REL Wordcloud - Midwest ISA


By publicizing section members’ research, outreach, or other news, we hope to increase connections among members and help to grow our field. Tell us about your:

  • Participation in or organisation of workshops and conferences
  • New publications – Both academic and non-academic
  • Awards, career moves, new initiatives
  • Policy engagement activities
  • Any other initiatives

We invite all members to submit their news to:

  • REL currently has 239 members, up from 212 in 2020, a year-on-year increase of 13%.
  • REL has 17 in-person and three virtual events at the 2022 Nashville convention.
  • REL shares a reception with three other ISA sections at the 2022 Nashville convention. It will be a major event, with cost free and to-purchase food and drink. At the reception, REL will honour its 2022 awardees for Distinguished Scholar, Best Book, and Best Graduate Paper.

Update on REL Section December 2021

Religion Section Newsletter - December 2021

Henry Luce Foundation and Religion & International Relations

Toby Alice Volkman’s thoughtful piece: "Reflections on the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion in International Affairs: 2005-2021", will be of interest to many in the Religions & International Affairs community. It is an overview of research topics in religion and international affairs over these 16 years. Under this initiative, Luce made 223 related grants, amounting to more than $60 million. Read it at Reflections on the Henry R. Luce Intiative on Religion in International Affairs: 2005-2021

REL Executive Committee Elections: Chair and Vice-Chair, January 2022

The Religion & International Relations (REL) section of ISA requests nominations for the post of Chair and Vice-Chair, for a term of two years from April 2022. Nominations must be submitted by 10 January 2022. Elections for the posts will be held on 15-17 January.


When nominating someone for Chair or Vice-Chair, please include a c.200 word statement explaining why the nominee would make a suitable Chair or Vice-Chair of REL. Nominees may self-nominate. Do not nominate someone without their permission. All nominees must be REL members.


Please send names of nominees and c.200 word statements to Anita Weiss, REL Member-at-Large, at no later than 10 January.



The Chair's responsibilities include: to call meetings and preside at them, coordinate section activities, oversee the Executive Committee, act as liaison with the ISA and with the REL membership, and be the official spokesperson of the REL.


The Vice Chair/Program Chair's responsibilities include: to assist the Chair in liaison activities and in preparing the annual report. The Vice Chair presents the report at the AGM. As Program Chair, she/he is responsible for organising the REL-sponsored panels at the ISA annual convention.


Elections for the remaining executive member posts: Secretary, Awards Chair, Communications Chair, and four Members-at-Large will take place in 2023.


Explanation of REL Executive Committee terms of office

Due to an oversight, the REL executive committee needs to redefine its terms of office, in order to bring them all in line with the REL Charter.



Henceforward, all REL executive committee members will serve two years, in accordance with the REL Charter. In order to build continuity and facilitate a transfer of organizational knowledge, only part of the Executive Committee will be elected each year. To facilitate this, elections will be staggered as such: Chair and Vice Chair will be elected next year, January 2022, and in every even-numbered year after that. Elections for the remainder of the officers of the REL executive committee will take place in January 2023 and every odd-numbered year thereafter. Learn about the current incumbents at: About Us/Leadership

Further details of the election and electoral process to follow.


The Religion & International Relations Section (REL) has created this convention award to support costs of travel/registration for postgraduate students and scholars in the global south to attend the 2022 ISA convention in Nashville.


See REL Section Awards Calls for more information!

Early Notice of REL Executive Committee Elections

Religion & International Relations Section

Global South Scholars

Travel/Registration Award 

REL is very grateful to Jonathan Fox for organizing three linked panels on religion and IR on behalf of the Religion and IR (REL) section of ISA at the ISA Midwest Conference held in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, November 19-20 2021.

While unfortunately a few participants were unable to come due to travel restrictions, a total of ten papers were presented. These papers covered a wide range of topics including: religious freedom, discrimination against religious minorities, religion and politics in Turkey, Evangelical networks in the Organization of American States, the interaction between secular and religious worldviews, and the interrelationship between religion and a number of factors including social trust and conflict. The approaches used by the researchers included quantitative and comparative methodology as well as political theory perspectives. All of the papers stimulated interesting and productive discussion and were well attended. Jonathan Fox would like to thank the participants and especially the discussants and panel chairs.

Check out this month’s newsletter word cloud—

it’s from the REL papers presented at ISA Midwest!

Report on REL Section Events at

ISA Mid-West Convention, St. Louis, MO, 19-20 November 2021

At the end of a remarkable year, I hope this finds you in good spirits. The complications of the pandemic mean that we have not had regular face-to-face meetings for nearly two years. It is with great joy that I remind you that the next annual ISA convention will take place in Nashville between 30 March-2 April, 2022, preceded by a virtual conference on 28-29 March. The 30 March-2 April convention is an in-person convention and I very much hope to see many REL members there. The REL program chair, Jonathan Agensky, has crafted an enticing programme of panels and roundtables, full details of which can be found at:

Let’s hope that 2022 is a better experience than 2021. Have a great holiday and I look forward to engaging with you on REL matters during the coming year.

                                                                                   Best wishes,                                       Jeffrey Haynes, REL chair

Chair's Welcome



The REL section has an active blog on our website:


The opportunity to author a blog post is now open to our members. If you’ve got something you want to “put out there” and it’s too long for a Tweet, the Religion and IR blog could be a great vehicle for your voice. Optimal length for our blogs is 1,000-2,500 words.


If you are interested in posting a blog, send your blog idea to Depending on demand, we may develop a schedule of blogs out into the future.

Contribute to Resources


We’d like to develop the Jobs and Fellowships section of our website as a resource to members, but we need your help.

  • Is your department hiring?
  • Have you heard of a great fellowship?
  • Have you seen a non-academic job that would be appropriate for some of our members?


Send information on any of these (or at least a link) to: The more opportunities we post, the more opportunities we’ll attract, and the better the resource becomes for you, our members.

Opportunities on the REL website for Members

Our website address is We are building it out as a resource for members and as a tool for keeping the study religion and international relations current and relevant.


As a section, we are committed to advancing scholarly dialogue about religion and IR, particularly the voices of our members. To support this, we are opening two types of opportunities to our members: blogs and news, as well as asking for your help to build this resource.

Current Newsletter
Download Previous Newsletters: