Call for Papers
14th Assembly of the
International Association for Mission Studies
August 11–17, 2016
Seoul, South Korea
Conversions and Transformations:
Missiological Approaches to Religious Change
No matter what the goal of mission activity is considered to be, mission aims at transformation of some sort. The issue of conversion – a traditional goal of much Christian missionary activity – is much debated, both within and between religious communities. This is often due to the controversial methods and aims some Christian communities have employed. The nature of the transformation brought about by religion is also a contested field: Is it “purely” spiritual or does it also have social, cultural, political and other dimensions? The Scripture and the different Christian traditions abound with ideas, models and impulses about the types of religious change to be followed and those that are rejected. The way Christians perceive the nature of religious conversion and transformation influences the ways they relate to other Christians and to the people of other faiths. In this way, religious change, as viewed from theoretical, theological, ethical and practical perspectives, occupies a central place in the field of mission studies.
This 14th IAMS Assembly will examine issues of conversion and religious change from the multiple perspective shaping contemporary mission studies. The issues of conversion and religious change have not received enough scholarly attention by missiologists and Christian theologians working in the discipline. In many ways the questions of conversion and transformation have been dealt with by other sciences, such as social studies, general psychology and psychology of religion, philosophy, developmental studies, etc. At the same time, these questions have often been answered by theologians and missiologists employing historical or denominational approaches to conversion and transformation. Merely historical or denominationally specific approaches to such questions can keep theologians from the wider exchange of views important for Christian life issues.
One of the aims of the 2016 IAMS Assembly is to contribute towards creating a space for critical and constructive dialogue among scholarly disciplines, different Christian traditions and varying contextual backgrounds. From this perspective, we would expect to see paper contributions that relate mission studies with other relevant disciplines and sciences so that issues of conversion and transformation are critically analyzed and theoretical approaches to religious change in interreligious contexts are elaborated.
We welcome papers on mission, conversion, transformation and the various missiological approaches to religious change from the perspective of the main fields of the IAMS Study Group, as well as from other scholarly fields of study. Other paper topics are welcomed, too, provided they contribute to the wider exploration of Christian mission and mission studies.
While preparing for the 2016 Assembly, please keep in mind the following information.
IAMS-2016 Study Groups
The academic procedure of the 2016 Seoul Assembly includes presentations of panel papers and session papers within the framework of the work of IAMS’ seven study groups. These are:
● BISAM: Biblical Studies and Mission
● DABOH: Documentation, Archives, Bibliography and Oral History
● Gender in Mission
● Religious Freedom and Mission
● Theology of Mission (including analysis of WCC-document Together towards Life)
● Interreligious issues
All papers accepted should be presented within one of the Study groups. When proposing your paper, please think of which Study group your theme of research belongs to.
1. Proposed topics with 250-word abstract are due by 30 September 2015 (note the extended deadline!).
2. Applicants will be notified of the acceptance of their papers in November and December 2015.
3. Draft papers of 2000 words are due by 31 May 2016.
Guidelines for writing paper:
1. Papers presented during the conference are not to exceed 2000 words or 20 minutes to allow 10 minutes to be allocated to questions and answers.
2. If conference participants intend to submit their papers to Mission Studies for publication after the conference, they should develop them to between 6000 and 10,000 words, including notes.
3. Authors are expected to strictly adhere to the Style Guide for Mission Studies
Process governing acceptance of paper
1. All proposals with abstracts will be reviewed by the IAMS Academic Committee who will finalize the Seoul programme in early 2016.
2. Applicants will be notified of the Academic Committee’s decision by the end of January 2016.
3. If additional clarifications are needed, paper presenters and the Chairs of the seven IAMS Study groups will additionally review the submitted paper abstracts and notify the paper presenters by 31 March 2016.
Papers admittance criteria
While writing your paper and before submission, check that you can answer the following questions positively:
1. Is your paper topic relevant to the IAMS-2016 Assembly general theme or the theme of your Study group?
2. In what way does your paper make an original contribution to the chosen field of study?
3. Does your paper show the following features:
• Clarity and logic of argument;
• Originality and concreteness of content;
• Level of engagement with relevant scholarship;
• Accuracy of form, expression, and language inclusiveness.
4. Is your paper abstract less than 250 words, and your draft paper for presentation less than 2000 words?
Address all correspondence to:
International Association for Mission Studies
c/o Church Mission Society, Watlington Road, Oxford OX4 6BZ, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1865 787400
Fax: +44 1865 776375