PAPERS Resources

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

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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 related to the topic, “Theology and the Charge of Liberal Complicity with Totalitarianism.” Strong proposals might include such lines of inquiry as:

● Critical interrogation of the oft-repeated accusation that liberal theologians of the 1920s and 1930s were at worst supporters of, and at best incapable of resisting, totalitarianism;

● Analyses of the charge that liberal theology encodes totalitarian impulses or even (in the popular parlance) “liberal fascism”;

● Appraisals of the theological resources offered by liberal theologies for resisting totalitarianism, as well as any corrections required by liberal theologies for such resistance, given current perceptions that liberal democracy is under attack by the economics of austerity and the politics of populism.

An explicit connection to President Patton’s 2019 theme, “Scholarly Workers in Public Spaces,” will add to the strength of a proposal.

● Non-Violent Theology: Power, Persuasion, and Peace -
In addition, the Liberal Theologies Group invites proposals for papers for a co-sponsored session with the Open and Relational Theologies group on the topic, Non-Violent Theology: Power, Persuasion, and Peace. Are some theologies - some models of God - better suited for promoting peace and justice through non-violent means? We welcome proposals that explore this question, especially in connection with open-relational, liberal, and/or personalist theologies. We're especially interested in proposals that explore the impact of personalism on the theology and activism of Martin Luther King Jr.

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