Constitution of the International Association for the Cognitive and Evolutionary Sciences of Religion (IACESR)
As accepted and confirmed by the General Assembly of the IACSR at its inaugural meeting held in Aarhus, Denmark on January 7, 2006 with final confirmation at its second meeting held in Aarhus, Denmark on May 30, 2008. Revisions confirmed at its fourth meeting in Aarhus, Denmark on June 25, 2012. Revisions confirmed at its fifth meeting in Brno, Czech Republic on June 22, 2014. Name change from International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion to International Association for the Cognitive and Evolutionary Sciences of Religion at 8th meeting of the General Assembly (online) in November 2020.
Article 1. Name and registration
i) The association shall be named “International Association for the Cognitive and Evolutionary Sciences of Religion”.
ii) The official acronym shall be IACESR.
iii) The association shall be legally registered in the State of Georgia, U.S.A. In the event of disputes arising concerning these statutes and their application, informal mediation shall be sought. In the event that attempts at mediation should fail, all disputes and legal actions which might arise, shall as a last resort, to the exclusion of all other official bodies and insofar as admissible by law, be adjudicated exclusively by the judge entitled to adjudicate in the subject of dispute in the state courts of Georgia, U.S.A.
Article 2. Objective
i) The objective of the IACESR shall be to promote the cognitive science of religion through international collaboration of all scholars whose research has a bearing on the subject.
ii) The objective of the IACESR shall be pursued by scholarly activities such as the arrangement of conferences and meetings, the encouragement of research projects and scholarly publications, the exchange of information through electronic or other means, and such other activities as the association or its elected officers shall from time to time determine.
Article 3. Membership
i) Membership of the IACESR shall be open to all students, researchers and others who share its objective.
ii) Applications for individual membership shall be addressed to the secretary general of the IACESR, and the Executive Committee (cf. Article 5) shall reserve the right to approve or reject such applications.
iii) The membership of any individual may be terminated by decision of the General Assembly for good and sufficient reason and after an opportunity for representations to the contrary have been extended.
iv) Any member may at any time terminate his or her membership in writing to the Executive Committee.
v) All members shall pay an annual subscription, the amount of which shall be determined from time to time by the General Assembly. The rights and privileges of membership depend on payment of the membership subscription in advance for the membership period in question. Lapsed membership may be restored with reference to a subsequent membership period without further application.
Article 4. General Assembly
i) The governing body of the IACESR shall be the General Assembly of its members, presided over by the president.
ii) The General Assembly shall be convened once every two years. The date may vary, taking account of the conference program which provides the context. The Executive Committee shall convene an extraordinary General Assembly at the request of a minimum of two thirds of the members. The minimum notice for an extraordinary General Assembly shall be 30 days.
iii) Notice of a meeting of the General Assembly shall be given by the secretary general. When notice is given not less than 90 days in advance of the General Assembly, a widely available form of communication such as an electronic medium is sufficient. If the period of notice is shorter, notice must be sent to all members individually in writing. The minimum period of notice is 30 days. Non-receipt of notice by one or more members shall not invalidate the decisions of the meeting.
iv) The agenda for the meeting of the General Assembly shall be published in advance when the meeting is called. At the decision of the Executive Committee, or if at least ten members in good standing submit this preference in writing, any issue can be referred for decision to a postal or electronic ballot which shall be conducted by the secretary general. Proposals for additions to the agenda shall be sent to the secretary general not less than three weeks before the meeting. Any additional alterations to the agenda shall require a two thirds majority of those present.
v) The minimum number of members required for a meeting of the General Assembly (quorum) shall be 15, of whom at least 4 shall be members of the current Executive Committee. If the quorum is not achieved, a further meeting shall be called at the earliest reasonable opportunity.
vi) Decisions shall be taken by a simple majority of those present at a meeting, except for the exceptions stated below. In the case of simple majority votes, abstentions shall be recorded but are not counted as “no” votes. Additions to the published agenda shall require a two thirds majority of all those present. Changes to the constitution or a motion to dissolve the association shall also require a two thirds majority (cf. Articles 8 and 9).
vii) Specific rules of procedure may be adopted by the General Assembly itself. In the absence of such rules concerning any procedural matters which arise or in the event of dispute concerning their interpretation during the course of a validly convened meeting, the decisions of the president on procedural questions relating to the conduct of the meeting in question is final. The General Assembly may at the same meeting appoint a procedures committee to consider rules of procedure in detail and make recommendations to a future meeting of the General Assembly.
