The Australian Association for the Study of Religions (AASR) is a professional organisation, comprised of teachers, academics, students and others with a knowledge and experience of religious traditions, which was formed in Adelaide in 1976.  


The AASR promotes the study of religion by: 

•       producing the Journal for the Academic Study of Religion; 

•       holding an annual conference;  

•       circulating an e-list of upcoming international events, scholarships and academic positions; 

•       hosting a website including a regularly updated portal with latest news; and  

•       facilitating networks of likeminded scholars  


The AASR is a member association of the International Association for the History of Religions. Many AASR members also hold membership in other societies representing specific disciplines and crossdisciplinary fields.  

The Association aims to function as a meeting place where the study of religion in its broadest dimensions may be fostered. It owes a considerable debt of gratitude to the Charles Strong Trust for financial support. 





Associate Prof. Cristina Rocha

School of Social Sciences 

Western Sydney University

Penrith NSW 2751



Dr. Kathleen McPhillips

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

University of Newcastle

Callaghan NSW 2308



Prof. Carole Cusack

The University of Sydney

A20 - John Woolley Building

NSW 2006



Dr. Milad Milani

Western Sydney University

Locked Bag 1797 Penrith NSW 2751



Dr. Anna Halafoff

Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation 

Deakin University 

Burwood VIC 3125 



Dr. Enqi Weng

Deakin University

Burwood VIC 3125 



Prof. Douglas Ezzy

Department of Sociology and Social Work 

University of Tasmania 

Sandy Bay TASMANIA 7005 






1976 (Last amended 2018)


I.  Name  

Australian Association for the Study of Religions  



The Association exists: 

1.  to develop a community of persons with common interests in the scholarly understanding of religion and religions; 

2.  to promote creative developments in the field of Religious Studies in Australia by:  

  • stimulating scholarship and research;

  • disseminating information about current programmes and studies

  • supporting publication of scholarly works and articles

  • encouraging the establishment and maintenance of effective teaching.


III. Membership

1.  Membership shall be in the following classes:  

  • Full Membership. Persons interested in research, study, or teaching in the field of Religion may be admitted to full membership in the Association upon application to the Association Executive and payment of full membership dues.

  • Student Membership. Tertiary students engaged in the study of religion may be admitted to student membership in the Association upon application to the Association Executive and payment of student membership dues.

  • Honorary Membership. Persons who have rendered distinguished service in or to the Study of Religion whether resident in Australia or elsewhere, may be elected with their consent to Honorary Membership. The Honorary Members elected in any calendar year may not exceed two, and the total number of Honorary Members may not exceed 5% of the Association's membership.

  • Members Emeritus. Emeritus membership is open to persons who have reached retirement.


2.  Applications for membership (III.l.(a), (b), (d) shall be made on the Official Application form obtained from the Secretary. 


3.  At the Annual Meeting the Secretary shall present an annual report of the membership of each class, and the Treasurer shall present an annual report and audited financial statement. 


IV.  Dues

Full Membership and Student Membership Dues shall be fixed by a vote of the membership at an Annual Meeting. Dues shall be payable via the journal publisher Equinox. 


V.  Assets and Income  

1.    Non-profit clause:  The assets and income of the association shall be applied solely in furtherance of its above mentioned objectives and no portion shall be distributed directly or indirectly to the members of the organisation except as bona fide compensation for services rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of the organisation.  

2.    Dissolution clause:  In the event of the association being dissolved, the amount which remains after such dissolution and the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, shall be paid and applied by the Committee in accordance with their powers to an organisation which is exempt from income tax under Section 23 of the Income Tax Assessment Act. 

3.    All payments must be approved by two members of the executive.  A joint account in the names of the President and Executive/Public Officer shall be set for the Association. The Association executive officers will audit this account annually 1 month before the AGM


VI. Meetings  

  1. The Association shall hold an Annual Meeting for the transaction of business.

  2. A National Conference shall be held annually OR less frequently as the Executive shall determine. The aim of the National Conferences shall be to promote the purposes of the Association through public presentations or seminars and scholarly papers or forums.

