CFP: “Religion, Animals, and X,” a Special Issue of Religions

Katharine Mershon's picture

Dear Colleagues,

The animals and religion subfield has grown rapidly over the last 25 years and is in a crucial phase of development. The field’s rapid growth has occurred in at least two directions: first, the development of a body of both Christian theological and religious studies scholarship focused on nonhuman animals, and, second, the recognition of the value of critical perspectives on animals and animality for a wide range of inquiries in theology and religious studies, especially work that seeks to understand, analyze, and deconstruct various conceptions of the human. On the one hand, we have animals in religion as a subject of direct interest and, on the other hand, we have a critical consideration of the idea of the animal adding new depth to theory and method in religious studies, and to critical theory more generally. This second direction of scholarship need not intrinsically address the plight of actual animals, but it can, and is often at its best when it does.

This Special Issue of Religions seeks to advance this second direction by bringing together a set of articles that all address “Religion, Animals, and X” where “X” could be other critical categories connected with social movements like coloniality, gender and sexuality, queerness, or race; topical areas of broad social concern like anti-Black racism, anti-immigrant racism, climate change, factory farming, hunting, and pandemics; new areas of religion scholarship like affect, disability, ecology, migration, monsters, plants, and science fiction; critical terms in religious studies like belief, body, grief, life, mourning, person, sacrifice, and scripture. Articles are already being developed on religion, animals, and the following categories: art, blackness, the contemplative, the family, food, and indigenous traditions. Each article should either take up a particular exemplum or exempla in the service of advancing the discussion of religion, animals, and X, or, alternatively, should seek to survey and analyze existing work on religion, animals, and X.

We expect to complete the Special Issue by May 2022. If you have questions or would like to send an abstract before developing your paper, please email both and and one of us will get back to you. While there is no word limit, we anticipate most contributions to be between 5,000 and 10,000 words. References should follow the Chicago Manual of Style Notes and Bibliography citation method (exceptions allowed).

Prof. Dr. Aaron Gross
Prof. Katharine Mershon
Guest Editors