AAR Annual Meeting
November 18-21, 2017
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The purpose of this Unit is to promote the work of Paul Ricoeur within the broad fields of theology and religious studies. We believe that Paul Ricoeur, as a dialogue partner, has continued relevance to the manifold disciplines that constitute the AAR. Yet more than a Unit dedicated to the study of a particular scholar’s work — as a form of academic fandom — this Unit seeks to build up and creatively utilize Ricoeur’s work in a way that enriches a wide range of theological and religious subdisciplines.
Moral, Political, and Narrative Responses to the Current Climate of Crisis
We are living in troubling times. Anxieties about a globalized market, economic instability, international migration, religious plurality, and persistent divisions and inequality have given way to iconoclastic politics, the resurgence of racialized discourse, and religious intolerance, as well as revolutionary justice movements, all of it fueled by the technological panopticon of social media. How should we respond to this climate of crisis, as we currently understand it from both a local and global perspective?
• Morality and Politics. On the 25th publication anniversary of Oneself as Another, we seek paper proposals that address the moral and/or political dynamics of our current global situation. We are particularly interested in papers that critically engage themes drawn from Ricoeur’s work – positively or negatively, directly or indirectly, on their own or in conversation with other movements or approaches – such as the capable human, the intersubjective self, ethics of recognition, ideology and utopia, memory and forgiveness, etc.
• Narrative Identity, “Identity Politics,” and National Identity. Paper proposals will be considered for a co-sponsored session with the Religion and Humanism Unit. We are particularly interested in papers that draw on or compare Ricoeur's concepts of narrative identity and of the self, of memory and its political use, and of traditions in the public sphere to other such theories, in order to discuss how politics and politicians construct narratives about what it means to be human within the context of narratives of national identity.
• Vulnerability. Paper proposals will be considered for a co-sponsored session with the Bonhoeffer: Theology and Social Analysis Unit. We are especially interested in papers that address Ricoeur and/or Bonhoeffer in relation to this year’s conference theme, “Religion and the Most Vulnerable.”