PAPERS Resources

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

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Nineteenth Century Theology Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

Our Unit focuses on major themes, thinkers, and movements in nineteenth century religious thought and theology — from the French Revolution to World War I — and on the relation of religious thought to its historical, political, and cultural contexts. Each year the Unit selects two or three focused topics and predistributes papers before the AAR sessions.

Call for Papers: 

The steering committee of the Nineteenth-Century Theology Unit is planning for three sessions in Boston:

• A pre-arranged session will gather scholars from different areas in the study of religion for analysis and discussion of Ted Vial's book Modern Religion, Modern Race (Oxford University Press, 2016). Topics will include religion and race as co-constituted categories in 19th-century Germany; racialized dimensions of concepts of historical development, teleology, and progress; the relevance of the book for critiques and analyses of secularism; and racialized ways of thinking about human groups and identity among 19th-century thinkers.

• For a second session on Luther's Nineteenth-Century Heirs and Interpreters (to be co-sponsored by the History of Christianity Unit), we seek papers that investigate Luther's theological legacy in the nineteenth century by examining how his ideas were appropriated or critiqued by important nineteenth-century religious thinkers, including ones outside of northern Europe. We are particularly interested in proposals that engage, from a variety of geographical and theological vantage points, with essays in the following volume: Matthew L. Becker, ed., Nineteenth-Century Lutheran Theologians (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016).

• For a third session on Emerson as Theological Resource in the Anthropocene we seek papers that explore the contemporary relevance of the religious thought of Ralph Waldo Emerson and other American Transcendentalists for constructive theology, environmental ethics, and related theoretical pursuits.

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
All paper proposals that we receive through the PAPERS system are ranked by steering committee members according to their merits in relation to the wording of our call for papers, and without the authors being identified. These rankings constitute one of several factors taken into consideration in determining the composition of our sessions. Others include thematic compatibility and potential for illuminating discussion of the papers selected, as well as diversity with respect both to ethnicity and gender, and to the career stages of scholars presenting at our sessions. This is a genuine working group with a long tradition of pre-distributing papers presented at our sessions to allow for the highest possible quality of discussion. In recent years, more often than not, those presenting at our sessions have done so for the first time. We actively seek the participation of scholars committed to the collaborative ethos of academic excellence that our group has historically sought to cultivate, and who are likely to keep the focus of our group attuned to cutting-edge research in the study of religion.
ChairSteering Committee