednesday, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM

Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst, University of Vermont, and Elliott Bazzano, Le Moyne College, Presiding


Society for Hindu-Christian Studies | Theme: Politics and Religions in India: Religious Freedom for all Citizens of India

Wednesday, 9:00 AM–11:30 AM

This panel will address the issue of religious freedom in a political climate in which a version of Hinduism is being promoted which seems to delegitimize other well-established religions and to increase social conflict. How should religion scholars understand and respond to this situation?

Ted Ulrich, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota | “The Emergence of the Rhetoric of Hindu-Muslim Strife in India’s Independence Movement”

Jose Abraham, Concordia University, Montreal | “Victimisation and Ghettoisation: A Girardian Reading of Recent Communal Violence in Delhi”

Anant Rambachan, Saint Olaf College | “The Legacy of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar Examined”


Michael T. McLaughlin, Old Dominion University


Buddhist Pedagogy Seminar | Theme: Innovative Techniques for Teaching Buddhism in Modern Classrooms

Wednesday, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM

Todd T. Lewis, College of the Holy Cross, Presiding

Nathan McGovern, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater | “Teaching Buddhism Alongside Islam in the Intro to Asian Religions Class”

Elizabeth Guthrie, University of Waterloo | “North American Religious Studies and “Built Pedagogy””

Alyson Prude, Georgia Southern University | “Engaging Buddhist Ethics to Engage Students”

Andrew Housiaux, Tang Institute at Andover | “Mahāpajāpatī, Misconceptions, and Religious Literacy: Reflections on an Early Buddhist Story”

Ivory L. Lyons, University of Mount Union | “The Mandala Project: A Class Activity”


Jonathan Young, California State University, Bakersfield and Ben Van Overmeire, Duke Kunshan University

Business Meeting:

Gloria I-Ling Chien, Gonzaga University, and Trung Huynh, University of Houston, Presiding


African Religions Unit and Body and Religion Unit | Theme: Embodiment of African Religions

Wednesday, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM

Wesley Barker, Mercer University, Presiding

Georgette Ledgister, Emory University | “Wrestling the Spirits: ‘Catch Fétiche’ and Congolese Women’s Embodiment of Ritual Power”

Douglas Bafford, Brandeis University | “African Bodies Out of Place: Evangelical Discourses of Material Religion in Contemporary South Africa”


Religion in South Asia Unit | Theme: The Implications of Being Earnest: Sincerity in South Asian Contexts

Wednesday, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM

Sophia Nasti, Harvard University, Presiding

Shiv Subramaniam, Columbia University | “Learning to Read Earnestly”

Meghan Hartman, University of Virginia | “Sincere Scholarship: Miraji’s Cultivation of Earnestness and Theory of Translation”

Kenneth Valpey, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies | “Earnestness in Hearing and Reading the Bhāgavata Purāṇa”

Seth Ligo, Duke University | “The Importance of Bhairava’s Earnestness”


James Reich, Pace University

Business Meeting:

Jennifer Ortegren, Middlebury College, and Sarah Pierce Taylor, University of Chicago, Presiding


Women and Religion Unit Theme: The Importance of Engaged Feminist Scholarship: A Cross-Disciplinary Discussion of Juliane Hammer’s recent book, Peaceful Families: American Muslim Efforts Against Domestic Violence (Princeton University Press, 2019)

Wednesday, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM

Brittany Landorf, Emory University, Presiding

Panelists: Kayla Renée Wheeler, Xavier University | Saadia Yacoob, Williams College | Traci C. West, Drew University | Juliane Hammer, University of North Carolina

Thursday, December 3


Ecclesial Practices Unit |  Theme: Accountability at the Intersections of Theology and Ethnography

Thursday, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM

Natalie Wigg-Stevenson, University of Toronto, Presiding

Helen Cameron, University of Oxford | “Dual Accountability in a Faith-Based Organization: Critical Reflections on Turning First-Person Action Research into a Text”

Paul Houston Blankenship, Graduate Theological Union |”The Dark Night of Ethnographic Theology and What Lucifer Taught Me About How to be a Christian”

Marie Purcell, Southern Methodist University | ““But You Love Jesus, Right?”: Ethnographic Accountability Across Polarized Worldviews”

Ken Chitwood, Freie Universitat Berlin | ““I’ve Seen You”: Reflections on Ethnographic Theology, Accountability, & Christian-Muslim Relations”

