08 January 2010

CFP: Political theology at AAR 2010

Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 30 October-1 November 2010

Calls for panels and papers on political theology

Hent de Vries (Johns Hopkins University) and Corey D.B. Walker (Brown University) will continue their multi-year "Theology and the Political Consultation":

Whither political theology? Why the recent proliferation of scholarship on political theology? How useful is the concept for understanding historic and contemporary flows in politics, religion, society, and thought? Is the very ubiquity of the concept suggestive of a general malaise in critical thinking in our contemporary moment? Whither political theology for all that we know now? We invite paper proposals that critically examine the theoretical and political opportunities and challenges of the use and deployment of ideas and formulations of political theology across disciplinary boundaries. We are particularly interested in proposals that provide new and innovative possibilities for critical engagements with this concept in light of contemporary configurations of political and economic power.

They accept proposals submitted online or by e-mail (no attachment; include the Participant Form for E-mail Submission): hentdevries@jhu.edu, cdbwalker@brown.edu

Johnny B. Hill (Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary) organizes the "Theology of Martin Luther King Jr. Consultation":

This Consultation invites papers and panel proposals related to the life and thought of Martin Luther King Jr., the Civil Rights movement, and contemporary social justice movements. We are especially interested in proposals exploring critical reflection on King and political theology, theological understandings of prophetic Christianity, as well as broader religious perspectives on justice and social transformation.

Online proposal submission only.

Contact: jhill@lpts.edu

Reid Locklin (University of Toronto) and Kurt Anders Richardson (McMaster University) are the chairs of the "Comparative Theology Group":

This Group invites comparative, constructive proposals in the following areas: 1) Revelation and natural theology (possibly cosponsored with the Christian Systematic Theology Section); 2) Political theologies; 3) Mystical marriage or union (possibly cosponsored with the Mysticism Group); 4) Frank Clooney on comparative theology; 5) Critical inquiry/critical immunity – the place of critical reasoning in contemporary theologies; 6) Apologetics, polemics, and debate; 7) Theologies mediated through arts; 8) Election/vocation; and 9) Unacknowledged pioneers of comparative theology. We strongly encourage panel proposals and welcome a wide variety of methodological approaches. Proposals on other topics will also be taken into consideration.

Online proposal submission only.

Contacts: reid.locklin@utoronto.ca, kar@mcmaster.ca

There will also be a "Liberation Theologies Consultation", chaired by Thia Cooper (Gustavus Adolphus College):

This Consultation asks, "What does liberation theology mean in and for the twenty-first century?" We encourage cross-over dialogue – between contexts and between disciplines – and reflection on the implications of liberationist discourse for the transformation of theology as a whole – methodologically and theologically. In this vein, we will invite a panel of practitioners and activists, directly and through this call, to engage their particular contexts (economics, politics, sex, gender, ethnicity, race, environment, etc.) with the two themes in this forum. We would like to include a broad spectrum of panelists, representing the medical field, law, journalism, civil society organizations, etc.

Online proposal submission only.

Contact: tcooper@gac.edu

There is a number of other calls that may be of interest, namely from the "Study of Islam Section" (political Islam), the "Theology and Religious Reflection Section" (relationship between aesthetics and the political, between beauty and liberation; intersections of theological and religious reflection with philosophical and political issues), the "Buddhist Critical-Constructive Reflection Group" (Buddhist political philosophies), the "Kierkegaard, Religion, and Culture Group" (social and political implications of Kierkegaard's concept of the "single individual"; can a politics that speaks to contemporary concerns be derived from Kierkegaard's critique of his time), and the "Christian Zionism in Comparative Perspective Seminar" (faith-based Christian political support for the State of Israel).

You have 1,000 words to make the case for your paper proposal. In addition, you will need a 150-word abstract. Prearranged paper sessions/panels require a separate 1,000 word proposal for each paper in the session. Individual paper abstracts will be listed in the online Program Book.

Submit your proposal via the method requested by the program unit.

Deadline: 1 March 2010

If you have any questions about your proposal, contact the chair of the program unit or the person noted in the call for papers.

Carefully note any audiovisual needs before you submit your proposal. A limited number of meeting rooms are supplied with LCD projectors for connecting to a personal laptop. AAR encourages participants to bring or share a personal or departmental laptop to run any PowerPoint, CD, or DVD presentation. Analog equipment such as overhead projectors, slide projectors, etc. are available to rent at the participant's cost. All AV requests must be received at the time of the proposal. Late requests cannot be accommodated.

Online submission and further information here:


Notification of your proposal's acceptance status will be sent by 1 April 2010.

Membership is not required to submit a proposal. However, all participants accepted to the program must be current (2010) AAR members and registered for the Annual Meeting by 15 June 2010. Membership waivers are available to participants working outside the field of the study of religion or participants from developing nations. Contact the program unit chair for more details on how to arrange a waiver.

Participants may appear no more than two times in any capacity (e.g. paper presenter, panelist, presider, or respondent). The only exception is business meeting presiders. A person can have only one role in a session. You cannot preside and present a paper in the same session. The only exception is business meeting presiders. People can submit no more than two proposals in response to the call for papers. This includes submitting the same proposal to two separate units or two different proposals to two different units.

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