CFP: India-China comparative “Mind and Consciousness” and “Ritual Theory”

The co-chairs of the AAR’s Indian and Chinese Religions Compared unit have distributed the following CFP:

Call for Papers

1. Mind and consciousness: We invite papers on the theme of mind and consciousness as understood in the religious traditions of India and China. Intangible yet ubiquitous, the locus of thought, emotion, and spiritual insight: what exactly are the mind and consciousness? Are they the same or different? What terms are used to express them? How are states of consciousness analyzed and classified? Can the intangible become tangible, and if so, how? What access or insight do Indian and Chinese traditions offer? Papers may focus on a single tradition or thinker, but comparative approaches are especially encouraged, whether between various Indian traditions, various Chinese traditions, or an Indian tradition and a Chinese tradition. 

2. Ritual theory: We are also seeking papers for a co-sponsored session on ritual theory in India and China. What theories have Indian and Chinese intellectuals formulated to explain rituals? What function do rituals serve? How and why do they work? Are there necessary ingredients, and if so, what? To what extent are these theories context-specific, and to what extent might they yield insights that could be applied outside their original contexts? Comparative proposals are welcome, as are proposals focusing on a particular tradition or thinker from either India or China. Examples include (but are by no means limited to) ritual theory in the Brāhmaṇas, Mīmāṃsā theories, Confucian debates on *li* 禮, Daoist ritual theories, Daoxuan’s 道宣 theoretical framework, etc.

Proposals should be submitted through AAR’s PAPERS system (, which should open in January.

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