PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

To return to the Welcome Page, please click here.

Program Book (PDF)
Annual Meeting Venue Floorplans (PDF)
Annual Meeting Exhibit Hall (PDF)
Program Book Advertisements (PDF)

For questions or support, email

To return to the AAR website, click here.

Online Program Book

Ecclesiological Investigations Unit
Theme: Ecclesial Courage in Contemporary Practice
Miriam Perkins, Emmanuel Christian Seminary, Presiding
Saturday - 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Hyatt Regency-Capitol 2 (Fourth Level)

As the 2018 AAR Annual-Meeting focuses upon the role of religion in the public sphere, two of this year’s Ecclesiological Investigations Group sessions will explore the virtue of ecclesial courage in the public sphere. In this second, practical session we will look at the parrhesiastic speech as a form of ecclesial courage in the modern context especially in the witness of creative minorities within the Church such as lay gay movements; principles and narratives that inform the practice of sanctuary in order to understand the ecclesiologies of sanctuary churches as sign of unity in Christ; function of martyr stories that are deeply shaped and reshaped by changing perceptions of the mission of the church; as well as the example of aging, mainline Protestant church in Dayton, OH which is being revitalized through its efforts to minister to an at-risk population of east African refugees in the city.

Travis LaCouter, University of Oxford
Bold Speech or Idle Chatter? Institutional Parrhesia and the Church's Many Voices

Parrhesiastic speech is bold, transparent, and public. It is also, crucially, vulnerable speech, subject to misunderstanding, misappropriation, and even punishment. This paper considers parrhesiastic speech as a form of ecclesial courage in the modern context. Previously, official ecclesial organs like bishops' conferences had been able to exercise parrhesiastic witness in society (e.g. at Medellín); but the terms of the "parrhesiastic game" have changed dramatically since the mid-twentieth century. I find a source of parrhesiastic renewal in the witness of creative minorities within the Church, especially lay gay movements. Such movements practice parrhesiastic courage both on behalf of the Church and, equally, to the Church itself.

Erin Michele Brigham, University of San Francisco
Expressions of Sanctuary in the San Francisco Bay Area: An Ecclesiological Analysis

This project will offer a comparison across different stages of discernment among sanctuary churches in San Francisco—those who have publicly declared sanctuary and those who have not declared sanctuary but express sanctuary in practice. Through a qualitative analysis of interviews, the project will highlight implicit assumptions and theological commitments related to public engagement as an expression of church mission while complicating the notion that there exists a single public sphere to which theology speaks. It will also make explicit the principles and narratives that inform the practice of sanctuary in order to understand the ecclesiologies of sanctuary churches.

Jeremy M. Bergen, University of Waterloo
The Ecumenism of Martyrdom and the Mission of the Church

Pope John Paul II asserted that the courageous witness of Christian martyrs of different traditions are a most powerful sign of unity in Christ. In this presentation, I test this thesis, advanced by other Christian leaders as well, in relation to the Anglican and Catholic Ugandan Martyrs of the 1880s, and the Anabaptist martyrs of the 16th century, killed by Catholic authorities. These cases show how the function of martyr stories is deeply shaped and reshaped by changing perceptions of the mission of the church. Martyrology may foster disunity and thereby undermine the reconciling mission of the church. Drawing on the themes of the cross and the communion of the saints, I offer constructive suggestions for reframing Christian martyrdom in ways that support the reconciling mission of the church and advance its unity.

Herbie Miller, Corinth Presbyterian Church, Dayton, OH
"There's Room at the Table": One Church's Story of Welcoming Refugees

This paper takes up the topic of the church and courage. The subject of this paper is Corinth Presbyterian Church in Dayton, OH, and its outreach ministry Room at the Table, a tutoring program for east African refugees in the city. This paper will accomplish two goals. First, it will tell the story of how an aging, mainline Protestant church is being revitalized through its efforts to minister to an at-risk population. Second, it will reflect critically on three values the church has learned to embrace as it embodies an outwardly focused ecclesiology of welcome: situational awareness, organizational flexibility, and creative partnerships. At a moment in America's history when xenophobic speech is normalized by the highest political office in the country, Corinth Presbyterian Church proclaims and embodies a counter-rhetoric of hospitality that is attuned to the specific needs of its community.

Business Meeting:
Brian Flanagan, Marymount University
Vladimir Latinovic, University of Tübingen
Vatican II Studies Unit
Theme: 1968: A Turning Point in the Reception of Vatican II?
Paul Crowley, Santa Clara University, Presiding
Saturday - 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Hyatt Regency-Centennial G (Third Level)

To what extent might the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) be seen as an effort of Catholicism to respond to the rapidly changing social context of modernity in the 1960s, and its reception as conditioned by the upheavals to established pattens of life and society symbolized in the events of 1968? These papers explore the complex interactions of movements in culture and society with currents of Catholic theology, including the ways in which they condition the reception and interpretation of the orientations of Vatican II. Understanding the roots of these movements in the 1960s illuminates the sometimes polarizing debates that continue within contemporary Catholicism.

Dries Bosschaert, University of Leuven
Comrades in the Attainment of the Universal Common Good: The Genesis and Reception of Vatican II’s Views of Workers’ Rights in Light of the Events of 1968

1968 is often considered a revolution of the working class joined by a new generation, crying out for social justice and opposing authority in all its forms, including the Roman Catholic magisterium. However, concerning one central theme, namely workers’ rights, this image needs to be adjusted; for during and after Vatican II, representatives of the Catholic labour movement engaged in the struggle to integrate their experience with workers of all ideologies at the Council, to get their rights included in the conciliar texts, and to safeguard the reception of these rights in a postconciliar era sure to be marked by ecclesial and societal conflicts. The study of the activities and positions of Catholic trade unionists and employers during and after the Council thus presents an excellent case study to consider the general question of whether Vatican II was either teaching or serving the working class, either preparing or provoking the turmoil of 1968.

Daniel Rober, Sacred Heart University
The Communio School’s Failure of Nerve and the Legacy of 1968

The Communio school of theology, with its namesake journal, officially began in 1972 but owes much of its impetus to the events of 1968. As evidenced in the work and reflections of Joseph Ratzinger, theologians who formed this school experienced that year as a kind of shock that this paper argues augured a failure of nerve and a separation in their thought between ressourcement and aggiornamento that presaged later close association with church authority. This has been exacerbated in younger generations, and by the tendency of the Communio school to dedicate itself to exposition of John Paul II’s theology of the body. These tendencies have both sidelined Communio theologians from some important conversations in the church and have abetted the rise of neo-traditionalism in theology and other areas of church life. This paper contends that the Communio school must embrace its dynamic roots in the nouvelle théologie and a more robust theological creativity, and in so doing would offer a valuable service to the unity of the church.

Katherine Dugan, Springfield College
Catholics in the Long Wake of Humanae Vitae: NFP, "Life Issues", and Polarized American Catholicism

Fifty years after its release, the legacy of Humanae Vitae has had a polarizing impact on contemporary Catholicism in the U.S. This paper begins with an analysis of what I call the contemporary "NFP subculture," a group of twenty-first century Catholics who are committed to following the teachings Humanae Vitae. I examine how responses to Humanae Vitae have divided American Catholics along a fault line defined by sexual ethics. Finally, I propose that Humanae Vitae initiated an ongoing and thorough-going disagreement over the nature of the relationship between Catholic and U.S. cultural norms. This paper studies how he events of 1968, filtered thru interpretations of Humanae Vitae, recast the polarizations of postconciliar Catholicism in the U.S. The divide is less between pro- and anti-Vatican II and more between is different interpretations of the relationship between Catholic identity and sexual ethics. The legacy of Humanae Vitae continues to shape American Catholicism.

