PAPERS Resources

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

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Liberation Theologies Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit asks “What does liberation theology mean in and for the twenty-first century?” We encourage crossover dialogue — between contexts and between disciplines — and reflection on the implications of liberationist discourse for the transformation of theology as a whole, both methodologically and theologically.

Call for Papers: 

We invite papers on the following topics:

• Extra, Extra! The End is Here: Apocalypsis 2018
From the tangible mortality of our planet through the resurging threats of nuclear devastation, the threat of the “end” of life as we know it colors contemporary experience. Outrage media trumpets impending cataclysm. Prophecies incite swaths radical violence. Are we living in the end times? If so, the end of what? Can or will liberation follow? The ideas of uncovering/revealing at the heart of the word “apocalypsis” call attention to the epistemological, political, and practical shifts that accompany the apocalyptic. What, if anything, is or should be uncovered or revealed today? Is the apocalyptic something to be embraced or feared — encouraged or quieted?

The Liberation Theologies unit invites papers that consider apocalypse or apocalypsis with respect to our current world situation. From theoretical reappraisals of the liberative salience of “apocalypse” as a theological category to strategic appropriations of apocalyptic rhetoric by activists, we welcome any approach, context, tradition, or variation. We especially welcome papers that approach the topic with concern for gender, race, coloniality, sexuality, identity, ideology, politics, power, economics, class, rhetoric or persuasion, violence, ecology, relationality, or any other aspect of lived experience.

• Community Organizing: Theologies, Practices, Liberation
The Practical Theology Unit and the Liberation Theologies Unit welcome papers and panel proposals for a co-sponsored session critically exploring the theologies embedded in practices of and calls for liberation in community organizing worldwide. We welcome critical engagements not only from scholars but also from community activists and social organizers in both faith-rooted and not faith-rooted organizations. Topics may include studies of organizations fighting climate change, racisms, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, restrictive immigration policies, sexisms, labor injustices, voter suppression, land ownership, the re-emergence of white supremacist power, gentrification, religious conflict, and more. We particularly welcome proposals seeking to explicitly engage these struggles building power networks across identity lines (interfaith, interracial, transnational, etc).

The Liberation Theologies Unit encourages crossover dialogue — between contexts, between disciplines, and between religions – and reflection on the implications of liberationist discourse for the transformation of theology, both its methods and substance. We welcome proposals arising out of or engaging all religious or ritual traditions including, but certainly not limited to: indigenous religions, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, traditional African religions, and Buddhism. We encourage broad interpretation of the terms of the call and creative, constructive proposals for liberation theologies in the 21st century.

The 2018 American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting will be held November 17-20 in Denver, CO. Paper proposals should be submitted through the PAPERS system. More information is available here:

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
We believe that the diversity of our panels is supported by having chosen this option for the review process.
ChairSteering Committee