Guidelines concerning the EASR individual membership

1) Procedure in the admission policy

According to the EASR constitution (art. 4, ii) the Executive Committee (EC) approves or rejects applications for new individual members. The constitution also indicates the Membership Secretary as the EC officer who examines the applications of new candidates and, after assessing their eligibility, presents them at the EC meeting for discussion and approval.

For an application for individual membership it is necessary to present two written recommendations of persons who are individual members of the European Association for the Study of Religions or members of a national association which is a member of the EASR.

2) Management of the members’ list and limit of members per country of residence

The Membership Secretary is responsible for keeping an updated list of current individual members. This list should be updated at least once a year and posted in the EASR website in a dedicated page. The Membership Secretary should also communicate the list (including email addresses of members) once a year to the Treasurer, so that s/he can send the appropriate reminders for the payment of dues to the current members. On the other hand, once a year the Treasurer should let the Membership Secretary know about members who have not paid their dues for the previous year. The Membership Secretary should then determine, on the basis of this information, when the membership of an individual member becomes lapsed (concerning lapsed membership, see point 3). Lapsed members would then be excluded from the current list of individual members.

There can be only a maximum of 12 individual members per country of residence.

3) Lapsed membership for individual members

Individual membership should be declared automatically lapsed after 2 years of non-payment of dues. When membership is declared lapsed by the Membership Secretary, the name of the member is struck from the current members’ list, which is also available online on the EASR website. The name remains however preserved in the historical record of individual members, which is kept by the Membership Secretary. In accordance with the EASR constitution (art. 6.iv), whenever a lapsed member wants to renew his/her membership, s/he will be allowed to do so by paying the dues for the current year. No payment of back years or procedure of approval from the EC will be necessary for the renewal. However, the lapsed member will be allowed to renew his/her membership only if it does not exceed the limits of individual members per country as set in point 2 above.

4) Election of representatives of individual members

The EASR constitution stipulates that the individual members should be represented in the EC by two “elected representatives” (art. 6.i). During the triennial nomination and election procedure for the new EC officers, the nominating committee, in collaboration with the Membership Secretary should ask individual members to nominate candidates for the two positions of representative. If more than two candidates are nominated, and an unopposed election is therefore impossible, an election via electronic ballot should take place. The nominated candidates (unlike the other officers of the EC) should be voted only by fully paid-up individual members. The two candidates with the largest number of votes would be elected.

5) Availability of individual membership for scholars living in European countries where national associations exist that are not affiliated to the EASR

The EASR accepts applications for individual membership from any European country where there is no EASR affiliate association. The fact that a (national) association for the study of religion exists in such a country, and whether or not it is a member of the IAHR, will not be a discriminating factor in approving or rejecting the application. On the other hand, when a national association applies for EASR membership and is accepted as a new member, or a former member association renews its lapsed membership, individual members from the same country will be asked to join that association, and their membership will be declared lapsed. It will be the duty of the EC to ensure that the new member association offers all guaranties of democracy and fairness which will make it not only possible, but also desirable for the former EASR individual members to join the national association existing in their country.

6) Payment of dues

The annual dues for the individual membership are currently fixed at €15. The EASR is aware that the payment of dues can be difficult for individual members living in countries where banks charge heavy fees on international transfers. This is why the EASR has always had a relatively flexible policy, trying to facilitate payments with different means and accepting payments in cash during conferences. Whenever possible, the representatives of individual members are also encouraged to collect the dues from members living in their same region and hand it to the Treasurer. As a further means to facilitate payment, the EASR will also explore the possibility to implement new systems, such as PayPal. However, until a dedicated EASR PayPal account is created, this option will remain open only to individual members. Association members will be asked to continue using SEPA bank transfers to pay their annual dues (or, in special cases, to pay cash at conferences).

These guidelines were approved by the EASR General Assembly in Groningen, 14 May 2014; they incorporate the earlier provisions adopted by the EASR Executive Committee in Stockholm, 23 August 2012.