PAPERS Resources

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

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Liberal Theologies Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

Liberal theology in all its varieties has been a robust intellectual and religious presence from the early modern period to the present. The theologians involved with this Unit, who come from many different universities and religious schools in North America and from abroad, are committed to continuing this tradition. Our focus is plural — we look across religious traditions. It is interdisciplinary — we welcome the participation, among others, of historians, political scientists, anthropologists, sociologists, and philosophers engaged with questions of vital moment to liberal theologies. Our gaze is to the future — we are determined to develop new perspectives, new ways of speaking, and new combinations of ideas that will better address the intellectual and social circumstances in which we find ourselves.

Call for Papers: 

The Liberal Theologies Group invites papers for two co-sponsored sessions at the 2018 Annual Meeting:

• Breaking White Supremacy
The Ethics Unit, the Theology of Martin Luther King Jr. Unit and the Liberal Theologies Unit invite papers that discuss Gary Dorrien’s 2017 book Breaking White Supremacy: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Black Social Gospel for a co-sponsored session at which Gary Dorrien will be a respondent. Papers might address such topics as the importance of Breaking White Supremacy in understanding the Black social gospel and continuing the work begun in Dorrien’s The New Abolition: W.E.B. DuBois and the Black Social Gospel (2015); the theological insights of the civil rights movement and the way those insights inform, critique, and are critiqued in contemporary settings by the Movement For Black Lives; the claim that the civil rights movement ultimately failed to break white supremacy, and the implications of that claim for communities working to break white supremacy today; and contribution of Breaking White Supremacy considered against the backdrop of Dorrien’s body of scholarly work. Liberal Theologies Unit will be handling this call.

• Trust, Power, and Dialogue in Schleiermacher and Liberal Theology
The Liberal Theologies Unit and the Schleiermacher Unit invite paper proposals that attend to the interplay between trust, power, and/or dialogue which invites new reflection, both historical and constructive, in post-truth times. Possible topics can include: communal dialogical practices promoting trusting truthful relations; cultivation of the affective and virtues promoting community; analyses of power and dialogical theories; pedagogies cultivating communal practice; gender and race; and theories of truth. We especially welcome papers that engage the thought of Friedrich Schleiermacher and the theologians situated broadly in relation to liberal theologies while making an argument that attends to the current political, cultural, and/or religious situations we face. Schleiermacher’s letters, sermons, hermeneutics, and/or staatslehre may prove especially productive for this constellation of topics, though we welcome engagement with any part of his work and/or theologians building on his legacy.

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
ChairSteering Committee