PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
San Diego, CA
November 23-26, 2019

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Program Book (PDF)

Preliminary Program Book (MS Word)

Floorplans of Annual Meeting Facilities (PDF)

Exhibit Hall Listing and Map (PDF)

Program Book Ads (PDF)

Annual Meeting At-A-Glance (PDF)

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Liberal Theologies Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

Liberal theologies have been a robust and radical resource in a variety of religions, sometimes claiming and sometimes disclaiming the label of “liberalism.” Across these theologies, experience is considered a core category to combine reason and revelation in a forceful critique of religious and non-religious authorities. The scholars involved in the Liberal Theologies Unit understand “liberal theology” to be an open and open-ended approach to research on religion. It is characterized but not constrained by the European and American liberal theologians of the 19th and 20th century who were crucial to the foundation of the American Academy of Religion. Both in the mainstream and in the margins, the liberal theological legacy continues. The Liberal Theologies Unit is committed to this continuing legacy, both critically and creatively. Our work is international, interdisciplinary, and interreligious. Drawing on the history of liberal theologies, we are dedicated to developing new perspectives and new proposals for scholarship that will better address the social, cultural, and political circumstances in which we find ourselves today.

Call for Papers: 

The Liberal Theology Unit invites session or paper proposals for our standalone session on the topic, "Liberal Theology and the Ideology of Neoliberalism."

Neoliberalism—usually understood as a set of policies that revolve around the “free market”—has been exposed as a destructive and dangerous ideology, both economically and politically. While scholars of religion have studied the impact of liberal theologies on economics and politics at least since Max Weber’s “spirit of capitalism,” the impact of liberal theologies on the politics and economics of neoliberalism is far from clear. Are there liberal-theological roots to neoliberalism? Are there liberal-theological responses to neoliberalism? What are the roles of liberal theologies in the age of neoliberalism? In other words, are liberal theologies doomed to confirm or destined to critique the ideology of neoliberalism? The Liberal Theologies Unit invites session and paper proposals that consider questions like these from critical and constructive angles. We welcome positive and negative accounts of the liberal-theological legacy from Christian and non-Christian theological traditions.

The Liberal Theology Unit also invites session or paper proposals for a co-sponsored session with the Reformed Theology and History Unit, on the topic "Reformed Ever In Need of Reform."

"Reformed ever in need of reform" ("reformata semper reformanda") is a recurring refrain in many strands of Protestantism, but the meaning of the phrase is far from agreed upon. In particular, it might be used to encourage readings of Scripture and tradition that either criticize or confirm the formulation of liberal theologies for new contexts. Are these two tendencies necessarily in contradiction? How do we envision the relationship between reform and revolution, continuity and change, tradition and innovation in theology? What is the relationship between the defenders and the despisers of liberal theology in the Reformed tradition?

As a requirement of our Unit, a successful pre-arranged session or panel proposal should demonstrate diversity of gender and race/ethnicity. Diversity of rank, method, institutional affiliation, and subfield are also encouraged.

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