(updated August 2017)
The IAHR holds a world congress every five years. In between the five year congresses, the IAHR sponsors at least one conference a year during which the Executive Committee or its officers can hold annual business meetings and the International Committee can meet (usually) triennially. Because the IAHR has increased its membership considerably, there is a growing wish among member societies to hold IAHR special conferences.
An IAHR special conference usually focuses on a special theme with participation by local scholars and a number of invited scholars from other countries.
An IAHR special conference is normally hosted and run by one or more constituent national or regional member associations or societies of the IAHR. An IAHR affiliate society may also be the host of an IAHR special conference.
The right to use the IAHR-designation involves a number of conditions depending on the applicant member association or affiliate association and the event in question.
- For all IAHR conferences, however, it is required that the hosting association should ensure that the academic program and the individual papers contribute to the general aims of the IAHR as spelled out in the IAHR Constitution, Article 1: “[…]The IAHR […] has as its objective the promotion of the academic study of religions through the international collaboration of all scholars whose research has a bearing on the subject. The IAHR is not a forum for confessional, apologetical, or other similar concerns.”
- An application with a description of the conference’s aims, location, date, and, if available, keynote speakers, should reach the Secretary General no later than 12 months before the planned event.
- Any participating representative of the IAHR Executive Committee should be allowed time to speak about the IAHR and its activities.
- It is further recommended that attention be paid to gender balance in terms of speakers as well as of participants.
- It is also required that the Secretary General be kept informed about developments and provided with conference programs and the list of the participants.
- Mention of the IAHR status shall be made on all documents used for the conference’s promotion as well as in the digital communication (website).
- Furthermore, publication of the proceedings must be consistent with the IAHR congress publication policy. Three free copies of any publications resulting from the event should be provided to the IAHR Secretary General.
- If the Executive Committee decides to hold its annual meeting during the event, the hosting association will make efforts to provide a meeting room free of charge. Other aspects (e.g. registration fee for members of the Executive Committee) will need to be coordinated with the Secretary General. Other conditions are subject to negotiation.
- Within two months of the event, the host of an IAHR special conference should provide the IAHR Secretary General with a brief (max. 1000 words) report on the conference suitable to be reproduced in an IAHR Bulletin or an IAHR e-Bulletin Supplement. In the case a funding was obtained (see below), the report should also mention how it was used, and if applicable, the name(s) of people who could attend the conference thanks to it.In return, the IAHR special conference organizers can apply for a funding, primarily as a contribution to the travel and living expenses of key people from countries with weak currencies. They can also expect an IAHR presence (at least one or two Executive Committee members), coverage of the event in the IAHR Bulletin, IAHR e-Bulletin Supplement and on the IAHR Website.