The Bylaws of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion

January 22, 2010

Original bylaws adopted by Interim Executive Committee of the Anthropology of Religion Section March 14, 1997

First revised version adopted by Interim Executive Committee of the Anthropology of Religion Section November 20, 1997

Second revised version adopted by Executive Committee of the Anthropology of Religion Section February 2, 2000

ARTICLE I. Name

  1. The group shall be known as the Society for the Anthropology of Religion, a Section of the American Anthropological Association, hereinafter referred to as SAR.

ARTICLE II. Purposes

  1. The purpose of SAR shall be to foster anthropological research on religion and to disseminate the results of anthropological research on religion.
  2. SAR holds a non-partisan, non-sectarian view of religion, and seeks to foster and disseminate to the public any and all information it collects without discrimination.

ARTICLE III. Powers

  1. SAR shall be autonomous in all matters within its field that are not reserved by the Bylaws of the American Anthropological Association, inimical to the American Anthropological Association’s interests, or prohibited by law.
  2. SAR shall have elected and appointed officers as set forth in these Bylaws.
  3. SAR is empowered to determine membership dues.
  4. SAR shall determine voting requirements on all SAR matters.
  5. SAR may engage in publishing and program activities, appoint editors, committees and other agents, and set publication and program policies appropriate to its purposes, subject to approval by the AAA.
  6. SAR shall adopt these Bylaws, consistent with American Anthropological Association Bylaws. SAR shall file with the American Anthropological Association Secretary a copy of these Bylaws and Table of Organization.

ARTICLE IV. Membership

  1. Membership in SAR shall be open to any member in good standing of the American Anthropological Association who supports the above purposes subject to the payment of dues stipulated by the Executive Committee of SAR.
  2. SAR shall consist of Regular, Associate, and Student members. Unless otherwise specified, the term “Members” will refer to all three categories of membership.
  3. Regular Members shall be limited to those members of SAR who annually pay the dues stipulated by the Executive Committee of SAR and who are also voting Members of the American Anthropological Association. They are eligible for any elective or appointive office in the Executive Committee of SAR.
  4. Associate Members shall consist of non-anthropologists who annually pay the dues stipulated by the Executive Committee of SAR and who are also Associate members of the American Anthropological Association.
  5. Student Members of the American Anthropological Association who pay the dues stipulated by the Executive Committee of SAR shall be considered as Regular Members.
  6. All members in good standing shall receive the publications of SAR, shall have one vote in electing officers and Members-at-Large of SAR, and may participate and hold office in any number of the Standing or Ad Hoc Committees. All members in good standing shall also be eligible to participate in the program of the annual SAR conference, and to receive a Member discount at the annual SAR conference.
  7. For just cause, a Member may be deprived of membership by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee of SAR, subject to appeal to the Members at the Annual Meeting.

ARTICLE V. Dues

  1. The Executive Committee of SAR shall set the annual dues of Members and may establish rates for special categories.
  2. Any Member in arrears in the payment of dues shall lose all membership privileges.

ARTICLE VI. Officers

  1. The officers shall be a President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
  2. Elections will be held every second year for the offices of President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. The President -Elect shall serve for a term of one year, after which he or she will automatically become President. The President will serve for a term of two years, after which he or she will automatically become Immediate Past President. The Immediate Past President will serve for a term of one year. The Secretary and Treasurer will each serve for a term of two years.
  3. The President shall be the presiding officer of SAR and the representative to the AAA Section Assembly and shall represent the SAR on the Executive Board of the AAA when and as requested by the AAA.
  4. The President-Elect shall assist the President and will serve as a member of the Executive Committee.
  5. The Immediate Past President shall advise the President and will serve as a member of the Executive Committee.
  6. The President-Elect and the Immediate Past President will not serve simultaneously. During the one-year tenure of the Immediate Past President, there will be no President-Elect. During the one-year tenure of the President-Elect, there will be no Immediate Past President.
  7. The President-Elect or the Immediate Past President shall assume the duties of the President in the event of absence, death, resignation or incapacity of the President should the need arise. In the event that the President cannot serve as SAR representative to the AAA Section Assembly or the AAA Executive Board, the President-Elect or the Immediate Past President shall serve in the President’s place.
  8. In the event of absence, death, resignation, incapacity, or assumption of the Presidency by the President-Elect, the President will call an emergency election to fill the remainder of the one-year term of the President-Elect and subsequent terms of President and Immediate Past President. Should the President be unable to call such an election because of his/her resignation, absence, or some other reason, the Treasurer will do so.
  9. No holder of any of the above named offices shall be eligible to run for any of the above named offices for a period of two years following the completion of his or her term(s) of service.

ARTICLE VII. Executive Committee

  1. In addition to the above named officers, t here shall be an Executive Committee consisting of the President, Secretary, Treasurer, and either the Immediate Past-President or the President-Elect, and eight (8) Members-at-Large.
  2. Subject to directives and limitations imposed by the members of SAR, the Executive Committee shall have the authority to make all policy decisions for SAR and to execute on behalf of SAR all powers and functions defined in these Bylaws.
  3. The Executive Committee shall meet at least once annually, at the American Anthropological Association meeting. The Executive Committee shall also meet at any and all external conferences organized by SAR. It may meet additionally at the call of the President or a majority vote of the Executive Committee.
  4. The Executive Committee shall make all non-elective appointments and may make interim appointments to fill vacancies in any elective office until the next regularly scheduled election.
  5. Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee will serve for two years with the possibility of re-election to a second two year term. Elections will be held every year for four members of the Executive Committee.
  6. At least one At-Large Member position will be reserved for a student. The student member of the executive committee must be currently in good standing in a graduate program in anthropology, and will serve for one term of two years without possibility for re-election.
  7. The editor of the SAR book series shall be an ex-officio member of the executive committee. The Executive Committee may appoint other members to ex-officio membership from time to time.
  8. No holder of any of the Member-at-Large seats on the Executive Committee shall be eligible to run for any of the above named offices for a period of two years following the completion of his or her term(s) of service.

ARTICLE VIII. Annual Report

  1. At the time of each Annual Meeting, the Executive Committee of SAR shall report its activities to the Members and to the Board of Directors of the American Anthropological Association. The report shall include the reports of the Secretary, Treasurer, editors of publications, committees, and other agents representing SAR.

ARTICLE IX. Meetings

  1. SAR shall hold an Annual Business Meeting at the time of the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association.
  2. The place and date of the Annual Meeting shall be disclosed to the Members not less than one hundred twenty (120) days in advance of the meeting.
  3. The Executive Committee of SAR shall appoint a Program Committee consisting of three (3) Members who shall organize the conference programs of SAR.
  4. Special meetings may be called by the Executive Committee of SAR or upon written request of five (5) percent of the Members.

ARTICLE X. Quorum

  1. Five (5) percent of the Members in good standing shall constitute a quorum at the Annual Business Meeting.
  2. A majority of the members of the Executive Committee of SAR shall constitute a quorum for transacting business.
  3. The business of SAR shall be transacted by a majority vote unless otherwise provided in these Bylaws.

ARTICLE XI. Nominations and Elections

  1. Candidates for any elective office may be nominated by the Executive Committee of SAR, by a Nominations Committee, or by Members. All candidates shall be Members in good standing of SAR.
  2. A Nominations Committee of three (3) Members shall be appointed annually by the Executive Committee of SAR.
  3. The Nominations Committee shall make every effort to nominate at least two (2) persons for the offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer, and at least five (5) persons for the four (4) open Members-at-Large positions. These nominations shall be made known to Members at least one hundred twenty (120) days before the Annual Meeting.
  4. Five (5) percent of the Members in good standing may nominate an additional candidate for any office, provided the nomination is received in writing by the Secretary no more than thirty (30) days after the Nominating Committee’s nominations have been made public.
  5. Members of the Nominations Committee are not eligible for candidacy at that election unless nominated by member petition as specified in item 4 above.
  6. A complete statement of powers and duties of each officer and of Members-at-Large will be drafted by the Executive Committee and maintained by the Secretary. The Secretary shall inform prospective nominees of the probable extent of the burden of office by providing a copy of the statement of powers and duties of the office to the nominee upon nomination. A nomination becomes effective only upon filing with the Secretary a statement of willingness and ability to devote such time to the affairs of SAR as necessary to the effective execution of office.

ARTICLE XII. Balloting

  1. A Member in good standing shall be entitled to cast one ballot in any election or referendum.
  2. Ballots shall be secret and enclosed in a sealed envelope. The Executive Committee shall have the authority to examine the eligibility of any voter.
  3. Thirty (30) days shall be allowed for the return of ballots. Ballots must be received not later than the stated return date to be counted.
  4. A service agency may be engaged to tally the votes and certify the results to the Executive Committee of SAR.
  5. The candidate receiving the most votes for a contested office shall be elected; the Executive Committee of SAR shall hold a run-off election within ninety (90) days to resolve all ties.

ARTICLE XIII. Referenda

  1. A referendum may be conducted by mail ballot at any time upon initiation of the Executive Committee of SAR, or upon receipt by the Secretary of a petition signed by five (5) percent of the Members in good standing. A majority of votes received shall constitute a favorable vote.

ARTICLE XIV. Finances

  1. The fiscal year of SAR shall be that of the American Anthropological Association.
  2. SAR shall submit an annual operating budget to the American Anthropological Association Board of Directors, which, when approved, shall govern SAR activities.
  3. The income from the annual dues, SAR conference, investments and other sources shall constitute a working fund, available for operating, publication, conference, and current expenses consistent with the purposes of SAR.
  4. No financial obligation in excess of funds available in the treasury shall be assumed by the Executive Committee of SAR or any officer on behalf of SAR except that for the purpose of this Section, estimated receipts from annual dues and other accounts receivable for the current year may be considered as available funds.
  5. SAR may establish special funds to be administered by the American Anthropological Association for purposes SAR may designate.

ARTICLE XV. Amendment

  1. These Bylaws may be amended by the Members by mail ballot, provided that a proposed amendment is approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the votes cast.
  2. Amendments may be proposed by the Executive Committee of SAR or by five (5) percent of the Members in good standing. The Executive Committee shall have the proposed amendment circulated to the Members and it shall allow thirty (30) days for the return of ballots.
  3. The amendments and provisions of these Bylaws shall be effective immediately upon adoption and shall supersede and nullify all previous amendments and provisions.