2020 Annual Meeting

Your AAR staff continues to work toward holding the Annual Meeting in Boston, Nov. 21-24, 2020. We are aware of the uncertainty and contradictory projections related to the COVID-19 pandemic and with health and safety as a priority, we will continue monitoring the guidance of governments and health experts as we plan and make decisions. Should any changes need to be made related to the 2020 Annual Meeting, we will promptly notify you.

2020 Regional Meetings

Open Registration:

All remaining regional meetings for 2020 have been canceled

AAR Policy Statement on Related Scholarly Organizations

The American Academy of Religion (AAR) welcomes opportunities to cooperate with organizations that have similar missions to its own, which is to foster excellence in the academic study of religion and enhance the public understanding of religion (a fuller version of the AAR’s mission statement may be found here). Such organizations may apply for formal recognition as Related Scholarly Organizations (RSOs). A full list of current RSOs is available here.

Eligibility and Renewal Criteria: To be eligible, an organization should have these characteristics:

  • Be independent in structure and governance, non-profit, formally organized, and at least two years old (articles of incorporation, and 501(c)(3) status or equivalent standing—equivalent documentation will be accepted for international organizations);
  • Have a national or international constituency;
  • Have a majority of members who are professional scholars or teachers, or be formed primarily to serve the interests of those who are professional scholars or teachers;
  • Evince interest in the academic study of religion;
  • Support free inquiry, critical examination, and scholarly analysis;
  • Support broad and inclusive participation, including diverse scholarly points of view;
  • Act in a manner consistent with AAR’s mission statement and core values, as well as its policies on nondiscrimination, harassment, and professional conduct;
  • For renewal, an organization should additionally demonstrate a history of participation in the Annual Meeting or other collaboration with the AAR, such as co-sponsorship of a project or program.

Benefits Exchange: In a spirit of cooperation and reciprocity, AAR offers the following benefits to RSOs:

  • Recognition as an RSO on the AAR website and a link to the RSO's website.
  • Recognition of the RSO in the AAR Annual Meeting Program Book front matter, including a brief description of the association (250 words or fewer).
  • Discounted rates for meeting space at the AAR Annual Meeting and for AAR membership-list rental.
  • VIP status for one person designated by the RSO, which offers that person priority housing options for the Annual Meeting
  • Listing of the RSO’s program within the AAR’s program in the Program Book, rather than simply with other additional meetings.

Application Process: To be accepted as an RSO, first please contact the AAR Executive Director and Program Unit Director for an informal discussion. After that, an organization submits a formal request to the AAR Executive Director. Once its dossier is complete, the request for RSO status is evaluated by the Program Committee, and its recommendations are considered by the Board of Directors. The Board meets twice annually, in the winter and fall. Petitions are considered only annually, at the winter meeting of the AAR Board. Requests must be received by December 15, addressed to:

Executive Director
AAR Executive Office
825 Houston Mill RD NE STE 300
Atlanta, GA  30329-4205

The Executive Director will inform the petitioner of the Board's decisions by March 31 that same year. The petition needs to include the following:

  • A copy of the organization's governing documents (e.g., constitution and bylaws, and non-discrimination policy if available);
  • A list of elected officers, their titles, and their institutional affiliations;
  • A copy of an issue of the organization's journal, newsletter, program book, or similar publications;
  • A short description of the organization that addresses RSO eligibility criteria and the reason(s) for wanting to affiliate with the AAR.

RSO status remains effective only so long as the organization continues to meet eligibility criteria; RSOs are reviewed on a 5-year basis, but the AAR Board may rescind RSO status at any time.

AAR Statement on Participation
While the Academy’s RSOs maintain and pursue their unique missions, participation of any party in the Academy’s meetings is held to the same expectations as AAR program sessions. By affiliating with the AAR, you agree to participate in an open academic discussion guided by a common standard of scholarly discourse that engages your subject through critical inquiry and investigation.