The Association for the Study of Religion in Southern Africa (ASRSA) is a not for profit academic association which is independent of the religions it and its members study.

The association aims:

  • To promote the scholarly study of the religions of Southern Africa and the wider world.
  • To promote contact among scholars in the field of the study of religions and other related disciplines.
  • To promote the study of the effect of religion in the context of the numerous fields of human existence, such as economics, politics, psychology, philosophy, sociology, and anthropology.
  • To promote respect for the diversity of religions and worldviews in Southern Africa and internationally.
  • To contribute to the above aims towards achieving and maintaining a just and peaceful society.


The Association is open to all who support its aims and accept its constitution, on acceptance by the Executive Committee and on payment of the prescribed membership fee. Its categories of members are as follows:

  • Honorary Life Membership: these are extended by invitation of the Association at its General Meetings to any persons it deems suitable.
  • Ordinary membership: describes a member who is neither an honorary life member nor a student member.
  • Student membership: is open to any student registered at a tertiary educational institution.

If you wish to join the Association please apply in writing to the Secretary at: All applications will be considered by the Executive Committee of the Association.

Meetings of the Association:


The Association holds an annual conference once a year. Each year the conference is hosted by a different university in the Southern Africa region. Each year the theme is different but inclusive enough to create a meaningful platform for colleagues to discuss their current research interests.

General Meetings

  • The Association holds a General Meeting once a year, usually at the same time as the annual conference.
  • Members of the Association are given at least 30 days written notice of the date and agenda of a General meeting.

Some of the previous conferences:

2014 36th ASRSA Annual Conference

Religious Freedom and Human Rights: Law, Education and Civil Society, hosted by EDU‐HRight & HREiD at North‐West University.

2015 37th ASRSA Annual Conference

Religious Violence and/or Violence in the Name of Religion, hosted by the University of Johannesburg

2016 38th ASRSA Annual Conference

This was held as part of the Joint Conference with other Academic Associations studying Religions and Theology. It was themed around faith and secularisation and hosted by the University of Pretoria

2017 39th ASRSA Annual Conference

The Study of Religion in Critical Times, hosted by the University of Cape Town 2018 40th ASRSA Annual Conference Religion, History and Materiality, hosted by the University of KwaZulu Natal.

2019 41st ASRSA Annual Conference

Religion and Economy, hosted by UNISA Executive


  • The Executive Committee is elected at a General Meeting and consist of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and the editor of the Association’s official Journal, the Journal for the Study of Religion. A further two members may be elected to the committee as members without portfolio. Candidates for election to the Executive Committee must be ordinary members of the Association and must be proposed and seconded by ordinary members.
  • Members of the Executive Committee hold office from the end of the General Meeting at which they were elected for a period of two years and are eligible for re-election.
  • Three members of the Executive committee constitute a quorum.