Article 5. Executive Committee and officers
i) The business of the IACESR shall be conducted by an Executive Committee consisting of designated officers who shall be elected by all the members.
ii) The following shall be elected to designated offices: a president elect, a secretary general, a treasurer, a publications officer, an internet officer and four members-at-large. The Executive Committee may assign additional functions to its members on an ad hoc basis. The conduct of elections and the periods of office are determined in Article 6.
iii) The Executive Committee includes the president and the immediate past president. Upon completion of the president’s term, the president elect takes office as president. The offices of president and past president shall be confirmed by general assent by the General Assembly during election procedures.
iv) The IACESR may be represented formally by any of the designated officers in accordance with their specified function or as otherwise delegated by the president or by decision of the Executive Committee.
v) The president, the secretary general and the treasurer shall present an oral or written report at each meeting of the General Assembly. The president in office conducts the General Assembly of the IACESR (cf. Article 4) and the meetings of the Executive Committee. These functions may be delegated by the president, or in the event of serious illness or similar incapacitation, these functions may be delegated by the Executive Committee, to the past president or the president elect.
vi) The Executive Committee shall try to meet once annually. The meeting is called by the secretary general with the agreement of the president. A meeting of the Executive Committee requires written notice of not less than 30 days, the attendance of the president or one of the other presidents and at least three other members. If for any reason the annual meeting cannot be convened, electronic communication may be sufficient. Decisions are to be reached as far as possible by consensus and if necessary by simple majority vote. Abstentions may be recorded but do not count as “no” votes.
vii) Specific rules of procedure may be adopted by the Executive Committee itself. In the absence of such rules concerning any procedural matters which arise or in the event of dispute concerning their interpretation during the course of a validly convened meeting, the decisions of the president on procedural questions relating to the conduct of the meeting in question is final. The Executive Committee may at the same meeting appoint a procedures committee to consider rules of procedure in detail and make recommendations to a future meeting of the Executive Committee.
Article 6. Elections
i) Except for the presidential offices, the members of the Executive Committee shall be elected for a period of two years or until the next regular meeting of the General Assembly. A member may be re-elected, except that no member shall serve in the same office for more than three terms, and no member shall be elected for a total of more than five terms with or without intervening periods.
ii) The elections shall be conducted by ballot. In cases where a candidate is unopposed, there should be no ballot. Responsibility for the conduct of the elections lies with the Executive Committee. More specific rules for the conduct of the elections may be laid down by the General Assembly, provided always that they are consistent with these statutes.
iii) The right to vote is strictly limited to individuals with valid current membership as registered prior to the meeting with the secretary general and the treasurer of the IACESR (cf. article 3).
Article 7. Biennial Conference Committee
i) The Biennial Conference Committee shall consist of the president elect, secretary general and the chair of the local organizing committee.
Article 8. Amendments
i) Amendments to this constitution may be made by two thirds majority of the General Assembly. Details of proposed amendments must be given to the members in advance and not later than the notice for the convening of the General Assembly (cf. Article 4, iii). Amendments shall come into force immediately after the conclusion of the meeting at which they are carried.
Article 9. Dissolution
i).The IACESR can be dissolved only at the recommendation of the Executive Committee and by decision of the General Assembly for which a two thirds majority is required. In the event of dissolution such assets as remain after the settling of all liabilities shall be transferred to any body that has the closest affinity to the objectives of the IACESR (cf. Article 2).
This constitution is the result of the corrections automatically in accordance with the enabling measure of article 10, now preserved archivally. The corrections furthermore were confirmed and established by the second General Assembly in Aarhus, Denmark on May 30, 2008.