PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Boston, MA
November 18-21, 2017

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Class, Religion, and Theology Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit seeks to study class as a relational concept that needs to be explored in its complex manifestations, which will yield more complex understandings of religion and theology in turn. Avoiding reductionist definitions that occur when studying each class in itself or viewing class only according to stratified income levels or particular historical and sociological markers, this Unit will investigate how classes shape up in relation and tension with each other and with religion and theology. This Unit’s investigations of class, religion, and theology also include intersections with gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and ecology.

Call for Papers: 

Class matters because class involves relationships of power and is not primarily about stratified income levels or particular historical and sociological markers. The conjunction of class and power makes it difficult in the United States to discuss and analyze in both popular and even academic settings. Given the recent presidential election and the emergence of populisms from the left and particularly the right, class will remain an issue for years to come.

We invite papers that will address one or a combination of the following themes and questions:
• Realities and perceptions of class with regard to dominant discourses of power

• Class formation in Trump’s America; what is involved in the “making” of a class?

• Theology and religion in the midst of empire, class and empire

• Class formation in the college, university, at the AAR; is academic labor working class labor?

• Class and pedagogy, class diversity in the classroom, teaching about class

We also invite papers for a joint session with the Religion and Disabilities Studies Unit on the complex intersections between disability and class which strengthen, challenge, and complicate religious, moral, social, economic, and political frameworks that affect the vulnerability of people with often co-occurring marginalizations.

We have particular interest in papers that address the following questions:
• When studying embodied concerns and responses to issues affecting vulnerable persons/groups, how do frameworks for class and disability analyses strengthen (challenge, complicate, or trouble) religious, theological, or moral analysis?

• How might class analysis provide a constructive possibility to shift the paradigm in discourses that cast disability, race, religion, sexuality, etc. as separate conversations?

• As social identity categories mutually constitute each other, and construct the meaning of bodies that are productive and those that are failures, what can we gain from intersectional analyses of class, disability, race, and others in religious and theological construction?

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
The visibility to chairs makes it possible to ensure diversity among the presenters. Chairs can make adjustments while still accounting for feedback from the steering committee.
ChairSteering Committee