PAPERS Resources

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

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Program Book (PDF)

Preliminary Program Book (MS Word)

Floorplans of Annual Meeting Facilities (PDF)

Exhibit Hall Listing and Map (PDF)

Program Book Ads (PDF)

Annual Meeting At-A-Glance (PDF)

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Pragmatism and Empiricism in American Religious Thought Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

Our mission is to foster the advancement and understanding of the pragmatic and empiricist traditions in American religious thought, as well as the intersections of those traditions with other methodologies, intellectual figures, artistic movements, communities, and issues. This Unit is concerned with critically interrogating, evaluating, and developing the insights and relevance of the pragmatic and empiricist traditions of American thought, broadly construed, for the study of religion and theology, with attention both to the historical interpretation of ideas and contemporary developments within this critical sphere of philosophical and theological reflection. Recent areas of interest include pragmatism and democracy, the continued relevance of empiricism to the revival of pragmatism, multidisciplinary aspects of the tradition (intersections with other fields of inquiry), overlaps with cultural criticism and analyses of gender and race, and the application of pragmatic and empiricist analyses to contemporary problems.

Call for Papers: 

The Pragmatism and Empiricism group invites papers that deal with the following themes and subject matters:

● Religion and Ecological Crisis -
How does American pragmatism intervene into discussions about ecological disaster, environmental ethics, the anthropocene, etc? What are the possibilities and limitations within traditional pragmatic approaches to nature, natural piety, and experience in the context of this ecological crisis? Is democracy necessarily anthropocentric and if so, what are the implications for developing more receptive relationships to the non-human?

● Pragmatism, Settler Colonialism, and indigeneity -
While figures like William James and Cornel West represent a legacy of contesting empire, some pragmatists have been accused of being nonchalant about US exceptionalism and territorial expansion.What kinds of insights does American pragmatism offer to think about the generally acceptable violence associated with settlement, property, and the historical erasure of Native peoples? How do recent developments in Native American studies (Glenn Coulthard, Audra Simpson, Mark Rifkin) interrupt the familiarity of certain categories - recognition, democracy, sovereignty, etc? What is a democratic theory that does not underscore settler colonialism and the containment of indigenous peoples?

Womanist Theology, Sociality, and Subversive Praxis (Co-sponsored with Womanist Approaches to Religion and Society Unit) -
Papers that examine the influence of womanist theologians, Katie Cannon and Emilie Townes. We invite papers that engage these authors with a particular focus on how womanist theology reimagines practice, experience, and sociality through intersectional analyses of the social order. In addition, we encourage proposals that demonstrate how womanist thought escapes rigid distinctions between theory and practice, the religious and the secular, and the natural and the supernatural.

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