PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

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Program Book (PDF)
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Evangelical Studies Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

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.

Call for Papers: 

Keeping with the theme of the previous year—focusing reflection on the definition and description of Evangelicalism with regards to its public posturing and relationship to questions of race and ethnicity—as the nature of Evangelicalism remains increasingly contestable, the Evangelical Studies group wishes to focus more sustained attention on the question of who gets to define Evangelicalism. It is primarily defined as a Western, American phenomenon, or does its global, wide-ranging ethnic diversity define it? What role do political and media descriptions play in our understanding of Evangelicalism, its relative “whiteness”? And what role do the wider academic disciplines play in helping to nuance and understand this movement in light of historical, sociological, and theological description? Added to this is a growing complexification over many prominent figures leaving Evangelicalism, including the current President of the American Academy of Religion. And yet, who gets to define the movement, and what power resides within the definition and description of a term so intricately tied to “evangel,” the “gospel,” or “good news.” In addition to this, how to evangelical theologies of resistance factor into the wider understanding of Evangelicalism.

We will hold two sessions, and possibly a third with co-sponsorship from SBL’s Bible and Practical Theology group on the best ways to methodologically define Evangelicalism, whether biblical, theological, historical, demographic, anthropological, sociological.

E-mail without Attachment (proposal appears in body of e-mail)
One session may be prearranged with leading figures addressing the annual themed question.
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
This assists in broadening the diversity of the participants, while allowing for selection of the best paper proposals without partiality. It is not ideal, but presently helpful - especially since Evangelical Studies remains a bit more strongly represented by white males.
ChairSteering Committee