PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Boston, MA
November 18-21, 2017

Preliminary 2017 Annual Meeting Program (PDF)

Preliminary 2017 Annual Meeting Program (MS Word)

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New Materialism, Religion, and Planetary Thinking Seminar

Statement of Purpose: 

Recently, a number of methods and ideas for re-thinking ideas as part of the rest of the natural world (including religious ideas and values) have appeared on the religious studies landscape. The ideas of emergence theory, new materialisms, and object-oriented ontologies are all geared toward thinking about religion and science, ideas and nature, values and matter from within what Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari call a “single plane” of existence. Others within the field of “religion and ecology/nature” are skeptical of these “postmodern” methods and theories and claim rightly that ideas from various religious traditions such as pantheism, panentheism, animism, and even co-dependent arising already do the intellectual work of rethinking “religion and nature” together onto an immanent plane of existence. This closed seminar will begin to explore some of the links and differences between these older religious traditions of thinking immanence with more recent post-modern theoretical moves toward spatially-oriented ways of thinking.

Rather than being a final reflection on these connections and differences, this seminar calls for a more sustained comparative study of these different spatial approaches. Recently, a number of methods and ideas for re-thinking ideas as part of the rest of the natural world (including religious ideas and values) have appeared on the religious studies landscape. The ideas of emergence theory, new materialisms, and object-oriented ontologies are all geared toward thinking about religion and science, ideas and nature, values and matter from within what Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari call a “single plane” of existence.

Call for Papers: 

This project is an attempt to map out the connections and differences between immanent frameworks of thought in an effort to provide some eco-intellectual commons for thinking within the planetary community. Though there is a growing body of literature on the New Materialism’s (NM’s is our common umbrella category for these newer theoretical ways of thinking about immanence) and on Religion and Ecology/ Religion and Nature, there has been very little that brings these discourses together to explore their interconnections, possible historical connections, and possible points of productive tension. Our aim in this four-year seminar is to bring together some of the scholars working in “religion and ecology/nature” with some of the scholars working in the NM’s in an attempt to map out our combined resources for thinking immanence. Furthermore, we hope to begin to explore some of the deep historical (and conceptual) connections between newer forms of thinking immanence, with some of the older religious and philosophical traditions. Finally, we want to offer some critical and constructive suggestions for future thinking about humans as planetary creatures that specifically emerge from our conversations over the next 4 years. The first year, 2016, highlighted different forms of immanent thought from various religious traditions. This year, 2017, will bring these forms of immanent thought into dialogue with newer forms of thinking immanence, including: Religious Naturalisms, Process Thought, Emergence Theory, The New Materialisms, Object Oriented Ontology, and Queer Theory. This is a closed seminar and we are not accepting outside papers this year. However, all are welcome to attend our panel at the AAR in 2017.

Method: 
Other
Other: 
We are not accepting submissions from outside of the seminar participants this year.
Process: 
Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members until after final acceptance/rejection
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee