PAPERS Resources

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

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History of Christianity Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

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.

Call for Papers: 

The History of Christianity program unit continues to encourage chronological depth and geographic breadth in the study of Christian histories. Generally, unless otherwise noted, we invite papers and papers sessions that address the issues suggested in this Call for Proposals across time periods. We also continue to invite papers on topics and periods not explicitly mentioned in this Call.
The centenary of the 1918 “Spanish” Flu Pandemic prompts an inquiry into Christian imaginative responses to crises (epidemiological, environmental, political, military, economic, etc.) that disrupt settled life ways, catalyze large-scale human migratory movement, reinforce parameters (purity, pollution, borders, etc.), and press issues of theodicy and teleology.
The inauguration of the new Museum of the Bible in the U.S. capital marks a muscular assertion of the Hebrew and Christian Bible’s place in history. We invite explorations of:

• The role of museums as sites of performance, memory, reification, interrogation of Christian history, traditions, and scripture
• The Bible as artifact, icon, and living and contested text, against the backdrop of competing institutional, cultural, economic, and political interests with the onset of digital technology
• Bible Societies and Bible translation and reception in global contexts
• The Bible in popular religious musical culture and hymnody.

Riffing on Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo’s magisterial multi-volume Historia de los Heterodoxos Españoles (History of the Spanish Heterodox) of a century ago, we invite approaches to Christian history that foreground non-orthodox movements and figures, especially as these have proved constitutive of the religious and political center or exemplify national and cultural diversity or imbed within particular or global settings. How might a History of Heterodox Christianity mirror or contest received narratives of orthodox triumph and prefigure current and projected configurations? The scope of heterodoxy may also include significant and violent outliers (e.g., the People’s Temple of Jonestown, David Koresh in Waco, etc.).

In keeping with our unit’s World Christian History approach, we invite explorations of the response of Christian groups within and outside China (especially the Overseas Chinese) to the immense political, economic, and cultural changes wrought by the onset, maturation, and transformation of the Chinese Communist Revolution of 1948. We seek papers that cluster historical ruminations in one period- Late Antiquity, Medieval, Early Modern, Modern, Postmodern. As a deliberate location for ongoing work on recent interpretive energies in one era, we envision this as a site for forefronting creative, in-depth approaches. Full panel proposals, especially those integrating shared theoretical material, are especially encouraged.

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee