78th Annual Meeting

78th Annual Meeting


August 19-21, 2016

Renaissance Seattle Hotel

Preliminary Program (as of June 15, 2016)

Seattle, Washington

PROGRAM CHAIR: Ryan Cragun, The University of Tampa, ryantcragun@gmail.com

NOTE: Our annual meetings take place immediately prior to the meetings of ASA’s Religion Section, but will not overlap with those sessions. This will allow members to attend sessions at both meetings in a shorter window than previous years.


Given the location of the 2016 ASR conference and recent research about the predominance of nonreligion in the Pacific Northwest, a program theme focusing on the intersections of religion and nonreligion is fitting.  The dramatic increase in those who identify as ‘nones’ or nonreligious on surveys about religious identity may be indicative of a new normal in the religious landscape in many countries. It also raises important questions about the study of religion and nonreligion, both methodological and theoretical. While there has long been a debate in the social sciences over secularization as a theory to explain religious change, there may be other theoretical explanations for why nonreligion is increasing.  Likewise, much remains to be explained about how such an increase will change the role of religion in politics, education, healthcare, law, and other social institutions. Further, what does it mean to be religious in this context? Is religious identity and religion itself also shifting and changing? In addition to the theoretical concerns, methodological challenges are also emerging. How, for example, does one find and study those who are unaffiliated with organizations?  What are the similarities and differences in the contours of lived religion and non-religion? Are there better ways to measure the degree to which people, organizations, communities, countries and cultures can be described—or describe themselves—as religious or nonreligious? Do current surveys contain adequate measures to capture the diversity among the nonreligious, or, for that matter, among the religious?

Papers and discussion sessions on all topics within the sociology of religion are welcome, but especially those related to the meeting theme, including, but not limited to the following: the shifting religious landscape; religion and power; lived religion and nonreligion; measuring religious diversity; capturing religious and nonreligious identities;  social institutions and religion; the geographies and spaces of religion and nonreligion; the role of sexuality and gender in a changing religious landscape.


DEADLINES:  Session Proposals are due by March 31, 2016  (submit to ryantcragun@gmail.com)

Paper Proposals and abstracts are due by April 30, 2016  (submit through the Member Portal of this website)

Meeting registration is due by July 1, 2016  (complete registration using the Member Portal of this website)

Hotel reservation is due by July 15, 2016  (click on the “2016 Hotel Registration” on the sidebar of this page)



(1)  Because 2016 membership in ASR is required for program consideration (one author, for multi-authored papers), if you haven’t joined or renewed your membership in the Association, please do so before attempting to submit a proposal.  Please DO NOT submit a proposal if you cannot arrange to be available during any of the time slots that the Program Chair may assign your paper presentation during any of the days of the conference.  Anyone who will present a paper or serve as a panelist or discussant during the conference must be an ASR member and be willing to register for the conference.*  Session organizers should make this clear to anyone they invite to participate in a session or serve on a panel.

(2)  Email your session/panel proposals to Ryan Cragun, University of Tampa, ryantcragun@gmail.com by March 31, 2016, using the following format:  Place the title of the proposal first, followed by a one paragraph description of the panel proposal, then names, affiliations, and email addresses of all presenters/authors.  Also provide titles for all the papers in the panel and a 300-word abstract of each paper, in which each presenter/author describes the paper’s research question(s), research methodology, and preliminary results.   Each presenter/author must also submit his/her abstract through the Member Portal of this website by April 30, 2016, in order to verify membership in the Association.

(3)  For individual paper proposals, simply go to the Member Portal of this website (using your email address and password to login), and complete all of the fields.  Be prepared to provide the title of your paper, your name, affiliation, and email address (and the names, affiliations, and email addresses of any co-authors), and a 300-word abstract, in which you describe your research question(s), research methodology, and preliminary results.



Everyone whose paper or session has been approved by the Program Chair must submit their registration fee ($70 for general members; $25 for student members) using the Member Portal on this website by July 1, 2016, to guarantee their place on the program.  Registration fees are nonrefundable.  We also invite everyone, especially the new members of our Association, to sign up for the New Attendees Welcoming Breakfast, which will be held the first morning of the conference.  This is a great way to meet members before the sessions begin!  You can sign up for this breakfast using the same registration form available in the Member Portal of this website.  Tickets for this breakfast, which are $15 for first time attendees and $30 for others, will be distributed to members at the ASR registration desk upon their arrival at the hotel.

Although everyone is asked to complete their registration using the Member Portal on this website before July 1, those who are not members and those who do not make the July 1 deadline may register by mail or on-site by using this Registration Form for Non-Member and On-Site Registration.   Please note that registration fees are higher for non-members and on-site registrants.



For details about hotel reservations, please click on the “2016 Hotel Reservation” here or on the sidebar of this page.

*Rare exceptions to the membership requirement are made when:  (a) the person is part of a session that is jointly sponsored with ASA or another academic association, and he/she is a member of that other association, and he/she has no other role in ASR’s Annual Meeting other than in the jointly sponsored session;  (b) an undergraduate student is the co-author or co-presenter of a paper with a faculty adviser who is an ASR member, or (c) when a session panelist or discussant does not specialize in the sociology of religion or a cognate field but nevertheless is believed by the Program Committee to contribute uniquely to the session.  Exceptions to the registration requirement are made only when the person is part of a session that is jointly sponsored with ASA or another academic association, and he/she is registered for that other association’s meeting, and he/she has no other role in ASR’s Annual Meeting other than in the jointly sponsored session.  All exceptions are determined by the Program Chair and Executive Officer in consultation with each other and the President, if necessary.