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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Scriptural Reasoning Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

Scriptural Reasoning (SR) is a practice of inter-religious text study in which participants from the three ‘Abrahamic’ religions (and increasingly, from other traditions as well) study short selections of their scriptures together in an open-ended but structured way. When scholars read scripture across inter-religious difference, the effect is to put traditional wisdom and academic formation into play simultaneously. Over the years, this practice has proved effective at making familiar texts strange and offering a window into the ‘deep logics’ of these different traditions.

The Scriptural Reasoning Unit facilitates within the AAR a unique mode of academic engagement rooted in this practice. It cultivates an approach to the academic study of scriptural traditions centered on the ways in which scriptures generate communities of religious practice: practices of study, of interpretation, of reflection, of ritual, and of social life. Its scholars seek to develop methods for analyzing aspects of this process and to offer philosophical or theological interventions in the ongoing life of the traditions.

Call for Papers: 

● Vox Populi Vox Dei -
It has sometimes been argued that vox populi vox Dei - the voice of the people, is the voice of God. However, equating the voice of the people with divine will is not without its problems. We invite proposals on the theme of vox populi vox Dei, with particular attention to the role of scripture in promoting or countering this idea. For example:

○ How is the voice of the people portrayed in scripture, and how is scripture used to articulate popular concerns in political discourse?
○ Does the voice of the people represent the will of God in scripture? Does it represent rebellion against God? Can it represent both?
○ When is the voice of the people seen as representing the will of God in political discourse? How is that framed, and what role does scripture play in these discussions?
○ How are “the people” or their voice defined? How are the people related to other political powers, institutions, etc.? How is the voice of the people evaluated in scriptural traditions (in contrast with the voices of prophets, kings, etc.)?

● Experimental Session -
Inspired by the practice of Scriptural Reasoning itself, this experimental session seeks to foster deep but playful inquiry into religious modes of reading by providing a format where both the panelists and attendees can engage in sustained conversation. To that end, rather than a traditional session, we invite submissions for short papers (8-10 minutes) or coordinated panels of three short papers. Each paper will examine a moment in scripture from the perspective of Judaism, Christianity or Islam. The approach or method is open - participants might explore classical commentaries, modern interpretations etc. - but the goal is to examine one way that the tradition has engaged this particular scriptural moment and sketch its implications as a jumping off point for discussion.

We invite paper proposals on:

● The attempted seduction of Joseph

● The golden calf

● Abraham looking at the stars

We also invite coordinated panels that engage other related scriptural texts or moments from each tradition.

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