American Academy of Religion Annual Conference 2020, Daoist Studies Unit (co-)sponsored sessions

Jessey Choo's picture

The Daoist Studies Unit is very pleased to (co-)sponsor the following sessions for this year’s AAR virtual conference (November 29-December 10, 2020). Instruction on accessing zoom meeting rooms is forthcoming from the AAR. Additional information about these panels could be found in the online program book ( 

Bodies Divine: Art, Agency, and Body in Daoist and Buddhist Images
Monday, November 30, 9:00 AM-10:30 AM (EST UTC-5)

Megan Bryson, University of Tennessee, "Ritual Assemblages: Esoteric Bodies and the Problem of Agency"

Michael Naparstek, University of Wisconsin, "About Face: The Body Multiple and Icon Agency in Zhou Jichang’s 周季常 (fl. 12th c.) 'Lohan Manifesting Himself as Eleven-Headed Guanyin'"

• Ziyun Liu, University of Wisconsin, Madison, “Truth of Daoist Visualization: Transforming Inner Alchemical Vision into Landscape Painting in Huang Gongwang’s 黃公望 (1269-1354) ‘Nine Peaks After Snow’”

• Aaron Reich, Saint Joseph's University, Presiding

• Noelle Giuffrida, Ball State University, Responding

The Concept of Zhen 真 (True, Real) and Its Potential Contributions to Ritual Theory: A Roundtable on Poul Andersen’s The Paradox of Being: Truth, Identity and Images in Daoism 
Tuesday, December 1, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM (EST UTC-5)

• Pauline Lee, Saint Louis University

• David Mozina, Boston College

• Kimberley Patton, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University

• Gil Raz, Dartmouth College

• Tobias Zuern, Washington University, St. Louis, Presiding

• Poul Andersen, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Responding

Business Meeting
Jessey Choo, Rutgers University, Presiding
Jonathan Pettit, University of Hawai‘i, Presiding

Mountains, Cliffs, and Inscriptions: Explorations in Daoist Epigraphy
Thursday, December 3, 9:00 AM-10:30 AM (EST UTC-5)

• Wen Lei, Institute of History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, “The Abbey Celebrating the Tang慶唐觀: Representation and Evolution of a Sacred Site from the Tang Dynasty”

• Jie Zhou, Alliance Theological Seminary, “Art, Religion and Heritage: Multiple Identities of Daoist Cliff Statues in Dazu Nanshan

• Jonathan Pettit, University of Hawai‘i, “Parallel Worlds: Hagiographic Juxtaposition in Early Daoist Stele Monuments”

• Gil Raz, Dartmouth College, Presiding


Renegotiating Unseen Realms: Studies on the Ritual Reinvention Among Contemporary Daoists
Wednesday, December 9, 9:00 AM-10:30 AM (EST UTC-5)

• Stephen Flanigan, University of Hawai'i, “The Fire Jiao: A Paradigm-Challenging Rite of Late-Imperial Exorcism”

• Kenneth Dean, National University of Singapore, “Daoist Diasporas: Spirit Mediums, Daoist Masters and Ritual Events in Singapore and Malaysia”

• Nikolas Broy, Leipzig University, “Spiritual Poaching or Authentic Dao? Daoist-Oriented Teachings and Practices in the Global Spread of Yiguandao”

• Jessey Choo, Rutgers University, Presiding


For information on the AAR virtual conference 2020 in general:

For information on the Daoist Studies Unit and forthcoming CFP: