Quick Post: I'm getting ready for another meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.
Although not everyone likes "scientific" in the name because not everyone accepts the loaded connotations of the word... Nevertheless, SSSR (pronounced "triple-es-arr") is a corporate attempt to talk about religion in "non-confessional terms" and is the most focused gathering of scholars from the social sciences in the United States.
These meetings are great. Really great. Sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, economists, political scientists, historians, etc., etc., who gather in a focused manner to bring everyone up to date on the most recent, most exciting scholarship, happening on religion all around the world. Not only do I learn a lot, I enjoy the people I've met at these meetings. I've made many friends over the years and expect to make many more.
Take a look at the topics and research being presented over the coming weekend. In one session I'll be presenting research on African Americans as the icon of worship among members of multiracial churches; in another, on how attenders become members, then lay leaders, in the American megachurch.