PAPERS Resources

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

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Interreligious and Interfaith Studies Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit creates a space for critical interdisciplinary engagement with interfaith and interreligious studies, which examines the many modes of response to the reality of religious pluralism (theological, philosophical, historical, scriptural, ethical, praxiological, and institutional). This Unit will:

• Expand and enrich the modalities of interreligious and interfaith discourse in a diverse set of academic disciplines that have grappled with religious pluralism
• Give voice to what has already been happening for years at the cutting-edge of institutional and pedagogical innovation and at the intersection of the academy and civic engagement in many disciplines

Our intention is that this Unit will encourage the rigorous analysis necessary to establish the contours of this emerging field. A crucial first step involves systematic attention to common terminology (interfaith, interreligious, engaged pluralism, multifaith, multireligious) and the intersection of these terms with the disciplinary approaches that are increasingly using this language (interfaith just peacemaking, comparative theology, and scriptural reasoning). Similarly, we will encourage critical analysis of both national and international interfaith organizational models and other praxis-oriented responses to religious pluralism.

Call for Papers: 

The Interreligious and Interfaith Studies group invites paper and panel proposals that examine, from multiple disciplinary perspectives, the encounter of institutions and individuals who approach and embody religion in different ways. We welcome proposals that are interdisciplinary, incorporate alternative pedagogies of presentation, make use of new media, and reflect the dialogical nature of this field. We also welcome proposals that engage the Presidential theme for AAR 2018. In particular, this year we invite papers in the following areas:

• Interreligious Studies and Structural Inequity
To what extent does Interreligious Studies participate in Christian privilege and white supremacy, and how can this emerging field be attentive to intersectionality in creating new frames and models of interreligious engagement? Does the field make room for theologically conservative or humanist participation, or for participants who belong to multiple religious communities? As this field emerges, where are the resources and whose voices are heard?

• Religious Studies and Interreligious Studies
Do Religious Studies and interfaith engagement offer different methodologies or models for the understanding of religions? In what ways do these represent competing or complementary paradigms? How is this conversation influenced by the relationship between classroom teaching and co-curricular initiatives? Papers might explore and question the binaries that are often invoked in this conversation: empirical/experiential; emic/etic; scholar/practitioner; scholarship/advocacy.

• Nationalism and Interreligious Conflict
How does nationalism create conflict between religious communities? What is the role of interreligious coalitions in mediating conflict? How do religious communities and persons become embedded in nationalisms? We particularly invite case studies.

• Risky Business: Activism, Education and Interfaith Organizing
Where are the intersectional conflicts of interfaith activism? What are the physical, emotional, social, and professional risks of engaging in certain types of activism? Does advocating for religious voices in the public square run the risk of undermining religious freedom? How can we prepare interreligious educators for the risks associated with interfaith activism?

• Interreligious Families and the Virtue of Resilience

Proposer names are visible to chairs and steering committee members at all times
ChairSteering Committee