Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

Table of Contents | Cover Page  |  Editors  |  Contributors  |  Introduction  |  Web Version

The AAR is the largest learned society and professional association of teachers and scholars in the field of religion. It cooperates with the Society of Biblical Literature in its annual meetings and some regional meetings, operating facilities, and publishing program. The AAR has a membership of over 7,500; jointly the societies claim over 12,000 members. "The Academy is dedicated to furthering knowledge of religion and religious institutions in all their forms and manifestations." The offices of the AAR/SBL are permanently located in Atlanta, Georgia.

With origins among college teachers of religion, the AAR now maintains small sections studying religion and society, although its major focus continues to be on such more traditional religious disciplines as texts, liturgy, theology, and history.

The publications program of the AAR is particularly ambitious. It includes not only the quarterly Journal of the American Academy of Religion but a variety of book and electronic series under the Scholars Press label. The AAR also has endeavored to facilitate greater public understanding of the role of religion, particularly in American society, through working with the press and through efforts to articulate more clearly methods through which religion can be taught in the public schools without violating Supreme Court interpretations of church-state separation. In addition to its own publishing programs, the AAR presents a variety of awards to scholars for outstanding publications, public service, and teaching.

William H. Swatos, Jr .

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