Business Meeting:

Jonas Idestrom, Church of Sweden, Presiding


International Development and Religion Unit | Theme: Religion, Development and the Secular: Considering Perspectives from Local Faith Actors

Thursday, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM

Emma Tomalin, University of Leeds, Presiding

Nicolette Manglos-Weber, Boston University | “Promiscuous Practices: How Collective Caregiving Crosses Religious and Political Boundaries in Uganda”

Olivia Wilkinson, Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities | “The Triple Nexus and Local Faith Actors in South Sudan”

David Tittensor, Deakin University | “Becoming Secular, Yet Remaining Religious: The Gülen Movement and the Golden Generation”


Religion and Ecology Unit and Study of Islam Unit | Theme: New Book Roundtable: Anna M. Gade’s Muslim Environmentalisms: Religious and Social Foundations (Columbia University Press, 2019)

Thursday, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM

Jaclyn Michael, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Presiding

Panelists: Muhamad Ali, University of California, Riverside | Etin Anwar, Hobart and William Smith Colleges | Nur Amali Ibrahim, Indiana University, Bloomington | Lisa Sideris, Indiana University | Sarra Tlili, University of Florida

Responding: Anna M. Gade, University of Wisconsin


Religion and Politics Unit | Theme: Thinking About Religious Violence

Thursday, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM

Ann Duncan, Goucher College, Presiding

Dan-Erik Andersson, Lund University | “The Public Debates on Violent Extremism in Sweden; New Concepts and Meanings and Consequences for Religious Practice”

Dragos Stoica, Concordia University | “A Virtuous Ummah Under Siege: The Mythology of Universal Conspiracy in Sayyid Qutb’s Coranic Commentary”

David Kirkpatrick, James Madison University | “The Latin American Bullring: Billy Graham, John F. Kennedy, and the Origins of the “Global War on Christians””


Afro-American Religious History Unit | Theme: Mormon, Muslim, Coptic, Webb: Blackness and Identity in New Religious Movements

Thursday, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM

Joseph Laycock, Texas State University, Presiding

Judith Huenneke, Mary Baker Eddy Library | “Marietta Webb and the “Colored” Christian Science Churches of Los Angeles”

Leonard McKinnis, Saint Louis University | ““I Told Jesus it Would be Alright if He Changed my Name”: Performative Imagination and Identity Formation as Rituals of Freedom in the Black Coptic Church”

Megan Leverage, Central Michigan University | “Black Mormon Tells Her Story: Religion, Race and Gender in the Post-Civil Rights Era”

Patrick Bowen, Arvada, CO | “Exploring Local Histories of African American Islam Through the Black Press”


Arts, Literature, and Religion Unit and Cultural History of the Study of Religion Unit | Theme: Global Formations of Religion and Literature

Thursday, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM

Zhange Ni, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Presiding

Craig Tichelkamp, Stonehill College | “Mystifying the Letter: Religion and Literature in the Twelfth Century”

Micah Hughes, University of North Carolina | “Reading Sufism at the University: The Literary Remaking of an Islamic Tradition in Twentieth-Century Turkey”

Yunus Dogan Telliel, Worcester Polytechnic Institute  | “The Untranslatable and its Opposite in Secular Modernity”

Christopher Douglas, University of Victoria | ““The Failure of the Postsecular””

Responding: Elizabeth Ann Pritchard, Bowdoin College

Monday, December 7


Study of Islam Unit | Theme: Knowledge, Authority, and Power in Early-Modern and Modern Islam

Monday, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM

Yasmine Flodin-Ali, University of North Carolina, Presiding

Mary Elston, Harvard University |”Debating Turāth: Religious Knowledge in Egypt’s al-Azhar”

Naveen Ramamurthy, University of California, Los Angeles | “The Canon and the Canonization of Law in Islamicate South Asia (c. 1300s–1500s)”

Samuel Kigar, University of Puget Sound | “When Map is Territory: Morocco’s Claim for the Western Sahara”

Pieter Coppens, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam | Reassessing the Rise of Salafism in Damascus: A Social Network Analysis

Ermin Sinanovic, Shenandoah University | Theological Innovation on the Edges of Islam: Evidence from the Balkans and Southeast Asia


Public Understanding of Religion Committee | Theme: 2020 Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion Forum: Khaled Abou El Fadl

Monday, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM

Asma Afsaruddin, Indiana University, Bloomington, Presiding

This session celebrates this year’s recipient of the Martin Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion, Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl. Over the past two decades, public scholarship on Islam has been a critical component in conversations about social inclusion, foreign policy, and interreligious dynamics. Abou El Fadl’s work engages these issues in ways that are accessible to both specialist and nonspecialist audiences. This group of distinguished panelists will consider efforts to advance the public understanding at the intersection between Islam and politics in the United States since 9/11, taking up key themes in Abou El Fadl’s scholarship including Islamic ethical approaches to global challenges, religious tolerance, and human rights.

