AAR Annual Meeting
November 18-21, 2017
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This Unit seeks to explore the intercultural, interconfessional, and interreligious dynamics of Christianity as a world religion, bringing into conversation scholars in the disciplines of history, mission studies, ecumenical studies, theology, sociology of religion, anthropology of religion, and religious studies.
The World Christianity Unit invites proposals on the following topics:
Proposals that critically examine the long term global legacies and implications emerging from the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (1517-2017) for World Christianity, especially from interdisciplinary perspectives and with a particular attention to any of the following:
• developments that explore the expansive and global implications of “reformation” within diverse historic and contemporary contexts, social locations, and modes of expression in World Christianity;
• twentieth and twenty first century reformations that have shifted Christianity’s axis from Europe and North America to Africa, Latin and Central America, as well as Asia and Oceania, while transforming beliefs, practices, and communities worldwide; or
• reform movements, whether successful or unsuccessful, that have emerged through or been impeded by interactions among Christians, or between Christians and other religious, political, social, cultural, etc. groups.
Proposals that seek to identify and critically examine emerging trajectories and/or interdisciplinary innovations in the study of World Christianity. While near colloquialisms now exist that describe recent shifts in location (the centre of gravity has shifted South) and demographic identification (a largely non-Western religion), what does current empirical research project for the future and how are methods (old and new) being used to break new ground? Possible topics include:
• emerging demographical and conceptual patterns that help us better understand trajectories in World Christianity;
• cutting edge use of interdisciplinary methods and theories that break new ground either on the local or global level; or
• a reassessment of the analytical toolbox typically used in studies of World Christianity, including terminology, types of evidence, epochal demarcations, borders of any type, etc.
Proposals that critically examine the trailblazing contributions of Robert Schreiter and/or Stephen Bevans and their implications for further development in theology (in a co-sponsored session with the Ecclesiological Investigations Unit). Papers can focus on particular facets of their work, individually or together, such as: on a topic pertaining to the nature, methods, and theoretical resources of contextual theology; on the implications of their work for the advancement of missiology, ecumenism, and interreligious relations; on particular theological issues treated in their works, for example, reconciliation and peace building, or pneumatology; or concentrate on issues in constructing a local theology in a particular context in light of their work.