  3. The Annual Business Meeting shall be held during the period of the National Conference in those years in which a National Conference is held.

  4. Meetings of Regional Branches of the Association may be scheduled locally in accordance with local needs and interests.


VII.  Regional Branches  

Regional Branches, consisting of members of the Association residing in a particular region, may be organised, in consultation with the Association Executive, for the purposes stated in Article. 


VIII.  Affiliations  

  1. Upon majority vote of the Annual Meeting, the Association may affiliate with and participate in other organizations concerned with the study of religion, and other organisations whose disciplines contribute to the understanding of religions.

  2. Affiliated groups may be given space in the programmes of the Association's National and Regional Meetings at the discretion of the appropriate Programme Committees.


IX. Officers

1. The Officers of the Association shall be:  

  • President

  • Vice-President

  • Executive Officer and Public Officer

  • Women's Caucus Representative

  • Information Officer

  • Publications Chair

  • Journal Editor(s)

  • Chairperson of the National Conference Programme Committee

  • HDR Representative

  • FB Website Moderator

2. They shall be elected by the Association at the Annual Meeting.

3. Nomination of the offices shall be made by members. Nominations shall be announced to the membership along with the mailed announcement of the Annual Meeting. 

4. Additional nominations for any office shall be made from the floor at the Annual Meeting.  

5. Tenure of all officers, except the Journal editor(s), shall commence immediately at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting and terminate at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting of the following year. The position of editor(s) will be filled for a period of three years. The office of President shall not be filled by the same person for more than two years in succession.  


X.  Nominations Committee  

The Nominations Committee may be identical with the Executive Committee.  



A correspondent may be nominated locally by Association members in a State, Territory or Region, and endorsed by the Annual Meeting.  


XII. Executive Committee  

  1. Between Annual Meetings, the oversight of the affairs and business of the Association shall be in the hands of an Executive Committee.

  2. The membership of the Executive Committee shall be the officers of the Association plus the Immediate Past President and the Immediate Past Conference Chairperson.


XIII. National Conference Programme Committee  

  1. The Programme Committee shall be responsible for planning a National Conference.

  2. Programme Committee membership shall consist of

    • a Chairperson

    • a Secretary-Treasurer in the host city or region

    • persons co-opted locally by the Programme Chairperson to for a working committee.


XIV. Sections

  1. The Executive Committee may approve the formation, reformation, and dissolution of Sections, understood as groups of members with scholarly interests in a particular area of or approach to the study of religions.

  2. Each Section shall have a Chairperson responsible to the Programme Committee and Executive Committee.

  3. Any group of members may propose the creation of an Association Section.


XV. Publications Committee

  1. The Publications Officer and Journal Editor(s) will confer about publications.

  2. The Committee, as authorised and directed by the Executive Committee shall

    • publish the work of Australian scholars in Religion as this becomes feasible

    • publish the Proceedings of the Association as directed by the Association

    • make available Association publications and, where possible, other books and journals in religion, at a discounted price to Association members.

  3. The Publications Committee shall be competent to invite Australian scholars to serve in an Advisory Editorial capacity.

  4. The appointment of the journal editor(s) shall be decided upon receipt of nominations by executive committee.


XVI. Changes to the Constitution  

  1. Proposed changes to the Constitution may be submitted to the Executive Committee at any time, and must be circulated to members.

  2. Changes to the Constitution may be effected by a two-thirds affirmative vote via email vote.

  3. This Constitution was considered at the General Business Meeting held on Saturday August 21, 1976 during the Association's Inaugural National Conference in Adelaide. Dr Norman Habel presided and 71 persons were in attendance. The Constitution was adopted unanimously. It was amended in 1987 when the former Secretary-Treasurer executive position was expanded into two separate executive responsibilities. It was further amended in 1993 to bring it into line with the statutory requirements of the Taxation Act for non-profit organisations.It was further amended in 2018.