Panelists: Khaled Abou El Fadl, University of California, Los Angeles | Mohammad Khalil, Michigan State University | Nader Hashemi, University of Denver | Ziba Mir-Hosseini, University of London


Afro-American Religious History Unit | Theme: Sites, Sources, and the Historical Imagination: Trajectories in Graduate Research of African-American Religion

Monday, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM

Tobin Shearer, University of Montana, Presiding

Cori Tucker-Price, Dartmouth College | “Beyond Azusa: Mapping Black Religion in Los Angeles”

Ahmad Greene-Hayes, Princeton University | “New Orleans 300 Years Later: The Study of African American Religions in a Southern City”

Ambre Dromgoole, Yale University | “Into the Archive: Excavating the Influence of Twentieth Century Gospel Music Composer Roxie Ann Moore”

Krishni Metivier, Duke University | Breaking My Master’s Chains: Advancing Intersectional Histories of Black and Hindu

Jacob Havel, University of Iowa | Religion or Culture?: Re-thinking Categories from the Bottom Up with the Five Percenters

Yasmine Flodin-Ali, University of North Carolina | Writing Resistance: The Archives’ Racialization of Omar ibn Said


Interreligious and Interfaith Studies Unit | Theme: Decolonizing and Resetting the Interfaith Table

Monday, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM

Margarita M. W. Suarez, Meredith College, Presiding

Matthew Sayers, Lebanon Valley College | A Broader Table: Bringing Missing Voices to the Interfaith Table

Jenny Small, Convergence, J.T. Snipes, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’ Sachi Edwards, University of Tokyo; and J. Cody Nielsen, Convergence | Emerging Frameworks for Critical Analysis of Religion and Interfaith Studies: Reflections on Pluralism and Decolonization in Higher Education

Feryal Salem, American Islamic College | Decolonizing Christian-Muslim Relations: Historical Frameworks, Premises, and Power Dynamics

Rachel A. Heath, Vanderbilt University | Decentered Inclusivity: The Limits and Possibilities of Hospitality and Inclusion in Multifaith Models for College and University Chaplaincies


Religion in South Asia Unit | Theme: Religion and the Modern Islamicate: Cosmopolitans, Composites, and Colonial Critique in South Asia

Monday, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM

Anna Bigelow, Stanford University, Presiding

Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst, University of Vermont | “Muslims, Modernity, and Memorializations of the 1857 Indian Rebellion”

Hayden Bellenoit, US Naval Academy | “Kayasthas and their Islamicate cultural associations in north India, 1760-1930″

Hayden Bellenoit, US Naval Academy | “A Modern, ‘Eternal’ Religion: The Sanatana Dharma of Shraddha Ram Phillauri”

Timothy Dobe, Grinnell College | “Khilafat’s Islamicate Solidarities: Gandhian Sufis, Delhi’s Badshah Khan and Bio-Moral Beef”

Quinn Clark, Columbia University | “Love and Money: Sufi Shrines, Politics, and Comparative Secularism in North India”


Tuesday, December 8


Public Understanding of Religion Committee and Religion and Politics Unit | Theme: Religion and Public Life in and after the COVID-19 Pandemic

Tuesday, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM

John D. Carlson, Arizona State University, Presiding

Panelists from several disciplines in the study of religion will host a conversation about the recent and future impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on different issues, themes, and vectors in religion and public life. Specific themes for reflection include cultural fault lines, women’s rights, race, public health, climate change, state power, civil religion, the body politic, truth and post-truth, and public theology among others. Specific questions the panelists will consider include the following: How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted or altered how we approach, think about, and understand these themes? Does the resilience of these themes suggest whether things might return to pre-COVID conditions? How are things likely to change going forward? What underlying challenges has this pandemic helped to expose or exacerbate? What constructive insights has it helped to generate? What role can scholars of religion play to improve the public’s understanding and conversations about this crisis?

Panelists: Robert P. Jones, Public Religion Research Institute | Marie Griffith, Washington University, St. Louis | Kristy Slominski, University of Arizona | Nichole Phillips, Emory University | Evan Berry, Arizona State University | Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Northwestern University | Philip Gorski, Yale University | Tracy Fessenden, Arizona State University | Charles Mathewes, University of Virginia | Pamela Klassen, University of Toronto


Religion, Media, and Culture Unit | Theme: Machines that Surveil and Enchant

Tuesday, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM

Hussein Ali Agrama, University of Chicago, Presiding

Panelists: Christopher Glen White, Vassar College | Suzanne Van Geuns, University of Toronto | Sylvester Johnson, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Sharmin Sadequee, City University of New York

Business Meeting: Kathryn Reklis, Fordham University, and Deborah Whitehead, University of Colorado, Presiding


Contemporary Islam Unit and Political Theology Unit | Theme: Contemporary Islamic Political Theology: Ethnographies of Tribulation in the Age of Global War

Tuesday, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM

Aaron Eldridge, University of California, Berkeley, Presiding

Bilal Nasir, Northwestern University | “Between Uhud and Terror: Policing, Race, and Islam in the City of Angels”

Zunaira Komal, University of California | “Aafat: Divine Calamity and the Military Psychiatry Hospital in Kashmir”

Muneeza Rizvi, University of California, Davis | “Syria in London: Aid Convoys, the Umma, and Islamic Traditions of Charity”

Basit Iqbal, University of California, Berkeley | “Ambivalence and Askesis in Zaatari Refugee Camp”


Hussein Ali Agrama, University of Chicago


Qur’ān Unit and Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity Unit | Theme: Translation, Transmission and Intertextuality in Eastern Late Antiquity

Tuesday, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM

Jason Mokhtarian, Indiana University, Bloomington, Presiding

Louise Gallorini, American University of Beirut | “A Mystical Function: Angels in the Sufi Commentaries on the Qur’ān” 

Charles Haberl, Rutgers University | “Meryey, Standing at the Boundary”


Gordon D. Newby, Emory University


History of Christianity Unit and World Christianity Unit | Theme: Contesting Western Colonial Logics and Legacies in the East

Tuesday, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM

Roy Fisher, University of California, Berkeley, Presiding

Jennifer Welsh, Lindenwood University-Belleville | “‘Chinchinning Joss’ and Throwing Pamphlets: Nineteenth-Century Christian Missionaries and Western Views of Okinawa”

Jethro Calacday, Yale University | “Canon Law and Colonial Logic: Francisco Gaínza and the Creation of the Native Clergy in the Philippines, 1863–1879″

Philip Hopkins, Gateway Seminary, Los Angeles | “Proselytization Efforts of American Protestant Missionaries in Iran during the Last Years of the Pahlavis”


Qur’ān Unit | Theme: Reading the Qur’ān

Tuesday, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM

Gordon D. Newby, Emory University, Presiding

Mian Ahmed Shaheer Afaqi, Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis | “Mechanisms for Producing Emotion: Al-Ghazālī on Experiencing the Qur’ān”

Nadir Ansari, York University | “Coherence, The Titles of Sūras, and Central Ideas: A Study of the Tafsīr of ‘Alā’uddīn al-Muhā’imī”

Sohaib Saeed, University of Freiburg | “Towards a “Canonical Translation” of the Qur’ān”


Sociology of Religion Unit | Theme: Crossing Global and Religious Boundaries: Social Change, Identity, and Power

Tuesday, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM

Jonathan Calvillo, Boston University, Presiding

Francesco Cerchiaro, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven | “Christian-Muslim couples dealing with religious difference A qualitative inquiry in three European countries”

Mathew J. Guest, Durham University | “Stigma and Suspicion in the Lives of Muslim Students: How the ‘radicalisation’ narrative has changed higher education in Britain”

Jualynne E. Dodson, Michigan State University | ““Integrated Religious Multiplicity”: Challenge to Sociology of Religion”

Drishadwati Bargi, University of Minnesota | “Social Revolution by other Means: The Writing of Conversion in Dalit Autobiographies in Postcolonial India”

Wednesday, December 9


Comparative Theology Unit | Theme: Sound as God-Talk: Approaches to Comparative Theology of Music

