PAPERS Resources

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

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Religions, Social Conflict, and Peace Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

Relationships between religions and the causes and resolution of social conflict are complex. On the one hand, religion is a major source of discord in our world, but on the other, religious agents have often played a central role in developing and encouraging nonviolent means of conflict resolution and sustainable peace. While religion as a factor in conflicts is often misunderstood by military and political leaders, it is also the case that the popular call for an end to injustice is quite often a religious voice. We seek to add a critical dimension to the understanding of how religion influences and resolves social conflict. We want to develop and expand the traditional categories of moral reflection and response to war and also to investigate kindred conflicts — terrorism, humanitarian armed intervention, cultural and governmental repression, ecological degradation, and all of the factors that inhibit human flourishing. We also hope to encourage theoretical and practical reflection on religious peace-building by examining the discourses, practices, and community and institutional structures that promote just peace. Through our work, we hope to promote understanding of the relationships between social conflict and religions in ways that are theoretically sophisticated and practically applicable in diverse cultural contexts.

Call for Papers: 

This Unit welcomes individual papers and paper session proposals (presider, 3-4 papers by diverse presenters, and respondent) on intersections of religion with violence, social conflicts, and peace.

● In concert with the 2019 AAR Annual Meeting theme of creating, redefining, and expanding spheres of public discourse, the Schleiermacher Unit, Bonhoeffer Unit, and Religion, Social Conflict, and Peace Unit invite proposals for a co-sponsored session, entitled, “Church as a Political Institution.” We seek proposals that explore critically how Christian churches, organizations, or communities are redefining or could redefine their work as political agents. We ask also for proposals that help us understand how acting as political agents re-creates or redefines Christian groups. Proposals might address, more specifically, a public theological discourse; a public space in which Christian groups are or ought to be working; the risks/benefits of a particular kind of political agency. We invite especially proposals that, in addressing what it means for churches to function as political agents, refer to the thought of Friedrich Schleiermacher or Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

● Additionally, we are seeking papers for a co-sponsored session with the Religion and Migration Unit focusing on religious dimensions and practices that emerge in and around militarized borders. In particular, we are interested in analyzing religion and migration policies, ideologies of exclusion, and practices of inclusion, hospitality, and compassion.

In addition to the co-sponsored sessions, for the 2019 Annual Meeting, we are particularly interested in proposals that address the following topics and intersections:

● The role of “moms” (people identifying themselves that way) as conveyors, resisters, and transformers of violence in multiple domestic and international contexts

● What is the relationship between theory and practice of religion, conflict, and peacebuilding and the subfields of religion and international relations and religion and public life/politics?

● Intersections between religious conflict, religious peacebuilding, and environmental justice

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members until after final acceptance/rejection
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee