Annual Conference 2018
Call for Papers
Ngā Wāhi Tapu/Sacred Place: Continuity and Change
The third Joint Conference of the New Zealand Association for the Study of Religions
(NZASR) and the Australian Association for the Study of Religions (AASR) will be
hosted by the University of Auckland 29-30 November 2018. The plenary sessions of the
conference this year will be held in the Waipapa Marae and the Maclaurin Chapel, two
sacred sites on the University of Auckland campus, which reveal both continuity and
change in this particular context.
The study of sacred place has been receiving renewed attention in the interdisciplinary
study of religion. It includes a consideration of familiar institutions—temples, shrines,
and churches—but also extends to less visible sites that ground everyday life in ritual
practices in the home or in public spaces that are outside the boundaries of “official”
religion. In spite of the evidence for secularization, the renewal and revitalization of
sacred places is occurring in contemporary societies and transforming many urban areas
such as Auckland, Sydney, and Melbourne. This is due in part to recent patterns of
immigration and the growth in religious diversity with the arrival of new religious
traditions and the flourishing of diaspora communities. The movement of peoples and the
increase in interreligious encounters is creating a dynamic situation of mutual
transformation and contributing to both de/re-territorialization of religion as some sacred
sites are appropriated by new actors and groups representing alternatives to established
Paper and panel proposals are invited to address a number of questions and issues
surrounding the conference theme. How do demographic trends—both domestic and
international migration—impact the religious landscape? How is sacred place being
represented materially in new ways? What consequences do these new expressions of the
sacred have for shaping human values and civil society? How is gender and sexuality
regulated in these places? What role do governments play in the protection of traditional
sacred sites and in the construction of new ones? Papers addressing these concerns and
their relevance for the academic study of religion in the Antipodes are particularly
welcome. In addition to proposals related to the conference theme, we also invite
submissions on the full range of topics and issues that reflect the diverse fields of
specialization, disciplinary approaches, and research interests of our members.
The programme this year will include several keynotes and plenary sessions. Associate
Professor Cristina Rocha (Western Sydney University) will give the AASR presidential
address and Associate Professor Jay Johnston will give the Penny Magee lecture. The
NZASR keynote and plenary session will be announced shortly.
Guidelines for Paper and Panel Proposals
Paper proposals should be submitted online at the link below and include the following
information: Title, Author, Abstract (maximum 200 words), and University affiliation.
For panel proposals, the convener should submit one document that includes the abstracts
and author information of each presenter.
Key information and dates to remember:
➢Deadline for paper proposals: 15 August.
➢ An early-bird registration rate (NZ$250) is available to members who register on or
before 30 September 2018.
➢ An early-bird registration rate (NZ$125) is available to students or other unwaged
attendees who register on or before 30 September 2018.
➢ The NZASR site will be updated in July with a link to the University of Auckland’s
Events Centre, which will manage conference registration and payment, and provide
information on accommodations, including both nearby hotels and on-campus options.
➢ Principal Conference Contact:
Professor Mark Mullins (University of Auckland): firstname.lastname@example.org