AAR Annual Meeting
November 18-21, 2017
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The mission of this Unit is to deepen and broaden the study of the Christian past by presenting innovative and engaging research on the history, culture, and development of Christianity from its origins to the present, while at the same time promoting interdisciplinary dialogue among the fields of history, religious studies, ritual studies, art history, anthropology, and historical theology. We have a strong commitment to providing a showcase for the work of both younger and established scholars in the field.
The mission of this program unit is to deepen and broaden the study of the Christian past by presenting innovative and engaging research on the history, culture, and development of Christianity from its origins to the present, while at the same time promoting interdisciplinary dialogue among the fields of history, religious studies, ritual studies, art history, anthropology, and historical theology. We have a strong commitment to providing a showcase for the work of both younger and established scholars in the field. The History of Christianity program unit continues to encourage chronological depth and geographic breadth in the study of Christian histories.
• Luther's Nineteenth-Century Heirs and Interpreters to be co-sponsored by the Nineteenth Century Theology Program Unit.
We seek papers that investigate Luther's theological legacy in the nineteenth century by examining how his ideas were appropriated or critiqued by important nineteenth-century religious thinkers, including ones outside of northern Europe. We are particularly interested in proposals that engage, from a variety of geographical and epistemological vantage points, with essays in the following volume: Matthew L. Becker, ed., Nineteenth-Century Lutheran Theologians (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016).
• Exegetical Uses and Abuses of Christianity in Preaching, Politics, and Popular Culture to be co-sponsored with Religion and Popular Culture.
Public expressions and manifestations of Christianity history present through Christian history in vivid and contested ways. This session seeks to forefront the public performances of Christianity and their historicizing power. For example how did indigenous African prophets enlist, subvert, or confirm 19th century Christian colonialism? In contemporary North American politics, what is the role of competing factions and coalitions across the Christian historical spectrum? We envision particular studies of one period which can point to earlier analogous moments and invite broad dialogue.
• The Long Reformation and the Global South.
In conversation with global recognition of the 500th anniversary of the European Protestant Reformation, we seek papers that integrate the expanded interpretation of the legacy of the Protestant Reformation as it appears throughout the global South. We hope for methodological diversity of approaches to the long view of reforming movements that began in the 16th century.
• The Subaltern and the History of Global Christianity
In celebration of the diverse approaches to telling the story of Christianity across and within multiple perspectives, a renewed emphasis on writing history from the ground up, from the margins in, from the non-normative geographical centers (the volumes of the Commission for the Study of the History of the Church in Latin America-CEHILA, the Fortress Press Peoples’ History of Christianity, etc.), and from within a genre of popular general reading has emerged. (Butler, Bass, Chidester, Gonzalez, etc.) This session explores the benefits and hazards to such approaches, comparing content, breadth, and methodological diversity of these histories.
• History of Christianity as a History of Refugees
The history of Christianity might best be told as the story of migrations and refugees. Pre-modern migrations, modern North American sites such as Boston, and contemporary global migrations all offer insight into peoples’ movements through new geographical and metaphorical spaces.
• From Augustine of Hippo: A Biography to “Augustine of Hiphop”: Late Antiquity in Modern Scholarship and Postmodern Interpretation.
The 50th anniversary of Peter Brown’s magisterial biography of St. Augustine invites a consideration of comparative academic and popular study and interpretation of the North African theologian Augustine of Hippo.
• Early Christianity and Material Culture.
• Indigenous Christian Conversions and Roots in New England, New France, and New Spain.
• Reproduction, Parenting, and Sexuality in Christianity across Time.
• The History of Christianity in Religious Studies and Divinity Schools: Creative Tensions and Collaborations.
• We also continue to invite papers on topics and periods not explicitly mentioned in this Call.