Wednesday, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM

Mark Edwards, Princeton Theological Seminary, Presiding

Lucinda Mosher, Hartford Seminary | “Is It “Praying Twice?” An Anglican Christian Comparative Theological Consideration of Chanting and Hymn-Singing in Bhakti Hindu, Sikh, and Sufi Muslim Traditions”

Thomas Cattoi, Graduate Theological Union | “Sounds of the End: Music and Eschatology in Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time and the Tibetan Practice of Chöd”

Michael VanZandt Collins, Boston College | “Beyond A Love Supreme? John Coltrane’s Classic, Muslim-Christian Comparative Theology, and an Ethic of Listening”

Wilhelmus Valkenberg, Catholic University of America | ““How Easily Things Get Broken”: Leonard Bernstein and Osvaldo Golijov on the Body and Blood of Christ”

Loye Ashton, Aoyama Gakuin University | “Rhythm and Reality: Constructing a Comparative Theology of Creativity and Dynamic Non-Duality Abstract”

Kijin James Wu, Chang Jung Christian University School of Theology |” Ritual and Music: A Comparative Study”

Business Meeting:

Bede Bidlack, Saint Anselm College, Presiding


Religion in Southeast Asia Unit | Theme: New Decade, New Directions: Advancing the Study of Southeast Asian Religions

Wednesday, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM

Charles Carstens, Harvard University, Presiding

Panelists: Alexandra Kaloyanides, University of North Carolina, Charlotte | Richard Fox, University of Victoria | Oona Paredes, University of North Carolina, Los Angeles | Chiara Formichi, Cornell University | Penny Edwards, University of California, Berkeley | Alicia Izharuddin, Harvard University | Cuong T. Mai, Appalachian State University | Kelly Meister, University of Chicago | Thomas Borchert, University of Vermont | Nathan McGovern, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater

Business Meeting: Etin Anwar, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and Alexandra Kaloyanides, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, Presiding


Study of Islam Unit | Theme: Author-Meets-Critics: SherAli Tareen’s Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020)

Wednesday, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM

Ali Altaf Mian, University of Florida, Presiding

Panelists: Kecia Ali, Boston University | Arvind Mandair, University of Michigan | Megan Robb, University of Pennsylvania | Basit Iqbal, University of California, Berkeley

Responding: SherAli Tareen, Franklin and Marshall College

Business Meeting: Elliott Bazzano, Le Moyne College, and Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst, University of Vermont, Presiding


Study of Islam Unit | Theme: The Politics of Everyday Islam: Space, Place, and Devotion

Wednesday, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM

Marcia Hermansen, Loyola University, Chicago, Presiding

Parnia Vafaeikia, University of Toronto | “The Poetics and Politics of Walking: An Ethnography of The Arbaeen Pilgrimage”

Timothy Gutmann, University of Chicago | “Constant Bonds: Wang Daiyu’s 王岱輿 Islamic Humanism”

Aun Hasan Ali, University of Colorado | “The Sanctuary of The Twelfth Imam in Hillah”


Religion in Southeast Asia Unit and Study of Islam Unit | Theme: Islam in Southeast Asia: Formation, Indigenization, Modernization

Wednesday, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM

James Hoesterey, Emory University, Presiding

Andi Herawati, Indiana University Bloomington | “Traditional Islam and Modernity in Indonesia: The Activism of the Nahdatul Ulama and Its Leaders”

Muhamad Ali, University of California, Riverside | “Judging Religious Others: Islam and Religious Pluralism in Contemporary Indonesia”

Torsten Tschacher, Freie Universität Berlin | “The Idea of Religion and the Criminalization of Moharram in the Straits Settlements, 1830-1870″

Siti Sarah Muwahidah, Emory University | “The ‘Alids Came to Nusantara: Shi i Imams and the Creation of IndoMalay Sacred Geography”


Thursday, December 10


Middle Eastern Christianity Unit | Theme: Middle Eastern Christianity and Gender

Thursday, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM

Deanna Womack, Emory University, Presiding

Tracy Russell, Saint Louis University | “The Bridal Chamber of the Heavenly Bridegroom: Gender and the Metaphor of Betrothal in Syriac Virgin Martyr Texts”

Monica Mitri, Claremont School of Theology | “The Female as Anthropological Role Model in Jacob of Serugh”

Ramy Marcos, Hartford Seminary | “Women’s Conversion and Religious Toleration in Ottoman Islamic Egypt: The Case Study of Fāṭimah of Asyūt”

Mitri Raheb, Dar al-Kalima University | “Karimeh Abboud: A Female Arab Christian entrepreneur in British Mandate Palestine”


Religious Reflections on Friendship Seminar | Theme: Round-Table Paper Discussions

Thursday, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM

Anne-Marie Ellithorpe, Vancouver School of Theology, Presiding

Hussam S. Timani, Christopher Newport University | “The Shahada: Act of Faith, Act of Friendship”

John M. Thompson, Christopher Newport University | “Becoming a Friend to the World: Śāntideva on “Bodhisattva Friendship””

Hans Harmakaputra, Boston College | “Friends of God, Friends of Humans: A Muslim-Christian Comparative Theology Reflection on Sainthood and Friendship”

Jennifer Fields, University of Cambridge | “Questioning the Promotion of Friendship in Interfaith Dialogue”

Joas Adiprasetya, Jakarta Theological Seminary | “Let the Stranger Stay in the Table of Friends”

Jeffery D. Long, Elizabethtown College | “Because You Are My Friend: Inter-Religious Friendship and Religious Pluralism”

Hans Gustafson, University of Saint Thomas | “Interreligious Friendship for Changemaking and Leadership”

Adam Tietje, Duke University | “A Path Through the Hell of War Trauma: Pavel Florensky’s Theology of Friendship”

Sarah Bixler, Princeton Theological Seminary | ““Musing on Cicero’s Thoughts”: Methodology in Aelred of Rievaulx’s Practical Theology of Spiritual Friendship”

Karen Bray, Wesleyan College, and Christy Cobb, Wingate University | “Neither Single nor Coupled, But Friended: Biblical and Theological Sources for Friendship as Our Central Relationship”

Dorothy Dean, Berea College | “Theology, Friendship, and the Human Animal”

Michael Wilcher, University of Cambridge | “Simone Weil on Friendship: Pythagoreanism, Trinity, and the Practice of Attention”

Joud Alkorani, University of Toronto | ““Sisters for the Sake of Allah”: Mediating Friendship Through God”

Courtney Rabada, Northwestern University | “Audre Lorde and the Erotic Power of Female Friendships”

Olivia Bustion, University of Chicago | “Participation as Plural Agency: An Augustinian Proposal”

Laura Duhan-Kaplan, Vancouver School of Theology | “Isaiah’s Vision of the Lion and the Lamb: A Paradigm for Civic Friendship”


Chinese Religions Unit | Theme: Religion in Chinese Spaces of Political Conflict and Contestation

Thursday, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM

Kelly Hammond, University of Arkansas, Presiding

Benno Weiner, Carnegie Mellon University | “From Patriotic Religious Representatives to Wolves in Monks’ Robes: Tibetan Buddhism, Islam and the Party on an Ethnocultural Frontier of Early Maoist China”

Sandrine Catris, Augusta University | “From Mao to Xi: Religion and Repression in the Uyghur Region”

H.S. Sum Cheuk Shing, University of Chicago | “Religion as Resistance: Chinese Religions in the Hong Kong AntiExtradition Bill Movement”


Shawn Arthur, Wake Forest University


Religion, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism Unit | Theme: Postcolonial Perspectives on Religion in China, South

Asia, and the Americas

Thursday, 1:45 PM–3:15 PM

Syed Adnan Hussain, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Presiding

Kathy Chow, Yale University | “The Invention of Religion in China”

Rebecca Faulkner, Princeton University | “Colonialism and Caliphate”

Heather Burrow, Claremont Graduate University | “Conquistadors, Colonialism, and Christianity: From Church and Empire to States”


Contemporary Islam Unit | Theme: Representing and Surveilling Modern Muslims

Thursday, 4:00 PM–5:30 PM

Zareena Grewal, Yale University, Presiding

Kathleen Foody, College of Charleston | “The World of Islam”

Ehsan Sheikholharam, University of North Carolina | “Making Space for Muslims: Aesthetics in the Age of Forced Assimilation”

Mohamad Jarada, University of California, Berkeley | “Securing the Mosque: On the Logic of Fortification and Risk after Hate Violence”

Johnathan Norris, Boston University | “Fear, Politics, and the Holy Spirit: Islamophobic Discourses in Charismatic News Media”

Sam Houston, Stetson University | ““It Is Because of Our Islam That We Are Here”: Community Organizing, Civic Virtue, and the South African Muslim Struggle Against Apartheid”