Business Meeting:
Catherine E. Clifford, Saint Paul University
Kristin Colberg, University of Notre Dame
Ecclesiological Investigations Unit
Theme: Ecclesial Courage in Historical Perspectives
Miriam Haar, Lutheran World Federation, Presiding
Saturday - 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Convention Center-Mile High 4D (Lower Level)

As the 2018 AAR Annual-Meeting focuses upon the role of religion in the public sphere, two of this year’s Ecclesiological Investigations Group sessions will explore the virtue of ecclesial courage in the public sphere. In this first, historical session we will look back at the Henri de Lubac's activism and writing about the church and political order during the 1940s as an example of ecclesial courage and Christian anti-fascist resistance; the French Dominican priest Marie-Dominique Chenu (1896-1990) pastoral advocacy of courageous ecclesial engagement with the realities of the modern world engendered conflict with Vatican officials as well as his contribution to an increased ecclesial openness at Vatican II; and Spanish Jesuit theologian Ignacio Ellacuría call for a courageous Christian response to the dehumanizing poverty, which led him to the death squad. These examples are aimed to help us better understand historical treatments of courageous actions and challenges for the churches in their public mission.

Nicholas Krause, Baylor University
Henri de Lubac, Ecclesial Courage, and Christian Resistance to Fascism

In light of the rise of new forms of ethno-nationalist and neo-fascist social movements, this paper turns to Henri de Lubac's activism and writing about the church and political order during the 1940s as an example of ecclesial courage and Christian anti-fascist resistance. It examines de Lubac's heretofore un-studied book Proudhon et le Christianisme, a study of the anarchist and socialist radical Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, and locates this engagement within a series of ecclesiological reflections produced during de Lubac's participation in French anti-fascist movements. I argue this neglected strand of de Lubac's thought contains a theological critique of French neo-Scholasticism's complicity in and cooperation with the Vichy fascist regime as a form of ecclesial cowardice, and offers an alternative political ecclesiology centered on courageous witness. De Lubac's ecclesiological reflections, I argue, identify both the susceptibility of the church to fascist impulses, as well as the possibilities of its resistance to them.

Mary Kate Holman, Fordham University
“Don’t Be Afraid!”: Marie-Dominique Chenu and the Courage for an Engaged Church

Drawing on the example of the French Dominican priest Marie-Dominique Chenu (1896-1990), this paper argues that in advocating for a courageous Church facing outward, a parallel courage is required to navigate structures of opposition and power within the Church. As the innovative director of studies at the Saulchoir Dominican House of Studies (1920-1942) and as a friend and mentor to the Worker Priest movement in Paris (1942-1953), Chenu envisioned a courageous, engaged Church at a time when the Catholic hierarchy had assumed a defensive posture towards the modern world. His intellectual and pastoral advocacy for this type of courageous ecclesial engagement with the realities of the modern world engendered conflict with Vatican officials. Chenu’s resilience in the face of these experiences, and his ultimate contributions to an increased ecclesial openness at Vatican II reveal a distinctive type of courage: one that maintains bold Christian convictions despite opposition by Church authority.

Mark DeMott, Fordham University
Taking Charge of the Weight of Reality: The Thought of Ignacio Ellacuría as Impetus and Resource for a Church of the Poor

In 1968, Medellín marked an ecclesial move to embrace the lived reality of the poor. Writing in El Salvador at this time, Spanish Jesuit theologian Ignacio Ellacuría calls for a courageous Christian response to the dehumanizing poverty there, and situates the Universidad Centroamericana José Simeon Cañas (UCA) in a posture of political and social activism. This eventually cost him his life – at the hands of a military death squad. More than a celebration of Ellacuría, this paper will explore the theological and philosophical dimensions of his understanding of historical reality that guided his public action. Additionally, it will propose these categories in Ellacuría’s thought as a both impetus and resource for the contemporary Church in the public sphere. Finally, it will argue that further study of Ellacuría’s philosophy and theology might be truly life-giving for the poor – and might continue to orient Medellín’s vision of a church of the poor.

