PAPERS Resources

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

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Open and Relational Theologies Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This unit explores theological ideas generally related to the following:

• Theology involves speculation about who God truly is and what God really does
• God’s primary characteristic is love
• Creatures — at least humans — are genuinely free to make choices
• God experiences others in some way analogous to how creatures experience others
• Both creatures and God are relational beings, which means that both God and creatures are affected by others in give-and-take relationships
• God experience changes, yet God’s nature or essence remains the same
• Creatures are called to act in ways that please God and make the world a better place
• The future is open — it is not predetermined by God
• God’s expectations about the future are often partly dependent upon creaturely actions

Call for Papers: 

The Open and Relational Theologies Unit explores theological ideas and their implications as related to the traditions of Open Theism, Process Theology, and other Relational Theologies. These explorations tend to be constructive in nature and involve theological and philosophical speculation about the nature of God, freedom, power, relationality, love, and more.

For 2018, we invite paper proposals for the following sessions:

• A Social Trinity? Open-Relational Considerations of Keith Ward’s Christ and the Cosmos
For this author-meets-critiques session, we invite papers that provide critical and creative responses to Keith Ward’s recent book, Christ and the Cosmos: A Reformulation of Trinitarian Doctrine (Cambridge University Press, 2015); in which Ward explores the concept of the 'social Trinity’. Papers that consider Ward’s position in conversation with Open and Relational theologies are especially encouraged.

• God as Poet of the World: Art, Beauty, and Creativity
This session invites papers that explore the notion of God as poet of the world as related to the intersection of art, beauty, and creativity. Papers that deal with theopoetics and post-structuralism are particularly encouraged.

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