News from ADRSA

CFP: The Color of God: Faith, Race, and Interreligious Dialogue

November 1, 2016

The Journal of Interreligious Studies™

Special Issue Call for Papers

The Color of God: Faith, Race, and Interreligious Dialogue

Funlayo E. Wood, Guest Editor
Axel Takács, Editor-in-Chief

Deadline Extended. New submission deadline: December 2, 2016

Race and religion have been strange bedfellows since the beginning of contact between diverse peoples. While religion is culturally and racially bound, with each cultural group traditionally having its own way of conceptualizing and worshiping the Divine, the post-Enlightenment tendency to theorize religion as an unbounded sui generis entity has frequently denied these boundaries—this despite the fact that racism and theories of racial difference have historically been expressed in distinctly religious terms. The purported racial inferiority of peoples of African, Native American, and Asian descent, for example, was historically buttressed by their religious difference, with the indigenous religions of these groups being classified at the bottom of a hierarchy that traditionally placed Christianity at the top, Judaism and Islam in the middle, and all other faith traditions below. This racial-religious hierarchy’s continued existence—and denial—acts as an oft-unspoken impediment to interreligious dialogue and cooperation whereby those peoples and traditions existing in the lower third of this pyramid frequently go underrepresented. As well, when interchanges do take place between racially and religiously diverse groups, the direct impact of racial and cultural difference and bias on these dialogues—how, for example, racism undergirds Islamophobia and religious bias plays into anti-black racism—often goes undiscussed. This issue invites contributions from scholars, faith leaders, and scholar-practitioners of diverse racial, cultural and religious backgrounds that explore these dynamic intersections between race, religion, and inter-religious dialogue with topics including but not limited to:

- Case studies of current events that highlight the intersections between race and religion
- Historical and contemporary connections between race, racism, and religion
- Challenges and opportunities presented by engagement in interracial and/or cross cultural inter- and intrareligious dialogues - Conflict and cooperation between racially and religiously diverse groups
- Strategies for peaceful coexistence between racially and religiously diverse communities

For consideration submit your name, title, affiliation and a 300-500-word abstract to guest editor Funlayo E. Wood via email at by December 2, 2016. Please use the subject “JIRS Submission.” Complete manuscripts due March 31, 2017.

Submission Guidelines:
All submissions must be the original, previously unpublished work of the author(s). Authors are also advised to read about the Journal and the previous issue prior to submitting an article. Submissions should be between 2,500 and 8,000 words, including references and a 100-word abstract. They should adhere to the Sixteenth Edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, utilizing endnotes for citations and footnotes for discursive elaboration. Co-authored articles are welcomed and encouraged.

About the Journal:
The Journal of Interreligious Studies™ is a forum for academic, social, and timely issues affecting religious communities around the world. Published online, it is designed to increase both the quality and frequency of interchanges between religious groups and their leaders and scholars. By fostering conversation, the Journal hopes to increase religious literacy, contribute to the field of inter-religious hermeneutics, and address the issues surrounding inter-religious relations, dialogue, theology, and communication. It is a collaboration of Hebrew College and the Boston University School of Theology. As a premier electronic publication, The Journal of Inter-Religious Studies™ is poised to substantially impact inter-religious dialogue and work. With the understanding that clergy and lay leaders greatly affect the dynamics within their congregations and religious movements, the Journal offers a novel way to establish long-term dialogue and collaboration between religious communities.

Introducing Deanna Oyafemi Lowman, Our 2016 Featured Artist

March 21, 2016

Since our first symposium in 2012, the ADRSA has featured a work of art by an artist who works in African and Diasporic religious themes and which captures the conference theme. This year, the chosen piece is entitled "Destiny" by Deanna Oyafemi Lowman, our 2016 featured artist. Created in mixed media of ink and watercolor, "Destiny" (above left) reflects Ms. Lowman's multiple talents as she works in varied media including film and digital photography, ink, watercolor, and metal to produce un...
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Keynote: Robert Farris Thompson to Deliver 2016 Address

March 3, 2016

                               Iimage by Matthew Sussman for Yale Alumni Magazine

The ADRSA is honored to announce Robert Farris Thompson as our 2016 keynote speaker. Author of numerous books including The Face of the Gods: Art and Altars of Africa and the African Americas and the highly acclaimed Flash of the Spirit: African & Afro-American Art and Philosophy, which celebrates 33 years of publication this year and which has remained in print since its publication in 1983. We will celebrate th...
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Aisha Beliso-De Jesus to Devliver Plenary at The Divine and the Digital

January 9, 2016
Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús

Aisha Beliso-De Jesus, Associate Professor of African American Religions at Harvard Divinity School and author of Electric Santería: Racial and Sexual Assemblages of Transnational Religion (2015) will deliver the opening plenary address at the ADRSA's fourth conference, The Divine and The Digital, to be held at Harvard University on April 8.

Professor Beliso-De Jesus is a cultural and social anthropologist who has conducted fieldwork in Cuba and the United States for over ten years and whose...

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New Film "Yemanja" to Feature at 2016 Conference

December 30, 2015

The ADRSA is pleased to announce Yemanjá:Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil as a featured film for 2016 conference and film festival to be held April 8-9, 2016 at Harvard University. Produced and directed by Donna Roberts, Yemanjá offers a look into the Brazilian
Candomblé faith and explores it's history, social challenges and triumphs, community ties and earth-based wisdom.
The film's story is told primarily through the voices of select women leaders of Candomblé, most of them re...

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CFP: "Trees Take Us to the Gods"

May 21, 2015

Join the Congress of Santa Barbara (KOSANBA) for an exciting colloquium entitled "Trees Take Us to the Gods: Vodou and the Environment" to be held during the Haitian Studies Association conference October 21-25, 2015 in at the Universite de Montreal in Quebec. Proposals are due by May 31.

This forum hopes to include the contributions of researchers, scholars, and practitioners in Vodou and other African-derived systems. KOSANBA welcomes papers/presentations on issues such as, though not lim...

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"The Summer of Gods" to Make Boston Debut at Spiritual Soundscapes Film Festival

March 21, 2015

The ADRSA is thrilled to welcome Eliciana Nascimento and her highly acclaimed short film, The Summer of Gods, to our 2015 African and Diasporic Religions Film Festival to be held Saturday, April 4, 2015 at Harvard University. The Summer of Gods premiered at Cannes film Festival in 2014, won the Spirit Award and Best Cinematography at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival and won the Special Recognition for Directing Narrative Award at the Black Star Film Festival. We are proud to ha...
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Introducing Our 2015 Featured Artist: Duwayne Washington

January 14, 2015

The ADRSA is delighted to welcome Duwayne Washington as our 2015 featured artist. HIs digital painting, "Instantaneous cowry shell" (above right) was selected as our featured conference image, and will grace our poster and conference program.

Duwayne originally hails East Orange, NJ and now resides in Tallahassee, FL with his wife and two children. He began producing art almost 20 years ago and has, in that time, amassed a prolific body of work -- from drawings, to oil paintings, to pho...

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Kokahvah Zauditu-Selassie to Deliver Opening Plenary at Spiritual Soundscapes Conference

December 16, 2014

Our Spiritual Soundscapes Conference is shaping up wonderfully and we hope you'll be in attendance! The deadline for proposals has been extended to January 5, 2015 so you still have time to apply.

We are pleased to announce Dr. Kokahvah Zauditu-Selassie as our opening plenary speaker for the day. Dr. Zauditu-Selassie is professor of English in the Humanities Department at Coppin State University. She has been awarded numerous fellowships --  including from the Fulbright foundation, Mellon foun...

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WolfHawkJaguar to Perform and Premier Film at Spiritual Soundscapes Conference

December 5, 2014

The ADRSA is excited to add Adimu Madyun -- better known by his stage name WolfHawkJaguar -- to the roster for our third conference to be held at Harvard University on April 3, 2015!

Passion, Spirit, and Pain directly influence the melodic tunes of multi-talented Urban World Music artist WolfHawkJaguar. His music stirs the soul with a mixture of Spirituality, raptured in the heart of Hip Hop, Reggae, Rhythm and Blues. Currently residing in Oakland, the California native is a prolific musicia...

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