Call for Papers: Explorations in Decolonizing the Study of Religion

The committee for the Decolonization and the Study of Religion workshop series, in partnership with Arc: The Journal of the School of Religious Studies, are pleased to announce a call for papers for the upcoming colloquium, “Explorations in Decolonizing the Study of Religion” on February 16th, 2024. This colloquium will be hosted at McGill University School of Religious Studies with the explicit aim of eliciting submissions for a special issue of Arc concerned with decolonization and the study of religion (expected publication in Summer 2024).  

Decolonization and Indigenization efforts have been largely absent in the study of religion in North America, whether in policy implementation or methodological practice. Alternatively, with some notable exceptions, ‘religion’ has remained largely monolithic and undertheorized in contemporary decolonial and Indigenous discourses. This omission subsequently limits the capacity of decolonial and decolonizing thought fully to capture the relationship between religion and colonial power and stifles the potential of the domain of religious studies to engage in the crucial project of rethinking its dominant epistemic frameworks and undoing the violence enacted therein.

The main questions for this colloquium include, but are not limited to: How has religion and its study been implicated in coloniality and colonization, or how has coloniality been rendered through religious imaginaries?  Can religion be theorized through a decolonial canon? What would a decolonized study of religion (or a religious theory of decolonization) entail? And in what ways can religion offer a generative perspective from which decolonial disruptions, thoughts, and practices might emerge?

Colloquium submissions:

We welcome submissions that speak to the question of decolonization and/or decoloniality in relation to religious discourses, practices, communities, or histories; whether practically, epistemically, thematically, or politically; and along either local, national, transnational, or global frames. We also invite proposals which stretch the limits of these terms in critical and creative ways.

All panellists selected for the colloquium will be expected to present a paper that will subsequently be submitted for publication in Arc: The Journal of the School of Religious Studies. This event – in hybrid online/in-person format – will be an opportunity to share your paper with an engaged public audience for feedback and questions that might sharpen and expand your manuscript before submitting to the journal.

Please submit an extended abstract (750–1000 words) and preliminary bibliography for anonymous review. The document must be in either .docx or .pdf formatting and should include: a paper title, extended abstract, and bibliography, with no identifying information. Abstracts should be sent to by January 8th, 2024.

After the colloquium, journal submissions will be due on March 15th, 2024, and should be sent to Submission must respect the journal style guide and requirements in terms of length and content. Participants are asked to visit the journal site to ensure that these requirements are met before submission.