Ecclesiological Investigations Unit
Theme: Gender and Ecclesiology
Dennis Doyle, University of Dayton, Presiding
Sunday - 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Hyatt Regency-Centennial G (Third Level)

This panel addresses the interaction between gender and ecclesiology, with a particular focus upon how different answers to gender questions affect unity and division, within, without, and between the Christian churches. The first paper looks at both the ways that questions regarding women's ordination have complicated, and yet in the long run strengthened, Anglican-Orthodox ecumenical dialogue. The second critiques a prominent German Catholic opponent of the ordination of women to the diaconate in the Roman Catholic Church, arguing that mistaken positions on ordination and gender that arise from an overreaction to German Protestant differences with Catholic dialogue partners. The third looks at how differing conceptions of gender, so-called "gender ideology," and masculinities complicated the recent peace settlements in Colombia, and continue to point the way to further "difficult dialogues."

Kirsten L Guidero, Marquette University
Developing a Shared Ecumenical Method: Women's Ordination in the Anglican-Orthodox Dialogue

The Anglican-Orthodox dialogue remains marked by disputes over gender, particularly women’s ordination. This paper uncovers how women’s ecclesial roles figure in the dialogue from 1976 through 2015. In earlier decades, the dialogue focuses on women’s ordination as a contested point of ecclesial identity while overlooking the extensive roots of the topic in both churches’ underlying theological premises. The women’s ordination discussion thus demonstrates how different ways of relating ecclesial integrity with theological development produce ecumenical tension. However, my analysis also reveals the Anglican-Orthodox dialogue’s promise. By more thoroughly excavating the foundational theologies shaping thought on gender and by engaging practices of internal and bilateral reception, the dialogue’s three most recent statements fashion a more mature approach. The paper concludes by arguing that in order to fruitfully address specific troubles over gender as well as to achieve greater consensus on other matters, Anglicans and Orthodox should continue adopting these approaches.

Jakob Rinderknecht, University of the Incarnate Word
Imaging the "Voraus" of Christ: Gender, Deacons, and the Church

Karl-Heinz Menke, emeritus professor of the University of Bonn and 2017 recipient of the Ratzinger Prize, has been an recurring voice arguing that women cannot be ordained to the diaconate. He also serves as a member of the papal commission studying the question. Over the course of the last decade, Menke has built a two-pronged argument against the possibility of such ordinations. First, he argues that the Sacrament of Order's unity requires that anyone who is ordained at all must be able to be ordained to the episcopate. Second, he argues that women cannot image the Voraus of Christ vis-à-vis the church, that is, Christ's leadership. This paper argues that Menke's understanding of the sacrament and who properly receives it rests on faulty assumptions both about the sacrament and about the gendered constitution of humanity. These positions should not be allowed to affect the church's deliberations on the topic.

Janna Hunter-Bowman, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
Gender as Trump: Unity at the Price of Peace

Gender questions opened chiasmic division and now provide opportunity for difficult dialogues in Colombia, South America. This presentation analyzes Colombia’s explosive church and political conflict over gender in the context of a national peace agreement with the government and leftist guerrilla group FARC. It critically and constructively deploys three approaches found in women, gender, and peacebuilding literature: “difference,” “diversity,” and “deconstructive.” The lens and emergent insights provide resources for examining gender-inflected conflict dynamics between church(es) and within denominations elsewhere. Furthermore, interviews with former soldiers suggest that the most polemical approach to gender within churches is precisely what best resources transformation of violence-generating and violence-sustaining masculinities. In response, this paper explores the practice of “difficult dialogues” as “deliberative inquiry” that embrace conflict as an opportunity for constructive engagement. The presentation brings original research in Colombia into conversation with gender studies, theology, religious studies, radical democracy, and peacebuilding literatures.