PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
San Diego, CA
November 23-26, 2019

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Program Book (PDF)

Preliminary Program Book (MS Word)

Floorplans of Annual Meeting Facilities (PDF)

Exhibit Hall Listing and Map (PDF)

Program Book Ads (PDF)

Annual Meeting At-A-Glance (PDF)

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Comparative Theology Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

Comparative (interreligious) theology tries to be seriously theological, interreligious, and consciously comparative — all at the same time. It is, like other forms of theology as familiarly understood, primarily a matter of “faith seeking understanding” (or, more broadly, perhaps “the practice of reflective meditative perception” or “insight”) and reflection on this faith as it has been enacted in doctrine, argument, meditation, ritual, and ethical behavior. Like other forms of theology, it is an academic discipline, but may also be about and for the sake of knowledge of God or, more broadly, the ultimate mystery toward which life points. In comparative theology, faith and practice are explored and transformed by attention to parallel theological dimensions of one or more religious or theological traditions, examined historically or in the contemporary context. As a discipline within the academy, this communal and intercommunal faith and practice are open to the analyses, comments, and questions of insiders to the involved traditions, and to scholars not necessarily defined by any such commitments who are nonetheless able and willing to explore the full range of dynamics of faith seeking understanding in a comparative perspective. Please contact any Steering Committee Member for further information on the Unit, including the most recent self-study and statement of purpose, or to be added to the Unit.

Call for Papers: 

After a number of years in which we have expanded the outreach of our Comparative Theology Unit by collaborating with a number of different Units in the AAR, this year's call for papers will focus somewhat more strongly on the identity of comparative theology, and on different approaches by practitioners of comparative theology.

However, we will still accept panel proposals for two collaborations that we decided to postpone last year:

● A panel on Karl Barth and Comparative Theology, to be organized in collaboration with the Karl Barth Society

● a co-sponsored panel on genocide in comparative perspective, to be organized in collaboration with the Religion, Holocaust and Genocide Unit. We have been in contact with this Unit and they propose to organize, with the Religious Conversion Unit as third partner, a panel on Conversion/Deconversion in contexts of religious persecution, genocide, or expulsions, with particular interest in the Holocaust and the Iberian Expulsion. We are specifically looking for papers that describe the constructive and comparative theological potential when theology is performed and written from or within the context of such a great evil executed at the intersections of religion, ethnicity, nationality, and race, and we are also interested in proposals that discuss the impact that such conversions may or may not have on theologies of conversion and/or theologies of salvation.

Furthermore, we encourage panel or paper proposals on the following themes that were proposed in the business meeting:

● A panel or set of papers on the underrepresented field of the relationship of Comparative Theology with Judaism (possible themes: Torah, covenant);

● the challenge of studying related traditions (Judaism/Christianity, Christianity/Islam, Hinduism/Buddhism);

● comparative theological study of the place of Jesus in Talmud and/or Qur'an;

● comparative theology and experiential technologies, artificial intelligence;

● engaging African traditions in comparative theology (possibly in collaboration with one of the Units on African religions or African diaspora religions);

● addressing the sin of white supremacy and undermining notions of hegemony in comparative theology;

● forms of comparative theology where Christianity is not the "home tradition"; and/or

● book panel on new publications or series in the field of comparative theology.

As usual we encourage panel proposals more than paper proposals, but we will try to integrate good paper proposals into panels whenever possible.

We explicitly encourage panel proposals to include members of underrepresented groups.

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection
ChairSteering Committee