AAR Annual Meeting
November 18-21, 2017
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This Unit is one of a very few academic professional groups specifically created for the academic study of evangelical theology without a confessional requirement for membership or participation and that seeks to be diverse with regard to gender, denomination, ethnicity, and culture. The Unit seeks to construct sessions at each Annual Meeting that address crucial issues both within the evangelical communities of North America and the world and between evangelicals and non-evangelical religious movements and theologies. The Unit sponsors sessions with theological, historical, and/or sociological foci. The Unit’s goal has always been to stay on the “cutting edge” of evangelical thought and to cross boundaries between evangelical and non-evangelical religious communities in order to create dialogue and constructive mutual understanding.
Can Evangelicalism be Saved?
In light of ongoing contestable features of the nature of Evangelicalism, with ongoing dispute over core distinctives and both increasing comfort and discomfort of groups and individuals who have adhered to or aligned themselves with the term “Evangelical,” the Evangelical Studies Unit wishes to focus its reflection on the definition and description of Evangelicalism. This might include the relationship of Evangelicalism to race, other religions, in global perspectives, and how various academic disciplines (e.g., history, ethnography, and theology) might enable better understandings of the nature of Evangelicalism. Of interest are also questions about Evangelicalism and specific political concerns, including how Evangelicalism has contributed to ongoing social issues, including those of class, race, gender, sexuality, education, planning and development, and the most vulnerable among us. This might also press into questions of other economic factors related to Evangelical institutions and values, which either emerged or operated despite particular theological claims and commitments.
We will hold two sessions, and possibly a third with co-sponsorship with another unit.