PAPERS Resources

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

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Reformed Theology and History Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit seeks to open up Reformed traditions for critical review and study, focusing on its characteristic themes in theology and historical patterns of polity and practice. Our aim is to present panels and paper sessions that balance historical with theological methods, single figures within larger cultural movements, and core themes with emerging or forgotten elements of Reformed thought and practice. In all of these topics, we hope to demonstrate the vitality, originality, and diversity of Reformed Christianity in its worldwide expression.

Call for Papers: 

The Reformed Theology and History Unit welcomes historical and theological proposals on the themes of (1) Women and Women's Voices in the Reformed Tradition and (2) Atonement and the Cross and Christian Life.
We also invite paper proposals for a joint session with the Nineteenth-Century Theology Unit on the theme of Protestantism, Secularization, and Theological Innovation.

Women and Women's Voices in the Reformed Tradition
We invite proposals on Women and Women's Voices in the Reformed Tradition. Despite the laudable progress that has been made in recent decades toward attending to the contributions and experiences of women in the Christian tradition in general, it is equally obvious that there remains much to be done — much to be looked for, much to be studied, much to be written. The Reformed Theology and History Unit correspondingly seeks proposals on the theme of Women and Women's Voices in the Reformed Tradition. This session intends to consider women who have spoken both to and within the Reformed tradition, as well as those who shaped or were shaped by it. Proposals are welcome that address any person, event, or genre of literature that might bear on this topic, but a particular preference may be shown for those that endeavor to recover the more historically distant voices and contributions within the Reformed tradition.

Atonement and the Cross and Christian Life
We also invite proposals on Atonement and the Cross and Christian Life. Classical Reformed accounts of the atonement, particularly those influenced by Anselm’s satisfaction theory and/or legal and penal substitution metaphors, have come under sustained critique over the last centuries from a variety of alternative positions, and from Enlightenment, liberal, feminist, womanist, and liberation theologians and philosophers. While the traditional understandings of the cross sought to offer a scripturally-shaped understanding of Christ’s saving work that upheld both divine grace and divine justice, critics have contended that these theologies valorise suffering, offer problematic views of divine retribution, curtail human responsibility and action, and unnecessarily constrict the diversity of biblical motifs. Rather than simply rehashing these debates, we seek (a) papers that move with and beyond those debates in order to offer constructive accounts of the atonement, especially papers that offer critical and generative engagement with both the confessional Reformed tradition and more recent critiques and alternatives—both those from within and beyond the Reformed traditions. In addition to proposals focused on systematic and constructive accounts of the atonement, we also seek (b) papers that explore how understandings of the cross impact Christian life, and how these understandings both shape and are shaped by preaching, worship, pastoral care, and Christian discipleship, with specific interest in papers addressing the Reformed tradition from within and outwith.

Protestantism, Secularization, and Theological Innovation
For a joint session on Protestantism, Secularization, and Theological Innovation with the Nineteenth-Century Theology Unit, we invite proposals for papers that explore the intersections between modern religion, especially Protestantism, and secularization in a global context. In particular, we welcome papers on Protestant movements (Lutheran and Reformed) and thinkers that already in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries problematized the category of the secular. Such papers might address issues of the relationship between culture and theology, science and theology, law and theology, or philosophy and theology.

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Comments: 
Allowing the chairs to see the proposer names helps us do a better job of working toward gender and racial/ethnic balance among the presenters.
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee