PAPERS Resources

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

To return to the Welcome Page, please click here.

Preliminary Program Book (PDF)

Preliminary Program Book (MS Word)

For questions or support, email support@aarweb.org.

To return to the AAR website, click here.

Religion and Ecology Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit critically and constructively explores how human–Earth relations are shaped by religions, cultures, and understandings of nature and the environment. We are self-consciously inter- and multi-disciplinary and include methods such as those found in the work of theologians, philosophers, religionists, ethicists, scientists, and anthropologists, among others.

Call for Papers: 

The Religion and Ecology Unit seeks individual paper and complete panel proposals relating to a wide range of themes in religion and ecology including proposals that resonate with the 2019 thematic emphasis on “Scholarly Workers in Public Spaces.” This theme lends itself to the analysis of public spaces at an institutional level by engaging such questions as: “What are our institutional responsibilities to various publics as an academic guild with a big tent? What does it mean to be workers in universities, colleges, and seminaries who themselves have their own definitions (both implicit and explicit) of public spheres and public responsibilities? How might we as scholars create, redefine, and/or expand spheres of public discourse?”

● Religion and Ecology in the Age of Trumpism
This session is intended to build upon the work of James Cone in his seminal essay “Whose Earth is it Anyway?” In the essay Cone argues that those concerned with the exploitation of nonhuman nature and those fighting against the exploitation of poor people of color are critiquing the same destructive logic and need to be working together. In our current political moment Cone’s argument rings even truer. From Flint Michigan to Puerto Rico environmental injustice has inevitably led to human injustice. The United States finds itself led by a president and countless legislators who are anti-science climate change deniers whose environmental policies disproportionately harm people of color. Proposals should address and build upon Cone’s arguments and could take a constructive or analytical approach.

Our Unit is also interested in a number of topical themes including proposals that concentrate on San Diego, coastal, or marine environmental concerns; what does it mean/can religion and ecology “go public”; climate migration and immigration; how religious reflection translates, or doesn’t, to public action; religious and theological responses to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. Other topics and proposals will also be given full consideration.

The Religion and Ecology Unit is also pursuing a possible co-sponsored session with related Units as follows:

Death, Dying and Climate Change as a collaboration with the Death, Dying, and Beyond Unit. Proposals could address the United Nation’s recent climate change report, dying/changing environments or habitats, species extinction, deforestation, natural disasters, etc.

Can Religion Save the World? Beyond Capitalism, Consumerism, and Systems of Exploitation Toward Ecological Civilization -
What role can religious and theological studies play in responding to the most important issues of our times? Can religions help cultivate the consciousness needed to avert catastrophe? How might theology contribute to the development of integrated approaches to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protect nature? In light of the 2019 AAR theme, “Scholarly Workers in Public Spaces: A Necessary Long-Term Focus in the Study of Religions,” this session will be an intersectional, interdisciplinary, interreligious exploration on religious responses to our world’s most pressing issues. This is a quad-sponsored session with the Open & Relational Theologies Unit, the Religion and Economy Unit, and the Class, Religion, and Theology Unit.

Please note that, while individual paper proposals are given full consideration, we especially appreciate complete panel proposals and panels that offer creative alternatives to the usual format of reading out 4-5 papers.

We aim to offer a Friday afternoon workshop on religion and ecology in the public square. Those interested in participating should contact our chairperson, Christopher Carter.

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Comments: 
We are significantly changing the steering committee this year with more active members who have worked in the field a considerable length of time, and come form diverse contexts and traditions.
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee