AAR Annual Meeting
November 18-21, 2017
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This Unit seeks to further develop black theology as an academic enterprise. In part, this is accomplished by providing opportunities for exchanges related to basic issues of black theology’s content and form. In addition, the Unit seeks to broaden conversation by bringing black theology into dialogue with other disciplines and perspectives on various aspects of African diasporan religious thought and life.
The Black Theology Unit invites papers on the topics identified below as well as other topics that advance the discipline of black theology. Proposals for individual papers will be given due consideration and we also encourage proposals for prearranged sessions on these or other topics of interest to black theology:
• Black Theology and Mass Incarceration: Panel with Michelle Alexander
In light of Michelle Alexander’s groundbreaking book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010), we invite papers that discuss the ways that black theology contributes to prophetic advocacy and movement building and to a political, moral and spiritual revolution. Michelle Alexander will be a respondent on the panel.
• Author Meets Critics Panel Session on Josef Sorett's Spirit in the Dark: A Religious History of Racial Aesthetics (2016)
Specifically seeking submissions from a variety of methodological perspectives (e.g., religion and literature, African American religious history, cultural critique, critical theory, secularism, etc.). Co-sponsored Session with Theology and Religious Reflection Unit.
• Black Religious Pluralism
How do we understand black theologies across faith traditions, spirit-centered and religiously pluralistic black theologies, dialogues between black American and continental African theologies, and African-centered black theologies?
• Black Mystics and the African American Mystical Tradition
Given the fatigue of activists, religious clerics, and political actors in the ongoing struggle for justice, what resources for renewal and transformation can black theological interpreters garner from the life and legacy of Howard Thurman and broader traditions of mysticism, contemplation, and mindfulness practices?