Call for Papers

2018 Annual Meeting
October 26-28, 2018 | Tropicana Hotel, Las Vegas, NV


Missing Pieces, Changing Puzzles

Scholars from a variety of academic disciplines have studied many topics of interest to religious congregations, denominations, and organizations, as well as leaders and practitioners. Sometimes, however, our research fails to examine and describe religious innovations that do not fit traditional models. Research questions may not adequately capture the current scope and diversity of the religious landscape. Some survey instruments may not be able to measure new developments in religious belief and practice–due to antiquated questions, limited response options, and lack of representation of non-Christian religions. Despite many scholars’ desire to understand these new phenomena and religious practitioners interest in these recent changes, sometimes our research questions and efforts do not keep up. The 2018 RRA annual meeting will explore how we can research new religious phenomena and trends.

Presentations, panels and roundtable sessions are welcome at this meeting on all topics related to the social dimensions of religion and particularly on topics related to applied and organizational aspects of religion, which reflect the traditional focus of the RRA. In addition to sharing research findings, this call also encourages presenters to think innovatively about new religious phenomena and recent trends in in religion and how we can capture these things in our research.


Key topics for this meeting include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • What new phenomena and trends in religion are missing in our research?
  • How are national survey projects, denominational research offices, and polling research organizations measuring new developments in religion?
  • How can we ask questions that are inclusive of and appropriate for non-Christian religious traditions?
  • How can we study non-traditional forms of religiosity and spirituality, like alternative spirituality groups or nontraditional gatherings?
  • How are religious groups and denominations responding to these changes?
  • How can we study innovative religious gatherings and groupings, like multisite congregations, multiple congregations meeting in the same building, and networks of nondenominational congregations?
  • How can religious organizations, leaders, and practitioners respond to new developments in the religious landscape?

Please submit the paper and session proposals through the online portal at, choosing the RRA option on the submission form.

Submissions of sessions and individual paper proposals opens on February 1, 2018.

Submissions close on March 31, 2018. Decision notification is on April 30, 2018.

Please direct questions to the 2018 RRA Program Co-chairs, Jennifer McClure ( and Erica Dollhopf (