The first in a series of calls for papers for OLH special collections.
In April 2013, the Society for the Anthropology of Religion held its biennial meeting in Pasadena, California, USA. The theme was “Religious Syncretism and Synergies.” This gathering of scholars featured a broad spectrum of research on religious cultures and how they have situated themselves, and appropriated elements of specific local and ethnic contexts. To build research on a related theme of “Religious Subcultures in Unexpected Places,” we invite paper submissions for online publication in a special collection of articles.
Published research has the capacity to illuminate the traditions of religious communities that thrive and endure in tension with, and perhaps separately from, their own neighborhoods. Studies of this nature include ethnographies and cultural histories that incorporate the methods of oral history, participant observation, and archival research. The focus of this collection is on qualitative studies, with “thick description,” of religious communities who carry on their traditions in distinctive ways that are little known, or misunderstood, in the surrounding areas; or who actively integrate traditions across wide spatial or cultural distances. These might be contributed by anthropologists, although the scope is interdisciplinary. The studies could examine one of the following, for example:
- “Peace church” congregations in militaristic areas
- Religious groups migrating to unfamiliar regions or nations
- Religious practices that syncretize elements of local and remote cultures
- New religious movements that function as countercultures
The special collection, edited by Jonathan H. Harwell, is to be published in the Open Library of Humanities (ISSN 2056-6700). The OLH is an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded open-access journal with a strong emphasis on quality peer review and a prestigious academic steering board. Unlike some open-access publications, the OLH has no author-facing charges and is instead financially supported by an international consortium of libraries.
Submissions should be made online at: https://submit.openlibhums.org/ in accordance with the author guidelines and clearly marking the entry as [“Religious Subcultures in Unexpected Places,” SPECIAL COLLECTION]. Submissions will then undergo a double-blind peer-review process. Authors will be notified of the outcome as soon as reports are received.